mountain chic



photo taken by 9 year old Abby on January 3, 2008 / from left to right: me, Bob and my younger brother

Over the years, Bob and I have been fortunate to be included** on some unbelievable incentive trips. With each destination and itinerary there's suggested attire - black tie, business, business casual, etc - and it's always interesting to see each person's interpretation of the guidelines. We always err on the side of over-dressed. I'd rather be over-dressed than show up as the clown who interprets 'resort attire' as capris and a t-shirt. Business casual always stumps Bob - tie/no tie? sportcoat? - and we usually spend part of the afternoon beforehand creating a consensus amongst the group of men so it's not one poor sucker as the odd-man-out. Better to remove the tie and coat than show up without. Pro tip: 'resort attire' for men does NOT include a loud Tommy Bahama camp shirt. Never.

Anyhoo, we leave tomorrow for a fabulous 4 day, sans kids boondoggle to Jackson Hole, WY with the very loose guideline of 'Mountain Chic'. I ran into the same problem for last year's March trip to Vail. Googling doesn't get you very far and trolling through People Magazine's Sundance Film Festival photos isn't much help either - I don't own a shearling coat or a rhinestone encrusted belt and I refuse to wear my cowboy boots in an ironic way. What I did learn last year is that mountain chic = denim and I can do denim.

Fortunately this trip is a small group of fun couples - some of whom we've traveled with before - and I'm looking forward to dressing comfortably in jeans. I really needed to update the few pair I have but I didn't have a lot of time to waste to so I headed to J. Crew to pick up a few staples. Even better? I had Christmas gift cards and there's an extra 30% off sale going on so I spent significantly less than I originally thought.packing-list mountain chic

I plan to live in this chambray shirt dress (1) well into spring but I'll start by pairing it with these great white jeans (5) or with tights and boots and eventually with just a pair of strappy sandals. These ankle length, matchstick jeans (2) work with Lulu's MacAllister booties (3) (good news / bad news? the girls and I share the same size shoe), tucked into my leather Ugg boots (4) or with cute skimmers. I grabbed this great off-white silk blouse (6) because it was 20% off and I'll wear it forever. Now all I have to do is add a couple sweaters, my indispensable black turtleneck, a pair of black leggings and a few of my necklaces and I can go from the Elk Preserve tour straight to dinner and a sleigh ride. The best part is that these pieces will carry me well into summer - minus the boots obvi.

** 'included' should really read: EARNED. Bob's travel, conference calls, and hours of work (rinse and repeat) pays off.