Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Vacation Capsule Wardrobe. Part 1: Casual

It's been a while since we took a long vacation. By "long" I mean anything more than 3 days, really. We often take day trips, and a few times a year, 2-day or 3-day trips, but staying in a hotel more than that feels quite generous and even extravagant. We felt like we all needed a nice long break and a change of scenery, so one day, practically on a whim, we found ourselves booking a suite in one of our favorite destinations - Seaside, Oregon. We got lucky because in the middle of the peak season, less than 2 weeks ahead, we got the loveliest 1-bedroom suite on the 4th floor, overlooking river and ocean.  It had a full size kitchen, so a couple of times I prepared home meals, which saved us some money. We also had a washer and dryer in the room, which we used only once, but theoretically, we did not need to bring much clothes with us at all. We opted out of the daily cleaning service which also saved us some bucks. All in all, it's a wonderful option for a family. The hotel has a swimming pool and hot tub, offers free breakfast every morning and free happy hour every evening (wine and beer for adults, snack and drinks for kids). If you're looking for a place to stay in Seaside, OR, I can heartily recommend Rivertide Suites - check them out. And no, it isn't a sponsored post.

Denim shirt - thrifted, Pants and hat - Lane Bryant, Sandals - Merrell

Heron at the river as seen from our room window

My collection of Summer jewelry: gifts, boutique and thrift finds, Chico's, Lane Bryant

I wrote about the Oregon Coast before (posts Oregon Coast: Eat, Play, Hug, Bunny from our trip early Spring 2015 with my parents; and Colorful Coastal Christmas from December 2015). This time, I would like to focus on creating a vacation capsule wardrobe rather than on picturesque photos, though there will be some of those too, of course. 
I believe that any creative process, generally speaking, includes two parts. First part is all about inspiration and creation. Second part is about analyzing and editing. Two different parts of our brain supposedly are responsible for these two parts of the process. To create freely, it is always better to turn off our inner critic or editor. But once we are done creating, it is a good advice to sort of separate from our creation and look at it with the eyes of a good editor who knows what parts are not adding anything to our creation and maybe even distract from its beauty. When I first read it about writing, I suddenly understood what Auguste Rodin, famous French artist, meant when he said that the work of a sculptor is taking a lump and cutting off all the unnecessary from it (my translation). It can be a tough job - so for succeeding, we need to turn off the side of ourselves that is the artist, or creator in us, and let our other side (the editor) shine. I think it can be applied to any creative process, and dressing is no exception. 

Pants - Old Navy, sandals - Robert Zur, sunnies - Lane Bryant

It seems this time, I really was in tune with my inner editor, which helped me to create a successful summer vacation wardrobe - limited by definition, so editing skills are a must here. Let me share it with you.

First, I settled on the idea of linen - because really when else in our climate to wear linen if not during Summer? The weather was promised to be sunny, but not especially hot (mid 60s F), which made me question my choice at first. I think I told you that I like wearing polyester pieces when the weather is in the 60s, and I have quite a few beautiful maxi dresses and jumpsuits made in polyester. But I really wanted to wear linen, and in reality, when the sun is out, 65 F (18 C) actually feels much warmer than I expected, so linen was a good choice. 

Denim top - Eloquii

Ocean view from the lovely historical Promenade - Seaside, OR

Once I decided on linen, I took out all the linen and cotton items I had. Some of them I knew right away I wouldn't be taking with me, and of those I liked, I chose:

- 2 pairs of long pants 
(orange joggers and white wide pants);
- shorts;
- 4 or 5 light summer tops;
- maxi dress;
- long crochet cardigan 
(for cooler weather).

I also took with me a really thick wool cardigan, but fortunately did not have to wear it at all.
Since it was a seaside vacation, I brought my new swimsuit and cover-up (I ended up wearing it to the pool as the ocean is icy cold). 

Then I added shoes and accessories:

- 3 pairs of shoes 
(you can see all of them in this post);
- 2 hats 
(panama and floppy hat, the last one is not such a good idea on a windy beach);
- 2 bags 
(small cross-body, comfortable for shopping and exploring, 
and a basket for beach outings, picnics etc);
- variety of summer jewelry 
(collected over the years, many are made from natural materials like wood, shells, fruit seeds).

Shorts - Lane Bryant, canvas oxfords - Toms

Ocean View along the Highway 101

Then I thought that it would be wise to bring long sleeve tops in case it gets colder. I looked at my tops and blouses stash, and grabbed

- 2 denim tops;
- 2 fun vintage blouses.

I replaced some of the summer tops I chose before with those, which proved to be a great idea - both denim and vintage tops really picked up my style during this vacation. 

At the end, I used everything I brought except for 2 summer tops and the wool cardigan, as I mentioned before. Since all of my chosen items are made of light fabrics, they fit in one large shopping bag. I wore most of them more than once, enjoying different combinations. The accessories made it fun to mix and match. 

