chic or geek

a mildly aspirational blog of my life, times, and taste


what to pack for Paris?

styleAnna KellerComment

packing can be difficult, especially if it's for a week or a little more.  there are so many items that you could need.  what if your shoes hurt your feet or the sole falls off in the middle of a cobblestone street?  is one fancy outfit enough?  how many sets of pjs do you need?  what if the weather is all over the place?

luckily, I got pretty good at packing last year when I was wandering all over Europe.  for my two week adventure I managed to fit my life into one small rolling bag and purse.  and I think that Paris is pretty accepting if you decide to wear the same pair of black jeans 4 days in a row or if your hair hasn't been washed in 3 days.  isn't that just part of the je ne sais quois that Parisian style is all about?

it's easiest to just pack a bunch of your favorite things that all easily mix and match and are perfect for layering.  when I think of Paris, all I want to wear are flat riding boots, black jeans, a navy polka dot blouse, black cardigan, a slouchy grey hat, and a black wool jacket to top it all off.  I'll stuff my leopard prints scarf in my black purse along with my Canon Rebel and a tube of red lipstick.  easy, right?  and these are all things I already have (and may have purchased at Zara the last time I was in France) and I know that I'll be comfortable, warm, and hopefully my American-ness won't stick out like a sore thumb.

and, non, exercise clothes are NOT on my list.  I plan to walk off the pounds of macarons & baguettes by wandering around the Louvre, thank you very much.

all images can also be found on my Tumblr

stockholm syndrome

adventure, styleAnna KellerComment

tomorrow morning I am jetting off even further north to Stockholm, Sweden for a 3 day weekend.  I won't be eating any reindeer, but I am excited to go to Ice Bar and dance in the discotheques of the nation that produced ABBA. when I started to think about what I should pack for this trip, I got a little panicky.  I'm already getting really tired of my super-edited wardrobe, and wearing the same pieces over and over is making a few of them show their age.

so I did what any rational person would do: go shopping!  after class, I hit up Zara for something chic, easy to pack, and appropriate in the land of Acne and Cheap Monday.  plus these will serve me well as I travel to Berlin and Paris next week (if I justify it enough, then it doesn't do any damage to my bank account).

2 easy, flowy black blouses from Zara, one with polka dots, one not.  I can breathe easy now.

once I added these 2 pieces to my closet options, packing got a whole lot easier.

a sea of black, greys, stripes, and polka dots, all from H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, and American Apparel, with the exception of my favorite vintage leopard print mini dress.

so now that I've got the packing thing out of the way, I can start planning what we should do there.

do you have any must-see destinations for me in Stockholm?

packing up

styleAnna KellerComment

today marks  my last full day here in the States before I jet off to Copenhagen for a semester.  I have loads to do: calling credit card companies, picking up mascara, cramming as many pairs of socks as I can into my bags...and picking out which nail polishes to bring with me.  it's tough to decide which colors I should limit myself to for the next few months.  I don't know if I'm going to want to sport red nails in November, or if the cold, cloudy afternoons of December will leave me craving a burst of gold on my toes.  either way, I think I'm prepared with the following selections.

Confetti (Debutante) -- Essie (Ballerina Pink) -- Sally Hansen (Cherry Red)

Sally Hansen (Gunmetal) -- Sally Hansen (Thinking of Blue) -- American Apparel (Peacock) -- Confetti (Lonesome Dove)

I have yet to print out my visa letter to enter Denmark.  obviously, I have my priorities in order.


styleAnna KellerComment

I've been doing a lot of planning and thinking about what I want to pack for my upcoming trip to Copenhagen.  I've become a much smarter, lighter packer in recent years, and I want to be as mobile and efficient as possible on this journey.  I will stay within my 2 checked bag limit and try my best not to cram either one with more than 50 lbs of my favorite jeans, leggings, cardigans, sunglasses, slippers, flats, boots, jackets, yoga pants, hair products, hats, leather shorts...

like I said, I will try my best.

instead of learning common Danish phrases, I've been thinking deep thoughts about which jacket I should bring.  should I pack my new black knee-length wool duffle coat with toggles?  or should I layer as much as possible under my shearling-lined moto jacket (no worries, it's vegan)?  will my beloved grey equestrian boots survive the journey?  or will they fail and force me to buy some overpriced European version?  since I know I'll never grow tired of them, should I only pack striped shirts and slouchy grey sweatshirts? and no matter what, my LL Bean moccasin slippers are coming with me in my carry-on.

I do know that I want to keep my jewelry pretty simple.  I'll only pack my favorite silver turquoise rings to match my silver charm bracelet and silver menswear style watch.  I also ordered these tiny perfect gold hoops, which I hope will only leave my ears when I decide to wear something big and flashy for a night out.  I bought this same set about a year ago, and I gradually lost each and every hoop as I tossed in my sleep.  they're only $15 for this gold plated set, though, so replacing them isn't a huge deal.  I really like the classic but slightly edgy look of having 2 stacked hoops in each of my double pierced ears.

experienced travelers: do you have any packing wisdom to share?