Pack Naturally

deltamagazine_packed_suitcaseHave you ever found yourself unpacking a suitcase when you arrive on vacation and wondering, What was I thinking?. I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately (the fun is coming to an end! After this weekend, I’m grounded till September) and in so doing, I’ve found myself making some packing mistakes I’d like to share.

Similarly to how I sometimes shop (for the imaginary person I want to be and the circumstances of that imaginary person’s life!) my packing habits leave much to be desired. I am known for coming up with an idea about how the weather will be on the trip (ie. I’m going to California! Sunshine, here I come!) and not actually checking. (Ie: Northern California in early September is actually freezing, and this hoodie is in every single photo I have from the trip).

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always pack a clutch, no matter where you’re going! this way, you can save your shoulders from your heavy purse when you go out at night or hang by the pool.

Another issue is how things are going to actually look. I might have a dress hanging in my closet with the tags on, because it’s still a hair too small. But if I’m headed to Miami, the dress is too. Then I arrive and hope for the best–only to find myself forced to wear some other stupid dress I packed because news flash, this one is still too small.

A few things to keep in mind: always check the weather. If you are going somewhere notoriously hot like the Caribbean, you might need to be prepared for rain. Pack a “just in case” cardigan that goes with everything, so you can throw it on in a gust of wind or even pack it into your purse should the AC be cranked too high at dinner.

Also, try everything on according to itinerary. If you have, say, one formal dinner and two days of casual sightseeing planned, pack a fancy cocktail dress and some shoes that will work in your destination city. Pack two outfits that you always feel good in and can walk around in, and then, if you tend toward the whimsical, throw in one extra dress or two fun separates that you can sub in should you feel especially inspired.

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a guazy, floral sundress like this one is a great choice for most trips. it packs up small, pairs expertly with black tights and a cardigan for cooler climates, and works in warm places for dinner with heels or museum-hopping in a pair of brogues.

Finally, remember your feet! My feet swelled up so badly after my trip to Miami, I sent my physical therapist into a tailspin and have been mandated to wear those old lady compression socks on all future flights. Make sure when packing that you toss in one pair of shoes that is very comfortable and not the least bit hideous. Black or nude Ferragamo Vara flats always serve this purpose for me. Then, when your tired feet have had enough, they can find their way back to Comfyville and not ruin your outfit.

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hands-down best travel shoe. all colors, $425, nordstrom.com

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What a Difference a City Makes

I was in New York for family reasons over the weekend. While in town, I did have the distinct pleasure of meeting my dear friend’s two-week-old son on the Upper West Side. I also enjoyed the exquisite Japanese tasting menu at a hot new restaurant in Williamsburg and made it to one of my bridesmaid’s bridal showers in the West Village. I found an hour to visit my doctor in Midtown East; also very necessary. It was quite a hectic, yet important, trip.

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My return home was delayed due to a security scare and subsequent evacuation at La Guardia airport this morning. The good news: no one was hurt, and I managed to find a cab in the scramble and get the hell out. The other good news: I have one extra night on my little brother’s couch in Williamsburg, and had one extra afternoon to wander the streets of Brooklyn soaking it all in.

Last night, we saw a friend whose first words to me were, “Where’s your big hair?” Since stepping off the plane Saturday morning, I’ve been wearing it bone-straight like I always did here. I whipped out my cell and showed her some shots of the voluminous, curly style I’ve been sporting in Dallas. She approved, natch.

-1Dallas is an incredibly chic city. So is New York. But the differences, large and minute, are everywhere. Things are more pared-down here, more subtle. But then a black trench that you think is just a black trench is actually a vintage Burberry find worth upwards of $3,000. I’ve been living in Texas for about seven months now, and my eyes are newly opened each day to the over-the-top beauty of the Southern girl’s guide to style.

A woman in the Uptown Dallas highrise where we live stepped off the elevator the other afternoon wearing the pale pink studded Valentino stilettos I’ve been eying for months. Being the loud-mouthed Lawn Gisland Jew that I am, I couldn’t help but gush. “OMG, I love your shoes.” Maybe a New York girl wouldn’t have been so inclined to gush back at me, “Get them! I could run a mile in these,” and then turn to Josh and confirm, “Really. I could.” OK, girl. Let me just dig around in my purse for the 800 bills. He’ll totally approve, now that he knows you could run in them. It was really quite sweet.

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these are SO dallas, and i love them SO much.

But then you’ll find yourself in Manhattan on a Monday afternoon and a woman in a black leather bomber jacket and the brightest of poppy-hued lipstick is hailing a cab. You won’t tell her how chic she looks because, even though she wants you to notice, she doesn’t want you to tell her. But you’ll smile at her and she’ll smile back in an unspoken exchange of, “Work it, girl.”

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polished NYC street style at its best.

Just over the Brooklyn Bridge you’ll find a punkier, messier, just as sexy appeal. Street style runs the gamut from H&M to Alexander Wang, from Max Mara Weekend to J. Crew, Helmut Lang and more. There’s a glorious high-low mix that I appreciate and adore in Brooklyn, and now that I’ve submerged myself for a few days, I’ll be sure to bring it back to Dallas with me when I return. You can only be from one place, but you can sprinkle the style that you soak in everywhere you go to help create your own unique look. And no matter where you are making a glam new life for yourself, it’s always important to remember — there’s no place like home.

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LOVE it.

BBQ, Dallas-Style

We were invited to a barbecue at Joshy’s boss’s house on Saturday evening. Of course he wanted me to dress “casually” but I have long since stopped taking his outfit advice. Let’s face it, my love. You like me in jeans. The rest of the world expects a lady to dress.

I finished the look with pink and cream Ferragamo pumps and tortoise shell Ray-Ban wayfarers, which I felt a fitting contrast. Do you love the cab in the background? Like New York City, but smaller, calmer, and just a tad warmer….

I nabbed this ladylike yellow number with very subtle lacy-floral print at H&M over the weekend for a sale price of $15. Also featured here. I might go back and buy it in pink too, because you can’t beat that price. And though it has a very 60’s cut and feel and cute zipper detail at the back, it’s made of soft, breathable cotton that is a welcomed treasured down here in the Texas heat.

Turns out, I made the right choice. The other women at the party were all in dresses, including the boss’s wife who looked lovely in a Giorgio Armani-esque gray silk patterned dress and simple gold jewelry from –where else? — Tiffany & Co.

Welcome to the glamorous South, you little Brooklyn girl. Time to work it!

Welcome to La La Land…

Monique and I arrived in Los Angeles way later than we’d hoped. Due to crazy winds, the flight was delayed and after a long and arduous journey, we arrived to discover our rental car was not ready. Two sad, tired New Yorkers in sweatpants and driving mocs stood stranded by the side of the highway near LAX, bogged down by baggage both emotional and of the Tumi variety. We captured a taxi and camped out for the night at a cheap hotel by the airport, managed to catch some sleep… and woke up this morning to find sun streaming through the windows.

Mo made quick work of digging her favorite romper from the depths of her suitcase and I delightedly called the front desk for a temperature quote–booya, 72! Clad in a plaid linen t-shirt dress and my favorite flats, I grabbed my mini-colleague and off we went for a busy, yet beautiful day.

It’s going to be a crazy work week and my posts will be few and far between. But needed to share this, as I found it so fitting. I love LA on so many levels, but you need to have a little bit of humor about it, no? We found a black car and slid inside. What was waiting in the seat-back pocket for all the executives who get driven around town?

Hard news, my friends. Hard news. Welcome to La La Land…