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Thursday 14 September 2017

My Mini-Cruise: #2. What I Wore

My packing can sometimes be is invariably a laborious, time-consuming and painful process.
So my cruise packing was no exception.

It started so well, a few weeks before the D Day for packing.

A black and beige capsule would be perfect. Simple elegance inspired by the lovely Italian Dan here.
It went in the suitcase.  It didn't get worn.

Then I had a Girls' World day. The Photographer was put through wardrobe changes.  Several many.  He was so fed up he didn't even get out of his Poang chair, hence the bottom-up photographic style.

This Monsoon silk top is as light as a feather and packs down to one too, so I often pack it as what I all a "freebie" as it has absolutely no impact on suitcase packing whatsoever.
I thought this would be an option for the first night's dining.
It too was packed.  It too remained unworn.

This dress from Roman Originals was packed.  It didn't get worn (bit of a theme running through this post, eh?!) though on reflection, it would have been the ideal choice for the first night's dining.

Still attempting to keep to my black and beige theme, I thought this simple black linen dress from Next might work for the first night's dining, glammed up with jewellery, as per the tips kind readers had given me.  This didn't even get to suitcase stage.

I played with my deep studded leather belt.   Yup, it was declared "a sack tied in the middle" by You Know Who.  It didn't get packed.

A simple black jersey dress might be the way to go.  No ironing required.  Here I taunt TP with yet more of my sack work.

And here, modelled without the sack effect here.  But despite that, it too didn't make the suitcase.
 (At this point you must be beginning to wonder what did get in that suitcase!)

Well this didn't either. 
Having taunted TP with my sack tied in the middle outfits, I decided to taunt him some more be doesn't like this dress, so I rarely wear it. 
But I like it and it was hot so slipped it on for lunch, inspired by stylish Nikki (midlifechic).  
I was cracking up, as you can see from my screwed up face!  I think I may have totally lost the plot at this point and I was veering more towards playful rather than productive.  But miraculously come the travel day, I did find myself packed and ready to go.

The Ideal Mini-Cruise Capsule

 So, what is the ideal capsule for my mini cruise?

Day 1
Day - jeans, white camisole, pink slouch cardi, comfy strappy sandals
Evening - white jeans, grey top, comfy stappy sandals

Day 2
Day - jeans, beige/navy striped l/sl top, comfy strappy sandals
Evening - black trousers, print floaty top, black peep toe heels

Day 3
Day - same as Day 2
Evening - same black trousers and heels, layered floaty ivory l/sl top

Day 4
Same as Day 1, Day.

Yes, that was the ideal capsule for our trip.  So what's that?  2 jeans, 1 trousers, 2 prs shoes, 1 cardi, 3 tops and a camisole?  I make that  10 pieces incl  footwear.  It was the perfect capsule and just perfect for the trip,  the epitome of clever packing.

Unfortunately, it was not in my suitcase, but in that of a cousin.

My capsule was a whole different and error-filled ball-game.  Let me talk you through it.

Day 1

For starters, this is what I travelled in.  It is not what I planned to travel in.
I hadn't planned on taking a jacket at all, but I was on the red-eye and leaving home at 5.30am.  It was fresh at that time of the morning.  So I grabbed a l/sl top and jacket.
The jacket was slipped in the suitcase by the time I arrived at Southampton airport and was not seen again though I did wear the top for the rest of the day.

Day - white East jacket, grey Peacocks jeans, pink M&S l/sl top, Clarks flatties (switched for Birkies in Southampton)

I should mention here that I was definitely on holiday as I seem to have taken time out from the OOTD shots. 
I can barely scamble together one decent outfit shot for the whole trip!  So from hereonin I am filling in as best I can with archive shots and photofits!

Evening - Grey Next knot top, white crops, Clarks flatties.

Day 2

Day - Peacocks print top, M&S pink crops (a.m.); black M&S top (p.m.), Birkies.

The pink crops are v. old and were originally coral.  My renowned laundry skills have faded them to pink and when packing they accidentally met up with the top and I realised they now match it perfectly.  So they came too.  You can see at this point I was totally going off-piste, my simple black/beige colourway now abandoned.  This may just have been the point I started botching up my travel capsule.

Evening - white jeans, pink fluted top (both Peacocks), Clarks flatties.

I had planned to wear my Adesso heels for the evening but I was feeling so chilled already that I could barely manage the flatties.  Actually, anything goes on board, which is what my readers had told me.

Day 3

I had bought a lovely Zara embroidered stripey shirt in Southampton.  So I wore it for the Brugge sightseeing.  The day was hot so the shirt was ideal.

I switched the shirt for the stripey Magasin top for the pool party.  I don't know why, I just did.

Day - white crops, white camisole, stripey shirt, stripey top.

The pics on-board don't show the jumpsuit, just a splodge of black covering me from neck to toe. I had bought a pretty black scarf in Southampton and draped that over my shoulders.  Shouldn't have.  I can't see where jumpsuit stops and scarfage begins.

Evening - black Roman Originals jumpsuit (trust me, it's there!), embroidered Primark scarf, Adesso heels, black gold-studded YSL freebie toilet bag used as evening clutch.

