Posts in style
Edit: Rainy Day Style
 

It's been a rainy week on the East coast, and of course Inslee - master illustrator of the clothes we wish existed - has dreamed up the perfect rainy-day style in this illustration. Keep scrolling to shop the outfits above (or the closest approximations I could find online), and shop more of Inslee's work here. And let me know if you find that perfect floral print in actual fabric form, okay?

 

Girl on the Left

navy cane umbrella, $149
also available in black

What to Wear When it Rains

florette teardrop earrings, $58
more colors available

cap toe flats, $90

 

 

Girl on the Right

floral umbrella, $105
originally $175

classic trench coat, $226
have & love this. other colors available.

navy tassel flats, $90
originally $150

...and, for when it's really pouring:
navy gloss wellies, $100
originally $150; matte 'refined' version here.

 

 

bon week-end!

Packing for Europe: Spring & Summer
 
 How to Pack for Europe: Spring & Summer Capsule Wardrobe | How I packed a 25-item capsule wardrobe for 12 weeks in Europe, and what to wear in France and Italy | Packing Light | Travel Tips | Carry-On Packing

suitcase / espadrilles / similar hat / similar striped top / canvas tote / sunglasses

Heya! this post was updated April 27th, 2018 - complete with over 100 new items to shop in the widgets below.


Packing for Europe

Getting ready for my Europe trip last summer, one of the most common questions that friends and family asked was, "How do you pack for a trip like that?" Whether you're traveling for ten days or three months, packing for an overseas trip isn't easy - in the spring or summer, you want to be prepared for rain and shine, and still be able to feasibly carry your luggage through narrow cobblestone streets, up flights of stairs, and onto trains and ferries.

I'm a supporter of the capsule wardrobe, especially for travel. Aside from saving time, space, and money, packing a capsule wardrobe always helps me find new ways to wear the clothes I already own. 
 

Designing Your Travel Capsule

First, take a look at what destinations and activities are planned for your trip, and the pieces in your closet that would work best - a few dresses, a favorite top, the most comfortable sandals. Lay everything out (or use this wardrobe app), and you'll probably see things starting to come together - including a color palette that will help you mix-and-match. If you see some gaps (like a lack of summer skirts, or a need for new sandals), you'll know exactly what to shop for.

For twelve weeks abroad, my suitcase looked something like this:

 How to Pack for Europe: Spring & Summer Capsule Wardrobe | How I packed a 25-item capsule wardrobe for 12 weeks in Europe, and what to wear in France and Italy | Packing Light | Travel Tips | Carry-On Packing

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25

As you can see, you can have about 20 different outfits in just a few packing cubes. Because we were moving from place to place about once a week, we needed to be able to fit things like shampoo, toothpaste, and sunscreen into our suitcases - which meant one checked bag and one carry-on each. But if you're staying in one spot on your trip (or just spending a week or two), plan on buying your toiletries after you arrive - it will be so much easier to get around with less!

How to Pack for Europe: Spring & Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Fill in The GapS

Tops: A mix of tops in a variety of lightweight fabrics means easy summer layering.

 

Bottoms: Skirts are my favorite, but shorts and jeans are great neutral pieces for easy traveling.

 

Dresses: I love summer dresses, and wore them for everything from road tripping to fancy dinners. 

 

Jackets: Just because it's summer doesn't mean it's always warm and sunny - bring an extra layer or two.

 

Shoes: You'll probably be walking a lot on your Europe trip, so pack comfortable sandals, espadrilles, flats and sneakers. Add in something slightly less practical for when you want to feel fancier.

 

Accessories: For traveling, markets, and beaches, bring a tote bag. For everything else, carry a crossbody purse. Sunglasses are necessary of course, and a few pieces of jewelry go a long way for feeling put together.

bon voyage!

 
Gifts for Spring
 

Whether you're headed to a bridal shower, celebrating a spring birthday, or getting ready for Mother's Day, there's probably at least one lovely lady you're shopping for. Here are some of my favorite gifts this season:

wine & cheese picnic basket, $78
such a sweet wedding gift.

floral print kimono robe, $60
I have this in another print & just love it.

leather travel jewelry case, $105
available in other colors
 

 
Spring Shopping List
 

It's officially spring - even if the weather hasn't quite caught up yet - and here's what I'm shopping for:
 

1. Spring Dresses

I generally live in dresses and skirts whenever it's warm enough, and I'm currently stalking all the new arrivals at Reformation. My striped shift dress by Petit Bateau is a perennial favorite, and this knit midi dress (with pockets!) was one of my favorite buys last year - shop a sustainable version here. Most of these dresses are perfect for spring with a leather jacket, perfect for summer without. 

