What to wear/pack... Part 7

Old Sep 5th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Time to talk clothes, and first I'll describe what I'll wear on the plane (on the eastbound, nightime, transatlantic leg). Before I show you, though, I need to tell you that I'm claustrophobic. So the tight quarters in a plane make me a bit edgy, and the least little bit of extra stress along those lines makes it very difficult indeed. Factors that make me feel more claustrophobic include all sorts of things: cabin too warm, turbulence (I once had a really bad, really lengthy experience with turbulence), a full bladder (or just the idea that I won't be able to empty it once it is full), and clothes that are too tight or that I can't take off easily.

And now you're thinking, this woman takes her clothes off on planes? Well, no, but knowing that I could (without even standing up) is comforting. Over the years I've worn various sorts of ensembles, and these days find that my favorite is a dress. Here's an example of the sort of dress that I like (in brown rather than black so that you can see the detail better):

http://www.pineconehill.com/product/view/AWKEDCH

The careful observer will note that this item is manufactured by a company that specializes in sheets and pajamas. The dress itself is not intended as pajamas, and the clothing line "Willow Knit" has coordinating tops and trousers and so forth, but it's very soft, and very comfortable.

I'll wear it in black, with black tights (no control top) and black knee-high boots. I actually bought this dress at Zappo's, in black, brown, and dark pink. I wore the brown last week and the dark pink today, and got compliments both days.

I just love wearing my pajamas to work. ;-)
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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Oh, and if any of you want some more tips on dealing with claustrophobia in this setting, just ask.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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Therese-That's a very cute dress. What is the fabric like? Is it like t-shirt knit material?
I like their willow knit "bathrobe" which looks like a wrap dress too.

I prefer pants on flights because I like to put my feet up whenever possible and I don't want to be concerned about exposing myself. ;-)

I'm right there with you on the claustrophobia and the full bladder fears though. I'm usually cold, so I usually wear a light t-shirt, cashmere sweater (zip hoodie) and bring a coat and scarf if I'm going where it will be cold.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 07:27 PM
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Love to see your recos Therese. That's a very cute dress and I'd love to know how clingy. I envision you very svelte and wondering how it might work on early 40s size 10.

I'm very claustrophobic myself -- nearly panicked and hyperventilated trying to take off a beaded dress one size too small in a fitting room once upon a time and about had to had to bolt out of an overcrowded bus in Madrid many moons ago. (A bit hungover might have had something to do with it, of course I was much younger -- law school days; fortunately sitting between a window and a very good friend.) Not really an option on a plane but I try not to fly hungover (these days anyway). Might as well be comfy I say and that dress looks so very comfy AND stylish.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 07:52 PM
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I am claustrophobic, afraid of heights, terrified of flying and I get motion sick. I hate wearing tight-fitting clothes and layering would be difficult for me on the plain. I love the vest idea. I put all of my fears aside and travel anyway because it is worth it. I cracked up laughing about how knowing that you could extract yourself from clothing quickly was a comforting feeling That's too funny.

For motion sickness, I discovered that ginger root taken as part of my daily regimen helps a lot. I still have to take dramamine on the plane, but for riding in cabs and trams, the ginger root helps.

I take my microfiber neck pillow everywhere I go. It's the only pillow I use and I get them really cheap at the discount stores. I tried all of the expensive pillows and found these cheapos to be best for me. I haven't had trouble carrying it on the plane in my hand on any of my flights. I have never flown with RyanAir though.

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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 05:23 AM
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Wow, sounds like claustrophobia really rang a bell. Nice to know I'm not alone. Love the story about the beaded dress, Molloy95. I've been in similar situations, most notably at a Karen Millen store (where the dresses tend to the very structured, and have all sorts of hidden zippers). I find myself looking for dresses that have full zippers (all the way up to either the neckline, or the sleeve hole if it's sleeveless) rather than those little ones that just create enough room for you to squeeze the item over your head.

I've heard that ginger is good for nausea, modglila, so I may try that, but in general I don't have much motion sickness. It happens, but not so frequently that I think too much about it. The thought of flying hungover is, um, unpleasant.

How do you take the ginger? Just grate some fresh root?

Anyway, here's what I do for claustrophobia.

1. Always get an aisle seat. On the very, very rare occasions on which I've had to fly very last minute and thereby couldn't book an aisle, some kind soul has agreed to switch with me. I only ask if the flight is a short one, as otherwise it seems like too much of an imposition. If this happened on a long flight I'd either have to deplane or ask the flight attendant to help (not an issue so far).

2. Always fly larger planes. I deliberately choose routes that are served by larger planes rather than small ones. Sometimes this doesn't work out, though, and I'm stuck dealing with tight quarters.