Day 4

(No pics)

Day - grey jeans, grey print top, grey cardi, Birkies (not grey!)

Oh, and finally, this.

I used this extremely old battered Tula backpack most days.
It's ideal for travel and touristing days as it has lots of zippered compartments.

Most days - battered Tula backpack.

The Epilogue

In a nutshell, I should have packed my cousin's capsule!
Packing light and wearing things several times, tips I gave you in my previous post, were of course retrospectively learned tips from her capsule, not mine.
The reality was that I added those dreaded last-minutes and  options.  Too many options.  Options that didn't see the light of day.
In my defence, it was my first cruise and I was unsure what would be appropriate. 
And the biggie: most items were worn only once, some for just 1-2 hours, and that's a travel capsule cardinal sin.

Thus, my hard-learned tips for a mini cruise in Europe in early September are:

1. Try on options well in advance.  And try them over several days.  Imagine the types of things you will be doing in those outfits, where you will be, how you will feel in them.
2. Then decide what you will wear when packing.  And stick to it.
3. Pack light, pack little, because you can mix n match and wear items more than once.
4. Do not add last minute items.  Be decisive.  Stay decisive.
5. Leave room in the suitcase for souvenirs.  And any chance clothes shopping!

A la perchoine.


  1. I liked all your cruise choices especially the fluted sleeve top - gorgeous and very versatile, I should think.

    Good advice re the packing which I shall follow if I ever get to go on a cruise!


    1. Oh thank you, Vronni, that's good to hear, though I'd love to have packed my cousin's! The fluted top was a great sales buy.

  2. Although I'll prob never go on a cruise, I enjoyed your post! I've done the same thing, packed lots of extras for vacation, and then only wore half of them.

    You made me laugh when you said the Photographer took photos from his Poang chair. Tell him we appreciate his contributions to the blog. Deb in Ohio

    1. Hi Deb in Ohio,
      it is really annoying when we schlep a suitcase twice as heavy as it need be! I think last September was the only time I got the carry on capsule just right and I wore everything multiple times over 2 weeks.
      I've just passed your kind message to TP, he's happy and thanks you! X.

  3. Wow, a post next to my dear friend Dan! Dan is a very elegant person with a very simple style. What a wonderful collection of looks you present, all very beautiful and elegant. I can not comment on each one in particular, but I love seeing you in those pretty patterned dresses. Dress the fourth picture is really gorgeous.

    1. Aah, a fellow Dan fan. Yes, J-M, it's her simple elegance that attracts me to her blog too. Isn't that flowery dress pretty. Thanks and so pleased you popped in, x.

  4. You are always so funny! I love that your husband wouldn't even get up out of his chair to photograph you. That's hysterical. Well, in the end you did come up with a lot of amazing outfits!

    1. So sweet, Amy, thank you. He was already totally bored after outfit change no. 2!

  5. Well my dear you sound like you've learned how to pack for future cruises. I always over pack because I change my mood from one minute to the next and I need options. Your cousin's capsule wardrobe is brilliant!
    And you have a great wardrobe of dresses, even though they didn't make the cut they look great on you!I won't let my husband know that your photographer sat during your photo shoot - somethings are better left private in order to avoid corruption!
    For the record I think you looked great on your cruise!

    1. Well, yes, though I normally like my options, I did learn so much from my cousin's packing. Thank you for your sweet words and yes, let's keep schtuum about TP's slovenly ways! X

  6. I think you did very well Mary. Although I can't work out why you didn't wear that RO dress. That's a stunner on you as is the jumpsuit.And I thought it was just me who used tose freebie toilet bags as a clutch bag! xx

    1. Thanks so much, Laurie, and yes I do kick myself for not wearing the dress. But hey, I wore it today for a posh lunch and I love it, I felt so sassy! Indeed, the three RO items I've bought this summer have all made me feel fab.
      So funny about the toilet bags, you and me both! But some of them are just too good to hide in bathrooms eh?!
      Hugs, x.

  7. I liked the pink dress. Are you really only 5' 2" you look much taller in the photos and very nice. Iv just been on a mini-mini cruise. Lymmington to Yarmouth (I.O.W)

    1. So funny, Polly, how long was that, half an hour?! Glad you liked the dress, think TP is slowly coming round to liking it.
      Oh Polly, that's so sweet of you to say. I used to be a touch under 5' 4" through my adult life but I fear I may be a touch over 5' 3" now. I put my shrinking down to my bad laundry skills and not to old age 😉.
      How are your colours and shapes going, BTW?
      Hugs, x.

    2. Yes 1/2 hour, bought one or two tops lately for winter,hoping to get to our new M&S to get jeans soon.

    3. Must go to IoW one day, we sailed passed in on our cruise. Wishing you happy jeans shopping, try the button fronts if they're still around.

  8. It was fun to see what you thought about wearing and what you actually did take. Hope you enjoyed your cruise!

    Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday!

    Jennie - A Pocketful of Polka Dots

    1. I hope I'm not the only one who packs totally different to what she'd planned! Thanks for popping in , Jennie, and I love your new hairstyle, BTW. Hugs, x.