putting things in a large purple suitcase

we start with a few days on the Riviera, the season is ending but the weather is still fine and sunny. That means that my lovely furry outfits, inspired by a charming sketch I recently saw, won't come out of the suitcase until we reach Paris. In fact, since Parisians are a touch judgmental where fashion is concerned, the outfits may not get into the suitcase at all. Seems a pity to waste all that inspiration, especially when Target is selling lovely opaque tights in 5 or 6 different shades of green for $8.

note green legs
note headwear

note matching hat, coat, gloves
Ah, yes, we creatives are at our happiest when seeking Inspiration from Nature...

note jaunty scarf

In addition to a sack of different colored tights, the packing includes such original things as:

I'm reminded of former neighbors whose living and dining rooms remained unfurnished for years because every decorator they consulted had the same "unoriginal" ideas - tables, couches, chairs... Himself and I eagerly awaited the engagement  of a decorator who would put a koi pond and viewing bridge in the dining room and a mirrored sauna in the living room.  Didn't happen. They got divorced instead.

Back to packing, this time it has to deal with transitional season and transitional climate, and if one more person suggests dressing in layers I will scream. No, I do not want to trudge through a museum carrying a light jacket and an extra sweater. No, I do not want to make a picturesque neighborhood more picturesque with a coat hanging off my shoulders and a sweater tied around my waist. No, I do not want to walk the Stations in a gothic church with shoes dangling from my belt and an extra tunic in a backpack. I think layering is a travel concept that works well in practice maybe three days out of a year, and since we'll be on the road for 18...

So I'm working with color, but not slavishly. The list reads:

black stuff
taupe stuff
wine stuff
leather blazer (RL collection)
leather jacket (new, Theory)
knit jacket (vintage, Adolfo)
cotton zip jacket

2 tops that match trim on jacket
wool slacks, 2

 wool slacks (DK)
jeans, 2

silk blouse, white, black collar
silk blouse (new, Theory)
long-sleeve silk tee, (DK ,vintage)
silk blouse, hearts (navy, really)
silk blouse
long-sleeve striped silk blouse (JC)
silk blouse, satin/crepe
cashmere pullover

sweater (new, RL)
cashmere tank (RL)
skirt, tweed (JC)
skirt (sssnakeprint)

suit, midi skirt, funnelneck jacket
skirt, leather, midi
twinset (Creatures of the Wind)

twinset (Missoni)

Chie oxfords, black
raincoat (haven't decided which)
LBDs, 2
Chie oxfords, multi
black cashmere trench
rainhats, 2
wedge sneakers, Tod's, black

tights, socks
ditto, light brown
restaurant shoes, black or multi

And yes, the suitcases are truly purple. Last fall, our trusty 10-year-old TJ Maxx suitcases fell apart as we neared Paris. We laid them to rest and actually went to a "real store" and bought brand new suitcases that had not been marked down. I still tremble at the thought. The purple came about because the suitcases were available in black (indistinguishable on airport carousel), beige (dirt magnet), red (he couldn't, he just couldn't), Kelly green (TSA magnet), and a stately purple. How many other people, we asked ourselves, would have purple luggage? More than you would think, it turns out.

And I got a haircut. Old reliable straight "graduated bob" needed a break.
tres Parisienne, dontcha think?


  1. Organized as always! I think purple is apropos, since you do have a majestic air about you! I think your list and your hair looks great. Cousin It always had a certain je ne sais quoi; an air of sophistication that only "old money" can buy...

    Am so happy you are getting to go! What is the actual departure date?

    1. Hi, WMM! The list is organized, closet, bedroom & bathroom are chaos. Yesterday Himself misplaced the list of confirmed restaurant reservations. Oh, dread, oh, terror. It turned up. D-Day is beginning of next week.

    2. too funny! That is something that would happy to us! We are always misplacing things! My DH put everything in his cell phone, which was good, but I also made printed copies, as i was paranoid!

  2. Yes purple is the color of Royalty and you are ours!
    18 days makes for complicated packing. Please do not dress in layers ;), MrBP won't be there to haul all of your extra layers around!
    I think the list looks perfect, Chie shoes, gorgeous neutrals, bit of snake, raincoat, cashmere trench. What will you do about a bag?

    1. Thanks, Dani! The bag question is still open. I'm very tough on bags, especially when travelling, and I can't deal with a large bag, it becomes bottomless and mysterious. I had good luck with my little JC Ridley (Radley?) last year, so right now that's the one I'm looking at.

    2. unless, of course, the delightful Mr BP is up for another shopping trip?

  3. Have a wonderful trip. Myself- I love layers. I have an erratic "thermostat" and am always horribly overheated or shivering- no middle ground. That is why I gravitate towards cardigans and blazers. No pop-overs and pullovers with ogre-like people depicted for me! Your Theory pieces will be gorgeous, and a new haircut is always uplifting. I carry a leather tote, but place a smallish wristlet type bag with all the necessities in it, so when sightseeing, I can carry all the layers, water bottle, etc., but when dining out I can just grab the smaller bag. Since everything important is in it- cellphone, id , money, lipstick and keys- I don't have to dig in the big bag to find them. I even have a few that have leather shoulder straps that tuck inside. You just reminded me of one of my biggest rants. Why do car makers foist those enormous electronic keylike substitutes on us? The don't fit easily into my cute clutch/ wristlet bags. Oh well. Off to have a cup of tea. Have a wonderful trip!

    1. Hi, KnitYarns, I think I've spent a substantial portion of my life hunting for keys. I'd probably lose a wristlets too.

      I can't use a tote, OT fills up with stuff Himself doesn't want to carry.

