Category: Travel

Vacation Style: Thrift Edition

Dress, Anthropologie (thrifted); top, J. Crew; shoes, Old Navy; bag, Longchamps
Dress, Anthropologie (thrifted); top, J. Crew; shoes, Old Navy; bag, Longchamps

I thrifted this Meadow Rue dress … thingie right before my vacation to Vancouver, so I had to bring it with me, of course. Wait to wear a new frock? Pshaw! Besides, it’s perfect for kid-wrangling. The linen blend fabric is pretty much indestructible (it survived a close encounter with peanut butter – long and not terribly entertaining story) and those ginormous pockets are perfect for carrying all sorts of vacation ephemera. I can probably smuggle a ferret or other small furry animal in there. Not that I want to, or have needed to. Thankfully. Yet.

the new potato sack of glory?
the new potato sack of glory?
got potato sack, will travel
got potato sack, will travel

Potato sack dresses are not the height of style, especially when they’re a size or two too big, but comfort is also never overrated in my books. For $10, this dress delivers all the potato sack-y comfort and then some.

my, what big pockets you've got there ...
my, what big pockets you’ve got there …

This dress is also pretty versatile, in the sense that it goes well with a lot of different tops. Here’s another way that I wore it in Van (and a peek at the cute cross strap detail in the back):

top, H&M; shoes, J. Crew Factory; necklace, J. Crew
top, H&M; shoes, J. Crew Factory; necklace, J. Crew

Packing for the Family Summer Vacation

It’s time for another Family J Vacation packing post – hurrah! The last time I wrote one of these posts, we were heading to Mexico; this time, it’s a coast closer to home. To wit: Vancouver.

Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach

Vancouver is one of our favourite places on earth – as evidenced by the fact that this was Luka’s 4th trip in as many years – but we actually haven’t been back there since February 2014. And how we’ve missed it! I will be honest and say that, as much as I enjoy visiting it with the kids, I would love an opportunity for an adults-only trip. As long time readers know, my husband and I started dating while he lived in Van, so the city holds a lot of romantic memories for me. Alas, that opportunity will have to wait a little while longer (fingers crossed for 2016!).

Since this was a family vacation, I knew I had to pack accordingly. First, Westjet is now charging for every checked bag, which is just baloney if you ask me (and too bad they didn’t). So, minimalism was the name of the game since my husband and I had to share one suitcase (the horror!). Second, I had to forgo chic-ness in favour of practicality; I needed clothes that would be comfortable for long days of walking and kid-wrangling. I wanted to have some rainy weather options as well, because you never know – this is Vancouver we’re talking about. Third, I didn’t want to look like a schlub, so the clothes had to be practical, but still cute.

Blah, blah, blah … here’s what I packed for our 5-night, 6-day trip:

everything but the raincoat and unmentionables
everything but the raincoat and unmentionables

That photo is probably not super enlightening, so here’s a breakdown:

– 2 dresses
– 1 skirt
– 2 pairs of pants (jeans)
– 1 pair of shorts
– 4 tops
– 1 denim jacket
– 2 sweaters (technically, one was a fancy sweatshirt)
– 1 cardigan
– 1 rain jacket (not shown)
– 3 pairs of shoes

I wore a bunch of the clothes on the plane, naturally, so the item count for the suitcase was actually 13 (including shoes). Not bad. Out of that, I managed to squeeze out some decent vacation outfits (posts to come), whilst feeling like I had a variety of options each day. And that’s the key with vacation packing, in my opinion: having enough clothes to feel like you have just enough, but not too many, options.

There was no real magic to selecting the individual pieces. I started by picking a couple of dresses and a skirt that I knew I would be excited to wear. The skirt is one of my faves, and it’s cotton, which is perfect for summer vacations – it’s light, comfortable, and easily washable. The dresses were new thrifting acquisitions and fit the same criteria, in addition to being cute and possessing the novelty factor. Next, I picked my go-to casual bottoms: skinny jeans, and black jeggings. I added a pair of shorts, just in case the temperatures reached tropical levels. Then I picked 4 tops that could easily mix and match with all my other stuff (hence, a lot of black, white, and stripes). Finally, I picked some toppers that could also easily pair with everything (i.e. denim and black everything). For shoes, I went with black and cognac leather sandals, which I knew would be comfortable, plus some flats in case of colder/rainy weather. Both of those colours worked with the bags I took with me, as well as the overall colour scheme of my vacation “capsule” (which happened to be predominantly black, white, tan/cream, blue, and yellow). And that was it – it honestly took me longer to write it all out than it did to put it together in the first place.

Stay tuned for vacation OOTDs, and more shots of Vancouver.

The Transatlantic Skirt

Blazer, Aritzia; top, Loft (swap); skirt, Boden (via eBay and Lou); shoes, Ellen Tracy; bag, Mulberry (via eBay)
Blazer, Aritzia; top, Loft (swap); skirt, Boden (via eBay and Lou); shoes, Ellen Tracy; bag, Mulberry (via eBay)

This dress has seen more travel action than I have in the last 3 years. It’s traveled across the Atlantic 3 – THREE! – times. First, when I bought it from an eBay in the UK. Then, when I sent to Lou in a clothes swap. And, finally, back my way from Lou, who sweetly offered to reunite us after she heard I was pining for it again.

Not content with stealing the skirt off her, um, tush, I also stole her outfit idea. Don’t y’all rush to be my friend now.

(Love ya, girl!)

red suede shoes of sadness!
red suede shoes of sadness!