Portugal part 4: What I wore

Portugal part 4: What I wore

I know a lot of you are like “yeah yeah yarn store spinner blessing blah blah WHATEVER — how did the packing work out??” Well, let me just tell you right off the bat: I did not pack right for this trip. I would have nailed it, had we only been there a week sooner. I’d been watching the forecast for weeks, and you may remember I was packing for this trip and for Squam at the same time because they were so close together as to necessitate two separate piles of clothing. I’d also researched weather norms in Portugal for June. And all indications were that it would be in the 60s to low 70s. (Ok, like SF, was how I was thinking of it.) I’d planned to take a bunch of sleeveless stuff, and threw in my usual silk Eliz Suzann top (with its sort-of sleeves) and my Archer button-up, worried I wasn’t going to be warm enough. By the time I actually zipped up the suitcase the night before, the predicted temps had climbed up into the mid-70s with one day in the low 90s. But by the time we hit the ground, a bonafide heat wave had sent in. It was in the mid-90s every day (and stayed hot all night), and I was both mentally and sartorially unprepared for it.

The one saving grace was that I had thrown in my black linen pants at the last second, wanting them for lounging around and for just-in-case. They wound up being the only thing I could really stand to have on, but I was forced to wear my heavy canvas pants and jeans for at least part of the time. The shirts with sleeves stayed in my suitcase the whole time (the sweatshirt was worn only on the plane, but I was happy to have it for that), and all I wore were my few sleeveless tees over and over, with a rotation of pants. I was a giant sweat ball the whole time.

I did look cute that one evening in Porto, up top, when it was just barely cool enough to wear my beloved denim vest. And I also wore the vest with my pajamas — i.e., the linen pants and a tank top — the day we spent knitting in the breezy living room at the mountaintop hotel (and on my flights to and from). By that point — after the dusty vineyard tour and the running of the sheep and so on — all of my pants felt filthy except for my jeans, which were brutal to wear back in the cobblestone oven of Lisbon, but it was unfortunately unavoidable.

My companions were much smarter and had each brought a dress or two, which they wore on repeat. The star of the trip was definitely Jaime’s red Brome maxi-dress, which you can read all about here. And I was also super envious of Keli‘s two breezy tencel Merchant & Mills Dress Shirt dresses, the black one of which she’s wearing in the group shot above — exactly the sort of loose garb you want at a time like that, and she looked great in them. Amber’s linen Fen dress and my linen pants made me vow to only travel with linen base garments from now on — additional layers to be determined by the weather on a per-trip basis.

So not my best packing outcome — but hey, I lived through it and you can’t tell in the pics how sweaty I am! Or why I’m wearing my pajamas on that drive down from the mountaintop. Below is the full blow-by-blow of what got worn when and how. (Some of these outfits make me sad just looking at them!) For garment details, see the packing list:

Portugal travel guide: What I wore

And there ends my tale. If you missed any of it, you can scroll through the complete set of Portugal posts here, and see the trip in motion in my Instagram Portugal Story. And you can see lots more photos from everyone else’s perspectives on the #portewegal feed. Thank you for indulging me in this voluminous travelogue!

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PREVIOUSLY in Portugal: Part 3: Mountains, wool and the sheep blessing

All photos © Anna Dianich

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21 thoughts on “Portugal part 4: What I wore

  1. In the normal course of things, we take one trip out of the country each year, and several short trips within the country during outher parts of the year, usually just to visit family, attend a wedding, or some such. I don’t consider that a lot of travel, but its enough that each time I add an item of clothing, I think about how it will travel, how will it work with the other clothes that i like to travel with,can I wash it in the sink etc. Not everything that I own is appropriate for travel, but there is enough there that I can pack easily, without a lot of thought, for pretty much any destination, using the clothes that I already have. As you plan the additions to your fall wardrobe, its something to think about.

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    • The hard thing was NOT taking my Clyde vest. As I was working on that, all I could think was how ideal it is for travel, and I opted to save it for Portugal instead of taking it to Squam, and then left it out at the last minute when the temps were tipping upwards and it no longer seemed like I’d need anything jacket-like on the daily, as it had appeared.

