Mighty Life List
May 17 2011

Packing Light: New Orleans with Roxanna

Hello team, please welcome my lovely, kind friend Roxanna from Every Day Treats. I saw her recently at Mom 2.0, and she always looks so smashing that I asked her to do a packing light for us. We were halfway through the trip by the time I asked, so she did an “unpacking” light when she got home instead. Enjoy.

Take it away, Roxanna:

DAY ONE

My flight landed at the exact time the opening cocktail party started, so getting dressed was a rush. After checking in, I went into my room changed out of my travel outfit (yoga pants, tank top and a cardigan — all in black) and slipped into this dress. It took five minutes. We all know that little black dresses are magic, and this one is stretchy and comfy, so wearing it feels exactly like wearing a T-shirt without pants.

Dress: Calvin Klein, purchased at TJ Maxx. Calvin Klein dresses fit me well, and TJ Maxx always has them in stock. Therefore, I never pay full price for them. Awesome.
Necklace: A find at a preppy little shop in Wellesley, MA. It cost $15 and I love it so.
Shoes: Naturalizer. These strappy heels are a gold/platinum color and go with everything, so they usually come with me on trips.

This is what I wore on the first day of the conference. I chose a purple top and yellow heels as a nod to Mardi Gras. I don’t think anyone noticed, but it was fun for me.

Unfortunately, I regret wearing jeans. I love skirts and dresses, and since winters are so cold where I live I don’t get to wear them as often as I’d like. So when I walked into the conference the first day and saw so many women in dresses, all I wanted to do was go change. But I didn’t. Instead I gave longing looks to anyone in a skirt and kicked myself for not taking advantage of a chance to wear what I like.

Even worse, I wore jeans so I wouldn’t stand out too much on my first day. I thought that’s what most people would be wearing. What a mistake! I’m always telling people that they should dress for themselves and I didn’t follow my own advice. Bad style blogger! Don’t be like me — pack things you love to wear and nothing else.

Top: Nordstrom, bought off season, so it was 60% off!
Jeans: Joe’s Jeans, also from TJ Maxx.
Shoes: Seychelles purchased at Saks…Off 5th. And they were on sale. Again, I don’t pay full price if I can help it.

NIGHT ONE

After a busy day bummed out by my too casual attire, I was so happy to change into something dressier. We had plans for an evening of misconduct on Bourbon Street. This was my favorite outfit from the entire trip. The night started at Pat O’Brien’s and ended at Galitoire’s, and I was comfortable at both places because I dressed for myself. Lesson learned!

You know how those makeover TV shows tell you to mix textures to “add interest” to your outfits? I think that this is what they mean. I love this skirt because it’s shiny and you can’t tell if it’s made of leather or fabric. People can’t help but touch it — which means that I was petted by many lady bloggers.

I would never pair this skirt with flats at home, but my feet were tired from wearing heels all day at the conference and these were my only other option. Limited choices force you to be creative, and in the end I loved how the whole thing came together.

Top: AK Anne Klein from TJ Maxx! (Are you sensing a pattern? I have an awesome one right by my house.)
Skirt: J. Crew, bought off season and on sale.
Shoes: Aldo

DAY TWO

I’m obsessed with personal style blogs and this is me trying to look like a style blogger. I could use some practice. I was going for sultry, but the expression on my face is actually me noticing that I need to mop my floor:

Housekeeping aside, this outfit is so comfortable. This skirt is better than wearing yoga pants, because it’s missing the pants part. I take it with me on almost every trip. You can also wear it as dress, and while I prefer longer skirts it’s nice to have options.

Tee: Banana Republic (I paid $5 for it!)
Skirt: J. Crew
Shoes: Jack Rogers (these never go on sale, but I live in them in the summer so they’re worth it.)

NIGHT TWO

I wore the same dress with different jewelry and shoes (the black flats) to the reading at the Eiffel Society. I actually had another skirt and top to wear, but it turns out I didn’t even need them. If you travel a lot, invest in a black sheath.

And that’s it! Other than my travel outfit and another set of workout clothes to sleep in, this is everything I brought to the conference. Everything fit in a carry on and it was more than enough. See you next year!

