how to make your outfits versatile | travel diary french river cruise pt. 1

last week, i took a riverboat cruise in France courtesy of Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours. yesterday, i provided you with packing tips & tricks, as well as my outfit layouts.  if you missed that post, make sure to check it out here. today, i’m showing you how i wore (some of) those outfits, with a focus on a versatile wardrobe while traveling. i talk a lot about fashion versatility and reusability on the blog.  this is particularly true while traveling—both domestically and abroad.  an easy way to get a lot of mileage out of travel wardrobe is to mix & match, transforming day wear into evening wear.  

as well as sharing with you some travel tips & tricks, all week i want to show you pictures from my day and evening trips and excursions. today, i’m sharing a few images from my trip to Normandy and Omaha Beach. this trip was particularly meaningful to me, not just as a lover of American history, but also the daughter of a veteran who served in the Korean War. for those of you with similar historical interests and/or family who have served, it is my hope that these images will resonate with you as they have me.   

day outfit 

on the day we took the excursion to Normandy i was on my feet all day, and the weather was chilly. the outfit was kept simple and comfortable:  i coupled a red turtleneck from J.Crew with a pair of denim. this fall, there’s been lots of questions and comments from you, my readers, about stylish and comfortable footwear.  well, you’re in luck. this pair of stylish and comfy loafers received so many compliments while i was in France. every season i have one pair of shoes that turn into a style crush. guess what? this pair of loafers is definitely leading the footwear pack.

red turtleneck | red turtleneck 2 | trench coat | trench coat 2 |  dark skinny jeans | boyfriend jeans | white loafer 

check out these white loafers from Neiman Marcus.  you won’t regret investing in a pair.  (and if you’re looking for other, potentially more affordable options, check out my recent post about Easy Spirit.)

there’s no better European touring coat than a trench coat (and check out this similar one.) perfect for the crips French fall weather.  (and not too heavy to carry if the afternoon weather warms up.)  

 

if you’re looking for my advice on fall and winter coats and jackets, make sure to check out my new series, the list above, and this blog post.

evening outfit 

let’s get down to business:  bringing a versatile wardrobe while traveling. before heading out to Château d’Ételan (pictures below), i swapped out my denim (here or here) for a striking pair of roaming tiger pants from J.Crew.  i kept the red turtleneck and the white loafers, and i was set.  good to go.  

red turtleneck | red turtleneck 2 | roaming tiger pants | white loafer | lavender blazer | lavender blazer 2 

throw on a lavender blazer (old, similar), and you have a totally different outfit with a totally different feel. perfect for an evening of cocktails and fun. there’s no expectation that you change outfits each day and evening. but you can imagine applying this strategy—mixing and matching— in different ways, across different days. this could easily cut down the items you pack by 1/3 (or more).   

red turtleneck | red turtleneck 2  roaming tiger pants | white loafer | lavender blazer | lavender blazer 2 

Normandy 

 

junior style, and i walked the  Normandy beaches together and visited the Landing Museum at Arromanches. it was totally awe-inspiring and sobering. 9,387 graves at the Normandy Cemetery.

for those of you who are or who have served; for those of you who have family that are serving are who have, thank you. what an incredible reminder Normandy was for the freedoms we still enjoy in this great country of ours. 

 

Château d’Ételan

no better way to end today’s post by leaving you with a few breathtaking photos from  Château d’Ételan. enjoy!  and be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know about any recent fun excursions you’ve had. 

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28 Comments

  1. Dottie Weaver wrote:

    I was in Paris for 8 days this August. As well as enjoying the sights in the city, we took a side trip to Bruges, Belgium. It was a medieval city with a huge city square and canals. We fell in love with it. What’s not to like about Belgium chocolates or waffles?!

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
    • what a goreous part of the world! so happy to hear you loved everything about your trip.

      Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  2. cb2jean wrote:

    ripped jeans 🙁

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
    • you say potatoe and i say potato. it’s what makes the world go round! yes, to distressed jeans if that’s what you like.

      Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  3. Sheron Davis wrote:

    Hi Beth!
    Looks like you really enjoyed your cruise. My husband and I will be on a Viking Cruise spring 2020. We will be in France at the end of our journey. Starting out in the Swiss Alps and then Germany. We love going to Europe. So much history. We are travelers. Originally from England and now living in Canada.
    I love your blog sense of fashion and great disposition. I’m sixty two years old so nice to still be able to look smartly dress, wherever you go.
    Thank you for showing us your beautiful fashions and sharing your life with us.
    Sheron Davis

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
    • that sounds like a lovely trip you have planned! river cruises have become quite popular in recent years. now i know why!

      Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  4. Becky Taylor wrote:

    I had the privilege and honor to visit the Normandy area two times and take in the history as much as possible. My father also served in WW II and was in the Battle of the Bulge and various other events. He never liked to talk about his war experience and now I wish I had pressed him for more information.
    We were staying in the French countryside and were eating a quaint little local inn and a French fellow came up and thanked us for what the US had done for his country. I still get the chills over this memory! That really stirs up. my patriotic soul!

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
    • that is a heart warming story. thanks so much for sharing.

      Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  5. Mary wrote:

    I’m sorry Beth, but I would never wear jeans with holes in them in Europe. Nor bright colors combined with patterns. I find simple and classic works best.

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
    • no need to be sorry. you should always wear what you feel confident and comfortable in. but don’t be afraid to step outside of the style box.

