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Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Weekender: Simple style + Travel tips

Weekends away are kind of the things that I live for. Obviously Europe offers slightly more versatility in terms of destinations in close proximity, but even if you live in Australia, doesn't mean you can't roadtrip to new place (East Coast wise: Terrigal, Blue Mountains, Jarvis Bay...We're living in heaven here).


However, this article isn't rigidly and exclusively applicable to weekenders, most of these ideas and tips work for virtually any form of travel (perhaps not backpacking through Asia though...).

Since you're going away for a short time, you need to downscale on the amount of things you're taking. Clutter is only going to be frustrating to sift through while your away (not to mention pack and unpack). Think basics you can easily pair with other items, but also think practicality. While I will show items I would take for this season (Winter/Spring), the main idea remains the same all year round: Basic and neutral. You're travelling, you're exploring, you're relaxing. Find clothes that match your destination. If you're exploring the forests of Canada, I highly doubt your new patent leather Oxfords should find their way into your bag. If I were visiting another metropolitan wonderland for the weekend, here are a few items I'd consider taking:

© Margot Alais

A basic, beige coloured parka, simple enough to dress up or down, due to it's cut, colour and fabric.

© Margot Alais

The collar can be unzipped to reveal a rain-proof hood, and tucked away when not needed.

© Margot Alais

You can cinch the jacket at the waist or wear it loose-fitting. Either way the cut is great for all sizes.

© Margot Alais

Simple button down in breathable fabric, with a slightly thicker cotton. I love this shirt, and I wear it in so many different ways, for one of my favourites, click here.

© Margot Alais

© Margot Alais

Classic cable knit sweater in a dirty beige.

© Margot Alais

Simple brown leather flats, with gold zipper detailing on the heel.

© Margot Alais

For everything beauty related, keep it simple. Aim for nudes, earth tones and any multi-usage products. As for shower products, it is possible to buy mini sizes of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel etc. (or do the cheaper option, and pour already owned products into smaller tubes, which is what I do). You also want a makeup bag that is medium sized (let's be realistic, small makeup bags just aren't enough) and that fits everything inside. Having separate bags for shower and makeup products is just a recipe to overpack on the beauty end of things.

© Margot Alais

Really nice fresh fragrance, not too overpowering and ideal all year around as an everyday scent.

© Margot Alais

Cream blush is a really good product to have, you can double it up as a lip colour and looks a lot more natural than power blush. 

© Margot Alais

Above: Benefit Gimme Brow, a really good brow gel with small fibres for fuller looking brows, easy to apply  and it has a really natural finish. Below: Camomilla makeup bag, a really good shape and size to fit in your beauty products, skincare, shower products etc.

© Margot Alais

If you're catching a plane, you want to get in and out of the airport with ease, so if you can, bring a bag or suitcase small enough to have as a carry on. If you're taking a train or a car, you have slightly more freedom. As a rule, get a simple, good quality, dark coloured bag, for the sake of preventing scruff marks and ensuring durability. A classic design also means you'll have it for years to come, and isn't that just the thing we want to hear to justify our splurges? My go-to weekender bag:

© Margot Alais

The bag measures in length about a metre, and depth a little over 30cm. The outside has a fusion of a thick "wind-breaker" like fabric, and leather detailing. Super durable and practical. If you're willing to splurge, this is a great versatile bag, not to mention well made. 

© Margot Alais

One last piece of advice: This one time, my phone went dead at the beginning of the day, and I had no way to charge it. I don't want to freak you guys out but... I made it through this nightmarish ordeal, in one INTACT piece. 

No really. Bring as little technology as possible. Phones might seem like a must, but your entire collection of Apple products, aren't. Limiting yourself to your phone and your camera (okay fine, your iPod can come along) won't actually equate to you falling off the edge of the social world. You can't exactly live in the moment if you're constantly trying to capture it with social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...They (and their users) will live without you for a weekend. Take it from me, as a blogger and an obsessed Instagramer (I'm not proud).



Now the question is, where to go next...

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