I cannot pinpoint at what point I fell in love, but wool was something I understood from a young age. My Father had a wild wardrobe of suits, all wool, no blends. Different weights, designs and textures. His career took him out of the country so much, that in order to steal a moment with him, I used to sit on the bed and watch him pack. If the Gap thinks they know how to train their employees, they never saw the inside of my Father’s closet, nor were they ever yelled at for having left an article of clothing on the floor. Nothing was out of Place, everything was well thought out.
When I watch Don Draper in Mad Men, I see my Father. The suits, well pressed white cuffed shirt, pristine silk ties and military polished shoes. For his more casual look, a button down, cashmere sweater and dark jeans (at that point in the 80s and 90s they were not in fashion, and I am ashamed I was a little embarrassed he wasn’t hipper). Watching him pack for a business trip, was like watching a master kimono dresser. So, I watched and always looked forward to being able to pack. But the wool, it always looked fantastic hanging in the closet, and my Father’s suits always looked like new after a day of being hung up after coming out of a suitcase.
So, my first splurge was a wool suit when I started to work. But soon, I discovered Merino wool long underwear from MEC! Now, I have travelled with a set of not only leggings, but a long-sleeved merino wool shirt. One of my colleagues laughed at me when he discovered I had it stuffed in my carry on. I was the Butt of many jokes. But, they didn’t laugh when we landed, our suitcases didn’t make the tight layover.
We were expected in a meeting the next day, all stores were closed, and well, it was the afternoon. A smart boss once told me, always wear a suit-jacket on the plane, and I always went one step further and always packed this wool skirt from Jcrew that had no lining (genius if you ask me), and of course a trusty shawl to put over me for warmth. I got to the hotel, took my trusty long-sleeved Merino wool long undershirt, hung it up, along with the skirt and jacket, hung it up in the bathroom while I showered. It might not have been a perfect outfit, but it always works like a charm.
Travelling in any form, means travelling as if your bags won’t get there.
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