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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

National Fashion Week is in Full Swing 9.8.10

Fashion Week is in full-swing and I'd like to dedicate this entry all things related in one way or another. Travel clothing doesn't strictly mean practical. There are plenty of travel garments out there that are practical AND stylish that you can wear to Hawaii, Tokyo or even Paris and fit in just fine. No one said you had to buy clothes that scream "tourist". That also screams "rob me" in a lot of places and that's the last thing anyone wants while they are enjoying a vacation and a new destination that they've planned so hard for. Vacationing should be fun, and so should your travel wardrobe. You want to feel comfortable and like you look your best while you're shopping or hiking or eating out.

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When you think FASHION, what comes to your mind first? I immediately think of New York, Italy and Paris. They have huge fashion weeks that set the tone for the entire year. Obviously, they are great cities to shop for clothing in, too, so the more you can save getting and staying there, the more money you'll have to pack your suitcase full of new goodies.

  • Go on a shopping spree in London, Paris and other European cities by flying on American Airlines from $460 round trip. These low prices are good for travel between October 24th - March 31st, but you have to book by September 15th. It gives you plenty of time to plan the rest of your trip.
  • Hit up all the great Italian designer stores with this awesome 6 night package including air, Eurostar, taxes, daily breakfast and accommodations. You'll spend 2 nights each in Venice, Florence and Rome from $1058 per person. You can even use Bill Me Later to pay off your trip! Travelzoo recommended, so you know it's a good deal and a safe company.
  • Look great right off the plane with this multi-functional flight-wrap from en-day. You can configure it into several different styles. It's wrinkle and odor resistant and quick-drying. It also comes in nice neutral colors. Also, a portion of your purchase price will go towards the charity of your choosing!

If Europe or New York are a little too rich for your blood right now with the economy or the kids' school schedule just doesn't allow you to go, you can still celebrate your fashionista side with a quick trip to Vegas and spin through the Fashion Show Mall and pick up the latest labels. Use the money you save on airfare and hotel towards a new Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Manolos.
  • Stay in the Venetian Hotel and Casino for the illusion of being in Venice. BookIt's 99-hour sale is on now and you can save 60% on 2 nights' hotel accommodation and airfare and they'll throw in a $100 dining credit and tickets to a free show to see either Blue Man Group or Phantom. Wow! Good for travel through December 19th.
  • If you ARE lucky enough to getaway to a great Fashion destination and can go in November, visit Rome and stay in the Hotel Donatello. It's close to the Colosseum and the two basilicas. 4 hotel nights from $549. It's a first-class hotel in the city center and near the Metro. It has an attached restaurant and babysitting service. There are only 22 rooms, so you know you'll get personalized care.

You have to eat on vacation. You don't really have a choice, unless you're really a robot, but then you wouldn't even need to take a vacation. So, it's always helpful to save money on dining. I came across this useful article in the Wallet Pop Blog on how to keep your restaurant bills reasonable. Check it out, because even if these 10 tips seem to be totally duh worthy, they aren't always something you think about while you're in the moment of new restaurant excitement.

Oh, how I hate to hear the words! Luckily, this happens very infrequently, so I will count myself fortunate and won't take it for granted, because if little ones plan to arrive in our life, I'm sure we'll be hearing it enough. Hopefully, I can continue my lucky streak in planning such a full (but not too full) trip, that no one will have time to whine about anything, except ouchy feet and being hungry. It's likely, both those gripes will come out of my own mouth, as well, so I can't really fault anyone else for complaining about such things. That's the time you get lunch and take a quick nap at the hotel before continuing on your day.

Fill the time in your day or evening with activities and make sure not all of them require walking. Hurty feet need time to recouperate and there are plenty of ways to be entertained without actually doing anything.
  • One such activity is going to see Mary Poppins on Broadway in New York City. Book by September 22nd to save over 40% off orchestra level tickets. Only $69.50 each for shows between September 14th and December 23rd. Your kids will be mesmerized by the movie come to life and you will be taken back to your childhood memories of Mary Poppins as you find yourself singing along.

