What I was packing for the trip to LA I’m now not taking

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maje blouse

I was finally getting out of town and heading to LA today. Escaping this crappy, terminally grey weather we’ve been having to instead enjoy a place where the sun shines always and people live in charming bungalows with lemon trees out back. But then Saturday afternoon I started coughing a lot, and then it started to hurt when I inhaled. Saturday night I could barely sleep. So I did the responsible thing Sunday morning and went to Urgent Care just to make sure I was in the clear before flying. And the short version of this story is that the doctor said I have pneumonia, so no airplanes for me. I am desperately disappointed and annoyed, but because I know you guys like a packing story, I’m bringing you this post about what I was going to pack anyway. Which included, for whatever reason, a lot of red, starting with this blouse, which I just acquired.

xirena red shirt

Amazingly, given my affection for the color red and for striped shirts, I do not own a good red striped shirt. This one, from Xirena is pretty classic and perfect.

 

illesteva sunglass

A pair of bright sunglasses  is such a good lazy person’s way to make a big statement with a minimum of effort. This pair, from  J. Crew, is similar but cheaper.

 

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I was probably going to bring my Clare V Gosee Clutch because it packs well, and holds a lot for a bag its size.

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I know I just showed you a red Nili Lotan trouser the other day—her ultra-slouchy Paris pant—but I also really like this more streamlined pair.

zadig & voltaire scarf

I was quite enchanted by this scarf when I visited Zadig & Voltaire last week: an unstoppably good print in vivid pink and red, and as soft as my beloved Chan Luus.  But the stylish friend I was shopping with wrinkled her nose at it, so I passed on by. I might have to go back, though.

r13 boy skinny jean

I would definitely have been bringing my grey R-13 jeans, which I am currently in a quandary over: I wear them constantly and have had them for a while now, and they’re hopelessly bagged-out. I don’t need my jeans tight, but this just looks sloppy. Also they have a dot-shaped stain right on the crotch that probably nobody notices but me. It would be really nice to have a fresh pair, but they are so damn pricey. Still,  good grey jeans are hard, and I have yet to find a pair as perfect for me as these. Did you know there was a survey a while back in which they asked women which items they most dreaded shopping for, and jeans came in second (swimsuits, naturally, were first). I just love knowing that when I get a pair of R13 jeans that they’re going to fit and flatter me, and not send me into a self-loathing tailspin. Because, with denim, in the end, it’s all about fit: find a brand that works for you and stick with them. Maybe even if they cost a fortune, I’m not sure.

lotan camo trousers

If I were to have brought along a third pair of trousers, I’d have packed my Nili Lotan Jenna pants—in fact I’d actually  probably have worn them on the plane because they’re so damn comfortable. I have them in blue, which is almost sold out, but I adore this dark camo too.

pink no 6 clogs

I would obviously be bringing along some No 6 clogs—the pair I’m thinking of is grey suede and, like the above pants, almost sold out. So I’m showing you this really good pink instead.

hera wash bag

My cosmetic bags are all really trashed, so I’m showing you this Liberty of London one I’ve been stalking.

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I travel with a flotilla of hair products, because my hair always flips out when I go away if I don’t stick to my usual routine. But this Davines Oi Oil might be the most important ingredient of all. I apply it after I blow-dry but before I use the curling iron, and it somehow magically makes my dry, damaged hair look impossibly smooth. And it comes in this nifty travel size.

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I kept hearing raves about micellar water, which is supposed to be super-hydrating and cleansing, so I decided to try some Bioderma wipes, and they are so excellent at removing makeup at bedtime when I’m too  lazy to wash my face. I haven’t been using them long enough to know if they’re hydrating, but I love the way my skin feels after I use them—smooth and clean and soft.

portrait of a lady body butter

I always make certain there’s room in my carry-on for a small container of  Portrait of a Lady Body Butter. Portrait of a Lady is my scent of choice, but the perfume itself is too strong for me, so for everyday I use their Hair and Body Oil, which is fantastic and very subtle. But oil is tricky to travel with, so for that I use the Body Butter, which smells so, so good—I have had people compliment me on the scent at gas stations off the Long Island Expressway—and is, I think, more moisturizing than the oil, which is what you want for travel.

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41 Thoughts on What I was packing for the trip to LA I’m now not taking
    therealblonde
    19 Feb 2018
    8:37am

    Feel better! And give yourself plenty of (bed)rest – I had pneumonia last year, but kept on working (life of a freelancer!) even if it was from my bed, and it took me ages to shake it. And order something cute to treat yourself!

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      Ann
      19 Feb 2018
      11:40am

      Feel better, Kim! I too had pneumonia last year and couldn’t believe how long it took me to get better. Seriously, rest.

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      Candy
      19 Feb 2018
      11:50am

      Ditto. Pneumonia left me weak and wiped out for months. Take it really easy…and thanks for this post even while you’re ill.

