Having lived out of one suitcase for 14 months during our world trip, I love the strategy aspect of packing and preparing a portable wardrobe. In addition to planning outfits that fit the destination, activities, and weather forecast I love developing the perfect assortment of items that mix and match to create fresh looks each day from a limited number of pieces. Nothing gets into my suitcase that can’t be worn at least two different ways (with the exception of ball gowns!) and I teamed up with one of my favorite online boutiques, Halsbrook, to style several looks on my recent trip to England. The following looks can take you from countryside walks to breakfast at Claridges, antiquing to drinks and dinner from 4 key pieces: a cape, a coat, a turtleneck sweater, and a clutch.
Perhaps counter to common packing advice, when I prepare for winter trips I often pack several coats and streamline the base layers. I love spending as much time outside as possible, and always do a ton of walking (especially in the English countryside!) and coats are much more “visible” than the base layers. I’ve shared before how much I love Halsbrook for discovering new brands and this Kobi Halperin cape is the perfect example. From walks around the Cliveden House estate to breakfast at Claridges and admiring the decorations in Mayfair this cape is so elegant and versatile. I paired it with this burgundy donegal turtleneck for a modern take on the twinset, but the cape looked equally chic over a crisp white button-down and toothpick denim. When wearing this much volume on top I like to keep my pants tapered or skinny to balance out the outfit’s silhouette. While I love my hunter boots they felt too bulky for such a ladylike cape but these sleek rubber equestrian boots were the perfect companions for walks around Cliveden (and are only $40!). Since it cinches at the waist it isn’t strictly outerwear, and feels appropriate indoors as well, especially when paired with pretty velvet smoking slippers.
Our trip fell over the last week of temperate weather before snow hit so we didn’t have to bundle up much until after sunset. I loved wearing an incredibly soft turtleneck sweater which was cozy enough to go sans-coat for a day of antiquing. (My exact sweater sold out after I posted it on stories but this one and this one have the same slightly slouchy silhouette!) The color and pattern are so classic with an oversized cut that feels fresh but will hide the fact that you’ve been indulging in a full English breakfast every morning for the past week. A bulky knit like this must work in several outfits to merit space in my luggage, and this one transitions seamlessly from a casual daytime look with jeans to a dinner date wearing a white mini skirt and suede over the knee boots topped off with this gorgeous camel coat by Weekend Max Mara. A camel wrap coat has been a hallmark of preppy attire for over 40 years, and this version has dolman arms which makes layering thick sweaters underneath easy as it wont feel tight in the shoulders. Carrying a clutch transitions any outfit to a more evening look and I love the collections that Kayu puts out each season – minimalist shapes with pretty closures and this one is in a highly lacquered hardwood with a beautiful grain. A wood handbag looks special without relying on embellishments like sequins, velvets or rhinestones that can feel overly holiday, which means it will continue to be a great date into 2019.
You can read more about why I love looking to Halsbrook to discover new brands and get style inspiration in my past post here.
Thank you Halsbrook for partnering on this post!