3. Always have water available. Not just to drink, but also to apply to a paper towel that I can use to keep myself cool. I learned this trick from a Delta flight attendant. I was on my way to New York, seated towards the back of a crowded medium-sized commuter plane. We ended up having to wait on the ground, without air conditioning. I started taking off my clothes (no, not right down to my underwear, but close) and fanning myself, and within seconds this very efficient woman was at my elbow holding out a glass of water and a wet towel. And then she stayed there with me, chatting.

4. Get distracted. As we all know, phobias are all about perception, and if I can get my mind off my physical response it really helps. I find that talking to somebody else is far and away the best distraction, and I will simply turn to the person next to me and ask that they talk to me, explaining why. If there's a flight attendant nearby I'll talk to him/her. Weirdly enough, talking about the claustrophobia makes it seem much less problematic.

5. Find the airsick bag. Knowing that it's at hand makes me much less anxious about the possibility of throwing up. You may want to reassure the person next to you (if you've been chatting him up and explaining about your claustrophobia) that it's just a precaution, and that you've really no intention whatsoever of puking next to him.

On one particularly memorable occasion I'd gotten queasy from the meal, and realized that I really was going to throw up. There was no bag in the pocket in front of me, so I hurried back to the galley where all the flight attendants were hanging out and asked for an airsick bag. One of them handed it to me and then they all got to watch me be ill. Better them than the other passengers, I suppose. I no longer eat airline food.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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The Willow Knit dress I showed upthread is made of a very soft knit (mostly or all cotton, I think), softer than most T-shirts, and it drapes really well. So unless you get a size that's too small you should be able to avoid what I call the "cats in a sack" effect. I tend to "order up" when it comes to knit dresses, and when one of the reviewers at Zappo's mentioned that she'd found the sleeves and bodice too tight (describing her arms as looking "like hams&quot, I actually ordered a large. I think I could have managed with the medium (I'm wearing a U.S. 8 or 10 these days) but the large gives me extra fabric that makes my hips less obvious. The bodice is consequently a bit lower cut, but not so much that I'll create a scandal. It's a bit longer than many of my dresses (I'm 5'6", and it falls to the bottom of my knees), so that adds to the slimming effect, and also means that I'm less likely to flash anybody if I put my feet up, as Kristina points out. Since I'm typically wearing tights it's not a big deal if a dress creeps up to mid-thigh.

It held up well to machine washing.

I am, for the record, several years senior to Molloy95's early 40s, and I'm a lot less svelte today than I was even two years ago, I'm afraid.

In the end, of course, you just have to try it for yourself. Zappo's has the world's easiest return system (and incredibly fast delivery), so I order from them without worrying that something won't fit. Less trouble than schlepping out to the mall, for sure.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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I just looked at that dress on Zappos and it's $92. So I guess you are paying $14 for the "free" shipping, since the "suggested" price on the Pine Cone website is $78.
Zappos lists it at 95% bamboo and 5% spandex.
Interesting at on the Zappos website it looks like it hits above the knee, but at 5'6" you said it falls to below the knee. This means for me, at 5'4" it would be pretty long.

BTW Therese, do the knee high boots you take traveling have a high heel or a flat one? I've been trying to find a good, <i>comfortable</i> pair with a short (under 2&quot wide heel. Ideas?
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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BTW, my most about about the cost of the dress and shipping was not not meant to be critical, just breaking it down for myself.
The dress is cute, but out of my budget. Plus, they now only have it in XS on Zappos.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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OMG, it's just too early. That should read, &quot;my post above&quot; not &quot;my most about&quot;. Doh!
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 08:13 AM
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Hi Therese - love your packing threads!

I have a pair of tall black boots that I've worn for hundreds of miles and 2 trips to Europe. They're waterproof, equestrian style, a Canadian company called Blondo. Sometimes they're on Sierra Trading Post for amazing prices. (Sadly mine were full price, local comfort shoe store.) I wear them with an insert - Superfeet. The heel is about an 1.25&quot;, latex soles, wide enough for cobbles. Perfect for trips.

I like them so much I know have Blondo boots in 3 styles: tall black, short black, tall brown suede. All are waterproof and warm.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Thanks, rosetravels. I had to laugh when I read your description of all your Blondo boots, as I have possibly the world's largest privately held collection of boots. No Blondo's yet, but they may soon be joining the club. I live in Atlanta, so waterproof and/or insulated boots aren't in particularly high demand. I've got one really cute pair of short red boots that are lined and I can't wear them as often as I'd like because they're too hot.

As for the knee-high boots that I'll taking with me travelling, the answer is &quot;both.&quot; I generally take one pair of low heel and one pair of high heel. The low heel ones that I'm taking this trip are made by Lumiani, and aren't available at the moment. I kick myself at least once a day for not ordering them in brown (as well as black) when they were available, as they are cute, comfortable, and have held up well.

The high heel (probably about 2 1/2&quot;, so not really all that high) pair is made by (I think) Joan &amp; David. I've had them for several years as well.

