|My husband and I are standing outside of La Choza Restaurant in Santa Fe|
on a gorgeously mild and sunny day (his second cousin, whom he had never
met before, had lunch with us and took our picture).
My trip to New Mexico last week was a fairly casual vacation, so I decided to pack mostly denim jeans and navy knit pants, plus my new pair of blush pink twill jeans for two occasions when I felt the need for a slightly dressier look (my idea of less casual is jeans that are not denim blue!). I chose a mix of print and solid tops that included either fuchsia pink or bright aquamarine/turquoise. Since the weather was really variable (temperatures ranged from the low 40s to the mid-80s), I had to pack a range of options, from a tank top to one with three-quarter sleeves, and I did end up wearing them all. I also packed a sweater and a three-season jacket and needed them as well.
My navy knit pants are Not-Quite-Tights bought years ago from the TravelSmith catalog, and they are the best pants for long plane rides. They are no longer available, which is a shame, but L.L. Bean has similar comfortable knit pants. The tops I packed were all tee shirts, mostly inexpensive cotton ones from Walmart. I find them to be comfortable, easy to pack, and most suitable for casual trips. All are no longer available, so I included images of shirts that are similar. I only needed one pair of sturdy walking shoes, although I did pack some lightweight canvas slip-ons that could double as slippers.
Here is the outfit similar to the one I wore on the plane:
|Clockwise from top left: Dorothy Perkins Voulez Vous Blue Floral Zip-Back T-Shirt; Sears Tri-Mountain Women's Mesh Lining Zip-Off Hood Shell Jacket in Putty/Dark Gray; Silver Buffalo Handmade Cuff Native American Bracelet; Dark Tan Crossbody Bag (no longer available); Sperry Top-Sider Leeward Women's Boat Shoes in Dark Tan; L.L. Bean Women's Slim Perfect Fit Pants in Classic Navy (I brought two and packed one).|
My tan jacket is an old L.L. Bean Warm-Up Jacket that I wish was still available. Like my TravelSmith pants, it is an excellent choice for travel because it is lightweight but warm enough for all but the coldest weather, sturdy, and water-repellent (you can see this same item for sale used here). I always choose one piece of favorite jewelry to wear whenever I travel, and this time I chose a silver cuff bracelet purchased on a previous trip to New Mexico. My bracelet has a design of several different stylized southwestern animals, but I really like the buffalo cuff bracelet shown above!
These are the items similar to the ones that I packed in my carry-on bag:
|Clockwise from top left: Land's End Women's Relaxed Supima Crewneck T-Shirt in Brilliant Fuchsia; Land's End Women's Cotton Tank Top in Brilliant Fuchsia; She Chic Ruffles Sleeve Flowers Printed Slim T-Shirt; House of Fraser Lee Scarlett Skinny Jeans in Pale Pink; Dorothy Perkins Ivory Rose Print Lace T-Shirt; SCOTTeVEST Madeline Cardigan in Burgundy; Duluth Trading Company Women's Longtail T Elbow Sleeve Scoop Neck Shirt in Aquamarine; L.L. Bean Women's Slim-Leg True Shape Jeans in Stonewashed Denim (I packed two).|
The burgundy cardigan may seem like an odd choice, but I wanted to pack only items that I already owned, and this sweater was lightweight, long enough to cover an untucked shirt, and my version even has a hood if I want to protect my ears. It may not look like it here, but the cardigan and the fuchsia shirts work fine together, at least for the ones that I own. I also happen to be very open to unexpected color combinations. I added it to the outfit I am wearing in the photo at the top of the page for the cooler morning hours because that particular tee shirt has splashes of burgundy color in the print, and I was happy with all of the colors together.
I actually had a few more items than this in my bag, as alternatives depending upon the weather, but I was still only slightly overpacked. I threw in one more sweater at the last minute, the pretty Embroidered Toucan Tile Charming Cardigan from Talbot's, because it took up so little room. I did end up wearing it, and got many compliments on it, but I could just as easily have worn the burgundy sweater instead. However, everything fit into my carry-on luggage and I could lift my bag into the overhead compartment without help (my mantra is "If I can't lift it over my head by myself I can't bring it"), so overall I was pretty pleased with my packing. Of course, I have been doing wall pushups religiously for months to improve my lifting capabilities and I am happy to say that they worked! Now I just have to refine my packing skills for my upcoming 10-day trip to Germany in August - I wonder if I can fit my entire wardrobe for that adventure into one carry-on bag?