Wardrobe report: Zaragoza

Just got back from a week exploring Zaragoza and the surrounding area in the Spanish region of Aragon and I thought I’d report in on things that worked and didn’t work, wardrobe wise.

I had a challenge going in because I was looking at temperatures from the 40s to high 70s with light rain as well as occasions ranging from tramping through vineyards to city sightseeing to relatively fancy dinners.

I did not entirely meet that challenge.

Continue reading “Wardrobe report: Zaragoza”

What to wear in Paris, Summer edition

The setting: Paris in summer.

The challenge: Staying comfortable without descending into a hell of rumpled athletic wear that serves mainly to underscore how deeply un-athletic one, in fact, is.

The answer: Pretty much Eileen Fisher.

Yes, yes, I know. You think it’s an old lady brand specializing in muumuus and wrinkly linen shirts. You are wrong! In recent years the brand has grown to embrace all sizes, including all you adorable little petites with your XXXS derrieres, and offers clean, architecturally inspired shapes in natural materials, many of them organic.

Here’s a summary of core pieces I took on my recent trip to Paris, Continue reading “What to wear in Paris, Summer edition”

What to Wear: Scottish Highlands edition

You’re visiting the Scottish Highlands in spring/summer — lucky you — and you’re wondering what to pack. Let me help you out here.

Two words: rain gear.

I just got back from Islay, a beautiful island in the Hebrides and, boy, was I glad I took my L.L. Bean rain pants. The weather wasn’t particularly cold but it rained like crazy and not dainty, I’ll just pop open my designer umbrella type of rain, either. Also: wind.

Here’s what worked for me: Continue reading “What to Wear: Scottish Highlands edition”

Dress Code Decoder: What is Napa Chic?

Social events in the Napa Valley are a blast whether you’re invited to a private tasting or big bash winery party. But deciding what to wear to said soiree can be a bit of a chore, especially when you get an invite with the ubiquitous yet impenetrable “Napa casual” or “Napa chic.”

Basically, Napa Casual, Napa Chic, Dressy Casual and Cocktail Attire mean you can wear pretty much whatever you like short of mud-stained jeans or a ballgown. (Although I have seen both of those are Napa Valley events.) For men, it’s time to pull out the chinos-polo-shirt combination that never fails and ladies can rely on nice dresses or pants with an interesting top (but be sure to add a shawl or jacket because wine country evenings can be quite chilly.)

For a tongue-in-cheek look at the perils of cracking the wine country dress code, I put a few questions to a man who has saved me from a few sartorial stumbles. Let’s call him the Wine Country Wardrobe Adviser. Continue reading “Dress Code Decoder: What is Napa Chic?”

What not to wear, vineyard version

IMG_4510What should you wear when you’re going to get out in the vineyard to observe the nitty gritty, emphasis on gritty, of grapegrowing?

Here’s a hint. Don’t follow the example of a group I  encountered recently who showed up for a vineyard tour wearing sleeveless tops and flip-flops _ and here’s a bulletin folks; toes are not pretty _ not to mention one ill-advised pair of 3-inch platforms.  Stumbling and shivering ensued followed by the kind of whines you don’t find in a tasting room. Continue reading “What not to wear, vineyard version”