What Shoes To Pack on Your Next Trip (and The Simple Sandal Black Friday Sale!)

Speaking from experience, the shoes you pack can absolutely make or break a trip.

When I first travelled to Europe with Ben in 2007 I was incredibly unprepared for the heat and cobblestones, packing a few flimsy pairs of ballet flats (one I had failed to wear in at all!) and a dainty pair of $5 white sneakers. Looking back at the photos I can tell that the pained expression I have isn’t down to the fact that most of my cards failed and we spent more time in internet cafes than anything else (pre iPhone travel was HARD!), it’s the footwear that left me completely unhinged. Not even the first flushes romance (falling hard for the Amalfi coastline, as well as Ben) could counteract the pain of throbbing, aching sore feet. I bought some more shoes of course, but not before actual tears were spilled.

Needless to say these days footwear is my absolute number one priority when it comes to packing… Which is why I thought it would be fun to share with you a packing guide that will help you choose your shoes, gleaned from a little trial, a little error. Go forth and enjoy your trip, without sore feet 🙂

Before I go any further, I wanted to let you all know that we’re celebrating Blaclk Friday with 20% off your order of The Simple Sandals, using the code ‘simple20’. Run, don’t walk!

Shoes to pack on your travels

Wearing: Reformation Dress, The Simple Sandals in Tan, Locally Made handbag, Sportsgirl hat.

Comfort is obviously key, as is choice. But at the same time you need to balance the urge to pack 93479 pairs – not only do they weigh down your suitcase you’ll find you will end up wearing only a few simple styles. Therefore, based on my original packing post that outline the 5,4,3,2,1 method, for shoes you’re going to want to follow the rule of three. This formula is all about packing 2 functional pairs, and one formal/more dressy pair. This works for most destinations!

Pack 3 pairs of shoes, 2 functional pairs and 1 dressy pair.

When it comes to the colours you choose, neutral tones are always flexible, and also consider the bags you are taking and, if you’re like me and have to match, choose complementary shoe colours. Anddddddd because every trip is different, and often decided by where you’re going and what you’re doing, we’ve broken this guide down into what to pack for various destinations/events, read on below for more details.

What shoes to pack when you go on holiday

For the beach

Packing for the beach is just about as easy as it gets in the shoe department, in fact you want to be shoeless as much as physically possible! Two pairs of sandals and another pair of more dressy heels (I like a wedge/ espadrille in case I find myself walking on unstable ground) are perfect for a purely beach holiday. If you think you might be doing some sightseeing or travelling inland, swap one pair of sandals for a pair of sneakers and you’re good to go!

For work

Travelling for work? I hear ya. Did a bit of that in my time as a town planner, running on and off planes with a tiny suitcase and laptop bag. Fun, until it isn’t anymore. Anyway, you’re going to want to take functional, covered shoes as well as a pair with a little class and a bit of a heel in case you need to give yourself a boost (in height, and maybe confidence too?). Naturally this is generalised and it was also depend on your profession, destination, time away and office dress code but this is a good start. Overnight trips will need one or two pairs only.

For the city

Chances are you’ll be wearing your sneakers or comfy flats/sandals pretty much all day when travelling in a city, but you’re also going to want to look a little put together, more so than casual/beach destinations. Naturally it depends on the vibe of the city and the types of activities that you will be doing, but a pair of heels is a good idea to throw in with two comfortable pairs of shoes, so you can feel a little more dressed up come the evening.

For the outdoors

Comfort all the way on this one. The outdoors can obviously cover a whole range of trips, but in general you can ditch any sort of dressy or heeled shoes, chances are you’re not going to need them. You’ll probably also want to take your oldest shoes if there’s any chance you’ll be going offroad – hiking boots if you’re that way inclined or comfy sneakers if you’re more of a watch from the jeep kinda gal.

For a festival

This is an occasion you’ll be walking for miles as well as being away from your tent for probably the whole day… and half the night, so you need few pairs of shoes that will go the distance. Obviously  footwear will largely be dictated by whether or not it’s going to rain – think Glastonbury. If it is you’ll need to ditch all of the above and take wellies instead, but if it’s going to be bright and sunny – think Coachella – you can get away with sneakers or boots instead. A pair of sandals is a good choice for downtime around the tent or at your accommodation.

