Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Taking Travel Lightly

eBags Packing Cubes

Thank you for your patience, dear readers. Spring Break is over and I’m full of new ideas for posts and so I thought I’d get right down to one instead of doing something St. Patrick’s related.

Time, as they say, flew. And so did we. Mrs. E. and I kissed the children, wept into our starched linen kerchiefs, and embarked on our whirlwind 36 hour trip to New York and New Haven, CT.

I’m happy to report that there were a number of very elegant travelers striding barefoot through the metal detectors at the airport. Younger businessmen (for the most part) and almost all the women seemed to have done their best to err… put their best feet forward. I glimpsed pocket squares, polished shoes, attractive shoulder bags (lots of leather and canvas), wonderful shawls, stylish coats, well-cut suits (on men and women) and even a smile or two over iPhone conversations. While these folks were not the rule, they were happy and very-much-in-evidence exceptions.

The thing about being away for such a short time is that you realize the importance of traveling light. After all, who wants to be stuck waiting for luggage to arrive — or wondering if it will arrive at all before you have to return home?

The happy-go-lucky Mrs. E. will tell you that traveling light has never been one of my strong points. (In fact, there is a photo of me wheeling nine pieces of luggage through a train station in Europe cursing the day that I wasn’t born wealthy enough to have luggage bearers.) But we managed. And I say “we” because Mrs. E and I managed to get all of our required changes of clothing for one night and two days into one carry-on bag of the requisite 45 total inches (US Airways Express: Up to 45 inches/114 cm (19x15x11 inches or 48x38x28 cm).

It helps that my “dopp” kit was limited to one quart sized ziplock baggie. Which turns out to be a very good way to pack, in general.

Now, we didn’t really use plastic bags, rather we used two packing cubes like those pictured above from eBags through Amazon. All of our underclothes, pyjamas, a change of shirt, a sweater and a silk knit top or two fit beautifully inside, leaving room for the aforementioned quart sized bags, an extra pair of shoes, a couple of books, an embroidered Chinese silk jacket and a 72″ x 96″ monogrammed damask tablecloth that we packed along as a hostess gift. Without the tablecloth, it was even roomier inside and only by dint of a tight schedule did Mrs. E. manage to keep me out of Barney’s.

And while I was not the most stylish man in the room (that honor had to go to Mr. H. who accompanied us or to the eye-poppingly swathed Mr. Talley) at Rosamond Bernier’s lecture, I was perfectly well-attired in my made-to-measure blue blazer, tattersall shirt, silk knit tie, cashmere sweater and grey flatfront trousers.

While getting there isn’t as much fun as it used to be, it is still possible to dress a little better than you have to on the trip without lamenting that the days of bearers has ended.

And as for the St. Patrick’s Day post, I present today’s (school)tie.
Wearing the Green

11 thoughts on “Taking Travel Lightly

  1. Very nice. Is that a Levenger fountain pen, by chance? (Ah! Have you done an entry on fountain pens yet? I can’t recall…)

    Now with the regulations on liquids, I can’t be limited to a carry-on. Too many lotions and creams and such. Does Mrs. E have any tips on how she manages?

  2. I don’t typically endorse products which I haven’t tried out, but Mr. Markel’s bag gets great reviews on his site and might be worth looking into. I’m still hoping for a Globetrotter, of course.

    Hi CL, Nope, it’s vintage. Found it rummaging around an antique store one day. It is marked “Goodservice” on the clip, “Warranted 14kt Made in the USA 25” on the nib. I should do a post on fountain pens. They are the best way to reply to a formal invitation, in my opinion.

    Mrs. E. did rather well and managed without her train case by severe editing and an innate beauty. I’ll ask for her tips and tricks, though.

  3. Welcome back! We missed you.

    I was thinking about you yesterday when I bought the double Robert Palmer cd set for just one song on it. I think he’s right up there with Bryan Ferry for style whilst singing.

  4. Thank you Mrs. PVE. That was the problem, no bar cart onboard the flight and not enough time to visit the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central as suggested by the wonderful Ms. Hovey. Rail travel is to be preferred.

  5. Dear CL, Mrs. E. saves all the trial sizes that she gets when she orders her potions. Hair products are sold at the salon in travel sizes.

    My secret is to use Certain Dry antiperspirant (scary stuff to be sure) and carry a travel sized Gold Bond Body Powder. Razors seem OK to take along, but a wet shave at a local emporium works wonders on one’s outlook.

  6. Hmm. Thank you and Ms. E for the travel tips. But does all that fit in those quart-sized zip lock bags!? That’s been my dilemma.

    Although I have several new-ish fountain pens, I inherited my mother’s from college. Unfortunately the ink “bladder” (sorry there must be a better word but what it is I don’t know off the top of my head) has long since deteriorated. I know there are people who can reconstruct this sort of thing, and it’s on my list of things to investigate.

  7. Hi CL, while the load is light it is not inconsequential. A quart bag is bigger than it looks.

    Farney’s in Washington, D.C. may do fountain pen repair. If so, they will do it well.

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