Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Wardrobe Basics for a Month Away & a One-Week River Cruise

Our 7-day river cruise is turning out to be an entire month of travelling. There are friends in Paris, Macon and Lyon to visit before we continue on to Germany. We leave from Passau and travel down the Danube on my first river cruise. I'm not fond of the big ships and many have told me that they have enjoyed the river cruises more so than the ocean cruises. I will see. 

My first advantage is that I will be visiting friends and so laundry will not be a problem. As well, in Germany, if needed, I will be able to leave some clothing behind at a friend's home before the river cruise. Having strategic placement of friends through France and Germany will make packing an easy job.

This year black, white and beige will be the base of the travel wardrobe. It's two weeks before we are off but it has been difficult to plan for sunshine when our "Port" has been overcast and rainy for the past two days.

My husband's bone of contention is the "jacket" requirement for the captain's dinner on the river cruise. However, I am hoping that he will have opportunity to wear it more often than that. 

For him it's shorts and t-shirts, a pair of blue jeans, his North Face jacket and this time, a "suit" or whatever combo he puts together for a more formal dinner. Shoes will simply be his black leather sandals but now he has to consider taking a pair of loafers.

For me, it's a little more complicated . . . 

Wardrobe basics for a Month Away

2 pairs linen pants: one black, one white. I'm leaving behind the camel coloured linen trousers and taking one pair of beige shorts instead.

Three pairs of linen pants in the necessary colours. Photo by JoyD.

1 pair skinny jeans
2 pairs knee-length shorts: one black, one beige
5 t-shirts: 2 white, 2 black, one colour (Pantone 2016 Spring Colours: this year for me - peach echo)
2 cotton shirts: 1 black, 1 white
1 black blazer
3 dresses: 1 LBD, 1 geometric print (black & white), 1 floral print (pinks with turquoise)
1 black sport jacket
1 tan all-weather "car coat"
1 shawl (camel cashmere heavier weight)

Cashmere Shawl (heavy weight) purchased at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver. Photo by JoyD.

Square Equestrian Motif Scarf.
Photo by JoyD.
3 scarves (1 square white, red & black; 1 patterned colourful with peach, pink & turquoise; 1 rectangular, red, blues, & black). I intend to buy more on the trip.

Pyjama set including t-shirt and capris with bed jacket (functional and modest as a houseguest)

5 pairs of Shoes: my black and white Semler sneakers, beige Jimmy Choos, beige loafers (walking shoes), black loafers, beige sandals and these don't count - rubber flip flops for in-house wear. I will be buying shoes along the way - that is a given. 

The loafers with the tassels will be the ones I am taking since the centre ones are now delegated to the garden and the ones on the right are in Canada.

Three Pairs of Beige Loafers. Photo by JoyD.

Underwear for 7 days - there will be time and opportunity to wash along the way. Panti-liners also help stretch the wearability. My husband's trick for underwear is to take all that should be thrown away and he does just that - wears it, throws it away and then buys new as he needs.

This is my basic start for packing, I'll let you know what I actually took (with a "wearing" analysis) and what I bought along the way.

Linen loose top and draw string pants purchased in Italy ages ago. Photo by JoyD.
I'm already thinking of adding my "Italian linen combo" to the basic plan . . . and then there's my jewellery favourites, although that's another "buy along the way" that's necessary when you don't take any with you. The hat is in Canada. Thank goodness.

And of course, I must take at least 2 Armor-Luxe striped tops, this one which is white and black and another that is black and white.
Armor-Luxe, white with black stripe pullover. Photo by JoyD.

The packing has already begun . . . 

Packing my Armor-Luxe striped pullover with my wide leg black linen pants. Photo by JoyD.

Purple Lug bag. Photo by JoyD.

I forgot to talk about other bags . . . and maybe these loafers would be better? What did I say about adding to my basic list?

Lancel Shopping bag. Photo by JoyD.

I do need a small bag for dinner . . . 

Lancel mini bag purchased at the Lancel factory outlet store in Romans-sur-Isere. Photo by JoyD.

I have the jeans, do I really need a skirt?

Blue jean skirt. Photo by JoyD.
. . . . . .


  1. Hello Joyd,
    Similar to you, I perennially “lay out” my travel clothes prior to a trip and take over the guest bedroom for organizing items. Determining the color scheme of my wardrobe is always the first step and helps to eliminate “outlier” items that will only work with one outfit (or at have some rationale or including it). I will also list dates and associated activities to make sure I have captured the appropriate attire for the planned function.
    I noticed that although you have 3 dresses there are no skirts in your collection. I have found that having a long “maxi” skirt works for both day and dinner with a change to the shoes (flats to wedges) and a more “evening-ish” top.
    A question for you – how many formal dinners will there be on your cruise? With 3 dresses and being in different locations repeating an outfit for a formal dinner may allow you to eliminate one from the list. Particularly if shopping is part of the itinerary as there may be a sale find that can be worn in lieu of something I brought from home.
    Also, I try to limit the number of shoes to 3 pairs (excluding flip flops to wear in the house) as shoes are usually bulky to pack. I have to say that stylish sneakers (either like your Semler lace ups or a slip on) are a fortunate fashion choice when ravelling and are incredibly versatile.
    As much as I try to limit myself, I invariably end up over packing. Oh well, some day…..

    1. I'm back from the river cruise and my dresses served me well. There was only one formal dinner but the majority of women dressed up a bit every night (there's a post there). Do you know . . . I don't have a skirt fitting your description. I think it is my height. At only 5'2" I always feel as if there is too much fabric billowing out around me and somehow I have avoided that style of skirt. I admire them on others but the women I admire them on are usually much taller than me. All in all I was pleased that I took the dresses but certainly my case may have been lighter had I a skirt instead. Life is good when a recurring goal is to pack lighter for trips.

  2. Hello again,
    I understand the height dilemma. Perhaps if the skirt was a long A-line vs. big and billowy it wouldn't be so overwhelming. Looking at your photos and the linen outfit you have, if the skirt was of similar width to the trousers that might work.
    Ultimately, if you don't feel comfortable in it you will never like it.

    1. I came very close to buying a linen skirt in the Lilith outlet store in Romans-sur-Isere. Problem was that sizes were depleted with the sales - too small and too big but I am closer to buying one than I have ever been. You and I were on the same wavelength because it was in fact, more a-line than gathered.

  3. We have begun quite the conversation and am enjoying the discussion.
    Finding your size during the sale season is always the issue. Too big can be altered with the help of a good tailor but if it means overall reconstruction the additional costs will outweigh any sale price savings. I would probably avoid one that has a drawstring waist (it will make it more casual and add bulk where you don't want it).
    It seems that a long skirt has made it onto your shopping list.
    Happy hunting!

    1. It's on the list! But I must say, I don't know if I am totally convinced I would actually wear it.


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