Saturday, June 25, 2016

Weekend Wardrobe: Island Vacation Travel Wardrobe

A beautiful image from the island of São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
(from Trivago).

I need a vacation!  My poor little donkey still requires a lot of care, so there is no way I am going anywhere any time soon, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about traveling.  We were supposed to go to New Mexico in early July, but had to cancel that trip because of Daisy's illness (we can always go next summer).  My husband is off to the Azores for a meeting in mid-July, which got me thinking about island vacations.  The Azores are mountainous volcanic archipelago islands with a subtropical climate and tend to get a lot of rain, although they are considered to have a Mediterranean-type climate.  While my husband has been there several times, I have never had the opportunity.  Maybe one of these days I will get there, and if I do, this would be a great travel wardrobe for such a trip:

Clockwise from top left: Coldwater Creek Linen Camp Shirt in Blue Belle; Land's End Women's Supima Cardigan Sweater in Ivory; Coinjewelry Bird of Paradise Pendant Necklace from Etsy; Elaine Turner Sorrel Cork Tote; Vans Unisex Authentic Cork Sneakers; Travelsmith Classic Fit Miraclebody Ankle-Length Colored Jeans in  Yellow; Ralph Lauren Cork Skinny Belt from Lord & Taylor; Center: Decree Women's Cork Band Colored Dial Watch.

You may have noticed several cork-based items (belt, shoes, watch, and hand bag).  The Azores are part of Portugal, and Portugal is a major producer of cork, which comes from a type of oak tree (Quercus suber, or cork oak) native to that country.  Cork is lightweight, watertight, and durable, and it is a renewable resource.  After the cork is harvested from the trees just below the bark, the trees are allowed to recover and produce more cork for future collection.  There are two other pairs of cork shoes in the carry-on bag, and the bag itself is also made of cork:

Clockwise from top left: Land's End Women's Cotton Tank Top in Jewel Blue; Earth Cork Travel Bags Braga Ck2001; Coldwater Creek Essential Supima Boatneck Tee in Cypress; Coldwater Creek Classic Knit Denim Straight-Leg Jeans in Leaf Green; Coldwater Creek Linen Camp Shirt in Daffodil; Aerosoles 4 Give Sandals in Cork Combo; Karen Millen Bird of Paradise Print Cotton Dress; Sam Edelman Augusta Textured Flats in Cork from Lord & Taylor; Duluth Trading Company Women's Longtail T Short Sleeve V-Neck Shirt in Spice Orange; Karen Millen Bird of Paradise Print Cotton Skirt; Center: Karen Millen Blue Pencil Dress.

The bird of paradise skirt was actually the inspiration for this wardrobe.  I discovered this skirt while browsing the cotton website (did you know that the cotton industry posts links to clothing that are made of cotton?), and liked it so much I decided to include the dress made of the same material as part of this collection as well.  Cotton is by far my favorite fabric, as I find it more comfortable and breathable than any other material available, especially synthetics, which I cannot abide.  As for the skirt, the pattern features the magnificent bird of paradise flower (Strelitzia spp.):

Bird of paradise flower
(from Deviant Art).

The flower received its name because of its uncanny resemblance to the avian species (Paradisaea spp.) of the same appellation (which is why I included the bird of paradise necklace in the first style board):

Male Greater Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea apoda) in full courtship display
(from The Internet Bird Collection).

While neither the floral nor faunal bird of paradise is native to the Azores, the islands are a popular birdwatching destination, and the bird of paradise is one of many colorfully flowering introduced plants found on these lush and verdant islands.  (This concludes your geography, botany, and ornithology lessons for today.  You're welcome, and class dismissed!)

As mentioned above, the weather can be rainy on the Azores, so if rain is in the forecast it would be a good idea to pack a lightweight water resistant coat like the one below as part of the travel wardrobe:

The Tog Shop Classic Windbreaker in Bluebell.

Some day I will be able to travel again, and when I do at least I will have some idea of what to pack for an island vacation!

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