Packing the Perfect Shoe Assortment

Summer is almost here and everyone seems to be going on a trip.  Close friends are headed to Hawaii, Thailand, Europe...and although I am sad to report that I am not going to any of those places I am happy to share some solicited (I swear I've been asked a bunch) advice on packing(:

Typically, there is one reason why your luggage weighs 100 pounds and why you can't fit all of your clothes into your bag when you are packing for a week-long getaway...your shoes. Shoes are the downfall of almost all over-packers. And after experimenting with this dilemma for years, I am going to share my results.  Travelers should pack no more than 5 pairs of shoes.

 

Thats right, for 90% of all travels 5 pairs of shoes should adequately suffice a wide range of outfits and outings.   Exemptions; Sub-Saharan Africa, you need less.  Cannes Film Festival, you need more.  Camping in Big Sur, you need less.  Kim Kardashian's Wedding weekend in Italy, you need more.  You get the drift...outliers are the exceptions.

Here are the only 5 styles of shoes you need to pack:

 

1. Sneakers, of course.  These will serve as your leisure, airport, and workout shoes. We love the nike high-tops because they are fashionable, super comfortable and look great with Lululemon leggings if you decide to hit the gym. 

2.  A comfortable (but chic) flat. This can be a ballet flat, a sandal or a smoking slipper (the climate will determine which one is appropriate) . We love one with some sort of print or interesting texture (leopard, tweed, or patent leather).  This will be your shoe for a day of shopping, sight-seeing or traveling between cities. It has to be chic enough to to wear to the Louvre but comfortable enough to schlep your luggage through an airport. 

3.  Heel. This can be a pump, a platform or our preference is a strappy gladiator style heel that pairs just as well with a dress as it does with skinny jeans.  This is where a lot of women get tripped up...too many heels.  So, here is our recommendation: get creative with your accessories and stay basic with your heel. There is no doubt that funky heels can spice up an outfit, but when traveling try to make your outfits interesting so you can keep your shoes neutral.  A black strappy heel looks amazing with ripped jeans, a blouse and a chunky necklace or wear them with a printed cocktail dress and statement earrings for a dinner party.

4.  A wedge OR a bootie (depending on climate).  This is for that "in-between" outing.  Not fancy enough for a 4-inch pump, but fancier than a flat sandal.  A trip wine-tasting, a chic brunch, a Sunday evening dinner at a neighborhood gastro-pub.  Wedges with your flared denim and a cropped eyelet blouse for somewhere warm (P.S. the ones featured are on MAJOR sale...click link!).  Or, booties with your skinny jeans and a chunky turtleneck sweater for somewhere cool.

5.  Lastly, flip-flops.  They require little in terms of space in your luggage, and require little in terms of explaining their purpose.  They are needed for trips to the pool, trips to get ice down the hall, or trips to grab a coffee in the lobby bar.

 

And there you have it, our guide to packing for a week-long excursion and avoiding back pain and baggage fees.

Eating & Drinking in the OC

We spent last weekend in Orange County visiting family and while we were there we tried some new spots, and revisited some of our favorite old spots.  I thought I'd spend some time sharing a few noteworthy places to eat,  drink and shop while visiting the glamorous coastal towns of Newport Beach and Laguna.

On Friday night, we celebrated my sister-in-law's Birthday and we were definitely in the mood for some tasty libations and lively atmosphere.  We started at the Saloon, and it's name most accurately describes it's vibe.  It has been around for decades, has no frills (unless you can call the signs and the spurs on the wall frills), and serves a dangerously delicious drink called a Pino.  You always know the drinks are dangerous when they taste nothing like alcohol and everyone in the bar is ordering one.

We followed up our pre-dinner pit-stop with a communal dining experience at Watermarc.  It is casual with delicious food and great service.  We shared copious amounts of food, with my favorite dishes being their homemade chips and the yellowtail starter.  

 

Once our bellies were full, we were off to Selanne (a gorgeous new steakhouse) for one more civilized cocktail before the hair went down and the jackets came off at Sandpiper (now known as Dirty Bird).  They were playing live music, and serving stiff cocktails and it was just as fun as I had always remembered when I use to go there in college and in my twenties (it's been around for 70 years).  We danced until the music stopped, piled in an uber  to get home and cried when our children awoke us in the morning after sleeping ONLY 5 hours(:

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For shopping one of our favorite places to go is Juxtaposition Home.  It is a spacious and open store filled with beautiful bedding, furnishings and art.  Their collection is excellently curated and their styling is always fresh.  Gorgeous pillows next to vintage textiles paired with earthy objects...if you don't live in Orange County it's the kind of store to make you wish you did. 

Lastly, we hit up Off Saks (in the South Coast Plaza Annex across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue) and it was a total score.  They had rows and rows and rows of designer sunglasses.  Fine jewelry was an ADDITIONAL 50% off the already reduced pricing, and they had denim for days.  I tried to restrain myself, but ended up getting a darling Rachel Zoe tweed dress that was originally $395 for $175, and my sister-in-law got an awesome Helmut Lang blazer, a Vince leather vest and a festive Alice & Olivia party dress.  Like all the "discount" stores, it is probably hit or miss but I highly recommend popping in.  For us, it was a major hit!

Have a great week!

Friday Buy Day 4.10.15

It's Friday Buy Day again and while many of our friends are spending this week on vacation...we're home, but we're dreaming of a vacation so we thought we'd bring you some items to pack for your next trip.  And if you don't have one planned, these pieces might inspire you to get online and start booking. 

We love this Michael Stars panama hat ($54).  It has a slightly wider brim than a fedora style hat offering more coverage for your most prized asset.   The black band has a classic and refined feel making it the perfect hat for someone who might feel that a traditional Panama Hat or Fedora is too youthful or trendy.  It would look just as good as an accessory to your swimsuit as an accessory to your denim shorts and eyelet blouse.

And then there's that eyelet top we just mentioned.  The one that you will wear all Spring and Summer.  At $54 (true story), this black eyelet blouse is the perfect easy, breezy separate to pair with denim cut-offs, or ripped denim and the gladiator sandals from last week's Friday Buy Day.  It would also look fantastic tucked into high-waist flared jeans with a stacked wedge and some vibrant earrings.

How cute are these DV by Dolce Vita wedges?  Love the color, love the stacked wedge which makes for a comfortable heel height, and love the woven rope texture (and LOVE the price: $80).  These would look fantastic with flared denim and a cropped boxy blouse, or wear them with a printed skirt and a denim blouse for Sunday brunch.

Love pretty much anything Mara Hoffman, but particularly love all of her draped dresses.  They shape is floaty and bohemian, yet sexy.  Her designs are saturated with bright colors and bold prints and make for great conversation.  Take one of these on your next trip and we guarantee you will get a handful of compliments.

Lastly, I know isn't so obvious why this tweed print Rag and Bone sneaker goes with the Spring/Summer suggestions, but in our world the perfect sneaker is a year-long obsession.  This one is half off right now with ALL sizes left ($197 from $395) and is on-point.  This is a great high-top option for those who want a more refined, less "street" style shoe.  The tweed print adds interest and color without being so loud that you have to think about matching them with your outfit.  As for the Spring/Summer relevance, we live in San Francisco(:  But, even for those of you who actually get to enjoy a Summer, these are the perfect travel companion.  Wear these on the airplane with skinny jeans(or skinny sweats), a tee and a cashmere sweater for a chic but comfortable outfit.  Or, we love them paired with cut-off shorts and a racer-back tank.  

With pieces to pack and the perfect shoe to wear on the plane, it is time to start clicking and making plans for your next warm-weather getaway.