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

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Packing Up for New Orleans

Kayu Tote
 After obsessively checking the weather in New Orleans during the weeks before we left I decided that many of the items I'd planned on packing up were in fact going to be too warm to wear.

I only had a few days at home in between my trip to Atlanta to be with my Dad after his illness and our departure for New Orleans.  The trip to Atlanta definitely influenced my realization: it was so warm and sunny there and I realized it would be even hotter in New Orleans.  Long skirts in heavy twill and full-length hemp fabric dresses would be suffocating.
I found that when I was in Atlanta my little dress from Horses Atelier (that I wear as a top) was a perfect hot-weather outfit with my white Everlane jeans.  It was really comfortable and fairly cool to wear.  I wore it on the airplane just like this:
Flight to NOLA outfit.
 I wore my raincoat on the flight as well but that was the last I saw of it during our trip.  It didn't rain when we were in New Orleans, and even if it had the coat would have been boiling hot to wear.

My raincoat... that I didn't need.
 One surprise out of this trip was how comfortable these espadrilles ended up being.  It turns out I wore them everywhere, they are so easy to walk in and they keep the feet really cool.  I thought I'd find the ankle ties annoying but nope, very comfortable.
Castaner espadrilles in black.
Surprisingly comfortable.
 I brought my Mara Hoffman black hemp linen dress, which functions as a bathing suit cover-up as well.  I knew it would be too warm to wear for an entire day out however, I realized this after wearing it in Atlanta.
Hemp linen dress which ended up being quite warm to wear.
 In a search for a summery black dress I visited ShopB in Guelph before our trip.

ShopB carries Velvet by Graham and Spencer, which is an American brand that actually manufactures in the USA.  The brand is very much a California aesthetic, pretty dresses and tops that are casual and produced with light fabrics.
 Considering that the manufacturing takes place in the USA the prices for this brand are really reasonable.
I found two dresses, the black one above, and this pretty off-white dress, below:
 I was so happy I picked up these dresses, I wore them the entire time, alternating days.  They were really comfortable and appropriate for sightseeing as well as restaurants, and they kept me cool when it was 95 and sunny.

Before I left the shop the day I bought the two dresses I spied this little embroidered linen jacket, also from Velvet by Graham and Spencer:
I almost didn't buy it, I tend to buy unembellished clothing first of all, and I had no intentions of adding a summery jacket-thing to my closet.

Of course it ended up being the thing I loved the best, and it pairs so well with the black dress as well as the white dress that I wore it constantly, especially in the evenings.

I wouldn't have wanted to wear a cardigan or something to go for dinner (too warm), but with the air-conditioning in the restaurants and bars something was really necessary.  This ended up being the perfect light layer.
Linen jacket over the black dress.
In front of Pat O'Brien's.
I cropped out my face because I look pie-eyed.
 We did end up spending afternoons by the pool, and I ended up wishing that I had more than one bathing suit.
I'm keeping this in mind as we plan a resort holiday for February!
Another huge favourite on this trip was an Emerson Fry caftan that was gifted to me by a friend a couple of months ago.
I wore it constantly on the trip, it's so lovely with such a soft fabric and pretty colours, and so comfortable to wear in the heat.
Emerson Fry caftan.
Gifted to me by a friend, thank you A!
In the end I didn't bring many outfits which worked out fine, as I wore the two dresses on repeat and was able to change up the look for evenings by adding the embroidered linen jacket.  The espadrilles were my number one choice for a shoe, even with all of the walking that we did.

I carried the Kayu black straw tote for the entire holiday, although I'm sad to say it was dropped on the stone floor near the swimming pool while filled with glass bottles of beer... yes it was that kind of holiday.  I tried to give it a good cleaning but it's looking worse for the wear now!

As we head into summer I'm getting ready for a longer trip to Europe... I'll be posting a travel colour story for that trip soon.
Have a lovely weekend Tooties,


  1. That jacket is gorgeous! I'm the same way, Dani. I tend to stick with solid colors, and when I vary from that it is for traditional patterns like plaid and stripes. Maybe a paisley if I'm feeling wild. I would not normally gravitate to an embellished jacket. This one is lovely and so perfect with all the dresses you had on the trip. I can see it working well with black trousers or jeans too.

    I've never tried Velvet. The styles seem right up my alley. Are you happy with the quality thus far?

