Sunday, August 12, 2012

Black Goes the Distance

It will be a feat of Olympic proportions to pack for our invasion of London early this fall. For starters I have bought a smaller suitcase. The thought of lugging Big Bertha up and down those stairs from Heathrow into London by tube fills me with fear. Because I intend to do some serious shopping whilst across the pond (TopShop, H&M, Miss Selfridge, Liberty, Mary Portas at House of Fraser and a pop into Primark), I have to leave room for the spoils of war.

So I am stripping down to the basics. And of course, the basics are black. Here's my theory (based on "Speak softly and carry a big stick"): Wear a great coat and that's all anyone will see. And a great coat I have. It's a muddy-olive and spoiled-milk-shade-of cream oversized houndstooth check swing coat with belled 3/4 sleeves and a notched collar. It's a LOT of coat.

Statement-making coat (not mine)

I predict it will be cold in London. Since moving to Texas, anything under 70 is cold. This coat is heavy enough to ward off the chill but light enough to tote around all day. It needs nothing more than:

> 2 black pencil skirts— double knit for day and lace for night
> 2 pairs of black pants— dressy and casual
> 2 fine gauge wool sweaters— turtleneck and jewel neck pullover
> 2 black blouses— one tailored and one dressy
> black and cream Chanel-esque jacket
This jacket makes anything more elegant (in case my invitation arrives from Her Majesty).
> plus the various bits and bobs and camis and tights
I'm not afraid of running out of underwear because Marks and Spencer carries the best in the world.

All this ebony requires a few pieces of bling of course:
> black link choker for the jewel necks
> some kind of brooch
If you didn't know, brooches are "in" again, Possums.
> not my best gold hoop earrings in case they get lost
Why do the best ones never fasten properly? 

And shoes:
> black suede loafers
> black leather ballet flats
> the most comfortable mid-high black heels I can unearth from the closet
(still on the fence about boots as they take up so much room)
> some kind of waterproof footwear in case of rain (have heard it does that sometimes)

I'm looking forward to going from Blackpool to Blackfriars and black again in style. My modus operandi in traveling is to see but not necessarily be seen. But who doesn't like the nice compliment occasionally from a complete stranger?
One should try to dress as well as the locals


  1. I have lost 2 gold hoop earrings (from two different pairs) in the last few years. They never stay on!

    My travel packing always involves leaving behind things I don't want anymore, so that I have room for purchases.

  2. I have a friend I travelled with who left behind clothing for the housekeepers. Am guessing they end up with quite a haul over time!

  3. This sounds like a seriously good plan. I always have the hardest time deciding on shoes. Boots? Maybe wear them on the plane, and then change into a pair of flats for the trip.

  4. Good idea on the boots! Would hate to get to London to find everyone wearing them and mine still in the closet.

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  6. Going to Europe must haves: Scarves. Or I guess you're planning a stop at Liberty... When I and my colleagues traveled for work, we would throw out our underpants as we went along(that means you don't take your best silk ones) and we would pitch the pj s on the last morning as well. (Even if you get stuck and have to stay somewhere overnight after that, the airline gives you a t shirt along with the toothbrush, etc...) My luggage was always at the maximum anyway because I am a shopping fool and I love buying from international sales people. That is why I have a drindl from Vienna...

  7. I'm excited about this particular blog; to go into the reasons for that would almost constitute a blog of my own, and I'm not as disciplined as our brilliant blogger here. However, with Virgin Air coming out with their new uniforms this week, maybe you could comment on what the nice flight attendants are wearing on your airplane when you go...?

  8. I wish we had the choice to go Virgin. It would require transferring in NYC (and another opportunity for luggage to go missing). No matter what their uniforms, it's a great line to travel.