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

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