Three Heel Clicks


My Travel Uniform

Fashion, How To, Lifestyle, Packing, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately I’ve really been into dressing in neutrals. Don’t get me wrong, my colorful spectrum wardrobe will continue to showcase bright pieces but sometimes it’s nice just to get back to the basics. Whenever wearing neutral tones it’s nice to play with various textures. Here a velvet blazer is layered over a velvet body suit. What I really like about the body suit is that it is super easy to look pulled together without having to worry about constantly tucking your shirt in. This one is from Target from last season but I’ve linked several ones below under $50. The main key to making it comfortable is to pick a fabric that’s soft and make sure it has buttons to undo when you are using the restroom.

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I layered it under really stretchy skinny jeans. I like to look for a pair with a wider waistband for travel. That way they almost feel like leggings instead of jeans. A dark wash is my usual go to since it hides stains, spills or just dirt as you are in and out of public transportation. A soft blazer can be added for warmth underneath a coat if you are going somewhere chilly. Finally, a pair of ballet inspired pumps (on MAJOR sale right now!) with a block heel does just the trick. They are easy to slip on and off during the flight while being comfortable to walk in. Another thing I love about this look is that it is easy to step off the plane (or out of a vehicle) check into where you are staying and immediately head down for dinner or drinks somewhere.

As far as traveling I think it’s important to look for proper luggage. This season I picked up a rolling duffel bag from Jessica Simpson’s collection and found it was perfect for most three to four day weekend trips. I prefer to pack in the same bags often so I have a good system down. Since I travel almost every single weekend (and have been doing so for years), efficiency is key to not getting overwhelmed constantly. This duffel has so much room and zipper pockets inside and outside of the main compartment.

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I usually bring a canvas tote or laptop bag to hold my other items like toiletries, electronics and journals. Having a “travel uniform” streamlines the getting ready process and let’s me think more about activities at my destination than, “What am I going to wear?” I also like to make sure that whatever I travel in would be comfortable enough if I got stuck somewhere or worse my luggage is lost. Oftentimes, I’ll throw an extra shirt, nightie and swimsuit (since all pack small) into my carry on so I have extra things in the event anything I check is delayed or missing. After a trip 6 years ago and my luggage was delayed over 24 hours to San Francisco I re-evaluated all packing endeavors to ensure I had what I needed as soon as I landed in case my luggage didn’t make it with me.

When selecting luggage, it’s really important to find something that works with what you wear. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve double a canvas tote for a beach bag and left my items in a dresser in the room I’m staying in. I also like to have all of my luggage at least color coordinate. In the past I used a black suitcase with tan trimming. Now I usually check this leopard print duffel and then utilize my tote and laptop bag for on board. I found a really adorable identical version of this duffel in a navy polka dot if you are looking to add a new classic piece to your collection. I prefer darker colors to hide scratches and marks, but this striped pink one is a must have too! Although I struggled to find an exact match to the one I’ve photographed in leopard I did find this version for under $50 from Vera Bradley!

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What to Wear for a Trip to Float the River

Fashion, How To, Packing, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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I don't know about you, but I sure am getting giddy about this weekend! I have a HUGE trip to the river planned with friends from college. In fact, this weekend exactly 10 years ago we all went floating on the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, TX. For many of us there will be more summer trips planned to float and camp so I thought today would be perfect to share with you some packing tips!

What to Wear

Like usual, I am planning a color palette of red, white and blue. I love wearing this combo on both Memorial Day Weekend and the Fourth of July since it's so patriotic. My father was a veteran of 24 years and fought in two wars with the Middle East. We traveled to 12 cities, 4 states and across 3 countries. Needless to say, I am so grateful for the men and women who risk their lives everyday for us. 

I mixed and matched a variety of shades of red and blue then adding some pops of white. I also picked out a few cover ups to include a white cotton over sized button up, red cotton halter dress, a beautiful tunic dress and finally a gingham square scarf to wear as a sarong (one of my favorite tricks, see here!) Here are a few looks:

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Now obviously we weren't only in the water. So I brought a fewfew sundresses, shorts and tank tops. Of course, all in the same color scheme. Along with that, my sperry's, running shoes (oftentimes I jog or walk when I'm on a vacation) and finally a pair of espadrilles that can go in the water. When you float the river you need some kind of shoe with a good sole so you don't tear your feet on the rocks or rapids. DO NOT wear backless sandals like a slide or flip flops. I put those in a mesh back and tie them to my float to ensure I have something comfy when I get out of the water and back at the campsite. In all honesty most years I've worn either a canvas lace up or my sperry's. This past Spring I wore a pair of espadrille slip-ons by Sketchers. They worked great! They have memory foam and were made out of canvas.

