A Travel Challenge Solved

Traveling to a place where you expect bad weather is a challenge, particularly for a person* like me — who thinks that traveling with more than one pair of shoes reflects a failure of imagination, common sense, and moral fiber.**

Snow boots are bulky. That’s a true fact. There is no graceful way, upon arriving at a meeting, appointment, or hearing, to gracefully change into professional shoes and tuck the boots away. And if the weather clears and you no longer need them outside, what do you do with them then?
I was looking at the Cole Haan website last week and was struck by an idea.
Low, waterproof boots, like these:
Cole Haan Zero Grand Waterproof Hiker
IdEA! Cole Haan Zero Grand Waterproof Hiker

I could wear these little boots to walk around in rain and wet, slushy snow — but they are small enough to be slipped into a totebag upon arrival at a meeting.
They are also small enough to wear comfortably on a plane. In fact, they might even be pleasingly cozy during a flight. In all the flights I’ve taken over the years, I’ve never once felt that my feet were too warm in-flight.
An idea full length
Idea applied

A good idea, right?
A good idea, right?
Building upon this good idea, I have realized this old jacket is perfect for travel as well.
It’s one garment, but composed of two distinct parts: a wool melton vest and a merino wool cardigan. It looks like a jacket — well, it is a jacket — but folds up as easily as a sweater. It could even be worn over the shoulders with the sleeves tied around the neck, if one felt too warm.

To minimize bulk, I am wearing a sleeveless collared jersey, a long sleeved t-shirt and a sweater vest under the jacket.
jacket front
A smart jacket

jacket side
My arm is kind of covering the cutaway profile; you may have to trust me
This single-button jacket has a cutaway silhouette. It’s very feminine and looks good with many types of pants. It could be worn for certain business meetings.

You may remember this jacket — you’ve seen it before, in February 2015.
People feel strongly about their right to wear jeans on Friday
Young Directrice; am I much altered?

bag from distance
Now, a lighter moment
Now something fun — a patterned bag.
Black and white (ivory) are obviously versatile but not exciting. The interior, however, is the most lively coral color: a burst of energy every time I open the bag.
Can you tell what this pattern is?

Come closer and take a better look.
bag up close
Rabbits! I generally avoid anything that might read “twee” but this bag kills me

shoes up close
I yield to these laces
One last look at the boots. Of course the laces make the boots; I never would have taken a second look if the laces had been black.
Note: Thick laces like these are easy to manage in bad weather, in airports, and on planes.

To start your weekend off right, on the Thursday morning of a four-day work week, I give you Harper and Posy.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Jacket: Hanii Y; Sweater vest: JCrew; Jeans: Lucky Brand; Shoes: Cole Haan; Bag: Orla Kiely; Watch: TechnoMarine
Importuning cats present united front
Importuning cats present united front

when animals attack
There can never be
Harper and Posy
too much Harper and Posy,
more harper and posy
can there?

* A nut. Nut like me.
** Obviously packing an alternate pair of shoes is not a moral failing. But the inefficiency does stick in my craw. Interestingly,+ I recently packed two pairs of shoes — flats to wear with a suit and low heels to wear with a dress — for a 2-day trip that involved a bad weather forecast, a meeting on Day 1, and a hearing on Day 2. I did so after concluding that a dress and coordinating heels (perfect for meeting) would take up less room in my suitcase than a second jacket/trouser/blouse combination that I could wear with the flats. Think about that over the weekend.
+ I cannot believe I lead into that sentence with the word “interestingly” because . . . neither that sentence, nor the one that followed it, was all that interesting.

11 thoughts on “A Travel Challenge Solved”

  1. Never too much kitties (and yellow shoe laces and repeating-animal prints for that matter).
    * If this makes for nuttiness, then please count me in. A sporty shoe and a squash-able boiled-wool coat are travel staples for me, and I can make them work for everything short of biz formal and black-tie.
    ** Extra pairs of dress shoes aggravate me too. Why not a second dress to go with the heels, or recycle the suit for the second day with a different blouse or perhaps an impeccable twinset in place of the jacket ?

  2. If you need elegant snow boots (which would be an oxymoron but read on for my recommendation)… I highly recommend the brand La Canadienne from Montreal. I have had a pair for 12 years and while I need to have them resoled now, they have kept me warm and dry and not slipping for many winters both mild and extreme.

    • Great recommendation, Allison! I admire La Canadienne. Every year, I wait for a sale and seem to miss the opportunity to buy them. I do think that tall boots are always hard for travel, though; you have to commit to wearing only tall boot outfits.

  3. La Canadienne boots are great – waterproof even with zippers. The mistake I made, being new to high boots (thank you, Directrice) is that I bought them wearing knee high stockings or tights. Then when the cold, snowy days came, and I put on the fluffy alpaca socks I had ordered, I couldn’t fit my feet into any of the boots I had!
    Love your bootlets- is that a word? Are they lined with something soft and fluffy for warmth?

  4. Great boots. Great little jacket and travel light suggestions. Great cat sequence ! How did you get the pair of them to behave for that length of time ? They are always beautiful,but not particularly cooperative at least not often. Made us smile a lot .

    • I think the cats were attempting to control, and move, The Photographer with their little fur-covered brains, so they chose to sit very still until he did what they wanted him to do — which was provide them with treats. He took a few quick photos first.

  5. Dee Dee Myers faced this very same dilemma and tells a story about it in her book. She had a big meeting somewhere cold, Russia? And wore the big, ugly, but warm, snow boots. Those were the only shoes she brought thinking she would only be behind the scenes. A male colleague told her that was a bad idea. But she did it anyway. Once there a photo opp with world leaders presented itself and she was mortified because all she had were the big ugly boots. In rushed her teammate. He had brought her pumps form the office with him! Later he gave her a framed copy of the image with a note that said, You’re Welcome. Cute.

  6. Charming outfit, as always. Chiming in to say that at first I saw, in your Rorschach test of an Orla Kiely bag, a stylized KitchenAid mixer.


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