Our family is headed to Ireland the first week of March, because we have never been and it turns out not only is my husband’s side of the family very Irish (his mother is truly 100%), apparently my side has a lot too since my daughter’s 23 + Me revealed she is just under 75% (who knew?!) Of course I’m already planning what to take with me. (I also always look at the holding photo of editor Tonne Goodman, in hopes her edited travel essentials will influence what I pack.) With the upcoming trip and the fact that it is freakishly warm for February here in New York, it seems like a good time to talk about transition dressing.
Transition clothing is also an area where I lack a few things, mostly because the transition tends to happen much later in the season in the Northwest and is a relatively short period of time. For me, it’s about layering and ditching some of the wintery pieces I’ve been relying on (but not as tired of them as I usually am at this point).
The easiest (and my favorite) piece to wear is a trench coat. I am not sure when the pic of Jo Ellison (whose style I admire) was taken, but the one of Lucy Chadwick is from this week during the NY fashion shows. I splurged on a Celine classic three years ago and it was worth it. I also have this from Toteme. If rain is in the forecast, I will bring one to Ireland. (If it’s chilly, my Toteme shearling is coming, but I’m not lugging it around if it’s in the mid 50s every day.)
Then, what I don’t have, is a lighter-weight short jacket. I have this camel Anine Bing wool blazer, which is a bit heavier, and men’s style wool in black similar to this from Another Tomorrow that travels well–I will bring one of them. (This Toteme short coat is another good alternative and comes in black and camel). But I am thinking cotton, so perhaps this Toteme (it’s a lot of Toteme, but the silhouettes are modern without being overly trendy and they don’t cost a fortune–this is not where I want to over indulge). So, let’s say a rain coat, a wool blazer and a cotton jacket.
Then sweaters–my Heidi Wynne Aran knit is a must (though my daughter has essentially taken it) so we will take turns wearing it on the trip and save room in our carryons, perhaps a heavier gage turtleneck, a black Uniqlo cashmere crewneck (always), then I need to replace my mid-weight, worn-out favorite grey cashmere sweater and want one from the French brand Alexandra Golovanoff. People say the quality is good and there are several grey styles to choose from, which or course makes it difficult!
Bottoms: I finally bought the Nili Lotan Anna jeans I’ve had my eye on and they are going to get worn on repeat this Spring, so those will come, along with a pair of vintage Levi 501’s, skinnier black denim jeans (I have old Acne Studios but they might need an upgrade as they are a bit baggy), my Frances de Lourdes Astrid pants (to wear on the plane with my Uniqlo sweater), and because I’m obsessed with the pull-on pant with a flare, I have ordered the expensive High Sport version as well which have a more matte finish.
My Nells Nelson thin-knit black turtleneck and black knit cashmere shirt, a white button down, some of my Frances de Lourdes tees in gray, off-white and black and that is about it for clothes. I imagine evenings will be spent in pubs, so nothing fancy is needed.
Then accessories: There will be a lot of walking…the Cliffs of Moher we will go to is an 11 mile walk (we want to do the whole thing), so definitely a pair of sneakers, I might update my current Nike DBreaks with this pair. I am not sure I have the right boots–ones to walk all day in, or I do, but not sure I want to bring them because they are very worn in. I also have my Khaite knee-high boots (above), which give me the Jane Birkin look I wrote about earlier this fall, but those don’t seem practical either. I have been looking at EVERYTHING and still haven’t come up with the right answer. The good news is I have a few weeks. Then I like a small handbag like this new Bottega. I have an old Celine bucket bag (like this) that is coming for now as I’m figuring out if I need a new Spring bag and what that would be. I’m really into my new XL Mariner Link Necklace in silver, maybe even the matching bracelet. That should do it! Will it fit into a carryon? Who knows, I might want the extra luggage room to bring something back.
Heidi Wynne says
Thank you for including my fisherman knit! I can’t wait to see your photos from Ireland!
XOXO Heidi heidiwynne.com
Heidi, your sweaters are gorgeous and on my current covet list!
Lisa Mac says
My best travel investment EVER was the Loro Piana storm system jacket: truly waterproof, a hood that rolls into the collar and disappears, cashmere lining for warmth, and four utility pockets similar to the Toteme you show here. It folds down to nothing in a suitcase and still looks great after 5 or so years. Never travel without it. Conversely, I haven’t had great luck with Alexandra Golovanoff cashmere. I keep trying because I love the classic styling and color range, but the finishing isn’t the best and it pills (sigh) on par with some of my lower cost cashmere. (I know it’s inevitable and I use all the right cleaning methods and depilling tools but I expect it to perform on par with other brands in that price tier). I’m sure you’ll hear from others that feel differently – that’s what I love about the community you have created here! Thank you for the travel inspiration!