Thanks, Roxanna. You are a peach. If you’d like to read more on Roxanna’s packing light philosophy, you might like this short post from her site. Please let me know in comments if you’d like to see more Packing Light features from friends (maybe a guy friend?), or if there’s anything that’s been perplexing to you about how to fit everything in a carryon. I’ve been getting a lot of requests for packing lists for people who have tough trips ahead of them. Is that something you care to see, or too personalized to be of use? Let me know.

May 9 2011

Packing Light, New Orleans

As you know, I’m all about the carry-on luggage. A carry-on and a backpack can get me through almost anything, mostly because carry-ons will hold way more than most people think, especially if you’re going somewhere warm. Here’s what I packed for New Orleans.

The denim skirt is thrifted and the striped top is Urban Outfitters. Anna Beth Chao only weighs like three pounds, so you can fold her right down into the exterior pocket of the carry-on. I take her everywhere. Chao and champagne.

The silk scarf is vintage Vera, and the aviators are from Anthropologie. When I wear them, I like to ask people for their license and registration at regular intervals.

There was a cocktail party that first night, so I wore my vintage fringe happy dress, which requires zero ironing. I take it everywhere.

These are my fallback shoes, which operate on the theory that if you’re a woman over six feet tall in heels, no one notices what you’re wearing anyway. I need a new pair, because I’ve had these for nearly a decade. It’s impossible to find stable, comfortable, unreasonably tall shoes, but it’s time. Help a sister out, Internet.

The next day was my presentation. I like to be totally comfortable on stage, so I went with this simple navy shift from H&M and swapped the belt out for a striped scarf. The orange travel flats are Tieks, and I also wore two square glass orange rings, because I like to be matchy matchy like that. You’ll see those below.

A group of us went to dinner later that night, and I wore a romper I got at Forever 21 for 16 cents. Cheap prices for disposable clothing is why I continue to shop there, even though they purposefully play music to annoy people my age. You’ll have to more than blast Avril Levigne to drive me away from prices like this Forever 21! Actually, I love that “What the Hell” song, so I’m golden. I am bopping in the aisles, Forever21.

I wore the romper with very basic open toe black flats from H&M. I don’t have any full-length shots of this outfit that you haven’t already seen, so I’m cheating by using a shot from New York. There are, however, several shots of me looking naked at dinner:

“Oh, don’t mind me. I put a dinner napkin on the chair before I sat down.”

This is my impression of cruise director Julie McCoy. Can you feel me setting a course for adventure?

The skirt is from Buenos Aires, and the tennies are knockoff Bensimons, which I got on the cheap at the now-defunct Martin and Osa. I need to replace those badly, but can’t bring myself to spend $50 on a pair of slightly more awesome canvas Keds.

Scarf is another vintage Vera tied as an ascot. The button-up shirt is from The Limited, which makes great shirts for business travel because they aren’t 100 percent cotton, which means they have stretch to them and don’t wrinkle nearly so easily. My glasses are Dolce and Gabanna.

That night I wore an American Apparel dress for my reading, with the same heels we talked about earlier.

As you know, I like to take jammies that I can wear as clothes in a pinch. This time, I packed this grey romper, also from Forever21, also 16 cents. The cashmere sweater is from the Alameda Flea Market.

I stayed a couple extra days with Anna Beth, so I revisited the navy shift for lunch at Commanders Palace. Here you can see the aforementioned orange rings, which I got from street vendors in Buenos Aires:

I also wore my stripe top again, this time with a little black mini from Urban Outfitters:

And a scarf from H&M:

Again, I failed to get a photo of what I wore on the plane due to exhaustion. I know this makes you rabid, so I’ll say I wore a short cotton mini-dress over tight jeans with the gray striped sweater, a blazer, and the white sneakers.

And that’s it, team.

One day soon I’ll do a post about what I wear on planes to maximize comfort and go from cold (San Francisco) to warm (everywhere else). Speaking of which, do you have a standard travel outfit? If so, spill. I could use a variation on the dress/leggings/sweater theme.

Also, keep an eye on this space, because I asked Roxanna from Everyday Treats to tell me what she packed for New Orleans. She always looks amazing, and she sent photos. Hooray, Roxanna!

Apr 22 2011

New Orleans Ghost Party

On St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, this tree was heavy with beads.

People throw them from the Mardi Gras floats, and they catch on branches and telephone wires. These have been up for months.

Oh, Louisiana. You know how to charm a girl.