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Big Peas! (New York)

by Nina Butler 23 Nov 2023 0 Comments

“Everything in America is big … even the peas!” Auguste Bartholdi (creator of the Statue of Liberty).

It’s been a while since we have taken a family holiday to a city destination.  We usually go somewhere warm and sunny which is easy to pack with swimwear and shorts etc, so when it came to packing for New York in early November a bit more thought was needed.  I hadn’t really realised just how much the temperatures swing out there – mornings just above freezing and the high temperatures later in the day being sometimes 10 degrees different to the day before – not just the difference to the start of the day!

The other factor to consider was that this was a trip to Manhattan – chic metropolis, bustling, arty iconic images spring to mind of Andy Warhol, scenes from films set in the city, celebrities strolling around Central Park with their coffees in hand and so many iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Wall Street and 5th Avenue for high end window shopping amongst a sea of people and honking yellow cabs.  Add to this the wailing sirens of NYPD and the giant tech screens in Times Square that literally are an assault on your senses!!   At the end of the day, Manhattan is also coastal with the Hudson River and the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean so its pretty windy too and a very cold wind at that!

Layers were definitely the way to go and a flexible capsule wardrobe to meet our itinerary of sight seeing, museums and fun activities with the kids, hopefully a bit of high end window shopping and a LOT of walking too!!

So you may be wondering what made it into the suitcase?  Definitely something a bit dressed up (just in case), something comfy to travel in, something for sightseeing, something that rocks the edgy urban feel of Manhattan and something to keep warm too!!! 

For travelling our ‘Kate’ carbon grey/black jeans with lurex detail on the waistband were the perfect choice especially as they are very high waisted and stretchy so very comfortable on a long flight.  Made from eco friendly materials, I wore them with the long 31 inch legs tucked under to ankle length with plain white platform trainers.   I love the slight fading to the front of the legs of these jeans as they really do enhance your silhouette making your legs look longer and slimmer too (particularly handy after all those large USA food portions I thought).

        

When layering you can’t go wrong with a plain top from our base layers range.  A wardrobe essential “must have” for anyone, that is timeless and versatile too.  I wore our V neck short sleeved ecru white tee that has some sparkly thread in the edging at the neck which helps to reflect light back to your face and brighten your complexion … and hopefully make you look a little less tired after a long flight!   Above this I opted for our 100% viscose stylish printed blouse with a floaty edge in slate grey and white (I call it our Spangle blouse as the print reminds me of the wrappers of those 80’s sweets!).  It’s a great blouse for making a statement, the mandarin collar is perfect for layering as there is nothing to get in the way of whatever you wear over it!  The long sleeves have ribbed knitted cuffs so when you push them up, they stay where you put them and don’t dangle in your food tray which you are trying to balance on the little table in front of you – not so bad for a window or aisle seat as you have elbow room on one side but if you are in the middle seat it can be very tricky to come out without wearing something from the food tray after trying to eat with your elbows glued to your sides like the tiny arms on a huge T Rex dinosaur!!!

                            

Over this I went for our Tweed Jacket – the statement decorative silver military style buttons are gorgeous and give the jacket a stylish retro look with a pleated front squared cut and classic shirt collar it’s the perfect jacket for any day or evening occasion and pairs equally well with jeans and a T for creating another look for another day.  

Don’t be afraid to mix prints when layering your outfits.  So long as you have the same colours in the prints and they are not too contrasting in the print sizes then the overall look will work for you.

For the whole trip I decided to stick with just one handbag and one belt option that would co-ordinate with everything.  Our black reversible padded bag has a designed style edge to it and is the ultimate “it” bag.  Perfectly practical worn on your shoulder or cross body style with beautiful chain handle detailing to make a statement wherever you go.  Definitely a “must have” accessory!  There is a little zip pocket on the outside of the bag which is great for anything quick access like a train ticket or a room key card and saves you having to have a rummage for anything in public view.

The cut out and stud luxurious belt in black is the perfect accent – the little cut outs mean you can fasten it wherever you like (perfect for loosening up after a meal with those big American size portions) but the little rivets in between give a sophisticated yet edgy “rock” look with a bit of class!

       

By far, the most versatile piece (and most worn item of clothing I took) was a bit of a last minute addition rather than part of the pre-packing plan!  This is the long typography coat in midnight blue and greige.  The blue is so dark that it is almost black so co-ordinated perfectly with the monochrome theme for the items in the suitcase.    The coat has a shawl collar for timeless elegance and huge patch pockets – perfect for keeping your hands warm!     Super cozy wool mix and stylish too the exquisite typography details give a sophisticated yet luxurious look that literally turns heads (in a good way).  Not only was this coat the “lifesaver” of the trip for those unexpected just above freezing mornings, it is unlined so is quite lightweight and I wear mine oversized for timeless elegance so no – I didn’t look like that episode of Friends where Joey is wearing all his clothes at the same time!!!! It wasn’t bulky over other layering pieces at all.  If the weather warmed up, it was off and carried over arm without being a nuisance and also came in handy rolled up into a ball as an extra pillow on the night flight coming home too!  