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  2. I feel you! I’ve went on a string of trips where the weather was unexpectedly much hotter or colder than expected. I always plan to bring at least 1 long sleeve shirt and pants (often just ponte leggings) on warm trips in case of unexpected cold weather, or a dress/skirt and shoes I don’t need socks with on cold weather trips. They might end up on repeat, but they don’t take up much room and they’ve saved me a few times!

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  3. For what it’s worth, I thought you looked cute all the time. Even more amazing given the weather! You would never know from the pictures how uncomfortable you were. That’s hard, though, to not feel you packed the right things!

    I’m curious about your bag/backpack! If you care to share details.

    Thanks for the gloriously detailed travel diary. Portugal is on my short list of places I’d love to visit. I appreciate your hadd work writing all of this for us!

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  4. Your research actually didn’t serve you that well, we’ve had the coldest and rainiest June in 18 years.

    Usually June is high heat time, it’s when beach weather really hits (which means the sea water goes from freezing to tolerable), and it’s when we celebrate the saints (the blessing occurred during St. Peter’s day if i’m not wrong).

    In fact we’ve called June January all month long (and we’re in February now).

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  5. Fabulous recap!!!!! thank you so much for sharing you left no stone un turned in your details and you look fabulous – and no one knew the true you – !!!!!

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  6. You were lucky. Looks like we did the same trip, but were there a week or so before you and we had nothing but rain and it was chilly. We packed for high 60’s low 7o’s and we hit high 50’s low 60’s. Wish we had a fleece with us. Thankfully, we had packed rain gear. Guess gives us a reason to return.

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  7. I think you coordinated all very well. I used to live in Bay Area California and loved the fact I could wear dresses maybe 7-8 months a year. When it is warm I love dresses (all the air circulates:) I then have a thin pair of leggings to wear under in case it is colder. Comfort is key.

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  8. When traveling to a place that MIGHT be hot (and let’s face it – these days, almost anywhere MIGHT be hot!) – – – something I always take into consideration is packing clothes that don’t show perspiration. The goal: it may be there, but it won’t be super-evident.

    For this, super light (white, off-white), or super dark (navy blue, black) colors work best.
    Light-weight is better than heavier.
    Looser is better that tight (this, always!)
    Linen is better than cotton, but some cotton can be just fine.

    Living in the Bay Area, close to the water, this is not something I need to take into consideration on a day-to-day basis, ever! Year-round easy-dressing in layers (and only perspiring during workouts) is the best!

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  9. The red/orange shoes are so good! I bet you looked better than you felt most days. Some bright accessories are key when traveling, for me–recently I went to Chicago and it was so much hotter than I expected that I had to wear the same dress over and over, but swapping out earrings made it feel like I was changing.

    Thanks for mentioning the maxi dress. Although I’m not a long dress person in everyday life–I feel I’m too short for them to be a great look on me normally–I think they’re a good travel options in so many ways. They are comfortable, can dress up or down, can be cool, and can look “modest” if that’s a desirable thing in certain destinations. I’m thinking next time I travel I may make one up in silk, my favorite fabric to wear, which has the extra benefit of being easy to wash in a sink and hang dry by morning. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing all your lovely travel details! Portugal is now more than ever on my travel wish list.

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    • I’m trying to figure out if that’s a kind of dress I would actually wear, or if it’s the last dress I would ever actually put on. But she looked amazing — and it was so photogenic!

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    • It’s such an important question! It’s super important to wear sensible shoes — the hills are serious and the cobblestones are not to be trifled with. I was really happy with my shoes, and very concerned for my pal in Olivia Newton-John style clog heels.

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  10. For the love of totes – please manufacture a fringe assoc knitting version of that tote back pack. Sweet Jesus – I want one in the canvas camo and Jen’s patterns. Promise us you will do it. Like sketch it in your little lined book and start production tomorrow.

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  11. Glad you enjoyed your trip despite hot weather. I am a big believer in layers. I used to travel with silk long underwear to wear under light outer layers but these days (for those of use who sew) a silk knit tank top (worn alone when hot or under another top), capri leggings in a wicking fabric (again worn alone if hot or under light pants if cool) and a light jacket in a wind resistant fabric gives lots of options. I prefer organic fabrics but for travel I will use technical fabrics if I see myself using them at home.

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