Thursday, May 18, 2017

packing for ireland (rain coat reviews & looking for any suggestions!)

With so many things happening in our lives right now (buying a house, planning a wedding, graduating next week), I have been so slacking on planning our trip to Ireland! We decided last fall that we were going to go to Ireland as our graduation present to ourselves, and honestly, I am so excited about this trip. I have never been to Ireland, and I think we are just going to fall in love with it. I really wanted to visit a new country, and CR really wanted to have something with a ton of nature, so Ireland seemed like the perfect fit for us!

It took a bit to get a bearing on where we were going to go while there. We are going for seven days, which everyone says is not enough time to see everything. I always prefer to explore a bit more and get a feeling for the place I'm visiting, rather than just running from one tourist spot to the next. I knew I wanted to see some of the major cities, but we also were interested in doing a Game of Throne tour (since much of the show is filmed there), but after a lot of researching and looking at suggested itineraries, we decided to save Northern Ireland for a future trip. So we narrowed our trip down to Dublin, Killarney, and Galway. I just booked all of our Air BnB's this week, and next on the to-do list is renting a car. If you have been to any of these locations, please send your recommendations your way. Shelter and transportation was #1 on my list, so now we need to figure out adventures, food, and castles! ;)

One of the things I've obviously also been thinking about is what I'm going to wear on this trip! I've read conflicting things - some people say don't wear a raincoat because you'll look like a tourist. Others say always have a raincoat on you. Other people swear they wore rainboots the whole time, others say it's a waste of space in your suitcase. In some parts, it can be 85 degrees all day, and in others it's 60 degree and windy. So I was a bit unsure about what that all means. Here's what I'm thinking, and if you are from Ireland or have been, please let me know if I'm thinking about this the wrong way. The weather really looks like there is a high of 65, with lots of rain in our future.

RAIN COAT: I don't own a raincoat anymore, so I think it's time to get a new one. I have always wanted a bright red raincoat, I just think it would be so fun and bright on dreary days. I looked around, and here are the three I found:

Barbour Trevose Waterproof Hooded Jacket
The first one I ordered just because I have always wanted to try a Barbour coat. I think they are just beautiful classic coats that I've long admired on others. This is their Trevose coat - it's a front zip + snap, polyester coat with removal hood. I think this is such a fun coat - the lining is adorable, it fit well, and I really liked the feeling of this coat. But I don't love the pockets (you can't comfortable put your hands in them, something that's important on a rainy day!) and it is so expensive. If I lived in a super rainy area and loved all aspects of this coat, I could maybe justify the price, but I know I won't wear this enough in Ohio the rest of the year (besides this trip) to feel comfortable spending that amount of money on a coat. I was impressed by the quality of Barbour though, so will definitely keep them in mind for future coats!
The second coat is from Michael Kors. It is an unlined, zip up, polyester jacket. I have several items from Michael Kors I really like (my watch, driving mocs, and bag for example), but this was not a winner for me. The sleeves are too short, the arms are too large, and it just was very thin and crinkly, and not worth the $130 it costs
Contrast Cuff Fishtail Anorak 1 MADISON
Okay, this last one, and my personal favorite, is from 1 Madison, a brand that is new to me. Unlike the other two, this is made with a polyurethane fabric instead of polyester. It is a lot less crinkly and smoother, which I love (down side is that it smells a little plasticy right out the box, so I'm hoping that airs out a bit). The reasons I really like this is because the fabric is softer, it's lined, it was cuffs in the sleeve so you are actually protected, it's a bit longer so your butt is covered, and the pockets are at an angle so you can actually put your hands in them. Overall, I like this one a lot, and think it's a winner! If you're interested, it also comes in bright yellow, blue, and olive, which I think are all great fun colors for a rain coat! For reference, I ordered a large in all three of these. 

OTHER COATS: For times that it's not super rainy, or when we aren't out exploring and are just going to dinner or whatever, I'm going to bring along my J.Crew Field jacket. Mine is black, so it goes with everything, and protects you from the elements without being a rain coat. 

TOPS & SWEATERS: When I travel, I really like to bring a lot of my closet staples with me - I know they always work, and they all mix well with one another. My plan is to bring a few short sleeved t-shirts, several long sleeved t-shirts (debating trying out Everlane's newer striped tees), my chambray shirt obviously, my favorite Everlane sweater, a few dressier tops, and my beloved Patagonia fleece. This way I can mix and match depending on the weather and situation! 

PANTS: Black jeans are going to be pretty much all I bring - again, they are so versatile, they go with everything, and I find they hide stains a bit better too (which is important if you can't wash your clothes). My favorites are my ripped version from 7 for all Mankind, and the non-ripped version from Paige

BAGS: I'm excited I get to use my suitcase again - I haven't used it since we went to Santorini 18 months ago! I just love this suitcase, and have actually been using the smaller version of it basically weekly since I bought it in September. The larger one is actually currently super on sale, if you are looking for a new suitcase! My Madewell Transport tote is my carryon bag, which is great because it holds a lot, but also is such a classic bag that I can use it while we travel too. I'll bring along my vintage Coach cross body bag for when we are doing a lot of walking - I love that it has a flap, and holds my camera, and wallet and still has room for more!

SHOES: This is something that I wasn't sure about. I love my Hunter rainboots, but they are pretty big, and I don't like wearing them all day long because my legs get sweaty from having plastic on them. I ran across these Chelsea rain boots the other day, and thought they'd be the perfect compromise for keeping my feet dry but also not taking up a bunch of space in my suitcase or being on my legs the whole day. I'll also bring along my MK driving loafers for dryer terrain, and my Tory Burch tortoise flats for dinners. 

And that's it!! If you've been to Ireland, please send me all of your suggestions. If you are familiar with the weather in Ireland in early June, and I'm thinking about this the wrong way, please let me know!! I can't wait for this vacation - with all the craziness going on in our lives, it'll be nice to escape for a week!