In this post, I wanted to show you the real working horse of my capsule wardrobe - my chambray shirt which I found brand new (with tags still attached) at my local Goodwill for only $3. I am usually not a big fan of denim shirts, but I happen to love this one - polka dots always make me happy. 

Hug Point near Cannon Beach, OR

To sum up my experience, I'd like to say that I felt most confident with the capsule wardrobe I created. You know me - I am not a fan of limitations in any way or form. When I traveled before, the idea of downsizing (significantly!) my options would be so appalling to me that I would almost not give any attention to my travel wardrobe, it was almost an afterthought. This time, I actually spent some time thinking about it and feeling excited by the fun options I gave myself. There is definitely no need to bring as many items with you on a 5 day trip, that's not my point. Obviously, I could get away with one or two pairs of pants and 2 or 3 tops and call it quits, especially given that I had a washer and dryer in my room. But I wanted to have fun with my style! I wanted to look forward to dressing up every day, and for that, I needed to have a few options to choose from. 

I will show you the rest of my outfits in the next post (Part 2). These outfits are all casual and relaxed, and some of the others will be for a dressier vacation situation. :)

Linking up with Tina's Pink Friday

* * *


  1. the dotted denim shirt is super cute - especially on you!!!
    fab find!!
    you created a perfect summer vac wardrobe. i would switch out the long pants with wide midi skirts - but all the other elements would make a great packing list for me to - and for any other woman!
    beautiful pics of the gorgeous landscapes! and you look pretty, relaxed and very chic in every photo!
    cant wait to see the other half! :-)
    hugs & kisses! <3 <3 <3

    1. Thank you, Beate! I would pack skirts if it wasn't for chafing - I haven't completely figured out that one yet. I needed to feel absolutely comfortable for all the walking we planned (and did). But I do love skirts - and you look amazing in your hiking skirts!

    2. oh no - i would´t say that everyone has to pack skirts!!! it´s just me :-) i really like your linen pants - on you!
      and i forgot to say that i really love your sentences about creating and editing! much creative people skip the second part, the editing, and then wonder......
      big hugs! xxxxxx

    3. On the Create/Edit part, I agree with you both, that editing is essential and that many creative people don't do it and then wonder at the lack of success in their results. Excellent thoughts here. :) Creativity Yay!

    4. I think it's such a simple and wise outlook on the creative process. Not JUST an inspiration, not JUST polishing - but BOTH! I am glad that it resonates with you, creative people. :)

  2. I like what you said about every creative process having two parts, the first being the creation and the second the editing. I agree with you. I often find it helpful to brainstorm a little and then when I have a lot of options, I can stop and decide which ones are the best ones. It is great you managed to convey that approach to packing for vacation...and from what I can see on these photographs, you did a great job.

    This capsule wardrobe you created is wonderful. I think my favourite item was that polka dots shirt. Polka dots make me happy to! I especially like how you paired that polka dot shirt with striped shorts, that's such a cute print mix. You look lovely in every photo...and I must say this place looks like a fantastic place to visit. Wonderful panorama and views...I can't wait to see more.

    Now, when I think of it, my husband and I don't go on typical vacations either. It's mostly stayaction over vacation for us. We often go on one day trips, but that's about it. I did spend one week with my grandmother and a friend of mine recently, so that was a full week...I packed all my things and then I decided to take all the clothes out and bring more books and food instead. It turns out that was a good idea because I spent most of my time on the beach reading or swimming. My friend Ivana (who went with me) was more than ok with my plans, we only went out two nights out of seven.... I just carried a few dresses, skirts and tops with me. Had I
    went somewhere where I would do more walking and sightseeing, I would probably carry more clothes with me because I would like to have a selection I can choose from, but as my vacation was all about the beach, I think it all worked out well.

    1. I remember my 2-week vacation when I was a young professional - my first adult vacation, to the Black Sea. Come to think of it, all I brought with me was 1 dress, two trousers+top sets, a swimsuit and maybe one home dress to hang out after all the beach time and exploring we did. At least, that's what I see on those old photos. And I was fine! I've never had as many clothes as I do today. Quantity is definitely not a necessity - it's a luxury, and I am thankful for that.

      I think often people perceive artists or creative types as intuitive types only, but in fact we do need both skills. I know that I analyze, and I am very good at it - but my process is probably very different from business analysis or something like it.

  3. Wow Natalia your vacation wardrobe is amazing and comfortable. You have good combinations for all weather by the sea.
    I love the pictures with hats. Wonderfull sea pictures. Thank you for link up :)
    Kisses Tina

  4. I love your vacation looks and how you remixed everything!

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!


  5. Hi, I was just reading your comments and I wear skirts instead of shorts because I'm not crazy about showing my thighs. I just make sure I have on longer-legged underwear. It comes down about mid-thigh so it stops the chafing. Hope that helps!