    1. SD yes I'm very happy with the quality, the fabrics are really lovely and they wash up so well, cold water and hang to dry, even the embellished jacket. I can't believe how often I've worn that piece because it's so distinctive too but it's actually quite versatile, and you're right it's good with black and with white jeans too.
      Thank you SD!! xxx

  2. Hi Dani, lovely to hear from you again. I really like your Horses Atelier dress - I need clothes that don't draw attention to the waist area! Alternating your other dresses was a clever idea - and they look light enough to be washed and air dried if necessary. I'm looking forward to your next travel colour story too. We are going on a cruise to the Eastern Med in early October, with 3 days in Rome afterwards; I might need warmer clothes for the Rome part.

    You were the first person I thought about when I heard that Kate Spade had died - remember your faux fur top? That was a sad week.

    1. Patricia I remember that faux fur top very well and I wish I still had it. That was a terrible week. I still can't believe it. I thought Kim wrote such a great post about Kate Spade that week... I couldn't write anything- I could barely cope with thinking about the state she must have been in. People do suffer so. It's horrible.

      Eastern Med is really something to look forward to, I'm excited for you. Lovely time of year to be in Rome too. I hope you like my next travel colour story, we'll be in Vienna for 10 days, music concerts and dinners out so it's lots of dressing up. I typically travel carry-on but I'm bringing a suitcase for this one... really looking forward to it. Thanks Patricia xxx

  3. Perfect ensembles!!! I have one item from Velvet, a sequin tank top.

    It's been a rough couple of weeks..........Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain (loved him and have seen him in person), and then the US President behaving like a spoiled toddler with your PM. Honestly, it's almost too much to deal with.

    1. You don't know how lucky you are to have an intelligent leader!

    2. Vava sequins are something I love! Considering a sequin dress for our trip to Vienna...

      It's been a really rough couple of weeks I so agree with you. I was devastated about Kate Spade. Strange I guess to feel that way about someone I was never going to meet but she was such an inspiration. I can't imagine how she must have been suffering to leave her daughter, it must have been terrible for her. So sad, and then another amazing personality, Anthony Bourdain, just two days later.

      Definitely rough times for Canada-US relations. As you know half of my family is American and I just think of us as one happy family so I am NOT enjoying it. Where is it all going? The news can be very difficult to take right now. xxx

  4. Absolutely love this post! I am traveling to New Orleans next month and this is so inspiring. I am eyeing those Espadrilles - they look so lovely and comfy. Love the dresses and that fabulous jacket. I am a huge fan of Velvet and hoping over to their website now. Can't thank you enough for all these wonderful outfits!

    1. Dana so excited for you going to New Orleans next month! Those espadrilles are the perfect hot weather shoe in my opinion, I bought mine at Net-a-Porter (I couldn't find a store that carried them here in Canada). I did have to try and send back though because the heel heights vary greatly, I bought the lower ones (80 mm) after sending back the 100mm which were just too high.
      Velvet is such a great brand and I knew nothing of it before I bought these dresses, just perfect warm weather clothing... so smart that you're already a fan! I hope you have lots of fun packing up for your holiday. xxx

  5. Dani love everything you packed. I think it was really smart to bring a few dresses and change them up with scarves and things. The dresses are beautiful and perfect for travel. I love natural materials and try to bring linen with me on my trips as it feels great and looks chic even wrinkled. I know what you meant Dani about the bag. I really pondered bringing a woven tote on this trip and others. I usually don’t as they get trashed. I’m bring a big leather Annabel Ingalls yellow tote that can take a beating and can double as a pool bag. I know as soon as I get to France though I’ll want to buy a tote to take home. I can’t wait to hear about your packing to Vienna. All I can say is for that part of Europe I pack leggings that can double as long underwear even in the summer, and many scarves. Your trench will be perfect too. By the way, love that coverup so gorgeous!! We need to see you in a few photos! xo Kim

    1. Kim my Kayu tote is really trashed, the pom-poms are discoloured from trying to wash the beer out of the bag and the straw is disintegrating. Learned my lesson there! Too bad because I really liked that bag. Buying a woven tote in France will be the perfect souvenir, they have so many beautiful ones everywhere. A yellow leather tote will be so summery and such a great accessory, that sounds perfect. I hope you have a really lovely time on your trip, I can't wait to hear all about it.
      Thanks for the tip about the leggings because I have some I was thinking of bringing to Vienna and I definitely will now. It's all I can do not to pack up right now I'm so excited to go. ;)
      Thank you Kim xxx

  6. Love your choices. I love Horses. I have a silk piece from them. Gorgeous. The trip sounds like lots of fun. Well worth trashing a handbag! XO

  7. I love the solutions your found! That jacket is so perfect for New Orleans, as is, if you think about it, the metaphor of black and white.