No visit to New York is complete without a stroll through Central Park.  Seeing the autumnal “fall” colours in the leaves of the trees and the reflections of the light on the water were so beautiful.  There were many squirrels about and so very brave too!  Not at all bothered by the tourists trying to stroke them as they were nibbling their acorns!!!!

There was a lot of walking on the cards on the day that we visited the park and needed an outfit that was a bit dressed up for later as we were due to be out all day and into the evening too. 

I went for our black urban chic trousers as the subtle elegance in the weighted fabric allows you to dress them up or down.  Straight cut and sleek details like the fake pockets positioned to your rear so that your butt doesn’t look big, slanted Italian pockets in a tailored menswear style add a little bit of sophisticated style whilst the cargo style pocket on the outside of one knee gives that work to leisure feel.  I love them!!! They are so comfortable to wear and sit so nicely too for a lasting impression.

I dressed them down with our high top lace up heart trainers in black and white - they go with so many outfits in the collection and a real favourite for fashion lovers of the basketball “converse” style.

Up top I went for a bit of sophistication with an oversize pearl necklace and our white bi-material shirt for a modern take on a classic style.  I think I had that Audrey Hepburn “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” iconic image in my head, but putting a twist to it by not wearing a classic little black dress!!! 

The shirt has gorgeous pearl effect buttons to the sleeves and concealed front button fastening to keep the look captivating and utterly timeless with an elegant collar.  Again, this is another “must have” wardrobe essential piece for casual chic.  Its eco-designed from our Planet Tortue range too!

I rounded off the look with our Urban Chic range jacket in black.  This has the same luxuriously flowing feel as the trousers but the fully lined jacket has more of a baseball jacket style.  There is a hidden front zip fastening, buttoned cuffs and piped pockets with sportswear inspiring the hood and drawstring hemline.

For the interactive museum visits with the kids I opted for items from our Army Chic range paired with our charcoal grey/black “Kate” jeans and mobile phone holder worn cross body beneath the jacket.

     

Our black heart Jumper is a fine knit in the style of long sleeved T but warmer, a bit more elegant and has exquisite little metal heart shaped buttons across the neckline.  I love our reversible pieces as they give a different feel to your outfit depending on how you wear them and this knit can be worn two ways – one just as a v neck with the buttons at the neckline or reverse it and wear with the slightly lower neckline and a crossover top style of detail adorned with those sweet little heart buttons!

I paired the jumper with our bi material khaki and black army jacket – if you love a bit of military style you will love it!!  It features a sophisticated blend of contrasting materials with a removable super soft and silky faux fur collar that epitomizes a bit of luxury (and saves you wearing a scarf as it is soooo snug).  It makes a statement with patch pockets on the chest and fake piped pockets on the front with buttons at the cuffs of the long sleeves.  The jacket is straight cut with parts in khaki and others in black so you have lots of options of how you can wear it as it pairs with so many other pieces in the collection  AND it sits nicely below the typography coat if you want a bit of extra warmth!

More sight seeing later in the trip called for our wide leg trousers in storm grey.  The pattern is a bit like a faded out tweed kind of style.  The waistband has a dark mustard mounted belt detail to it and there are internal waist adjusters to get the perfect fit.  These trousers are lined for comfort (and warmth) and again, move beautifully as you walk.  I dressed them down with our ecru base layers tee and white trainers by day for a timelessly elegant classic sophisticated look but they are perfect for any occasion really from a day at the office with boots and a plain dark jacket, or to a night out with a pair of strappy heels and our gorgeous black silk camisole. 

The camisole is another wardrobe staple for exquisite “French style” elegance.  Its definitely a timeless classic investment piece for the fashion savvy adding a touch of luxury to your wardrobe for an effortless and exclusive look.  Delicately crafted with lace on the neckline and armholes, the straps are “swimmer style” crossback for extra interest and there is a small side slit and straight cut to the main body of the piece.  This was my “dressed up” element for the suitcase as it takes barely any room at all and looks fab with just a jacket over the top.

Overall the monochrome capsule collection worked well for our trip and there was something in there for the warmer moments as well as the cooler moments.  Unfortunately my suitcase was the biggest of our family given all the extra kit I had packed for running the New York City Marathon and it came back a bit heavier with the addition of my lovely gold coloured finishers medal which was worn with pride around the city the day after, on the plane and also all the way home to Cornwall !! 

 

Angela x

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