The Directrice Coming and Going

The social contract! It binds us all and enables us to live in some approximation of civility if not harmony.
The social contract, like any Terms of Service, is a long (though incorporeal) agreement with many sections and paragraphs, but not all of them are equally important. For instance, Taking Care of the Vulnerable and the Needy Benefits All of Us is more important than We Owe It To One Another To Dress Up For Air Travel . . . and yet I am going to write about the latter today.

Do you remember my number one packing tip?
Omit needless shoes.
When I am making a quick overnight trip for work, I usually wear the shoes I need for my appointment/hearing/meeting. No shoes in the suitcase!
I had a hearing in New Mexico a few weeks ago. The first thing I packed was this outfit for the hearing.
Smart jacket, smart pants
Smart jacket, smart pants = Court Clothes

This was my itinerary:

  • Day 1: Fly to NM, eat delicious lunch, meet with client and co-counsel, prepare for hearing. Eat casual, delicious dinner with colleague.
  • Day 2: Eat delicious breakfast, attend hearing in the morning. Eat delicious lunch, then head to the airport for return flight to Washington D.C. Leave time to go to Baskin Robbins near departure gate.

I decided to use a wheeled briefcase for my suitcase.

To be honest, I didn't realize it was a briefcase until I went looking for a photo to show you; I just thought it was a tiny suitcase
To be honest, I just thought it was a tiny suitcase; I didn’t realize it was a briefcase until I went to the Tumi website to find a photo to show you; I was dumbfounded and pleased to realize that I am packing light by any objective standard

Using a bag this small means that after packing my Court Clothes, pajamas, and toiletries, I didn’t have room for a full change of casual clothes for the return flight.
So I wore a camisole, blouse, jacket, and jeans. I packed the Court Clothes plus a long-sleeved t-shirt and sweater. I figured I could piece together a comfortable outfit for my return flight from my Day 1 clothes, Court Clothes, and the extra t-shirt and sweater in my briefcase.
Fly, kitten, fly
Fly, kitten, fly

See the camisole peeking out at you?
See the camisole peeking out at you?
That’s right!
I took my tweed blazer/belt pairing on a cross-country trip.
You’ve also seen this floaty blouse and floral camisole before.

But in case you’ve forgotten what the blouse and camisole look like, here is a closer look:
Theory Floral Print Vaneese Cami
Theory Floral Print Vaneese Cami
MiH New Studio Shirt: I prefer to launder my white tops at home, so  I prefer cotton and linen to other fibers
MiH New Studio Shirt

A scarf
For the plane, a large scarf is always a good idea.
If you didn’t click on the hyperlink in the previous sentence, you’ve deprived yourself of the pleasure of reading my funniest post.

This one is cotton

With pom-poms

Are you dying to know what I wore for the flight home, after my hearing?
I ditched my Court jacket (which is beautiful but snug and scratchy) and blouse and put on the long-sleeved t-shirt with my soft tweed blazer. These grey suit pants are very comfortable; they s-t-r-e-t-c-h.
Yeah, this is what I wore home
LYCRA! Miracle fiber!

ran into peopl
Highly presentable Directrice, ready to run into people she hasn’t seen in years
I look nice, right? Like a PROfessional.
I ran into two former acquaintances on my flights — one now lives in Santa Fe and the other lives in Dallas. That’s a little weird, even for me.

I wore the scarf home, too. As you can see, the scarf (apricot) is not a perfect match with my t-shirt (gold), but I think the combination looks breezily collected.
The Photographer placed me in front of this tree and I am noticing that the shirt/scarf combination looks great with that foliage in the background. The tree is the missing piece!
side view
Wouldn’t you be relieved if you got on a plane and saw I was your seatmate? Pluses of sitting next to Directrice: small, tends to focus on reading, often has a box of See’s Candies (Chocolate Almond Clusters) on domestic eastbound flights and shares; Minuses: fidgets, occasionally will start laughing and then cannot stop

Have a fantastic weekend!
Tweed jacket: JCrew; Floral camisole: Theory; White blouse: MiH; Jeans: JCrew; Striped t-shirt: JCrew; Scarf: Eileen Fisher; Bag: Car Shoe; Court jacket: Dondup from YOOX; Blouse: Marc by Marc Jacobs

17 thoughts on “The Directrice Coming and Going”

  1. I rarely go anywhere, but your story reminds me of my husband’s travel stories. He also plans his wardrobe carefully, nixes extra shoes, and often runs into people he knows from other parts of his work. My sis is an attorney and I have alerted her to your fun fashion blog. Thanks!

