Packing! Ahhh!

Tomorrow I leave for Amsterdam. My first trip to Europe, and my first time on a plane in 13 years. For the past ten hours I've been agonizing about what to bring - how many dresses, pairs of shoes, and accessories will I need?

I've been to the store twice, bought three pairs of leggings (black, brown, grey), a new purse, small square camel colored with a long strap, a neck pillow, and a 2 gig memory card for my camera.

I'm completely stressed about the airport (leaving at noon for a 6:30pm flight). I hope my bags don't weigh too much...

But what to wear??
My goals:
1. Not look like a tourist, i.e. no white sneakers, fanny pack, or shorts
2. Be comfortable, sorry sexy stilettos - I'm only packing my comfortable Onex heels.
3. Try not to over pack! This is a tough one, I can't just bring seven outfits and hope I made seven perfect choices. So, I'm bringing an assortment of dresses, two pairs of jeans, and several tops. My go-to grey bomber, my new crazy rain coat, two flat sandals, two heeled, and bright yellow ballet flats.

Staying Trendy

As posted by The Cut, the top five fall trends have been predicted and consist of bombers, plaid, leggings, and stuff from the 80s.

1. Bombers – I’m still a big fan of this lightweight jacket from H&M. I know they still have them in stock, I spotted a black one while I was there two days ago (and it wasn’t even on sale). For the colder times, check out this Silence and Noise wool blend from Urban Outfitters for $88.

2. Lumberjack – I’m just too girly to ever wear work boots, and flannel is debatable. I do like this plaid tunic however, $40 from NY&Co.

3. Leggings that cross into the third dimension – I like the exposed zippers on the ankles, maybe even this ruffled pair from Forever 21 for $20.

4. 80’s Vintage – I like old belts, and the 80’s has a good offering of cute styles, like this wide cinch on etsy.

5. Mowhawks – Ummmmm…..I like this style on my dog, and that’s about it.

Shopping the Clearance

The woman's clearance section is bountiful and very satisfyingly cheap; I quickly filled my cart up with several pieces, none topping the $11 mark, and all at least 75% off.

The downside is that you've got to spend $50 to get free shipping (which is otherwise somewhere from $4 to $15 depending on how many items you have) The upside is that hitting the free ship minimum shouldn't be too hard with the vast amount of clearance (and a decent selection of sizes for most items). Another plus is the in store return policy, without which, would be a deal-breaker for me.

My selections include this boldly printed drapey skirt, yellow suede fringe sandals, a clear raincoat (bold, youthful, and I might hate it, but...), and this exposed front zipper black dress.

Hopefully I've found some great pieces, otherwise, back they shall go!

Hearing Royksopp makes me buy stuff

When shopping, you notice the music playing in the store:
A. Always, and if I don’t know what it is, I take out my phone and Shazam it.
B. Sometimes, if I happen to know what it is, but I don’t really think about it.

C. Never, are you sure they even play music in stores?

(Or if you are me)
D. Constantly listening, actually singing along when known, and allowing it to completely influence my mood.

While in the Mall (not really finding anything I liked at all) I remembered I had a Victoria’s Secret free panty coupon, so I went in to redeem it. As always, I had no intention to spend any money, just take my free underpants and run. But then I heard “Happy Up Here”, and I decided to linger and listen to it. During which time one of the sales associates approached me and persuaded me to try on their new Body bra. Surprisingly, I bought it.

Next, an “additional 40% off clearance” sign lured me into Express, and as soon as I entered, as if it were waiting for me, “The Girl and the Robot” came on. I found a cute black clutch for $6.

Stranger still, I went to H&M, spotted a black pencil skirt with an exposed front zipper ($30) heard “You Don’t Have a Clue”, and bought it.

Three stores in one day all playing tracks from Royksopp’s new album Junior is a pretty crazy coincidence, but I can’t blame them for all wanting to play it, it’s such a good album.

Ruched Scarf: An 1820’s inspired style

Twist this around your neck a couple times and you’ve got a ruffled collar, a modern twist on an old fashioned style. Two bands of elastic run the length of the scarf and keep it super comfortable and easy.

It also looks great just draped around the neck, or pinned in back for a barely there shrug-like accent.

When I spotted this in the store I immediately put it on, and kept it on for the duration of my shopping. Every time I passed by a table top mirror, I couldn't not smile - the scarf is so delightful - I knew it was coming home with me.

Mine was $13 at TJMaxx, but check out this gingham version at Target for only $11.

Sequins and Stripes: An impractical purchase to solve other impractical purchases

Five Dresses, One magical tank top?

There are a number of things in my closet that I do not wear, and aside from trying them on in the dressing room, have never worn. These are things meant to be worn by women who can get away with not wearing a bra.

(My rationalization for the purchases was that I would somehow find a magical bra that would in fact work. But I just never did.)

That being the conflict, I started searching ebay for a top that I could layer with the impossible pieces.

What I bought was a tank top with horizontal stripes covered in clear sequins (under $10)! Something I would have most likely scoffed at had I seen it in a store (actually, defiantly have) – particularly with the presents of the stripes. I’m not sure why my attitude towards them is softening lately, but if this slightly over the top glam tank top does what I’m envisioning, many clothes will be grateful to finally make it out of the closet.

Of the five dresses I’m hoping to make wearable with the top, it will probably only workout for one of them, but we shall see.