Traveling in Style


I grew up watching “The Shanghai Express”. As a result I’ve always felt that travel outfits should have a bit of flair. Perhaps one does not need to decorate one’s hats with feathers the way Marlene Dietrich did, but some pizzaz makes the whole tedious process more fun.  Once on my way to Paris I saw a woman in first class wearing a tight red suit, 3″ stilettos, and one of those elegant shawls French women always seem to have thrown about their shoulders.  She’s inspired me ever since. Although my outfit is much more comfortable than her’s, it is still pretty sharp, especially when you compare it to the velour sweat suits that many travelers wear.

A few tips on looking great while flying

– Bring a pashmina. A big, warm scarf can be spread over you like a blanket if you get cold.  When not needed it can be folded and placed in your purse.

– Wear a lightweight jacket or sweater – No matter how warm it is when you depart it can get cold on the airplane.

– If you’re female consider wearing a skirt – I always find that pants ride up and become uncomfortable after sitting for a long time. My stretch corduroy pencil skirt is just as cozy as sweats.

– Choose a chic piece of carry-on luggage – The red ones I’m toting around in the photos actually belong to my neighbor, but as soon as I can afford my own I’m going to look for something similar.  The bright color is fun and you won’t mistake your luggage for someone else’s.

– Look fabulous! Nothing says you have to look awful while traveling. I promise my skirt, t-shirt and leather jacket were comfortable and practical on the flight.

A few tips on getting through airport security without anxiety

– Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off.  My zip-up boots were perfect for this.  Anything with laces, including sneakers, will make you crazy trying to get through security.

– Wear socks. Yes, them make you take off your shoes.  Do you REALLY want to walk through security with bare feet?

– Consider NOT wearing jewelry. I wore earrings, a watch, and two bracelets. All had to be removed before I could be scanned. (Interestingly, I was allowed to keep my gold wedding band on.)

– Pack small toiletries. According to the TSA advisory full-sized shampoos can be packing in luggage that is checked, but only small, 4.5 ounce bottles can be carried onto the plane. Thankfully there are lots of trial sized options out there. Put them in a large clear plastic zip lock bag in an outside pocket of your carry-on.  This will make your life easier, I promise.

– Be prepared.  Read the article “How to Get Through the Line Faster” for more helpful packing, dressing and behavior tips.

So what’s in the bag?

I packed for sightseeing in the cool, foggy weather I love so much. On our first day out I wore the simple black jersey dress that I bring on all my trips because it’s easy to wear, always looks great, and doesn’t wrinkle.  I was planning on throwing the off-white jacket you see above over the outfit below, but the sun followed me to Northern California and the day was too warm for layers.

I paired the dress with my favorite leopard Nine West flats for easy walking.  The small, black, “Baggallini”, cross-over purse has been worn many times before on this blog.  Although it’s not quite big enough to carry all my essentials, it’s still great when I’m on foot most of the day.  On this day sightseeing and lunching took place in the charming town of Petaluma north of San Francisco.

The next day we went into “The City” (That’s what the locals call San Francisco.) for a couple of hours before heading to the airport.

I wore pretty much the same thing I had on our flight up to San Francisco: an off-white “leather” jacket, black t-shirt, grey corduroy skirt and black boots.

The boots are new.  I’ve been looking for a knee-high black boot with a bit of a heel to wear with skirts for a while.  These are taller than my other boots and oh so classic.  The chunky heel means they’re easy to walk in as well, making them a good choice for travel.

  • Jacket – Giacca
  • Pashmina – a gift
  • T-shirt – The Gap
  • Skirt – Garnet Hill
  • Purse – Baggallini
  • Boots – Ellen Tracy
  • Black Jersey Dress – Rachel Roy
  • Leopard flats – Nine West
  • Sunglasses – Gucci

What do you wear when you travel? Do you have any favorite pieces?

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27 Responses to Traveling in Style

  1. Alexis of NorthOnHarper November 1, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    I think this is excellent advice! And I love the Rachel Roy dress!!!!!
    Alexis of NorthOnHarper recently posted..Pumpkin CarvingMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca November 1, 2011 at 11:17 am #

      Thank you so much! Glad you like my advice and the dress.

  2. citizen rosebud
    November 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    These are great tips (i was cold on the plane) and you look fantastic! I remember taking the advice of Rick Steves and bought bright blue Victorianox luggage- and always find my luggage first at baggage claim. GREAT post.
    citizen rosebud recently posted..Dia De Los Muertos: the photography of Raoul OrtegaMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca November 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      Thanks Bella! I think purchasing unique luggage is a good investment too.

