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Q. I love your website- and especially love reading your advice.  So here’s my question for you: I will be traveling to Iceland in May. During this trip I will also be traveling to England, Scotland and Ireland. Can you recommend what to pack for such diverse climates, an easily totable bag since I will be frequently on the move, and a stylish jacket that will keep the wind out and keep me warm without looking like the marshmallow man?  I’m in my early 30s-and certainly do not want to look like a tourist! 
-Don’t want to pack a million bags

A. I’ve been to all of these countries and I can attest to a need for a coat in all four, though you will need more protection in Iceland. I visited Iceland several years ago during the month of July when they had finally cut a path through the snow up to the ice covered lands and glaciers. If you stay in Reykjavik, you can get away with a warm wool or cashmere blend coat and warm layers. Stick to a 3/4 length coat that hits just above or below your knees so your butt is covered for more warmth. Cashmere or wool blend knee socks, thin layers that insulate like silk long underwear, tights and cashmere turtleneck sweaters  are a must to pack.

For the European countries, you’ll get a chance to enjoy Spring. Bring a small umbrella (there’s a reason it’s so green, it rains for short periods often.) The coat design should be simple so it matches more of your wardrobe and can be worn open in warmer temps. Keep it out of your bag so you have more room for clothes and toiletries. Pack only essential toiletries. Wear your boots or sneakers on the plane so you again save room in your bag. A blazer style jacket or short thin trench can work double duty as an indoor jacket when worn with a t-shirt or button down and as outerwear when layered with a sweater underneath.

Here are some coat options including a parka with a zip out lining to help you temperature adjust:

DKNY Coats Double Breasted Wool Coat Steve Madden Metallic City Parka with Removable LinerLarry Levine Single-Breasted CoatKenneth Cole Notch-Collar Trench Coat

1. DKNY Coats Double Breasted Wool Coat, $209.98 at bloomingdales.com
2.  Steve Madden Metallic City Parka with Removable Liner, $148 at nordstrom.com
3. Larry Levine Single-Breasted Coat, $141 (sale) at macys.com
4. Kenneth Cole Notch-Collar Trench Coat, $255 (sale) at macys.com

I’m assuming since you’re looking for a totable bag, you plan to do some laundry along the way since you’ll be visiting so many places. Here are some options:

Gloria Vanderbilt Luggage Lightweight 21" Expandable Carry-On Rolling UprightFilson Extra Large Outfitter BagA. Saks EXPANDABLE 21" Expandable Carry On

5. Gloria Vanderbilt Luggage Lightweight 21" Expandable Carry-On Rolling Upright, $59.99 at ebags.com
6. Filson Extra Large Outfitter Bag, $365 at ebags.com
7. A. Saks EXPANDABLE 21" Expandable Carry On, $59.95 at ebags.com

Q. I am going to France with my girlfriends in November and trying to figure out what clothes to take with me that are comfortable for travel/exploring, but also fashionable enough that I don’t feel like a total dork in France.  And I need boots that are comfortable yet stylish and maybe the same standards for a pair of walking shoes? I am 24, so I do not have much money to spend.
-French Fashion

A. Well you certainly want to be fashionable, but not overdone.  Stick to classics and you’ll be successful in fitting in with the French. Pack thin merino or cashmere turtleneck sweaters or v-necks to layer over button down shirts. Dark jeans, denim trousers, wool-lined pants like a nubby tweed pair and a dress that can easily transition from day to evening. Layer the dress with a sweater and wide belt for day and wear alone with great accessories at night. Add a fitted stylish blazer jacket, one that isn’t meant for a suit. Pack one solid colored coat for the whole trip with a hem that hits just above or a few inches below your knee so it will work with your entire packed wardrobe. If you choose to bring an additional outerwear piece, then go with a fab leather jacket.

Keep accessories simple—leather gloves, a pretty scarf and a wrap to wear with your dress at night if it’s chilly indoors. Pack a few fun jewelry pieces like an enamel bracelet, charm or beaded necklace and an oversized ring plus a few sets of varying size earrings. You’ll need a day bag with pockets inside to carry camera, credit cards, sunglasses, etc. and a clutch for evening. And certainly get ready to treat yourself to a few items over there. While the US dollar is not strong in France, a girl has got to do a little shopping when with girlfriends!

Here are a few suggestions for your feet that will look tres chic with just about anything you pack:

'Edie' shearling-filled boot,'Stella' bootKenneth Cole Reaction Make Love

1. ‘Edie’ shearling-filled boot, $225 at bananarepublic.com
2. ‘Stella’ boot, $248 at bananarepublic.com
3. Kenneth Cole Reaction Make Love, $159 at piperlime.com

Simple, toned down “sneakers” for walking when you want to give your boots a rest. These work while athletic sneakers won’t do.

Poetic Licence Desert StarCole Haan Air Kayden SneakerCole Haan Air Keegan Slipon

4. Poetic Licence Desert Star, $70 at piperlime.com
5. Cole Haan Air Kayden Sneaker, $152.06 at zappos.com
6. Cole Haan Air Keegan Slipon, $168.95 at zappos.com

Q. I’ve just taken a new position with a company that will require quite a bit of business travel. Any tips for a girl that will soon be lugging a laptop to multiple cities?
-Hotel Hopping

Ibiza Convertible Flight ToteA. I, too, am a girl on the go and have learned several ways to try to make life a little more comfortable while visiting multiple cities. Get yourself a good bag that has multiple pockets for just about everything. With pockets you’ll be able to find essentials faster. And consider skipping a leather bag since it will get scuffed up faster with all the shoving underneath the seat in front of you on the plane. I used to buy a new big bag each season at TJ Maxx or Marshalls since they have so many designer labels, but I’d be bummed when they got dirty. I have been using a travel bag from Hayden-Harnett for the last six months and it’s worked like a charm. Plus, it fits my laptop in a soft sleeve inside the bag so I don’t have to carry another bag just for my computer.

When booking hotels using online sites, request a quiet room on a high floor away from elevator. Nothing makes for a bad night sleep with an early wake up than listening to the elevator opening all night, the ice machine chugging and noise from the freeway outside your window. Also, a room on a higher floor can mean quiet and safety for a woman.

Don’t give up your workout, just find new routines to do on the road. Most hotels have fitness centers, bring along your swimsuit for a pool workout, ask the hotel for a nearby park with running trails or bring a stretch band and workout in your room and do walking lunges down the hotel hallways (I’ve gotten over the embarrassment factor).

When your meetings are over or after you’ve checked in, get out of the hotel and explore the city. This is easy when you’re doing business in a big city like San Francisco, Chicago or New York. Skip the car and walk around. Portland has the waterfront to explore, you can walk around West Hollywood in LA, get a cupcake at Toast, shop the boutiques on Third Ave and hike in Runyon Canyon or head to the fisherman’s wharf in Seattle and try several food options from various vendors and stop by the aquarium. The point is, don’t get stuck in your hotel room every time. It’s inevitable in some cities when you’ll have to do with room service and the TV, but if you can get to a local restaurant, then indulge that time with a good book. If you’ll be choosing from the room service menu, then check to see if the hotel has any restaurants on the property and you can usually choose from their menu, but have it delivered as room service. I’ve indulged that way several times at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa Bay from Armani’s and Oyster Catchers restaurants.

As for traveling on the plane, comfort is crucial. I usually wear the same “uniform” which consists of a stylish t-shirt or button down, pants or dark jeans, a sweater or cardigan (usually thin cashmere), a wrap that works double duty as a blanket and flats or cute kicky sneakers. And I have a blow-up neck roll since it takes up no space in my bag rather than lugging a stuffed one. Always have a good book, paperback is lighter, and a rotating menu of magazines. I’m always tearing out pages of decorating ideas, restaurants to try and a new pair of shoes or jacket to track down. While I have the new iPhone which has helped my business needs tremendously and means I can listen to music without bringing my iPod, I also bring my Archos video recorder. It’s a slightly larger screen than my iPhone and I can download multiple movies and TV shows to watch when my book bores me and the flight seems endless.