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        lizzie
        19 Feb 2018
        6:34pm

        ditto squared. you really need to take it easy.. feel better and use this time to nurture yourself!

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    c.w.
    19 Feb 2018
    8:42am

    I am so sorry to hear of you pneumonia. What a drag. I do hope you feel better soon and pats on the back for taking yourself to the doctor before you got on that plane. And so sorry you had to postpone your trip. Austin has also been suffering from too many grey sky days so I can empathize (although we are much warmer so I shouldn’t really complain!).

    As to your packing list: First of all, thank you for posting anything at all when you must feel like death warmed over! Second, what great choices! I’m leaning heavily toward a pr of Nili Lotan pants––I have never purchased any, but I’m so attracted to them!

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    Elisa
    19 Feb 2018
    8:47am

    All the best for a speedy recovery. That pneumonia is no joke. Give it the respect it demands (rest, rest, rest). Since the weather in LA NEVER CHANGES, you can wear all this great stuff anytime you go.

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      Heather
      19 Feb 2018
      2:45pm

      Truth. It was the SAME DAMN DAY for the decade-plus I lived there — nice to visit, but I’m so happy to be gone.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        19 Feb 2018
        6:20pm

        😉

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    Valleyoftheshoes
    19 Feb 2018
    8:51am

    Get well very soon!

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    Alexa
    19 Feb 2018
    9:03am

    Poor you!
    Take care of yourself.

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    DeDe
    19 Feb 2018
    9:42am

    Eff pneumonia!
    Best laid plans and all that jazz
    Wear stripes anyway.

    Feel better soon! (PS, I hope you got that Xirena shirt! I just ordered one of the blue versions this weekend – I dunno what it is about them, but they have curative powers, swear to god.)

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      KimFrance
      19 Feb 2018
      11:45am

      DeDe so funny you should say that because right now I am wearing sweats with stripes down the sides, a long-sleeved black and white striped tee and striped socks. My sick uniform.

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    Pamb
    19 Feb 2018
    9:45am

    If you like the micellar wipes, Trader Joe’s also does them. I haven’t tried them because I use the Garnier micellar water in a HUGE bottle, primarily as an eye makeup remover, but will use as a cleanser occasionally. Try it! I now comes in three versions, but I use the basic one with the pink cap, obviously modeled after Biodrema’s bottle. Cheap and available everywhere!

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    Jen
    19 Feb 2018
    9:51am

    There’s nothing worse than being robbed of rays of sunlight when you desperately need them. Feel better soon. Props to posting in your condition!

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    Jana
    19 Feb 2018
    9:58am

    XOXOXOs to you, Kim. Take care of yourself, my dear.

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    deenie
    19 Feb 2018
    10:42am

    awww, man! Feel better soon! I’m taking my teenage daughter for a long weekend next month, so your list will not be in vain. I’ve been feeling red too so this list is really helpful. Portrait of a lady is one of my go-to-scents that I usually layer with a customized scent.

    be sure to rest, rest, and then rest some more!

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    elise
    19 Feb 2018
    10:48am

    sorry to hear you’re sick and sorry you’re missing your trip! get well soon! and buy the scarf 🙂

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    Andrea G.
    19 Feb 2018
    10:50am

    Feel better Kim! Lots of rest and hydration as I’m sure you know.

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    Viajera
    19 Feb 2018
    11:01am

    I think you made the right decision … and I hope you will get well soon! (We are having a “cold snap” right now anyhow. Not that it would seem cold to you … but maybe it will be warmer when you do visit.)

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      Viajera
      19 Feb 2018
      11:03am

      Oh also … I meant to say, if you like your grey jeans that much, I would get another pair before they change the style and you never find them again. (hate that) It’s hard to find good jeans.

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    Dana D
    19 Feb 2018
    12:13pm

    Rest and sleep and rest and sleep and rest and sleep…

    and stay hydrated.

    Los Angeles will wait for you!

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    joannawnyc
    19 Feb 2018
    12:18pm

    I would be SO ANGRY if I paid that much for jeans and they bagged out like that. Well, I am annoyed if I pay less that $20 for jeans and they bag out. But the siren call of perfect fit and not having to worry about try-ons is so very very hard to shake, which may explain why I spent a fair amount of time in constant emotional agitation.

    Feel better soon, Kim! Your red/navy/gray/camo color scheme for the trip is seriously inspiring! I need a red top …

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    Deede
    19 Feb 2018
    12:56pm

    You are wonderful to post while sick…Loveth your blog….

    Stay hydrated…carry a water with you and by your bed to remind yourself…

    Well, sunny days ahead…

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    Mary Alice
    19 Feb 2018
    1:20pm

    Awww, I ‘m so sorry you couldn’t come out here to see us. If it’s any consolation, it’s supposed to rain later this week so maybe it’s for the best. We try hard to provide perfect weather for our east coast friends when they visit.
    Feel better soon!