I was literally about to say this very thing. The Loro Piana storm system jacket is the best thing I have ever bought for travel – it has been literally all over the world with me. I have two lengths – one is almost knee length and one that’s the shape of a Barbour jacket – it is the most warm, comforting, indestructible jacket. If you take something like that you don’t need either the trench or the wool jacket; it covers both of those bases.
Now I want to try one even more. Thank you for this!
Thank for the recommendation Lisa! I need to be traveling more, hopefully soon, to invest in the Piana jacket but I’m going to try one next time I’m near the store. Also noted on the cashmere, something that can be so hit or miss.
Love, love, LOVE everything about this post! Thank you for sharing your expertise and thought process. Packing is so complicated! Brava for starting well in advance! Please keep us posted (perhaps with a photo à la Goodman). Buon viaggio!
Thank you and I will post my packing again, because it’s already changing 24 hours later.
Just to note it rains all the time in Ireland !
Have you looked at the Ann Mashburn M65 jackets? I have a couple in neutral colors. I don’t see those on the site now but I’ll bet she will release one for spring.
I do not know these. Will stay on the look out. Thanks
I’ve been to County Clare twice and your packing list is perfect. Like NM says count on it raining or at least being misty every day.
So I guess a lot of bad hair days too. Haha.
The raw Atlantic wind can really bite you at that time of year. Hats, hoods, scarf and waterproof-comfortable boots are a must. Save room in your bag to bring back a hand made Aran sweater and room in your belly for oysters at Moran’s Oyster Cottage outside of Galway.
I was going to say the same! Coat with hood and hat essential!! It has been known to snow in early March. Also could be nice and balmy, it’s anyone’s guess.
Love this list and thanks to everyone who has mentioned the Storm System…my husband lives in his and I had been contemplating one for myself. Your input may be the push I need!
Have a wonderful trip — I can’t wait to see what you post!
Josie Thayer says
Is that The Row loafer you are wearing in the Ireland post?
I’ve considered that shoe but was a bit put off by the toe and yet like the way it looks on you if that is indeed the shoe.:)
If you mean the loafer in the holding image, that is not me, it’s Vogue editor Tonne Goodman. I am not sure what loafers she is wearing, but a good guess is J.M. Weston which you can sadly only get in Paris.
Gayle M says
It’s a Tod’s velvet loafer from yesteryear when this piece ran. I know because I had
the same loafer and I’m still wearing it. Sigh. I would love it if they brought this
Dana D says
Nothing more fun than a packing list! I remember that image of Tonne! Since there will not be a Loro Piana storm jacket in my future, can I be an advocate for the lower budget edition of a few of these pieces? A longer classic tan Patagonia rain jacket and a Barbour beadnell (or similar) would look perfect over Heidi’s sweater (I have the green one) and the other layers you are suggesting.
Jennifer, honestly, I don’t see your footwear choices as being appropriate for an 11 mile hike in the rain! LOL. Packing with just a carry-on gets tricky right about here. It hurts to sacrifice bag space for the right shoes.
I love your silver necklace and am currently very interested in the &Daughter cashmere.
Thanks for this! Going to look at & Daughter, I do think the Nike’s will make the trek (though might bring my running shoes too). I do have an old Barbour that I could pack, but have other ideas that I am looking into….more before I leave!
Also, a couple years ago I was in line behind Tonne Goodman after an overnight flight from JFK to Heathrow. She was dressed exactly as in this photo with the same luggage and I almost lost my mind. I googled the photo and surreptitiously showed it to my two teenagers, who were not at all interested. Apparently this story was not fiction: this is in fact exactly how she travels!
Oh, I am sure. When I worked at Bazaar and she was the fashion director, she also wore the same thing (mind you this was 20 years ago). She does not stray. This goes back to that last post about what designers and editors wear, which is not usually what you see on the runway.
According to my youngest daughter, who lives in Cork, rain is ALWAYS in the forecast in Ireland! We’re planning to go next year. Can’t wait to see your photos and the outfits you end up putting together.
I’m sure. Will be rain ready!
I also bought hiking shoes from Merrell for my first trip to Ireland which included the Cliffs of Moher and Skellig Michael. Save your Khaite boots for another time, or at least make sure what you bring has a treaded rubber sole. If you want to go fully native, 45rpm has the Dubarry Galway boots, but then you’ll probably want pants that can be tucked into the boots.
