Kickass Boots for Fall and Winter Travels

I’m so not girly when it comes to style and I won’t wear heels, I just won’t. I don’t care how cute they are, I’m not running for a train or to the bus that’s pulling away from the stop while I’m wearing heels. No way. That doesn’t mean I don’t like cute shoes, I do, and I really like it when it comes to fall and I have an excuse for new winter boots.

Here’s the sacrifice I’ll make, given my boot fetish. Boots are heavy and they take up a lot of space in your bag. They’re a hassle in the airport, getting in and out of them in the security line is a drag. But if there’s bad weather — wet or cold conditions — I want my feet to be warm and dry. I’ll wear my boots on the plane or I’ll figure out how to get them in my bag. I can be really resourceful when it comes to packing. And often we’re on bad weather weekend getaways in the Pacific Northwest so I can just toss my boots in the car. That means I can take two pairs, if I’m so inclined.

Here are three styles I like this fall, all from different brands.

Boots from BogsI love my Bogs (picked up at hardware store in Forks, Washington). Whenever I wear them, I get compliments. And my feet are wildly happy in them. They’re comfortable, they keep my feet warm and dry, they are great for winter beach walks and stomping around in snow and just dealing with relentlessly wet city days. Adventure cruises often give you boots to use while you’re on board but I love these so much that I packed them for my trip to Antarctica. I was the only person who wasn’t crew that had their own boots. Crazy, maybe, but my cabin mate complained the whole time about her boots while I was at home in mine. It was totally worth the space and the weight. The boots I have list for $100 on the Bogs site, I paid about $75 for mine. They come in a bunch of colors and patterns.

Keen makes those bumper toed sandals that I’m not crazy about, style wise, but they make a lot of other stuff too. I tried to fight it, but I’m becoming a convert to their shoes because they keep my feet happy. I’m wearing Keen’s Silverton for stomping around my city this fall. They’re insulated and waterproof. I can vouch for how warm they are, but I haven’t yet had a chance to see how dry they keep my feet. My sense is that they run just a little small — I wish I’d got a half size bigger, but after just a few wearings, they’re relaxing nicely and are fast becoming my favorites for the season. The styling is a bit like a clog meets a wellie, chunky and solid, but I like that look. They’re built to walk in, too, and that matters a lot in a shoe you’re packing for travel. They retail for $170, they come in brown and black.

Teva is probably best known for their sport sandals but they’ve got a full line of hikers and casual shoes as well. I’m totally digging their new Vero boot. It’s a little bit like a Converse high top fell in love with a pair of Sorels and they had a love child. They’ve got that “I’m off to harness the dogsled” look about them, but they’re nowhere close to the weight of a pair of Sorels. (I have a pair of those and trust me, that is more boot than you want to drag across the planet. I’ve done it.) The Vero is insulated and waterproof and ready for snow. And I think they’re cute as all get out, great for hanging out at the lodge after that day on the slopes, but also, for swanning about the city doing holiday shopping on those biting cold days.The Vero retails for $180 and comes in five different colors.

Photo: Fall by Istelleinad via Flickr (Creative Commons).

SkyMall Monday: Waistband Stretcher

Here at the SkyMall Monday world headquarters, we eat a lot. Moderation is a four-letter word, as far as I’m concerned. How can anyone expect me to eat responsibly with all these zig-zagging brownies and giant cupcakes laying around? So, as you can imagine, I’m not exactly in bikini shape this summer. Which is fine, since I’m a dude, but it also means that I’m not in old-timey bathing suit shape either. Sadly, I’ll have to avoid the beach and stay fully clothed this summer. But what if my clothes don’t fit anymore? I mean, I’ve eaten a lot of those giant cupcakes. I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe. You may be surprised to learn that writing SkyMall Monday is not exactly the most lucrative endeavor. Basically, I get paid with SkyMall gift cards which I use to purchase more giant cupcake pans. So, how can I make my clothes fit without changing my lifestyle and becoming healthy? Well, I could always force my pants to fit with the Waistband Stretcher!

Now, instead of dieting, exercising, sleeping well and abstaining for alcohol, I can just stretch my pants out until they fit around my robust, girthy torso. I can continue to shovel heaping amounts of homemade donuts into my gullet comforted by the knowledge that my pants are always a quick stretch away from allowing blood flow to my lower extremities. My genitalia have never been more excited!

Don’t believe my excited genitalia? Fine, don’t take their word for it. But you have to trust the product description:

When your waistband feels too snug, reach for the Waistband Stretcher. You don’t have to get rid of your favorite jeans, skirts or slacks thanks to this simple waist-band stretching device that lets you add from 1-5 inches (depending on size of garment) to the waist of cotton pants, skirts, and shorts. Just moisten the garment’s waistband, insert the waistband stretcher, extend the garment to the desired size and let dry – voila, a more comfortable fit!

Of course, once the cupcakes and donuts induce the heart attack that I have scheduled for July, I’m certain to lose a few pounds in the hospital. Comas will do that. I’m sure that there’s a reverse setting on the Waistband Stretcher and I’ll get those 1-5 inches back in no time. Voila, waistband shrunk! No? You can’t unstretch a waistband? Well, back to my diet of choice then.

Talking Travel: Travel in style with a Hollywood A-list fashionista (part 2)

Jeane Beiter is a style consultant to celebrities who want to remake their wardrobe or pick out the perfect dress for a red-carpet event. She’s also author of “The Be. System, Completing the Circle Between You and Your Style,” and former host of “Modern Girl’s Guide to Life” on E! Style Network.

She’s here to give us some tips on traveling in style. Read part 1 here.

What’s your packing process for a trip? Any tips for cutting down the time it takes?

My packing process for a trip is quite easy actually. I have a list, and I stick to it. Actually it is the list that I have in my book, “The Be.System, Completing the Circle between You and Your Style.”

Even if I am going on a trip that will last more than a week, I still pack only for one week. I can hand wash or re-wear anything at least three times, and let’s be honest, who wants to lug three bags around Europe or an island, especially in these restricted luggage times! Plus it is just so freeing to not have to worry about packing and repacking extensively!
I usually take just a black Coach rolling carry on bag and a matching diaper bag which acts as my laptop / magazine tote for the trip. I don’t have a baby, but this tote really works great for this purpose! There are lots of pockets to store documents, cords, etc. I even wrap the laptop in the changing table cover to protect it from getting bumped around too much!

I pack all my shoes/accessories and cosmetic items around the outside of the carry on, and roll the clothing into one big roll to avoid wrinkling and put it in the center of the bag. I wear the heaviest clothing to travel in, so I don’t waste space at all!

Jewelry is minimal as I am not going on vacation to advertise my economic status, and I generally pick up any liquid toiletries, vitamins, etc. when I get there to avoid wasting valuable luggage weight and space.

What are some outfits you would recommend for a day at the beach? How about for a shopping trip in New York.

For a day at the beach I would recommend:

  • A large tote to carry book/towel
  • 85 spf sunscreen and hair spray with sun shield in it, 30 spf lip gloss
  • Head band/ hair tie or bandana for a man
  • Huge sun hat (with sunshield in lining) or baseball hat for men.
  • Large sized sunglasses
  • Bathing suit
  • Haviana’s (my all time favorite for summer flip flops and admitted huge addiction…I am a collector!)
  • Loose shorts and shirt combo in gauzy linen or cotton
  • Pareo or extra large cotton scarf to use as cover up or extra lounge area

For a day of shopping in NYC I would recommend:

  • Black simple pants, black lightweight knit v-neck cardigan in ¾ sleeve for woman. For Man, black pants, black jersey knit tee top.
  • Light leather jacket , weather permitting.
  • Simple pearl necklace or gold chain/ hoop earrings for woman
  • Black or tortoiseshell sunglasses.
  • Ballet flats in animal print theme, with gel sole inserts for extra cushioning and support for woman. Black driving shoes for man.
  • Extra large black tote to stash the spoils of your labor for woman.
  • The idea here is to dress chicly, but simply as you may have to be in and out of clothing to try things on . Black will hide dirt and always looks appropriate in any large city.

I always feel like a total dork when I’m back stateside decked out in whatever “native” gear I just bought. Are there outfits from overseas that can work here?

Any thing bought in Europe or the UK, such as France, Italy and England, is going to look great in the states. If you try to wear a sarong you bought in India here, it may not work too well, so stick to interesting accessories like tote bags, necklaces, earrings, or scarves to bring the culture home with you. Personally, I try to pick up scarves when I travel because they are light, unique and serve many purposes. Plus they are easy to take on other travels with me and act as active “postcards” of my travels at home and abroad!

Talking Travel: Travel in style with a Hollywood A-list fashionista (part 1)

Jeane Beiter is a style consultant to celebrities who want to remake their wardrobe or pick out the perfect dress for a red-carpet event. She’s also author of “The Be. System, Completing the Circle Between You and Your Style,” and former host of “Modern Girl’s Guide to Life” on E! Style Network.

She’s here to give us some tips on traveling in style.

Give us your travel creds. What have been some of your favorite trips?

Oh, I love to travel! Some of my favorite trips include a several week adventure in London and the English countryside, including the bucolic Cotswolds and historical Bath! I could easily live in England! It is not only one of the main fashion and style influences in the world, and therefore incredibly inspirational for me, it is also full of amazing history, engaging people, wonderful museums and vast amounts of land to explore and enjoy.

I also have been fortunate enough to travel to Hawaii on many occasions, most frequently to the remote island of Lana’i, where there are two fantastic sister resorts, The Manele Bay resort and the Lodge at Koele in the upland area of the island. Lanai has been a source of great solitude and interestingly enough, also creative inspiration for me, and I always look forward to going back to the peaceful energy there, eating lots of fresh tropical fruit everyday and playing board games at night on the open terrace of the hotel, listening the waves crash onto the shore below.
I have traveled extensively through the Mexican Riviera, and Caribbean as well, and Nevis is one of my favorite islands there. I particularly enjoy the goats and the monkeys which consider themselves to be quite equal to the residents and guest there!

I just came back a few months ago from several weeks in Alaska and Canada. I really enjoyed Vancouver and British Columbia immensely. The people were warm and friendly, it is truly cosmopolitan, and the food was top notch cuisine and very diverse. The scenery was spectacular! I now live in the Arizona desert, so it was so refreshing! It reminded me a lot of San Francisco, my hometown, which is another one of my very favorite locations in the world, one which I am fortunate enough to be able to visit often. I am currently planning several weeks in Northern Italy for this Fall, and I am extremely excited about that…the food, the culture, and of course the fashion!

What’s a typical day for you? What exactly does a “fashion/style consultant” do, if that’s even an accurate label?

I am an expert in the area of “Personal Image Analysis, Development and Management”, in short, an image expert. Clients hire me to basically take “the guess work out of looking great” and help them translate who they are inside, effectively to the outside! I work with women and men of all different walks of life and age groups, and it is fascinating and fulfilling work. I have been in the style and fashion industries for over three decades, which is, admittedly, 75% of my life! Needless to say, I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up and began working in the business as a model when I was a teenager. It just grew legs from there on.

My work is also very physical so I am frequently in client’s homes doing wardrobe editing, planning and packing them for trips. I am also in various boutiques and department stores pulling clothing and accessories for clients, working with clients who I am shopping in dressing rooms, or putting outfits together for photo shoots and television segments I am working on. I do editorial styling for publications and companies as well, so I handle literally thousands of garments and accessories each year. By the time I hit the bed at night, I do not have one bit of trouble falling asleep!

What are three must-have accessories / items you take when you travel?

My laptop, my black pashmina wrap, and my pinkish beige lip gloss.

What are this summer’s hot fashion trends, and how can we incorporate that into a travel wardrobe?

  • Shiny patent leather accessories like belts, headbands, and large hobo handbags and sandals. Best in black or white.
  • Brightly ”crayola” colored pieces in dresses, skirts, tops shorts and pants, as well as accessories of all types.
  • Safari inspired clothing in various shades of greens, beiges and whites. Jackets, shorts and pants are the most popular, but I have seen some dresses that are darling and versatile as well.
  • Metallic footwear and large geometric jewelry to compliment any skin tone in rose gold, bronze, and silver.
  • Jersey knit separates in grey, black and white. Easy to pack and easy to love! Universally figure flattering!

The best way to incorporate these into a travel wardrobe is to pick two or three neutral colors for your wardrobe pieces and use the accessories, such as your handbag, shoes or jewelry to punch up the color quotient! Some examples:

  • One khaki safari inspired jacket and pants, one black lightweight knit dress, and a pair of white shorts.
  • One black patent leather simple handbag, high heeled sandals and a belt, (that can work day and night) all which coordinate with the dress/ shorts and pants .
  • One light weight tote in beige with metallic accents.
  • One brightly colored swimsuit which can also be worn as a layering top.
  • One brightly accented large scarf which can be worn as a wrap, shawl or cleverly tied bandeau top.
  • Two pairs of flat shoes. One in metallic and one in a bright color.
  • Several jersey knit tee shirts/ sweaters in bright colors and two matching neutrals to the pants/ shorts/ jacket.