For a wedding

Depending on the plans for the wedding day itself, chances are you’ll want to take a heel with you – a pump or strappy sandals is a good choice, a medium height rather than sky high is a good choice if you need to be on your feet all day. Ballet flats and sandals are perfect for downtime outside of the wedding, and giving your feet a break after a big night!

Shoes to pack on your travels

But where do I find the right shoes?

Looking for the perfect styles? Naturally I’ll point you in the direction of The Simple Sandal when it comes to sandals… For boots I like Madewell, J Crew, and Sezane. For sneakers I’ve recently bought my second pair of Springcourts and they are great, otherwise Adidas does a fail-safe style. And ballet flats? Repetto does a high end style, otherwise Zara is always a safe bet for a knock around pair.

Shoes to pack on your travels

One another note, I couldn’t help but share these photos of the Palm Springs Cactarium with you. Tenuous link with the shoes I know but oh well. It has to be the most beautiful, stunning, amazing, gorgeous, awe inspiring place in the world. To me anyway…. When can I move in?

Shoes to pack on your travels

I hope everyone who celebrates is having a really lovely Thanksgiving!

In case you  missed it get 20% off The Simple Sandal using the code ‘simple20’. 

DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote with Le Petit Rose

Ahhh the start of Summer down under, is there anything better?

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to experience the beginning of the warmer months in Australia, and couldn’t help but want to get outside with friends… and wine!  And what other way is there to kick off summer than to have a sunset picnic?  Balmy evenings where you can forget everything else except the company (and the drinks).

To celebrate the launch of their new, deliciously light Le Petit Rosé, Jacobs Creek invited me to embrace Summer the rosé way by creating an accessory for the perfect rose drenched Australian afternoon, with a touch of French Chic (care of this French style wine). Being a picnic lover from way back, I knew it would have to be a picnic basket, this time a slightly more modern take on a classic – the embroidered and colour blocked picnic tote. I made two because when it comes to picnics, more is definitely more. Right?

DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

Wearing: Paddo to Palmy Dress, The Simple Sandals in Tan, Hat from Spain.

DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

You Need

  • A Basket tote bag (x 2)
  • Acrylic paint and a paint brush
  • Ribbon
  • An embroidery needle
  • and wine cos… crafting should be fun! 🙂

DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

How to

Embroidered Tote
1. Use a marker to sketch out the words you want to apply to your tote bag.
2. Thread your embroidery needle with ribbon.
3. Following the letters you marked, carefully stitch down the ribbon, using the straw of the bag to keep the letters in place.
4. To finish each word, knot the ribbon inside the bag.
5. Go over each word a second time if you want the letters to be heavier.

DIY Embroidered Picnic ToteDIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

Colour Blocked Tote
1. Using a pencil, mark where you would like your paint to go on the bag.
2. Carefully apply the paint to the bag, making sure to paint in even strokes.
3. Fill in all the cracks and bumps of the bag, ensuring the top edge is straight and no straw shows through.
4. Allow to dry overnight.

DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote


DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

Pair your new picnic totes with a delicious bottle of Le Petit Rosé, yummy treats and a jetty location on Australia’s version of the French Riviera… the Hawkesbury at Palm Beach! Talk about a dream.

DIY Embroidered Picnic ToteDIY Embroidered Picnic ToteDIY Embroidered Picnic ToteDIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

Sole Mates. Nicola and I in The Simple Sandal in black and tan.

DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

Hmmmm how gorgeous is this jetty by the way? There are 792749 jetties in Palm Beach but I think this one takes the cake. Dawson’s Creek you got nothing on this! 🙂

DIY Embroidered Picnic ToteDIY Embroidered Picnic ToteDIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

On behalf of Le Petit Rosé I’d love to invite you to say ‘you, me, oui’ to Summer at the Rose Summer Social, presented by Jacobs Creek in Sydney, Sat Dec 3, 2016. You’ll get to enjoy complimentary rose at the Le Garden Party at an amazing harbourside mansion…. Sign me up! Head here for more details. Ps of you head over to the sign up page you’ll see a sneak peek of the next DIY we’ll she sharing soon….