What to Pack Gear Wise

Now it's not just good enough to pack clothing. You'll also want to be prepared to pack gear for your trip. The biggest mistake I've seen when going is not packing simple things like rope or a mesh bag for your shoes. You'll also want to bring a waterproof bag that rolls up (what fisherman use) and a cooler for drinks. I like to leave my towel, duffle bag, and lantern back at camp for when I return. Although floating is usually only daytime, sometimes by the time you get back to your site it's dusk to early dark. A handy lantern makes it easy to either gather your things for a shower or to find things for a fire.

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A few other tips include having snacks like trail mix or sandwiches pr-emade help if someone starts getting hangry. Fresh fruit and raw veggies are great for hydrating. Also, bring plenty of water. I like to use those ice bags you can find when you get a shipment from Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, or Plated. They can line the bottom to help the ice stay cooler. Remember that you can't bring glass in most parks or rivers, so stick to aluminum. I recently found a few options like Underwood or House Wine that comes in a can for all of you vinos. For beer I recommend Love Street. Finally, if you are into wine or beer you can always whip up a cocktail and put it into mini water bottles. I think it helps to have everything handy so you can just grab a drink. Make sure you bring enough water for the whole day and finally sunscreen!!!

How did you guys spend Memorial Day?

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Packing for the Seasons

Fashion, How To, Packing, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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I'm excited to announce a new page on the website called How to Pack! Over the past few years, I've been posting all about how to pack simply while looking stylish. I've compiled all of this onto one page where you can read from start to finish about efficient ways to pack. I've also created a place where you can sign up for more updates on the page! On to today's post - I'm writing all about packing for each season. Hope you guys enjoy!

A key factor in simplifying your pack and packing in style is also to pack for the right season. If I'm headed somewhere cold I'll always throw in something lighter weight and a swimsuit, but that's it. The rest of my suitcase is filled with cozy clothes and water resistant boots. You can pack so much with a limited amount of items if you are strategic. Part of that strategy is looking at the weather conditions and planning a week or two ahead. In all honesty, I never wait to the last minute to pack (outside of my toiletries). It just leaves too much room for error. I have lists going weeks in advance and then put everything in my suitcases a few days ahead. That way I'm not wearing something I'll use on the trip the day before and then get stuck doing laundry at the last minute. 

I reference the Accuweather app two weeks ahead of my trips. It allows enough time to brainstorm or order anything you need from Amazon Prime (my go to for anything last minute). Then, I start making lists or pinning ideas on hidden Pinterest boards of ideas of looks I may want to draw inspiration from. About 7-10 days before a trip I lay out all of my outfits and decide if I need to purchase something to add to the things I already own. About 3-5 days before I start loading up my suitcase. Finally 1-2 before I leave (usually early morning flights or late evening after work) I pack my carry-on and purse for the trip. This timeline has proved to be really helpful over the past three years. 

Let's now talk about packing for each season:

Summer: Think sundresses, rompers and swimwear. Don't forget to add sunglasses, a straw tote, statement earrings and sandals. Bring at least one pair of heel, but usually you are spending time by the water so one is plenty. Espadrilles are a perfect summer shoe. The best part about Summer packing is that you can pack more in your suitcase since items are smaller and lighter weight. Take advantage and bring lots of sundresses. I usually bring two outfits per day for Summer trips. If you are looking for swimsuits check out how to find your swim style.

Spring: The climate in most places ranges from warm to cool depending on how far north you go. If you are heading to a colder climate like Colorado or the North East Coast you may want to refer to packing closer to Winter. If you are anywhere along the Southern part of the United States think about lightweight jackets and cardigans layered over dresses and jeans. Loafers and ballet flats are a good choice this time of year and if you are looking for accessories you can sport structured pastel leather purses. Boater hats are darling this time of year and don't forget a tote for market shopping or visiting farms.

Fall: For this season you'll also want to look at layering but instead of Spring's choices go for pants with tall riding boots (here are two ways to wear riding boots for the Fall) and sweaters. Layer your sweater over a button up or long sleeved shirt in case you get warm. Pea coats are also a good choice during this time of year. For evenings sport a pair of tall suede over the knee boots with a tweed mini skirt or midi dress. Cognac, burgundy, hunter green and navy are perfect for the Fall season. Since so many people love to go camping this time of year you can check out Let's Go Camping which includes all about how to pack for a night outdoors or check out Outdoor style for additional inspiration and tips.

Winter: If you are heading South you may want to reference Spring and Summer styles, but if you are on your way up North think about being warm and dry. Snow is beautiful unless you are inappropriately dressed and then it's just miserable. Down jackets, leggings, overalls, skinny jeans, puffy vests, sweaters an thermal shirts are great for layering during cold and snowy days. Don't forget to add beanies or berets, gloves and of Winter boots. Finally, if you are venturing out for a dressy look think about faux fur stoles, cream colored wool coats that hit at the calf, tall boots or tights and heels.

Want more seasonal inspiration, tips and tricks? Head over to the seasonal style page for additional looks and travels.