From the archives. Originally published in 2018.
I always build my packing story starting with a color palette of black and white. I make sure to bring the essentials that are stylish, versatile and comfortable. The one item I rarely leave home without is a black blazer. It truly goes with everything. In the summer, I prefer a slim cut with a bracelet sleeve, like The Row’s “schoolboy” blazer, which looks great with the mainstay of my travel wardrobe – pants, shorts and dresses. I’ll often have it on the plane with me so even in the most casual outfit, I’ll feel pulled together upon arrival.
This summer, while traveling throughout Scandinavia, I was inspired by the way women there injected color into this basic combo. I’m talking about super brights in both solids and prints, that I would normally shy away from. The best part was I realized how easily they paired back to my comfortable base of black and white.
When I returned home, I had an opportunity to collaborate with Net-A-Porter and decided to test drive a few items I had my eye on all season, but hesitated purchasing. A big welcome to a gorgeous pink skirt and a pair of printed blue pants. The black blazer immediately grounded both pieces and added a serious note that might otherwise be missing. I played around styling with heels and flats assuring they could go the distance for upcoming travels. They passed.
Since Sies Marjan debuted in 2016, I’ve been drawn to the saturated color palette and fluid pieces of the collection, but hadn’t seriously considered any of the items. Taking a second look, with a new craving for color, I immediately fell for this beautifully draped silk skirt and imagined the ways I could wear it at home or away. With a blazer and heel, it quickly transformed the most subdued basics.
Testing its versatility, I liked the skirt just as much with a tee and sandals. I’d also wear it with a poplin shirt knotted at the waist or a draped sweater and flats in the fall. Would this make it in my suitcase? Most definitely. I’d be equally inclined to wear it at resorts or urban settings.
Next, I wanted to take a playful print and see how it would integrate with my classics. I found a washed satin, pull-on pant from Double Rainbouu. I knew it would look great with a white tee and sandals, but I wanted to kick it up a notch and give it some structure with a blazer. I think it works beautifully. Often times, a bold print is easily recognizable which makes me tire of it quickly, but that’s not the case with Double Rainbouu’s “Sound Waves” motif, an exclusive to Net-A-Porter. It has a vibe that falls into the beach-to-bar category of favorites that can be dressed up or down.
Fresh off my summer travels where prints and color reigned supreme in every shop and on stylish women around town, I’m excited to introduce more to my wardrobe. They give life to my comfortable classics adding a jolt of energy with a simple unexpected pop of color. I’m starting to hunt down pieces that will work in a variety of settings so I can include them on my next adventure. My new formula when I start to pack will be black + white + bright.
Thank you Net-A-Porter for supporting this post, all opinions are my own.
Hi, my question is how to handle fine fabrics, like silk, in suitcases?
or, how do they come out, without the look of a crinkled paper?
greetings from Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
Hello. I actually love packing silks for travel. They are so lightweight and take up virtually no space in a suitcase. Some silks bounce back from wrinkles better than others, but it usually calls for no more than hanging the piece in a steamy bathroom. I have two methods for packing them – one is to leave them on a hanger covered with plastic or a thin garment bag, then fold them gently as the top layer in the suitcase. The other, for the springy silks and chiffons, is to roll them. Both methods work well.
Greetings back to you in Dordrecht. I love the Netherlands!
Great pieces and you look beautiful in all of them. I love the pink skirt in particular because it’s a real year round piece. Wonderful accessories too. Hope this will be a continuing feature with NAP.
Thank you Kathy. I love the skirt too. The shade of pink is even better in person.
You’ve found your groove with these fabulous packing posts! Fun to follow you on your travels and then see what you packed.
Thanks Preston. They’re both favorite topics I like to share and post about.
Great post. Packing with versatility with no sacrifice of style.
And keeping it comfortable!
Wow! You certainly have me thinking about how to re-style a black blazer with this post. Love the pink skirt’s versatility & your lovely photo walking down the path in heels – very nice! Also adore the first look with the black straw hat, frayed white ankle jeans, and sandals – definitely something I could do. With all of this though, what is really burning for me is the photo with the straw bag with pom-poms along the sides: the Nail Polish !!!!
I have been searching for a neutral non-glaringly white shade but have yet to find it – but I think this just might be it!!! Would you share the Brand / Color / Number of Coats used & anything else needed to get that beautiful color???? Keeping my (unpolished) fingers crossed!
Thank you! Well, I’m a huge fan of this polish and have been wearing it for a long time. It’s one of those beauty products I keep back stock on because I never want to be without it. You can read about it HERE which includes a link to buy (currently on sale, but low stock). I’m such a big fan, it deserved its own post. I usually wear it on its own, but layered it over one coat of London Court.
You are so right about the blazer. I have four of the Row schoolboy blazers and I can’t live without them. One in a light grey, another in off white, one in stretch khaki cotton and the last one is dark navy. My favorite articles of clothing!
Good for you! That’s a great collection giving you plenty of options. I’d love an off white one.
Great post! Along with the nail polish and straw bag, I LOVED the necklace. It is perfection. Can you share the brand?
Thank you. Unfortunately, the necklace is a find from a local boutique from over a year ago. I’ll source around and see if I can find a similar one.
Karima, I love all your packing posts. Keep ’em coming! About the only issue I have with the blazer is the sleeve length. I know you said that you like the bracelet sleeve, but I’m 5’9 with long arms. I checked out NAP’s measurements and I’m afraid a 13″ sleeve would be awkward and uncomfortable on me. Any other blazer suggestions in this same fabric with a longer sleeve. Many thanks!
I think these – HERE and HERE – are both great options with a long sleeve, but still a good weight. And just for reference, I’m also 5’9″ and sized up on The Row jacket. It runs very trim.