Q. I’m going to South Beach, Miami for a week in August and I wanted some tips on what to wear around shops during the day, to the beach, and to dinner/bars in the evenings. I’m 21 years old, 5’3, and 125 lbs and usually shy away from crazy patterns. I want to look fresh! The big problem is that I’m on a college student’s budget…any ideas?
-Young and Style Uncertain

A. You are headed to South Beach, Miami which by clothing definition means sexy, skimpy and vibrant colors. This is the time to embrace a bright pattern, show a little skin with shoulders or legs and deal with sweltering heat. You can create a fun, flirty beach town wardrobe with a small budget by checking out sites like wetseal.com, delias.com, jcrew.com, oldnavy.com and urbanoutfitters.com. There are plenty of summer sales happening and you can use that to your advantage to pack stylish clothes for hot weather.

You’ll need a few dresses for day strolling on Lincoln Avenue or Ocean Drive plus dancing at the local hot spots. Shorts, minis, tanks and camis for morning walks to breakfast at places like News Café and jersey or cotton dresses that can work double duty as a cover up by day over your swimsuit and dinner attire by night. Pack your sunscreen, big sunglasses, bronzer or tinted moisturizer and you’re nearly ready to hit the beach.

Bra Cup Border DressMolly DressBorder Print Tube DressAiry cotton short halter dress

Bra Cup Smocked Cami9" chino shortCoco Halter 86981 Rd6220 Su07 M-1

left to right:
1. Bra Cup Border Dress, $22.50 at wetseal.com
2. Molly Dress, $44.50 at delias.com
3. Border Print Tube Dress, $34.50 at wetseal.com
4. Airy cotton short halter dress, $68 at jcrew.com (add a belt and sandals for night, and then wear it as a swim cover up the next day)
5. Bra Cup Smocked Cami, $15.50 at wetseal.com
6. 9" chino short, $29.50 (sale) at jcrew.com
7. Coco Halter, $19.50 at delias.com
8. Stretch chino mini, $39.50 (sale) at jcrew.com

Q: I love your site and know that since my question involves your home city, you will have all kinds of great ideas. I will be in New York City for my honeymoon from November 11-16. My fiance and I would appreciate any ideas on what to wear. We plan to do some shopping while we’re there, but want to look fashionable and still be comfortable and weather-appropriate while shopping and touring the city. What would work for walking around Central Park/the city? Going to the theater? We would also love any particular recommendations you’d have for wear to go, eat, etc. Thanks!
- New York Bound Bride-to-be

A. These are my favorite questions to answer since they have to do with my favorite place in the world-my home, New York City. Since it’s November, the weather can sometimes be unpredictable. I am usually enjoying my last days of playing tennis outdoors and still riding my bike with a fleece pullover. So bring a jacket, some sweaters and pull out your chic low heeled boots for walking around the city. Skip the athletic sneakers and pack a stylish pair of Pumas, Adidas or Converse for days when you’ll really want to explore the city. Add peep toe heels or a fab pair of pumps for evening. Pack dark jeans, a few sweaters, a jacket (not a coat-it’s too early) or a belted trench that hits just below the knee so it’s perfect for dresses and skirts (I love my Burberry trench-it was a well-worth-it investment piece), a few pairs of pants, a dress for dinners out, a day dress that can be worn with tights and low heeled boots for a day of shopping around the city, a skirt that will work with several tops and layering pieces, a white button down shirt, a great belt to wear with pants or belted around a dress, and accessories like an Hermes scarf (or something like it) and jewelry. Your husband should definitely pack a sport coat for some dinners and to wear to a Broadway show or other events plus a few sweaters including one he can wear under the sport coat.

For shopping:

Uptown/Midtown - Check out the high prices and finesse of New York’s favorite department stores with a stroll through Barneys on Madison Avenue and Bergdorf’s on Fifth.

For a short shopping spree and lunch, head to the Meatpacking district and weave up and down 12th through 14th between Gansevoort and Washington. Stop by Stella McCartney and Jeffrey’s. Have lunch at Son Cubano, Nero or Markt for mussels and Belgium fries or a piece of pie at the Little Pie Company. Or, have a drink at the chic Hotel Gansevoort.

SoHo is easy to navigate and has become the closest we get to an outdoor mall with everything from boutiques like Scoop and Olive & Bettes to known shops like Anthropologie and Prada. Stop at Dos Caminos for margaritas and made to order guacamole.

NoLIta and Lower East Side are the “of the moment” places to shop (although we New Yorkers have known about it for years) so head east from SoHo and wander into the little boutiques in search of something hip and chic to purchase.

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