      Posted 10.28.19 Reply
      • Grace wrote:

        A TON of people in Europe wear ripped jeans just like yours! They look great and you still look comfy and polished! It seems like a lot of the fashion rules we’ve been told about traveling to Europe have expired. I was always told not to wear sneakers, jeans, or shorts, in Europe, but when I lived and studied there a couple years ago, pretty much everyone wore chic sneakers and jeans. It’s really up to you and what you feel you’re best in!

        Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  6. Jeannette schacht wrote:

    I will be going to France and Normandy next September! Your movie today was awesome! Thank you it was very helpful! Love everything about you!

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
    • you will love Normandy! what breathtaking scenery.

      Posted 10.28.19 Reply
      • Sandi Bush wrote:

        I m interested in the trench coat with no belt. I have a belted one
        and have decided I like the straiter one. Do you know town has them?
        Also, I spent the afternoon for an ivory chasmere turtleneck sweater and a they seems so thin. I’m wondering who might have thicker ones.

        Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  7. Joanne Strondak wrote:

    My husband and I did a river cruise a few years ago in France. Such an awesome trip. We also visited Normandy and the American Cemetery. The French people did a service for us that brought tears to our eyes. I will never forget it. I never knew my grandfather as he did in WW2 and is buried in the Philippines. So it was very heartwarming that the French were so appreciative. Love ready your blog and style

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  8. Julie Mycock wrote:

    Hi Beth, looking very stylish there. We did a Viking river cruise a few years ago and we had problems from day one so it put us off completely. Hope that you are enjoying your river cruise. Xoxo

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
    • so sorry to hear that, julie! i know that there are more cruise lines getting into the river cruise space these days which helps up the ante so to speak. our trip was top notch all the way. i’ll have a recap next week.

      Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  9. Stephanie Bailey wrote:

    Love the lavender blazer, been to Normany twice, so moving
    Looking forward to seeing friends in CA soon, hope the fires subside

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  10. Lorna K Blake wrote:

    I love the day outfit! I own three of the items (shoes, trench, jeans) so no surprise there. We also just returned from a trip to Normany and Bayeux which was amazing and inspiring on every level. I agree with the poster above that in Europe I would prefer to wear skinny straight legs or black leggings rather than the cute ripped. Evening outfit didn’t work for me– even when I saw it on the jcrew site, I thought it was a tad too pajama of a look for me to pull off. Your cruise looks amazing. Can’t wait for more posts!

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  11. Linda L wrote:

    I have done several Viking cruises over the years including the Paris to Normandy. Brings tears to your eyes to think of the sacrifices that were made! We’ve had nothing but the best on Viking and we’re planning to take one of their ocean cruises to the Baltic’s in 2021. Clothing has sure come a long way making traveling & dressing so easy. Love those shoes! Thanks for sharing Beth!

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  12. Marilyn wrote:

    Lovely and poignant pictures. We also have military members in our family.
    Was not enthralled with the tiger slacks.

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  13. Vivian wrote:

    Your post and pics brought back many fond memories of our last trip to France a year ago in October. This time my husband and I took a road trip from Paris along the Normandy coast and then through chateaux country and back to Paris. We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast in Arromanches for a few days while we visited the various sites. When we arrived back in Paris it was shirt sleeve weather.

    Posted 10.28.19 Reply
  14. Diane Sargent wrote:

    I’ve wanted to do a River Cruise and am encouraged by yours. I believe you traveled with someone. My question :what were your observations re women ( and men ) traveling alone. Do you think these river cruises are a good & comfortable experience for a solo traveler since It is a small number of passengers. I’m in my 70’s and my husband died 8 months ago.
    I have done a Caribbean cruise alone on a 300 passenger ship & that went well.
    Any thoughts are appreciated. Also there appears to be a great deal of walking on the tour you took…?
    Thank you
    Diane sargent….Avon, CT

    Posted 10.29.19 Reply
  15. RayeLynn Fletcher Longhini wrote:

    We spent 2weeks in France, summer before last, on river cruises. The week we toured the Seine, we also went to Normandy. What a humbling experience. My husband’s father had actually landed at Omaha Beach. It was so emotional and well worth the experience!

    Posted 10.29.19 Reply
  16. Meg Anderson wrote:

    We are on our way to Germany and Prague next week and your travel posts have been so helpful in thinking about what to pack. Thanks 😊

    Posted 10.29.19 Reply
  17. Lacey wrote:

    We traveled one week prior to your trip to the same area. Started in London, Paris and then sailed the Sein River on Tauck. What a wonderful trip and weather was better than forecasted. It is a moving experience and one we will always remember.

    Posted 10.29.19 Reply
  18. Suzanne M Smith wrote:

    Jr Style is doing a great job with beautiful photos. My younger sister went to France and visited Omaha Beach last trip out. I have not been there, but she said it was very moving. My dad was part of the Greatest Generation during WWII, and so I think of him every Memorial Day, Veterans Day, etc. I’ve been all through France in the past but your river cruise sounds excellent!

    Posted 10.29.19 Reply
  19. Joan Batty wrote:

    Hi Beth
    I will be leaving Australia on 15th November for a French River Cruise. We start at Avignon and cruise to Lyon where we transfer to Paris and then another ship to Normandy. I am enjoying your articles immensely and am finding hem extremely useful in my wardrobe planning.

    Posted 10.29.19 Reply
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