Fall of the Habsburgs

DSC_0689Important piece of information: for those of you travelling to Vienna, if by chance you are taking a bus from the Bratislava airport, “Vienna” in English is “Wien” in German. Give up on a sign that looks like Vienna, and hasten to “Wien”-er land! Once there, get ready for delightful food. To start, Viennese coffee and Vienna stew at Cafe Schwarzenberg, as fancy as it was overpriced, and even though my meal screamed tourist, an unexpected bread charge for 6 euros is positively excessive (especially for two pieces). And yet it looks so unassuming…DSC_0699DSC_0701Vienna marked my first stop on a 5 day trip, ending in Berlin. Necessarily, by only bringing a carry on, my fashion options were a bit limited, so more so than usual, cool comfort won the day, and it’s probably a good thing considering how much we walked. I knew almost nothing about the city before I arrived, save its particularly musical upbringing. I have a habit of wearing fashionable shoes walking, only to lose feeling in my smaller toes for over a week. This time my trusty travel Bass shoes kept me supported to see this:DSC_0770 and these:DSC_0717DSC_0707DSC_0744And I walked until I was positively inspired…10807518_10204551773807933_1117419402_oeven if Chanel is known to make people a bit mooney and swoony….DSC_0787We never figured out what this next thing was, but it looked cool. With the Latin writing, I like to think of it as a Roman temple re-incarnate. DSC_0681What I wore:
Bowler: Brixton
Scarf: estate sale find
Sweater: H&M
Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft
Shoes: Bass

DAY 2DSC_0696DSC_0702 2DSC_0700DSC_0688The second day in Vienna, I toned the walking down and actually did a few things, starting with the Habsburg Palace. I could tell I would be new money when I was surprised at how sparse the inside of the Habsburg Palace. However, what they might have saved on wall hangings, the certainly lost on cutlery. Every successive ruler had to have a travel set of cutlery, one for each house, and even one solely reserved for Easter Day. Accompanying this display, before the advent of the lightbulb, one had to be well stocked with ornate candlesticks. The Habsburgs have an entire room.DSC_0683


Less than expected, but very red

Next, I headed up towards the University of Vienna (and its surrounding area)  to pay homage to one of the great Austrian economists (Von Hayek) alma maters. While we were there, they were having an impromptu book sale, and I managed to snag a few English vintage Penguin editions. Subsequently, I decided my daughter will attend the University of Vienna; now to have the daughter…DSC_0713DSC_0719DSC_0723 2DSC_0731For the rest of the afternoon I wondered a bit taking pictures of things I liked and getting lost. Somewhere along the way, I decided I would try to see if there were standing room tickets to whatever opera was playing. The opera was about 10 minutes from my hostel, so I thought I could run back and change if I stood in line for a ticket at 6:30 for a 7:30 production. As it turned out when I got there, the opera started at 7:00! Thank goodness, I was early. They also only asked three euros to get into the opera. DSC_0791DSC_0736In our lives we all need personal rituals (whether buying scones on Saturdays or keeping an involved makeup routine). Personally, I maintain a ritual of always drinking champagne when I go to the opera. I thought they sold it by the glass, only to receive a small personal bottle to add to my personal routine. What could be nicer than standing on the balcony of an opera house drinking champagne?IMG_0368IMG_0363What I wore:
Hat: Brixton (see above)
Scarf: thrifty find
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Shirt: GAP
Pants: Antonio Melani
Shoes: Tommy Hilfiger

Haiti Part 4- The French Caribbean

Ladies and Gentleman, I’ve saved the best of Haiti for last. Again, with an unfortunate, yet sartorial flair for the colonial, I bring you my last and favorite combo. We walked around all day, and I felt like something out of Monaco. I’ve never been to Monaco, so I don’t know if the people are really glitzy or kitschy, but you know the scene in To Catch a Thief when Cary Grant has to escape the police and drives to some resort? That was me. Eventually, he and Grace end up in Monaco with their big plan to catch the “cat.” 


Slinking along like the “cat”…



The scarves in this movie are so good…. almost as good as the cameos. See what Cary Grant is wearing? It almost looks like my strewn room.IMG_8046

Tres francais, n’est pas?

Hat: local gem
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: Estate Sale
Blazer: Talbots
Shirt: French Connection (ebay)
Purse: vintage Givenchy (ebay)
Pants: The Row (also seen here and here)
Shoes: Clarks


Packing for Paradise: Realistic Tips for the Impractical Traveller

Hello all! Sorry for my extended hiatus! Since posting last, I have finished exams, been to Haiti and back, and roadtripped across the country. I return to you a veritable wealth of opinions (however faulty) and I will begin at the beginning: how to pack for a 7+ day trip out of the country. Whether you’re sailing down the blue danube or charting your own course through the Andes, here are some tips for your consideration.

1. Sleep on a Palette.

DSC_0020DSC_0015For a 9 day trip, you can choose two palettes (in case of mood swings). As a base for each, I found a silk scarf that would pretty much match all the clothes. For you, this might be a hat, shoes, or funky necklace, I just like a scarf because it is so versatile (hair? turban? bracelet? belt? neck?).

2. Eliminate Shoes!


Can you guess which is which?

I think this is always the hardest part of packing, and usually am staring at 6 different pairs that I want to cram into my suitcase. In the case of a tropical destination, I think you can pare it down to three (or a tight four if you can’t live without flip flops)!
1. adventure shoes- perfect for the jungle trek or dusty road
2. practical beachwear- these are shoes you can walk in, but also wouldn’t mind wearing to the beach (generally some kin to Keds works well)
3. fancy, but not too fancy- these are the shoes you could wear to a nice dinner but also out shopping without cramps (for a sunnier venue, I’d recommend something like black espadrilles or nicer flats).

3. Be versatile: In the above picture I included:

— 3 pairs of shoes
— 3 pairs of pants (1 MUST be jeans.. in Haiti pants are more acceptable than shorts, but depending on your destination, this is very easily variable)
— 2 dresses (one fancy *just in case*)
— 3 scarves
— 2 skirts (which can double as coverups)
— 1 blazer
— 1 cardigan
— 6 shirts
— 1 tank top
This is a lot of different types of clothing so that you can mix and match for any situation. You only have options if you give yourself options. It’s great to accessorize and wake up old looks by throwing in new sunglasses or switching up your scarf (at least that’s what Audrey did).

4. Don’t forget the basics


(of course I added a scarf)

Absolute musts: a pair of jeans, a white shirt (of some kind), and a light jacket (rain or otherwise). With these three items, you can virtually fit in anywhere that’s casual.

Further, though not pictured, make sure to remember:

  • underwear
  • towel (if you bring a cheap one this can be left in the hotel and its place stuffed with souvenirs!
  • Pajamas!

5. Tag, You’re It!

When you’re putting the finishing touches on that otherwise neutral suitcase. Spice up the outside! This isn’t even style advice– this is to save you embarrassing encounters at baggage claim. About a year back, I found this darling luggage tag. As you can see it’s made its rounds with me, but I have no trouble identifying my bag.

DSC_0010 2

Hope these tips were helpful! Good luck zipping those suitcases, and more on outfits in Haiti to come! I’m too lazy to list where all the clothes are from, so message me in the comments if you’re curious, and I’ll be sure to respond.