  4. Have a great trip! My carryon is purple, but my larger checked bag has its war scars of tattered ribbons still attached.

    1. Thanks, Laura! Our "late" suitcases were old friends, too, but funnily enough we don't miss them.

  5. I had been waiting for you to comment on the so-called "Parisienne"! Have a great trip.

  6. The best thing about the J Crew La Parisienne sweater is that I had a good laugh at your comments while having my morning coffee.

    The writers and costumers for the Adam's Family must have had so much fun accessorizing Cousin It. I never missed the Adam's Family as a kid. Love the french beret and glasses!

    Have a fabulous trip. Enjoy your new haircut. Your wardrobe sounds perfect....just leave a little room in your suitcase to buy something special along your travels.

    1. Thanks, AmW! imagine Morticia telling Cousin Itt that a few carefully chosen accessories...

  7. Your packing list looks so well organized. Of course I favor Chie Mihara shoes, they are always on my packing list as well. When it comes to transitional I always take a pashmina or two. They seem to be just the right weight no matter the temperature and if it gets really warm, into the cross-body bag they go. I'm off on a business trip to the Southern U.S. on Sunday. Not a moment too soon, it's snowing here as I type.

    I confess I had to snicker a bit at the thought of a purple suitcase because nasty ol' me finds colorful luggage a bit funny, although purple isn't near as standout as some of the doozies out there. I know it's important for many people to feel they will be able to recognize their luggage lest some thief abscond with their clothes. We have Briggs & Riley Baseline in black and I can instantly spot them on the carousel because the features like the handles, wheels, feet and pockets are different than other brands and easily recognizable if you know. For me, the more nondescript the better, I hate to stand out when traveling. Now, once my vision starts to go I will probably have to get some wildly-patterned cases to avoid fights at baggage claim. But then, we are supposed to become more far-sighted as we age so I guess I can just stand back a little further.

    Have a wonderful trip!

    1. H, xoxo! The purple is very deep, not at all bright, just different enough from black to prevent mis-grabs by all but the very blotto (and this has happened more than once). The TJ's suitcases joined our Travelling Band after Delta ruined an investment suitcase, I always thought it fell out and the. they landed the plane on it. The purple cases will not do business travel. They're too large. And, of course, they're purple.

    2. Briggs & Riley is guaranteed for life, no matter what happens to it. They will repair or replace, as needed. In 10+ years of use I have had two repairs, thanks to handler damage. Both items came back good as new. I'd never even consider another brand. These are lifers.

    3. That ia truly amazing! Not that they gave the guaranty, but that they actually lived up to it. OK. Now I know where I'll look if there's another airline disaster.

    4. I need to check where I can actually see the Briggs and Riley-- sounds good as a business case.

    5. http://www.briggs-riley.com/

      WFF, I was thinking of you last evening after my plane landed and I waited with the rest of the anxious travelers, for our luggage to arrive on the spinning carousel. Unfortunately the conveyor belt that drops the bags on the carousel had seized. After about 40 minutes of technicians basically "rebooting" the whole shebang, they decided to just push all the cases down the conveyor by hand. As I watched the luggage drop onto the carousel I realized that my spotting skills are not so sharp really, I was one of only a handful of people who had a black suitcase! So, I'm not such a smarty-pants after all. I must say that every time I saw a purple suitcase I thought of you. And dang, there were quite of few of them! LOL

    6. poor you, I'm glad your luggage found you. Sounds like purple is the new black?

  8. You do know you are my unpaid life coach.

    And Ze Crew has gone off the deep end with the icon sweaters. (I returned La Poule Fran├žaise once I'd regained my senses.)

    1. Hi, Raina, in the interests of full disclosure, I actually had the Hen sweater chez moi in both colorways. I returned both, they itched, to the point that my fingertips turned red as I was unwrapping and shaking out. Later, because I liked the first Heart blouse, I tried on the Hen blouse. The silk was not as nice, the interfacing on the collar was of lesser quality, and there were too many motifs, too close together. Fail. Don't forget, where I live, every shopping decision is also a real estate decision. I would have enjoyed the Hen on a tee. The Bulldog and Our Lady of the Schmattas - nonstarters.

    2. (drops deep and graceful curtsey)

  9. I am absolutely in love with your new Theory blouse and leather jacket, wellfedfred! Have you had the opportunity to wear them yet?

    Your list looks great, and it sounds as if you are very well-prepared for your 18 days away. Do you also pack for Himself, or does he take care of it?

    1. Hi, FFM, they went out to dinner the other night, unfortunately at a place where I couldn't take pics.

      Himself and packing - no. He's on his own. Noisily. It was a sad day when restaurants stopped requiring ties and jackets, the man doesn't have a thing to wear! (sound of wicked cackle).

  10. I cannot wait to study your list when I am fully awake ( just returned from Sedona, DD#1 in from Peru and DD#2 in from Denver on break and back to school-- all in 24 hours. But , the list looks very stylish and practical for an 18 day ( ahem) journey.

    I like the tie and jacket rule too, now and then.

  11. There is something rather religious (Catholic bishops?) and regal about purple. It has my vote. We have a ridiculous amount of cases, all different sizes. Our favourites are the lightweight Sub 0G ones. I have one with green apples on it. No mistaking that on the carousel but it's hardly classy!

  12. Lightweight is key for us, since we like to TGV between cities as well as drive around. But after a trip through India with friends who had a separate, small case for each mini-category of their essentials, which required taking luggage attendance every night and morning, and on every change of car and plane, well, we've tried to limit the sheer number of bags that actually go on the trips. This of course requires another mad stupid conversation: will all this fit into the carry-on? Course not. Why not? Lather, rinse, repeat, until the size bag I had in mind is reached.


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