Oh I am not wearing my Khaite boots out of Dublin for sure, but I only drag my hiking boots along on a trip if it’s serious terrain….Interested in the one’s you posted.
This is such a timely post for me as I am planning a spring trip to Europe. For Ireland, you need a waterproof jacket with a hood–perhaps a shell? And to to echo Dana and Christine Says definitely a waterproof hiking boot or sneaker. I love my Merrells (the MOAB’s) and ASICS makes a comfortable waterproof sneaker. The head designer of Hermes was profiled a few years back in the Wall Street Journal magazine. She said she couldn’t live without her ASICS. I have been a devoted customer ever since. Have a great time!
Asics sound interesting. Everyone has such great recs! Love this.
I came here just to say the same thing as you – a hooded coat for hiking will be critical, especially for the windy Cliffs of Moher.
I haven’t been to Ireland but I know many people who have and they said it’s about staying warm and dry. If you’re hiking you’ll definitely need a hiking boot. One that’s more about function than form. I have the Merrell’s as we hike frequently. They are great. Also if you go hiking waterproof pants and jackets are important. Water soaked jeans are no fun.
Thank you for this! Definitely bringing my Patagonia shell pants for these days.
Yasmin Dolan says
I just returned from a week in Dublin and it was very mild, even sunny most days. You are the expert on packing and wardrobe but I can recommend restaurants in Dublin. WE had great experiences at Pickle for Indian, Davy Byrnes ( my husband said they were the best steak frites he has ever had) Neary’s Pub for a civilised lunch or afternoon respite, Fire Steakhouse and Peploe’s both fabulous dining experiences. Enjoy!!!
Dana D says
One more thing about trainers/runners/hikers–I now buy the men’s version of my foot-favorite outdoor hikers (I use Altra for the wide toe box). I am so tired of the colors (pastels and bad brights) in the women’s offerings (Patagonia does this also, drives me mad). I just got a new pair of hikers for our upcoming National Park trips and I bought a men’s shoe in khaki green to go with my other hiking clothes.
Also, and I don’t mean to overstep, I was not suggesting that you, Jennifer, needed budget versions of clothing. What I love about your fashion advice is that I (retired teacher) always get excellent ideas that I can adjust for my own budget. Plus some of us are looking for options that are sustainably made AND affordable.
I’m a soon to be retired teacher, too. I love the Flair Index because Jennifer offers clothing suggestions for grown women who want to look put together, but not too young or old, but timeless. In purchasing items of clothing I do buy the best quality I can afford. Afford being the key word. In the past few years though, I’m finding it difficult to find affordable, simple and classic clothing that isn’t too trend focus.
I went to Ireland this summer and it was cold and rainy quite often. We had a magical and wonderful time making our way across the country and back – I have to say the best footwear – Blundstone boots! Comfortable (especially if you put in your own inner soles), misty proof, rugged yet can look quite smart for dinner. They have their classic shapes which are great for a wide foot and slimmer ones should you be of the slim Ferragamo foot. I have been wearing them for decades – used to work as a costume designer for film/commercials and they handled the sets and long days beautifully. Now I wear them traveling and out to the equestrian barn and I still love them. Ireland is really about long walks, beautiful hikes, rugged coast lines and warm pubs. Have a lovely time! https://www.blundstone.com
Melody Bryant says
Footwear is what I put the most thought into for a trip. I highly recommend the Blundstone boot as well. I have these https://www.blundstone.com/black-premium-waterproof-leather-chelsea-boots-womens-style-566 and they are so warm and comfy. I take out the sheepskin footbed and replace with my own orthotic insole with a better arch support, if I’m putting in a lot of walking. For Dublin I took a pair of ballet flats for dinners in the evening. My third pair of shoes was a pair of sneakers for non-rainy days of sightseeing. For outerwear, I packed my Veronica Beard scuba blazer (packs so great!), my Patagonia Nano Puff (for warmth) and my Barbour waterproof shell to wear over my Nano Puff when it was raining. Your Aryn knit will be perfect as will cashmere as it is lightweight but warm. I didn’t have them for Ireland but I personally like my Anatomie travel pants as they look chic, are versatile and dry quickly. Have a great time, Jennifer! I love Ireland so much and hope to get back soon.
I’ve lived in Ireland, and visit often. It will definitely be raining almost every day in March. You need good waterproof shoes the entire time, especially on your hike.