"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Boat Shoes New Orleans

 For once in my life I'm going to attempt to be sensible by beginning a travel colour story with some practical, super-comfortable, weather-resistant shoes.

These black boat shoes are from Kiel James Patrick.  You might remember that I have discussed this brand before, there's so much to admire about this American company (you can read about them here).

They manufacture their boat shoes in the US, and they are the most rugged, well-made shoes I have ever come across.  In fact I like them so much that I bought a pair for MrBP and another pair as a birthday present last summer for Poppa.

I wore these shoes all over Italy last spring, including many days spent hiking the Cinque Terre, at times in the pouring rain and after guzzling back gallons of wine with my friends.  I brought them to Newfoundland last summer and wore them to hike the East Coast trail, sometimes in muddy, rocky, sliding conditions.  They are made for rain and slippery terrain, and yet somehow manage to be quite darling with dresses and skirts.
I am noticing that they are not on the KJP site just now but I've sent an email to the company inquiring on their whereabouts.  I really hope they haven't stopped manufacturing them, I'll keep you posted!

Back to our travel colour story for New Orleans, beginning with the black boat shoes and working out from there...
If you read my post yesterday on the Dreaded Bathing Suit Search you'll know that I've organized a birthday present for myself from MrBP, aren't I helpful? ;)  Here it is in its entirety:

Birthday Present Outfit
 When I chose the swimsuit from HunzaG I knew I wanted a new pair of espadrilles to wear with it, and some sort of cover-up or dress that I could wear over the bathing suit on my way to the pool.
Years ago I owned several pairs of espadrilles but the ones with the low heels I wore until they were ruined, and the ones with the too-high heels I could never wear at all.  These espadrilles from Castaner are the 80mm heel height I prefer (the style is called Carina).

The dress is one I found under the "beach cover-up" category but as you can see it is quite versatile and looks like more of a day dress than a cover-up.  It is by Mara Hoffman, and made in the US out of very structured hemp fabric.  I've never owned a dress made out of hemp before and it is a surprisingly fine, almost polished fabric, very like a high-quality linen.

This dress really fills a gap in my summer wardrobe, I wish I could find more black dresses made out of cool fabrics and in a structured yet not constrictive fit.
Mara Hoffman "Ingrid" hemp dress.
 I should be able to get two or three different wears out of this dress on our four-day trip.  I can wear it with the black boat shoes, or with the espadrilles, depending on our activities and on the weather conditions (espadrilles by their nature demanding a dry, sunny day).

So, I'll be bringing the black Mara Hoffman dress and two pairs of shoes, but what about a light rain jacket?  Many of you suggested just such an item and fortunately I have the perfect one.
Saint James raincoat.
Two pairs of shoes: boat shoes and espadrilles.
 This Saint James linen raincoat is super packable and lightweight, in fact it folds up easily to be stored in my tote bag, it is rain-repellant (even though it is 100% linen, how did they do that?) and it  can be worn on a very hot day without causing overheating.
Saint James raincoat in ivory.
Water-repellant linen.
I'll bring two bags with me, one a black tote from Kayu and the other a straw clutch bag with an optional long strap, also from Kayu.
Kayu bags,
 In looking through my closet I discovered a very sensible cotton twill skirt from Horse Atelier that is perfect on a warm, humid day.  It doesn't wrinkle and it's not overly warm to wear.  I have a Saint James shirt that I love wearing with it, in an ivory and dark red stripe:
Saint James stripey shirt.  

Horses Atelier skirt.
Saint James stripey shirt and raincoat.
Black boat shoes.
 I loved this dark red colour that Horses Atelier featured in their collection last summer.  They do wonderful linen blouses that cover the arms and are very cooling with their swingy style.
Horses Atelier dark red linen blouse.
 If you're not familiar with the Horses Atelier brand I recommend them, they use terrific natural fabrics, their tailoring is lovely and they manufacture everything in Toronto.  You can see their site here.

I like both Kayu bags with the dark red colour, and while I will use the black one when wearing the boat shoes, the smaller red bag will be handy to wear out for dinner, paired with the skirt, the linen blouse and the espadrilles.