2. White Shoes

It's not like I avoid them all winter, but something about white shoes communicates the warm-weather confidence that you definitely won't be stepping in slush today.  I'm wearing these retro-esque ankle boots whenever possible, September through May. Meanwhile, I've been waiting since November to wear these Sézane oxfords again, and these tasseled sneakers have been on my wishlist for at least a year.

3. Colored Tights

Because it's not quite bare-legs season just yet, but my black opaques are pretty tired. I keep thinking about these colored tights in Peacock - I'll wear them for a few weeks now, then for a few months in the fall. 

4. Basket Bag

From April to August, you'll rarely see me without my basket bag from Tonio Abel. If you twisted my arm and made me buy another, it would either be this dream bag by Mark Cross or this wicker one by Draper James

5. Mules

Is there a more springy shoe? Nope. I have my eye on these Madewell mules in ivory. 

6. White Lace Blouse

A white lace top is a staple for me in any season, and I use this detergent or a touch of bluing to keep them white. I just bought this sleeveless top by St. Roche, and this long-sleeve one by Sézane has been on heavy rotation since I bought it in August.

7. Small Square Scarf

It feels particularly springy to wear a little scarf around your neck, in your hair, as a bracelet, or tied onto your bag. This bee bandana from J. Crew is my current favorite.

8. New Leggings

I know I just told you all about my favorite fitness gear, but there are two brands of leggings I'm itching to try. Outdoor Voices keeps releasing more styles and colors, but I think I'd keep it neutral with a pair of these in navy.  The leggings at Girlfriend Collective have great reviews and they're made from recycled plastic water bottles - these ones would be my pick.

9. Spring Candles

I'm never without scented candles at home, and in spring I like bright florals and citrus. There's a beautiful, artistic lidded candle on my wishlist - but until my candle budget quadruples, I'll stick with this pretty one from Rifle Paper Co. 

10. Sweater Storage

Thanks to The Laundress, I've begun to properly wash and store my knits for the season. I'm always sad to pack away these cashmere sweatpants (they're amazing - just read the reviews!) but it's a sure sign of spring. 

 
Minimal & Maximal Capsule Wardrobes
 
Minimal and Maximal Capsule Wardrobes | From the classic & neutral Parisian to the colorful & quirky Maximal - and anywhere in between - the capsule wardrobe you build should match your own personal style. In this post, I created two basic capsule wardrobes that prove owning less doesn’t have to be boring. | Classic Parisian Style | The easiest way to get dressed everyday | Basic capsule wardrobe for home or travel.
Maximal and Minimal Capsule Wardrobes | From the classic & neutral Parisian to the colorful & quirky Maximal - and anywhere in between - the capsule wardrobe you build should match your own personal style. In this post, I created two basic capsule wardrobes that prove owning less doesn’t have to be boring. | Maximal Style | Have fun getting dressed everyday | Mismatched Capsule Wardrobe | Basic capsule wardrobe for home or travel.

Over the past several years, the idea of capsule wardrobes has spread across the internet in a variety of iterations. There's the tightly edited 'original' version, the less restricted seasonal version, the reluctant fashionista version - I've shared my own travel versions for spring & summer, fall, and winter packing. Somewhere along the way, capsule wardrobes have become mostly synonymous with neutral colors and a minimalist aesthetic, which makes sense if your goal is to make getting dressed as simple as possible, or if you're learning what you like (more on this in the future). 

But what if you're someone who craves a bit more flavor or a bit less matching, and still a smaller suitcase to travel with or more breathing room in your closet?  Just because you're choosing to have fewer clothes doesn't mean they need to be less fun; you can pick the pieces you actually wear and love, even if none of them are black. The freedom of owning less and the joy of wearing non-vanilla clothes aren't mutually exclusive. 

Here, I've collected two basic capsule wardrobes: one of the classic minimalist variety, and one for the mismatching maximalist. I personally fall somewhere between the two, in my own happy mix of classic and eccentric - always on the lookout for fantastic closet staples that will last for years and for the more interesting pieces that will make an outfit feel more like me. And also, who says that for an outfit to "go together" everything has to match?

 

minimalist capsule

Classic-Capsule-Wardrobe-Monica-Francis

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

 

maximalist capsule

Maximalist-Capsule-Wardrobe-Monica-Francis

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

 

Would you wear one of these capsules, a mix of both, or something completely different? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram!