a long weekend in paris - part one - the packing! - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME

Zelda pulled her biggest suitcase out from the back of her wardrobe then frowned.   “This is  meant to be a business trip, they’ll laugh to see me turn up with some huge bag like a tourist. ….  Think Zelda think …. you’re only going for a week, and most of that is going to be business meetings .  It’s just the last weekend where you can take time to explore Paris”

“Explore Paris”, she couldn’t even believe she was saying those words!    When she had joined the company earlier that year she knew that travel could be part of the job, but she hadn’t expected it to come so fast, and for her first destination to be Paris was almost too much excitement to bear!

She had been thrilled to get the job.  She’d been away from a working environment for many years as she raised her kids, and returning was a little daunting.    She went through the rounds of interviews for this job, trying hard to look the part  but thinking all the while they’d give it to someone younger,

But here she was, just a week away from boarding the plane and trying to get her head around her packing.     Her work wardrobe was easy, she’d be expected to look smart and impeccable at all times, so her normal working wardrobe was fine.   But with the additional two days she was able to swing alone, that was a whole different story.

Paris had always been a dream of hers.  Somehow with the young family, and then with Bob’s work there was never the time to plan a trip abroad.  That seemed like a lifetime ago.   The children were grown, and Bob, well Bob had gone looking for greener pastures in the shape of a younger wife, and here she was … independent, free and full of a fresh new self assurance.     The trip to Paris would come at just the right moment

Her image of the women in Paris was  of chic slim women dressed well but never overdone.   She wanted to fit in with that look, and instead of packing from her work wardrobe, with its power suits and figure hugging dresses she started to plan a ‘Parisian’ wardrobe , a few well chosen pieces,  just enough for a long weekend.  Her girlfriend Claire’s favorite online boutique immediately came to mind, Halsbrook, Zelda knew they had a great selection for her age range and with a distinctly European flair.  Also on their website, they made suggestions for pairing clothes and accessories.

In order to know what clothes she’d need she made a short list of things she wanted to do:

  • A museum for sure, a walk in a park
  • Shopping, “hmmm, that’s a given.”
  • A lovely place for tea and some serious people watching.
  • A special dinner out, hopefully with a friend (note to self, call Barbara to find out if she’s still in Paris)

She flung open the doors of her wardrobe and started to lay outfits out on the bed, then worked out where the gaps were and went online to order a few additional pieces.

She was only travelling for a few days, so she’d settle with one coat, one handbag for the day and one clutch for the evening.

Her first outfit was all about chic comfort, ideal for walking around a museum, or strolling through the park.   Something warm for sitting on the terrace of a cute café, and  of course comfort no matter the weather.

shawl shirtcuff earringspants

She packed a very special outfit just in case she was invited somewhere amazing for dinner.  High heels, a beautiful black dress and pretty gold earrings.

dresscoatearringsclutch – shawl

Her coat would be fine for any occasion and her favourite black bag was both chic and spacious.


For everyday comfort that still felt chic and feminine, Zelda packed an outfit with a skirt and some cute boots.

necklace sweater skirthat

A few days later, with her suitcase packed and her excitement growing, Zelda headed to the airport,…. And in a few days time we’ll discover all that she got up to in the city of lights!

This post was created in partnership with the U.S. online boutique Halsbrook. You can save up to 40% during the Fall Into Sale event happening now !


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