You can never go wrong with a little black dress or a nice sport jacket and tie. If you plan to go out multiple evenings on your trip, you can even wear them again with different accessories, like a funky belt, scarf or different jewelry. Toss some shoe clips into your bag to dress up your same shoes from another evening and it appears you have twice as many! For men, if you just change your tie and maybe your pocket square, you're good to go. This is easy to do and makes it much easier to pack a few extra small things rather than several different outfits. I'm a big fan of this method, because I like to pack light and I love accessories. There are so many possibilities. If you need more suggestions, here are some of my favorites fashions for travel:
  • Whoever came up with the convertible dress is a genius! Take one dress and wear it 5 or more times on vacation and no one will ever know it's the same dress! Wear it as a strapless, halter, short sleeve dress or even as a skirt! They are even super affordable and come in a bunch of colors and fabrics. Here's a sexy option!

  • Do you find that you get chilly once you get indoors and the air conditioning hits you? Yeah, I have that problem, too. It can sometimes result in getting sick on vacation, which is never fun. Put away your Nyquil and buy a Chilly Jilly instead. This packable cover-up can be used as a shoulder cover or even a sarong, so you are covered for indoors AND out. It's also a convenient article to keep on hand in case you find yourself in a place of worship or other establishment that requires you to keep your shoulders covered. If the link below doesn't have a suitable color for you, you can buy direct from CJ at www.chillyjilly.com.

  • Convertible pants are another favorite of mine. It's pants? It's shorts? Yes! These are fantastc if you are somewhere they have manic weather or you'll be out all day and don't know what the temperature will be. If you want to duck into a church for a bit, zip your pant legs back on and you're golden. Many styles even look presentable enough to go out to dinner in, as long as you aren't wearing sneakers with them. Most are lightweight and quick-drying, suitable for washing in the hotel sink and then wearing again the following day.

  • Clarks shoes are awesome. They can go from walking all day straight to dinner or a party. They are comfortable and come in a variety of styles, whether you're looking for sandals or loafers. They have both men's and women's and come in nice neutral colors that will go with your entire travel wardrobe. Wear a pair on the plane and pack a dressier option in your bag and you're set for anything that might come up on your trip. Below are two of my personal favorites.

  • A beautiful piece of jewelry and a useful travel companion. I've had my eye on this compass necklace for a while now. It looks nice with almost any clothing choice and it helps you out if you're trying to read the map and have no idea which was is up! Handy and you don't even have to be on vacation to wear it out and look great.

  • Going somewhere cold but don't want to pack a bunch of bulky sweaters? Don't! Not only is that a no no for packing light, but it's totally unnecessary. The key to packing light in cold weather is to layer. I'm not talking about taking 4 extra shirts for every day though. Places like Columbia and ExOfficio have thin, packable sweaters for travel. Throw a nice lightweight fleece over them for colder temps or even layer them underneath with base layers or capilene. These garments come in tops and pants like long-johns, but are super thin and super warm, so you look stylish and you don't freeze to death.

With so many deals already included in this entry, it's hard to come up with other ones for you, but I did try and found some different ones that could still be related to today's topic.
  • Greece is known for amazing men's fashion, too. As rare as it is to find well-dressed men just walking around when they aren't on their lunch break or coming from a business meeting, you can see beautifully coutured Greek men all over the country. Take a 7-night cruise of the Greek isles and bask in the beauty of the landscape and the people. Start in Venice and make stops in cities like Corfu and Mykonos. Sailing dates in September, October and November for as low as $499 per person. While on the Caribbean Splendour of the Seas enjoy all your meals, an 18-hole miniature golf course, full-service spa and 2 pools.

  • Don't we all need an excuse to drink more Guinness? How about taking the edge off the chilly night air? Visit Dublin this fall and winter from only $495 round trip. This is $300-400 off summer rates and include taxes and fees. Book by September 22nd for travel between late October and mid-December. And even though Dublin is not strictly known for its fashion, you can get some fantastic deals and beautiful made couture there.

  • There's a whole different side of fashion that can be found in South America, but it's still considered hip and modern, even if it isn't a world-famous label. Get wonderful handmade jewelry at affordable prices. Spend 6 nights in Peru this year or next year and visit Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Save almost 50% off the regular rates and pay only $998 per person. This includes round-trip airfare, flights within Peru, lodgings, guided tours, daily breakfast and train ride. There are plenty of travel dates to choose from, but you have to book by September 14.

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