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    Mary Alice
    19 Feb 2018
    1:27pm

    I forgot to tell my Portrait of a Lady story: Last year my husband and I went to Austin for a long weekend over spring break. We stayed in a cute little Air B&B cottage (and I mean TINY) and the first afternoon my glass travel bottle of Portrait of a Lady rolled off the bed and shattered…which meant that the entire place reeked of PoL for four days….my husband understandably asked me to please never wear it in his presence again (for those of you who may be unfamiliar, PoL is a beautiful but VERY intense fragrance, a little goes a very long way…)

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      Mamavalveeta03
      19 Feb 2018
      6:27pm

      I would have cried and then ruined the rest of the vacation by being in a shitty mood.

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    jhops
    19 Feb 2018
    1:43pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re sick, and that it messed up your vacation plans. But I can also attest that the weather here in LA is rather monotonously pleasant. There will be plenty of sunshine here whenever you manage to come visit.

    Also, you are a complete rock star for posting while sick. And your “uniform” sounds adorable.

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    Marcelle Karp
    19 Feb 2018
    3:14pm

    Oh no! I know you are taking good care of yourself, the good news is there’s so much good tv watching to do when you’re not napping.

    I got the Bioderma wipes some time ago and they don’t work on me at all. I went back to the overpriced Mac Cosmetics wipes (white pack) with the Neutrogena as back up. In my ongoing search for the right wipes, these two seem to be my best option(s).

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    marjorie
    19 Feb 2018
    3:17pm

    Waah! Feel better soon.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    19 Feb 2018
    6:16pm

    Oh bummer! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re so sick. Take it easy, Kim…I’ve had pneumonia and it’s nothing to mess with.

    The striped shirt is just what I’m looking for! And I love your anecdote re:Your signature fragrance!

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      y.k.
      19 Feb 2018
      7:37pm

      exactly – to overcome all those aromas at a stop on the LIE!
      yes- thanks for thinking of your readers. you’re a pro kimfrance.

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    monique J johnson
    19 Feb 2018
    7:27pm

    Pneumonia sucks. I had it too, one month of laying in bed coughing away was brutal for me.

    L.A. is cold at the moment (for L.A., that is), so the sun you seek ain’t even here, babe.

    Get better. Come here when the sun is happy to shine for you.

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    suz
    19 Feb 2018
    8:22pm

    Pneumonia is not playing, so take care of yourself. Take as much time as needed to truly get over it or it will spring back on you.

    If it makes you feel better LA is rainy very windy and cold today (in the 50s).

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    Karin
    20 Feb 2018
    2:34am

    If it is any consolation, it’s FREEZING in LA right now! Like in the low 60s. I’m wearing cashmere and flannels. Feel better!

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    Rita
    20 Feb 2018
    3:29am

    Oh no! I’m so sorry you’re sick. Sending best wishes your way for a speedy recovery.

    Jeans are miserable. But! (and I share this just because I’m so damn geeked out) I am about 10 minutes worth of work (and one missing tool that I will obtain tomorrow) away from having made my first pair of jeans! They are far from perfect, but they fit me WAAAAAY better than anything in my closet, and I’ve learned a ton for the next pair. Which I’ll probably start this week.

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      Viajera
      20 Feb 2018
      11:04am

      Rita! Where’d you learn to do that? Or are you teaching yourself? It’s *fascinating.* Like … how does one find fabric that will work????

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    merciblahblah
    20 Feb 2018
    11:10am

    Kim – I’m sorry to hear you’re under the weather. Best wishes that you feel better quick! I have to tell you that I was at my local HomeGoods/TJ Maxx yesterday, and they had THE CUTEST Liberty of London print suitcase, and my immediate thought was – OMG I WISH KIM FRANCE WAS HERE WITH ME!!! True story.

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    AnotherRebecca
    20 Feb 2018
    6:52pm

    Feel better, Kim! And may I suggest that we have a LA reader meet-up? I’m into it!

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      KimFrance
      21 Feb 2018
      7:52am

      In the original version of that post, when it looked like I was going out there, I suggested a meet-up. When I’m on the mend I’ll reschedule the trip and we can do it then.

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    Rita
    20 Feb 2018
    8:34pm

    My mom is an excellent seamstress–clothes when I was a kid, but she’s transitioned mostly into quilting now. So I learned how as a kid, and have sewn for myself on and off over the years, but I’ve really immersed myself in it the last few years. There’s a whole sewing blog/instagram world that is lovely to live in, and a ton of indie pattern designers who have some excellent patterns. And since my personal taste is far too expensive for my actual budget, I’ve been pushing myself to do more and more lately. So, jeans are the current project! Finished the pair this morning, and have fabric ready to cut out for the next pair now. 🙂

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      Viajera
      22 Feb 2018
      11:41am

      That’s wonderful!! I sew a little but would like to do more. I don’t think I am ready for jeans yet, not even close. I like thinking about it though. The fantasy of the perfect pair. Now I will go read Kim’s new post on denim!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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