  3. DeniseAngela
    November 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    I love to wear jersey dresses….comfortable & warm! Awesome tips & you look so fab…… From a new follower from Citizen Rosebud

    • Heather Fonseca November 2, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      Thanks Denise and welcome to my blog!

  4. The Dolls Factory
    November 2, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    well done girl
    great post
    Always following
    The Dolls Factory recently posted..6 Lessons From The BackstageMy Profile

  5. mary jo
    November 2, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    What! No chapeau? Haha, I was just reading that it’s really difficult to wear a hat to a restaurant because it gets squished one way or another. I agree with all your advice! And that photo of you with the luggage looks like a luggage ad! Love it!

    xo Mary Jo
    mary jo recently inspired: pierre-auguste renoir, the two sistersMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca November 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      Thank goodness someone knows what I’m talking about when I refer to “The Orient Express”. The costumes in that movie still inspire me, but I can’t imagine traveling in them now! Thanks for all the nice compliments too.

  6. Dress Code: High Fashion
    November 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Great, practical post.

    *Hugs* Jen
    Dress Code: High Fashion recently posted..Retrospective: Alexander McQueen F/W 1997/1998 – It’s A Jungle Out ThereMy Profile

  7. SACRAMENTO November 3, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Great advice, Heather.
    Always so stylish, my dear friend.
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..La Rioja & Navarra Part -2My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca November 3, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you so much! You do a lot of traveling. I’d love to know how you dress.

  8. lissy
    November 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Great post, so useful, and you look fab! I always wonder at the people in the airport wearing what look like pajamas. But you prove you can be comfy and practical and still look great! Thanks for your kind words on my blog 🙂
    lissy recently posted..THE IFB WEEKLY ROUNDUP: LINKS À LA MODE: NOVEMBER 3RDMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca November 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

      Right back at you! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Sharon November 6, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    I love traveling and one would think I make things as easy as possible. But, no not me. For some reason I feel that when I walk off that plane I need to look fan-tab-u-lous. I do try to wear wedges over heels but, you may see me in a pair. Before I get up to the checkpoint, while in line waiting, I put my socks on stand around in them, once to the other side I put on my heels and off to the gate I go.
    I can not walk around with out earrings so, I just go through the removal. Other jewelry I can wait to wear.
    Anyway, great post and tips.
    Sharon recently posted..Timeless Quote and Photo of the WeekMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca November 7, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      I love the idea of looking fan-tab-u-lous walking off an airplane! People used to do it, celebrities do it, why can’t we do it? I think we’ve just gotten too lazy.

  10. TJ Lubrano
    December 3, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Ciao Heather!!

    I LOVE your black dress! I don’t travel a lot by plane, but when I do, I do love to look effortlessly fashionable.

    The last time I made the mistake of wearing a beret though. Never again! Plus, I’ll always check in my bag if I go traveling for more than 2 days. The horror of just carrying 1 bag and not having an extra one.
    TJ Lubrano recently posted..TJ’s Kitchen: AppelflappenMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

      I would probably pack a big bag and check it if I was going for more than a couple of days too. What happened with your beret?

  11. Lena December 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    San Francisco!!! I miss that city so much. Good practical tips, good post.

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

      Thank you Lena. I’m glad you liked the post.

    • TJ Lubrano
      December 9, 2011 at 1:19 am #

      Yeah, my trip to the UK, was the first one abroad in a long time, but man a lot changed in 1.5 years!

      My beret…I forgot to take it off when I went to the bathroom and then I had to take it off when I stood in line for security. My hair can be really annoying and flat looking if I remove the hat. I couldn’t toss it around a bit as I had to go through security fast, so the entire way to the plane I kept thinking ‘Aaah my hair, my hair! It’s flat looking. Disaster!!’ There were no mirrors on the way to the plane either

      TJ Lubrano recently posted..TJ’s Kitchen: AppelflappenMy Profile

      • Heather Fonseca December 10, 2011 at 9:39 am #

        Oh that’s funny TJ! I’m sure you were the only one who noticed your hair wasn’t perfect.

  12. Patricia Streeter
    April 7, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    I love how your scarf matches your luggage. Nice shots on the beach! Thank you for the airline tips. It can get very chilly on the plane.
    Patricia Streeter recently posted..Where to buy Dansko Marah Shoes?My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca April 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      I’m so glad you like it Patricia!


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