SUITCASE SNAPSHOT: San Fran and Napa

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Some of my casual clothes

I’m still sort of in shock by the poor packing job my boyfriend and I did for this trip – or at least by our poor decision-making skills.  I showed up at his apartment prepared with my carry-on suitcase and tote, all ready to abide by his rules of avoiding baggage claim at all cost.

He was packing when I arrived, and had my dress and shoes for the wedding with him, since he had promised to pack them both with his suit.  But after a few minutes, it became apparent that he was going to have some serious trouble fitting all of his stuff into a carry-on bag, so we decided to combine our clothes into one larger suitcase, and check a bag.  That’s right – it was HE who over-packed, not me (just for the record)!

After the merger, I started having serious second thoughts, especially since I had so carefully designed my original carry-on suitcase in order of what I was planning to wear in Napa, versus what I wanted to wear in San Fran.  But now it was just one big mish-mosh!

Hopefully the heavy bag won’t be too much of a pain though.  I figure as long as I can get organized once we arrive at each hotel, it should be fine with me.  My clothing consists of a complete mixture — some are casual and preppy, others are 70′s inspired, and my weekend clothes are dressier, and much more wedding appropriate. Here’s a look at what I (conservatively) packed for this multi-faceted trip:

  • 2 maxi dresses
  • 4 short dresses
  • 1 pair of flare jeans
  • 1 pair of skinny jeans
  • 4 blouses
  • 3 sweaters
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 tanks
  • 1 pair of pants
  • 1 maxi skirt
  • 2 clutches
  • Jewelry
  • Toiletries
  • 1 pair of heels
  • 2 pairs of flats
  • 2 pairs of sandals
  • 1 bathing suit

A few of my dressier options

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PACK THIS: Koza’s Rajani tote

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Those who travel with me frequently know that I’m addicted to my Jamin Puech tote.  In addition to being durable and oversized it also goes with everything and still looks polished, despite all the wear and tear I’ve put it through.  But that being said, I’m still constantly on the lookout for an exceptional carry-on bag, and I was blown away the other day when I discovered Koza’s line of travel-oriented products.  The entire collection is designed with smart, sophisticated travel in mind, and it’s geared towards women so every piece is feminine too.  I could totally imagine cozying up on a plane with their cashmere scarves, but it was the Rajani Travel Tote that really blew me away.

Containing multiple pockets, including one for your laptop, another for your passport, and easy access for your cell and toiletries, the Rajani tote isn’t just smart – it looks seriously chic in person.  Though the color-scheme and prevalent pattern wouldn’t normally suit my style, I can totally see taking this to Thailand or Mexico.

Koza just launched, but they’re already starting to sell to hotel boutiques like the W in London and The Plaza in NYC.  I have no doubt the brand (and especially this tote) will quickly become a favorite among the jet-set.

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INSPIRED BY: Stylish Safari

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YSL safari suit from 1968

I’ve been gathering all of my South Africa recommendations together for a friend who’s heading off on safari, and it’s been bringing back tons of great memories from our trip (lion cubs following their mom to a new hiding spot, our private dinner beside the fire-pit, and elephants grazing outside our balcony are just a few that come to mind at the moment).  But I can also recall my struggles of trying to pack carry-on for such a far, long and complex vacation.

I’ve been trying to map out a few suggestions to make my friend’s suitcase more simplified than mine was – encouraging her to bring essentials like the Current Elliot pants shown here, and offering a few slightly more dressed-up options for the evening.  But despite my assurances that she doesn’t need to get decked out, she’s been drawn in by all of the fashion-forward attire aimed at achieving a safari-chic look.  I implored her to be practical, but I have a feeling her suitcase will be stuffed with outfits that look more like the ones in these ads then the “real-way” styles I suggested.  But who am I to try to tame my fashionista friend?   More power to her if she’s willing to sport such sophisticated frocks at 5am!

Would you dare to go this glam-azon in the jungle?

Louis Vuitton 2010 ad campaign

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TRAVEL MUSING: Dream bag based on my travels

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Hat Attack for Brette Sandler hat, Claudie Pierlot sweater, Ya-Ya pants, Ferragamo W bag in Aqua

Back in December, I introduced everyone to an amazing travel-inspired contest from Salvatore Ferragamo.  Combining jet-set destinations and the luxury lifestyle, Ferragamo invited all fans of the brand to write about the places that inspired them – and I promptly signed up, submitting The French Riviera as my stylish spot.  For two months straight, anyone who wanted to could vote every day, and in the end the five people with the most votes would win one of the brand’s chic W bags.  But there was one last prize to be had — the creative minds at Salvatore Ferragamo would scan the entire list, selecting a single jetsetter from the hundreds that entered to win a one-of-a-kind bag based on their inspiration.

I voted diligently for my entry, and had tons of help from my friends and family.  But ultimately, I didn’t come close to topping the list.  My blogger buddies Lara from Pretty Connected and Erika from Shoes, Shirts and Other Sh!t placed forth and fifth respectively, and were beyond excited to see which bag they would get (though in the end, it was their least favorite style, sadly)!

I was disappointed when I saw how far behind I was as the contest was wrapping up, but still I returned to the site the day it ended, anxious to see the special selection that Ferragamo had chosen to design a bag for.  I think my entire body went numb for a second when the screen revealed that the winning inspiration was actually mine!

I’ve been so excited to receive my bag for the past few months, and it finally arrived last week!  Dyed aqua to reflect the Riviera, the leather bag is beautiful.  While I wasn’t expecting such a literal interpretation in the color-scheme, I love that it adds a pop of color to any outfit – just in time for spring’s bright trend.  And can’t you just picture a stylish globetrotter carrying it aboard a yacht in Saint-Tropez?

What do you think of the bag?  Oh, and for those of you who want to read my inspiration and see my name on the site, it’s still posted at: htpp://wlist.ferragamo.com

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