Because boots tend to be on the pricier side, and the styles (at least the ones that I like) are so classic, it's worth it to take them to the cobbler and keep them in good shape. People are likely tired of seeing me in them, but they'll get over it.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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I noticed the price discrepancy between Pine Cone Hill site and Zappo's, but since I'd already bought them decided not to worry about it any more. Whenever I compare ordering from Zappo's and directly from, say, Naturalizer, Zappo's wins on total price (shipping + tax). When it comes to actually leaving the house and driving to a shopping mall, Zappo's is an even better deal.

I need to go figure out what clothes I'm actually taking on this trip.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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All this Boot discussion has me going crazy.
I'd really like to buy a pair before my trip to Paris in October.
Waterproof appeals to me because of the possibility of rain.

I currently have 9 different pairs (incl. 2 Lumiani) saved on Zappos and there are three pairs of Blondos (thanks rosetravels) I'm considering on the Sierra trading Post website. Yikes. My biggest dilemma is the height of the heel. I want to look good and &quot;fashionable&quot;, but it also needs to work as a shoe I can wear all day long, walking about as a tourist.

Therese I am interested to see what you choose to pack for clothes (and shoes) for this trip.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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Kristina, you may have already found this site, but Zapppo's apparently operates a separate site where they put shoes on sale, especially if they don't have too many of them left. Depending on your size you may have luck there.

http://www.6pm.com/
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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My groovy eye shades have arrived!

The look and feel exactly like a strapless bra, if you were going make a silky black strapless bra to fit around, say, a schnauzer.

Fortunately I don't have a schnauzer, so everybody's safe.

I like the strap, as it's adjustable (with Velco) and wide enough that I dont think it will pose a problem with cutting into the tops of my ears.

Stopped by RadioShack this morning and got my volume control for my headphones as well.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 01:16 PM
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Therese,

Are you saying you don't check a bag? If so, I can't imagine how you get all that stuff into your carryon. I don't take jeans with me because they are too bulky. I'm a beginner traveler. I packed lighter this last time and had better luck, but still took a backpack carryon and a very small checked suitcase. I have a piece of medical equipment that has to go in my carryon so that takes up some room, but I'm admiring all of you that take boots on your trips. I take only the shoes on my feet. Obviously, I don't get much variety. I wear sneakers and capris or shorts with T-shirts for the most part; not very fashionable. I haven't gone anywhere on my whopping two trips where I needed to dress up.

The ginger root is in the form of a capsule and I splurge and get them from GNC instead of Wal-Mart. I get indigestion from the Wal-Mart brand.

I also hate the small planes. The first plane out of St. Louis is always small. I get very light-headed and dizzy until I get situated in my seat. I travel with a friend and she always takes the window seat for me. She always wants me to look out the window, but I say no thank you. I try to pretend that I'm riding on a bus or something. It doesn't work well, but I have to try. If there is a delay at the airport, I get more worked up than if we can just scuttle about from flight to flight without time to think about it. On the overseas flights, I just take volume and sleep.

My next trip is next summer and I will own one of those vests with all of the pockets. I bought a GPS for this last trip and it was a lot more than the vest. By the way, I loved having the GPS. We could plug in our hotel and then at night when it was dark, we didn't have to worry about getting out a map to find our way home. We just turned on the GPS and brought up the map. It is the best travel-related purchase I've ever made even though it was $500. It makes my husband feel better with me travling without him. I helped a young girl find a hostel that was close too. That definitely adds to the spendature justification....helping strangers along the way.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Hello Therese, I love that dress! I think I have mentioned to you that I always wear a dress for any flight longer than two hours. Wearing pants is such a trauma (well at least for me) when having to use the airplane bathroom as usually the bathroom floor is so nasty. I have a few soft cotton knit dresses that are great to wear when flying. The owner of the dress store I purchased them from called the material &quot;cotton cashmere&quot;. Sounds like your dress matches that description.

I am wondering, do your boots ever &quot;bother&quot; you on a long flight? My feet don't really swell up but somehow I am wondering if boots would begin to feel a bit binding when sitting on the plane for hours. I do love boots though!
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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Kristina - you need boots for Paris I'm sure of it. I was there the last two winters and everyone was wearing boots.

Another brand I like is Santana. They make lovely, waterproof tall boots (Zappos.) It's another Canadian boot company: they know winter. I prefer the Blondo simply for the natural latex soles - I'm convinced it puts a spring in my step.

Loveitaly - my favorite boots are a little roomy and I wear them on the plane so I don't have to pack them.

Therese - I love that dress - it looks flattering.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Ok, I have narrowed down my choices to the following 3 pairs of boots.
Therese, since you are the self-professed &quot;boot queen&quot; I would love your opinion (or anyone else's for that matter).

1. Bandolino
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7473757/c/72.html

2.Clarks
http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7414624/c/72.html

3.Blondo
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,...For-Women.html
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