    1. Thank you for your advice, Julia. I think that's what our mothers and grandmothers used to wear, so yes, it works. I just never warmed up to this idea myself. :)

  6. Wow, do you have traveling down to an art form! Love what you are wearing and how you styled it,, simply, and with some small pieces for decoration. Loved how you described the creative process, so good for the mind and soul!
    Great suggestion for inn, love the water views and free breakfast and happy hour!
    Hmm. where IS my suitcase?
    xx, Elle

    1. I don't know about having it down to an art form quite yet, but I sure have fun exploring and experimenting, and sharing with you all. :) Thanks, Elle!

  7. Glad you had an enjoyable vacation and your travel wardrobe works perfectly . Love your spotted shirt and linen pants.I too love the joy of linen in the Summer. I find a pair of shorter leggings works for me under a skirt.( I have the same chafing problem).
    Love the shots of the scenery.Many thanks for your wise counsel on my retirement. xx

    1. Thank you, Jill! I experiment with anti-chafing creams this Summer. They are definitely a step in the right direction for me, but they don't work as well as I would like them to. Keep exploring. :)

  8. How perfect you mentioned Rodin - he's one of my favourite sculptors and when we were in Copenhagen in May we saw a couple of his magnificent sculptures in the Glyptotek Museum. Yes, he wasn't creating the piece from the material rather removing the material to reveal the piece underneath.

    Your polka dot shirt was perfect vacation wear. I have a yen for polka dots especially for summer as they are such fun.

    Glad you had a lovely break - the beach looks amazing. I could even feel the sand from just looking at the photo!

    1. The sand is especially soft and lovely there. Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

  9. Your three day breaks sound just the job.
    Finding the perfect travelling wardrobe takes time and experience. I've got my India wardrobe off to a fine art but packing for a weekend away in the UK is a serious ask - extremes of temperature mean I have to take more for three days than I would a month in India! xxx

    1. Five days - wahoo! :) It does make a difference.
      I agree with you! That is why I was bringing warm cardigans with me - layers are a must for a cooler climate.

  10. I think your vacation, and vacation capsule wardrobe, are fab. It's refreshing to edit down (words, music, clothing) if even for a short break from all the choices! Thanks for sharing, xox


    1. Thank you, Patti! Editing has always been a fun job for me (a former copy editor for years and years). Now it is a fresh look from the other side - as an artist.

  11. I can't decide if I like the orange or the white pants more. Both look so fabulous! I would love for you to link this post to my weekly fashion blogger link up if you get a chance.

    1. Thank you - both linen pants are fun to wear! I can't decide myself. :)) I will visit your link-up!

  12. Hi Natalia!! I'm encountering a million obstacles in leaving a comment! My mom fell again as I was typing my first one a few days ago, and now it looks like my husband has taken over my computer!! Anyway, I love your how-to concerning packing. I never get it right!! I especially love the pic with the denim shirt, white pants, and cross body bag. I would wear that outfit in a heartbeat. I'm always uplifted when I stop by your blog. Happy to see you looking well and enjoying life. Sending much love!!!!! ......Jean

    1. Dear Jean, so sorry about your Mom! Hope everything is well now.
      I am touched by your words - thank you, my dear! Sending you hugs and lots of love!

  13. That denim polka dot top is the absolute best. I'd wear it like alllllllllll the time, if I had it. Haha. It's so great. Goes with just about anything (and each style you showcased aptly demonstrates as much)!

    Also, I want to thank you for the amazing comment that you left on my blog. I'm super stoked that you like my style and that you liked it enough to share my blog with your young daughter (I am prone to the use of expletives, so I would bare that in mind, as a caveat hehe).

    I'm not sure what to do about the name pronunciation thing. I'm tickled that your daughter has the same name. I actually go by "Sushanna," but so many people get it wrong that I shortened it to "Anna," while keeping the original pronunciation. I guess the best advice I could give your daughter, would be to just keep introducing herself with the proper pronunciation and correct people who continually mess it up. Hopefully, they'll get the hint! If it still keeps happening, then I would say to just let it go. I *still* have people mispronounce "Anna," and I just go with it. :D

    Finally, I would be honored and humbled to be featured on your blog. Thank you so much for thinking of me in that way. You're free to use whatever photos from my blog that you like, though if you would like higher resolution photos, just send me an email through my contact page with links to the photos you like and I'll send them to you. :]

    Thanks, again! <3

    - Anna

    1. Thank you again, Anna, for your wonderful comment and advice - and warning me about the language, though I am not worried about it, Anna is a smart girl, and she'll figure it all out. :) Your advice on the name thing really helped.

      I am happy that you like the idea of your feature here - and I am so looking forward to this! :)

  14. love your chambray shirt, and I agree about polka dots, they make me smile!. It's a very versatile piece for a not-so-hot weather and easy to layer!, love every color combo you've created, and how you styled your hats and bijouterie!