You’ve seen what I can do with wondering what to wear, so you can imagine that wondering what to pack—essentially wondering what to wear in advance, in a foreign setting—is an extensive endeavor.
But I’ve done it. I’m composing this post from an airplane that left LaGuardia just after dawn, headed towards Telluride, Colorado, an old mining town turned ski village where I’ll spend the next several days on the slopes. I think I was in middle school the first time I saw Telluride and I was totally spellbound—not just by the town’s stupendous setting (nestled in a high-walled box canyon) but by the style of its residents.
Each day, to reach the mountain, we walked through a parking lot where a bump-top Volkswagen Westfalia, with the requisite Grateful Dead stickers, was parked, it’s owner likely still sleeping inside behind the little printed curtains. Growing up in St. Louis, the coolest older sisters in my life (other than my own, of course) were Colorado-bound Deadheads, and Telluride was my first exposure to the species in their element. I was in love.
I bought a tee-shirt from “Baked in Telluride,” where I would walk post-skiing for hot chocolate, and wore it winkingly well into high school. (Sadly, I just found this news, that the bakery burned to the ground only a few weeks ago.) I would love to tell you I chose these memories as inspiration when I packed my bag, but it wouldn’t be true. The fact that my wardrobe for the week to come could have been pulled straight from my high school style file was entirely unconscious.
Today I’m wearing a grey cotton dress with a patchwork placket over hunter green tights and olive green Converse. (Eva—the ones you bought me in Brazil, love!) I’ve got my rainbow-blankety scarf and my pumpkin-colored Patagonia down jacket to keep me warm.
This look extends to the rest of the suitcase. From mom’s archives I’ve got ski pants—vintage navy Obermeyers with suspenders and little over-the-boot bells (incredible) and the above alpaca sweater (previously photographed in its “Christmas sweater” capacity) that I have lived in all winter. The tag reads “Horn’s of St. Louis,” so we’re really in keeping with the Midwestern-mountain-bound hippie theme. A couple New Zealand merino fine-knit undershirts made the cut as well, as did this turquoise and coral necklace.
What didn’t make the cut is equally revealing. It’s much more difficult, for me anyway, to leave something behind, than to toss it in the bag. Unless of course, that something is a pair of behemoth goat hair boots.
D&G F/W2010 from Style.com
First of all, picture airport security. They may have tried to nab them, tranquilize them and put them in a cage. Secondly, I kept picturing myself rolling into Telluride like Harry and Lloyd arriving in Aspen—just a little overstated. I thought better to try to mix in with the locals.
So, I left my shaggingest après-ski boots at home in favor of my sister’s old Vasque hiking boots. I did however, just open my purse to find my coyote earmuffs—a gift from an old co-worker. You can take the girl out of New York…