 In total this colour story only involves three outfits, a skirt and two different shirts to wear with it, and a dress that can be worn very casually with the boat shoes or slightly more dressed up with the espadrilles.
 I don't mind wearing outfits on repeat while on holiday, and I always remind myself that if something is soiled I can send it out to be cleaned.  Most hotels we've been to offer a same day or one day dry-cleaning service.
Straw hat from JCrew.
Saint James stripey shirt.
Black boat shoes from Kiel James Patrick.
Oh, and I shouldn't forget my straw hat.  While this takes up considerable room in my carry-on it's definitely a must, I burn something terrible these days (why? older skin plus weakening ozone?) and I'll need to wear it out in the sun at all times.
So there you have it, a sensible (for me) travel colour story featuring a minimal amount of items.  How do you like this one?
Hope you have a really lovely Sunday.


  1. Perfect! I like this a lot more than the green/blue version for this trip. I love that Mara Hoffman dress, where did you get it, if I might ask? It's absolutely perfection.

    1. Thank you Kathy! The Mara Hoffman dress is from Net-a-Porter. Lots of her stuff is very beachy looking but this dress is a bit different, it has big pockets too and the wrap style is a favourite of mine. I like that is was made in the US out of such a sturdy fabric too. Maybe you should try it on? It would be perfect for California. xxx

    2. Thanks Dani - will order this morning. xx

  2. I like it! When I travel, I prefer to just have carry-on luggage and therefore try to keep things as minimalist as possible. Your collection here looks great! What will you be wearing on the plane?

    1. Vava me too, I only travel with carry on luggage now. I think I'll wear the Mara Hoffman dress on the plane, with my raincoat handy in my tote bag, and of course my boat shoes. It would be a nightmare to try to take those espadrilles on and off for airport security, slip-off shoes are a must. Thank you! xxx

  3. This is a gorgeous collection of garments. I haven't been to NOLA but it seems perfect to me! The linen jacket is amazing. Rain repellant?!

    1. SD thank you! The linen jacket is really great, I bought it last year before our trip to Italy and good thing too because it rained almost every day we were there. I also brought it to Newfoundland this past summer, perfect for hikes along the ocean because it wards off wind as well. Most sensible jacket I've ever purchased! xxx

  4. Your selections are wonderful from top to bottom! Thank you so much for this, and for all your posts. They are always an inspiration, and a deep breath of sanity and serenity in my in-box.

  5. I love this color story! The Mara Hoffman working as a travel dress and cover-up...genius! And the St.James coat is so cute. I could have used it this weekend. We took a quick trip to Laguna and it rained...it ‘s not cold here so a light weight raincoat would be perfect for those rare rainy beach days. Happy Sunday :)

  6. I had a pair of boat shoes back in the 90's... they were a thing here at the time, but I don't think mine were truly made for a boat (I bought them from a fashion shoe company), as I remember they were awfully uncomfortable and my foot would slip around in them. Clearly not like yours! I love your travel choices, all very practical yet stylish. I too love that espadrille height, and have worn a similar pair all summer long. It's the perfect heel height and I can walk for miles without it feeling too high. xx

  7. Love that black dress. I admit, I saw your choices in the first post and although I didn't comment I thought, "Her feet are going to KILL her in New Orleans." So glad everyone else did a good job of steering you this way. I would add, if you feel so inclined, if you are ever going to wear something louche or revealing or unusual, New Orleans is the place to do it. The place just oozes daring.

  8. Dani,
    Love this beautiful color story in black and the dark red! The Mara dress is perfection. You will look so Audrey Hepburn in it, especially with the cute bag and hat. ( Sad about Givenchy today!)

    I do like the boat shoes also. They are unique and will be cute. The red blouse is wonderful! I'm crazy about the sleeves. The linen trench looks perfect too. Yay you coming up with such a lovely mix. You inspire me to pack lighter and better. We just got back from a girl's trip to Palm Springs and I only packed a carry-on and still didn't wear everything. Two of my friends packed HUGE suitcases and spent a lot of the time deciding on what to wear. I think the thing to do is pack outfits- not random stuff. It takes the guesswork out of getting dressed each day and more time for your holiday.
    xx Kim