DIY Embroidered Picnic Tote

In case you’re wondering, I’m back in Hong Kong now for a little bit, where the weather is cold and rainy. Looking back this gorgeous afternoon feels like a dream!

This post is in collaboration with Le Petit RoséPhotos by Nicola Lemmon.

Creative Wrapping Idea: DIY Stitched Up Gift Wrap

Can you believe it’s only 4 weeks til christmas? Where did the year go?!? Anyway, enough freaking out and on to today’s post. You won’t be surprised that I’m all about creative wrapping of gifts when it comes to the holidays… The more interesting/fun to open the better! Last year I created 3D Stars that were great as a decoration and also pretty cool to open too (if I may say so myself!), and for me those two elements are key. The guys over at Oroton recently asked me to try my hand at coming up with a few creative gift wrap ideas to celebrate the release of their oh-so-giftable Bueno and Jewellery collections, and I was totally up for the challenge. First up? These stitched up parcels that take minimal materials but have maximum wow factor. Enjoy!

DIY Stitched Up Gift Parcel Wrap

In this photo:  Heritage Watch and rings.

2 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas - DIY Sewn Stars

Bueno collection Zip Clutch Wallet, Zip Pouch, Zip CC Sleeve.

You need:

  • Black, white and brown poster paper
  • A sewing machine/needle and thread
  • A star template
  • Scissors
  • Confetti/tinsel pieces

DIY Sewn Up Wrapping

How to: 

  1. Create your star template by downloading and printing . A tip? To make giant ones, we printed half a star on A3 paper, and then joined two of these together using tape.
  2. Outline and cut out two stars from your chosen paper. We did a mix of black, white and brown paper.
  3. Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew the two stars together about 1cm (half inch) from the edge. Make sure you use a long stitch which will put less pressure on the paper.
  4. Leave one side open.
  5. Fill with presents and tinsel/confetti.
  6. Sew up the open side. All done!

2 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas - DIY Sewn Stars

Wearing: Oroton Heritage watch and rings.

2 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas - DIY Sewn Stars

You can make these stars in just about any size, they’re perfect for any gift as long as it’s quite flat. You can also make them in a range of sizes… next time I’ll be trying out a half moon shape and a circle. It’s a choose your adventure type wrapping! 🙂

2 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas - DIY Sewn Stars

The best part? Ripping them open! 

star-just-22 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas - DIY Sewn Stars

Stay tuned for another creative wrapping idea coming soon!

This post is in collaboration with Oroton. Photos by Kit Lee, Styling and concept by Geneva Vanderzeil, DIY support from Margaret McCarthy.

DIY Tie Neck Top

A cut, snip and a stitch is all it takes to turn a simple shirt into something totally different. Over on Who What Wear Australia I’m showing you how to bring a little sexy back with this DIY bow cut shirt. Head to the post here or read on to check it out. 

DIY Tie Neck Top

You need

  • Oversized shirt
  • 2m x ribbon (in matching or contrasting colour)
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pen
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread

DIY Tie Neck Top

How to

  1. Cut off the collar fall (the top section of the collar that folds over the neck), leaving the collar stand.

DIY Tie Neck Top

2. Folding the shirt in half at the centre back, use the fabric pen to mark out the cutting line, drawing a “V” from the bottom of the collar stand at the shoulder seam to a point about 35cm down at the centre back.

DIY Tie Neck Top

3. Cut along the marked lines starting from the the bottom of the collar stand.

DIY Tie Neck Top

4. Pin and sew the raw edge along the length of the “V” with a 0.5cm seam to create a clean edge. 

DIY Tie Neck Top

5. Cut the collar stand in half at the centre back.

DIY Tie Neck Top

6. Cut the ribbon in half to create two 1m length pieces and pin and sew one length to each half of the collar stand. It’s also a good idea to apply a small layer of clear nail polish to the end of the ribbon to prevent it from fraying.

DIY Tie Neck Top

All done!

DIY Tie Neck Top

Photos by Nicola Lemmon, taken at the gorgeous Paddo To Palmy House.

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