  2. ‘breezily collected’ – you’ve coined a new fashion goal for all of us!
    So for 2017 ‘may the wind be at our backs…..’ !
    btw, I would love to be your seatmate on a flight – with three to a row, we’d even have a seat for the Photographer! What a fun flight that would be 🙂

  3. This was a crazy great piece and I love it. Traveling is iffy enough without being seated next to someone in their pajamas. I agree there is a social contract to look dressed for a flight or train and not that difficult to do. Fun to run into old friends when dressed looking fabulous as you always do! Kate

  4. As always great packing tips. Readers might think NM where I live is warm, but I’m assuming you were in either ABQ or Santa Fe which this time of year are cold and snowy. Hence I doubly love the scarf to help fashionably ward off plane/travel cold weather.

    • I did omit the strangest detail regarding my packing decisions — which is that I decided I didn’t need a coat because: (1) the forecast for daytime temperatures was in the 60s; (2) I had a wool blazer, sweater, scarf, and gloves, and (3) didn’t expect to be out at night. My colleague was shocked in the morning, when I met her to walk over to the court. I felt OK, but she told me it was only 37 degrees outside. Dry cold feels considerably warmer than damp cold.

  5. I’m impressed! You are so completely “dressed” with the belt! (that’s usually the article of clothing I forget for business trips)

  6. With airlines starting to charge for overhead space, I’m collecting tips for traveling with just a briefcase or weekend bag that fits under the seat in front of me. I now aspire to being “breezily collected” in my travel style. A large scarf goes a long way toward that!

  7. You look amazing! But…but…did you not have to unbelt, unjacket, unwind at Security?

    I hate Security. It’s such a process.

    • You know, I did have to unbelt, unjacket, and unwind — but that doesn’t bother me. Or, it doesn’t bother me any more than the entire undignified process of being x-rayed and dragging my possessions through an airport. My pet-peeve is dealing with shoelaces; I prefer slip-on shoes. I also always tuck a pair of socks in my totebag or carry-on so that I don’t have to walk through security in bare feet. Something about the thought of my skin on the floor of the airport gives me the shudders.

  8. Good suggestions, especially about shoes. I tend to pack too many and wear the same pair over and over. You’ve encouraged me to be more sensible about this.

  9. Wonderful guidance on elegant yet comfortable travel outfits. But, is the Directrice such a light packer that she travels with only the pair of shoes on her feet, but with two purses? Or was the red purse just for pre-travel photography purposes, and she only traveled with the black purse?

    Anne-Marie – The Directrice likely has Precheck or Global Entry, and can skip the disrobing step at Security.

    My own best travel trip: Always carry a peanut butter sandwich. For those moments when there are no delicious meals available, and you’re delayed for hours on a meal service-free plane or in a departure lounge after all the restaurants and snack places have closed.

    • Good advice, Lynne; I love peanut butter. Also, good eye noticing the handbag situation. Wearing one pair of shoes and bringing two bags would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul, wouldn’t it? The photo of the Court Clothes is from an old post. I only had the purple iridescent bag with me.

  10. Great post, esp the photo captions, which I always read, having missed important tidbits in footnotes over the years.

    So, I hate putting shoes (dirty!) in my luggage, even when they’re inside the flannel shoe bags my mom sewed for me years ago. Thus, I adhere to the one pair, worn, maxim.

    Re scarves — your great post on scarves is how I found you last year! I was searching for a photo of the Eileen Fisher hand-loomed scarf and Google sent me to your site. So happy to be here!

  11. Thunderbolt!
    Unbeknownst to me–until right this moment–I find myself the possessor of a rolling briefcase! Who knew? It never occurred to me it was anything other than a tiny suitcase.
    I recently had to replace my beloved 30+ year old 22″ Andiamo bag. I duly did my research and ended up with a Briggs & Riley suitcase to which I added its mini me version…just because it was so darn cute. It is currently with me on my travels, and has performed admirably, if off-label, as a shoe & boot locker, holder of toiletries kit and jewelry roll, and all things technological.

    I admire your packing prowess. I now want to plan wardrobes for 2-day excursions using only my mini case. I like a challenge.


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