HHH Shoping Guide / Travel Tips

Before going to Paris years ago, I was determined to find a comfortable shoe that would disguise my identity as a lowly, loathed American tourist. So, I went with a beautiful $500 pair of Etro brown and orange puppies that resembled a 1920s football cleat, an absolutely insane concept since I was pulling in around $32,000 a year at that point and had yet to even set foot on an airplane. But I firmly believe that everyone should go into vacation as if it was, say, a wedding. Yeah, yeah, you'll have those memories forever, but you really want to look decent - and like anything but an American tourist - in the photographs.
So, use the ugly, anonymous black pully suitcase to avoid being robbed by baggage handlers, but carry on nice leather travel goods with a purpose that may make small, chic appearances in the pictures ({1} Aspinal of London Plain Travel Collection, Aspinal of London, $220).
Simple, flattering clothes, losable accessories: Packing space is prime, so don't waste it on anything that will date you. No fleece (unless hiking). No bulk. Solid colors. ({2} Navy Crewneck Cashmere Tee, J.Crew, $145 and {7} Miu Miu High Waisted Pencil Skirt, net-a-porter, $395). Use scarves insead of jewlery to keep warm and spiff up the outfit. ({4} Alexander McQueen God Save McQueen Scarf, net-a-porter, $498 and {8} White India Cotton Scarf, Anokhi, $20).
Other helpful goods! A travel guide/diary to remember all the great places to brag about to your friends (or put on your blog): {3} Moleskine City Books, Moleskine, $16.95. A clear way to get through security smoothly and to avoid packaging clashes with your hotel room: {5} Nalgene Square Leakproof Bottle (2 oz. size), The Container Store, $1.49. A decent camera with which to capture all these simple, timeless outfits in front of key monuments, {6} Leica C-Lux 2, B&H Photo, $369.95.


  1. Great post! I'm obsessing over that scarf!

  2. The Bean says:

    Right on. I try my darndest not to look touristy, and I agree that it's all about the shoes. This ABC special, http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/story?id=6556024&page=1, sent fake tourists to Paris to act HORRIBLY and see how people reacted to them. I had to cover my eyes for some of it.

  3. I love my black c-lux 2. The best little pocket camera there ever was.

  4. Anonymous says:

    'Back in the day' I had no qualm about spending my last $ on shoes - you make me smile!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Your blog rocks! Love this post. Am moving to Europe and decided to take the QM2. What sort of luggage would you recommend. I would love to get Globetrotter, but cant swing it right now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is there any possible way you can be less pretentious? Most of America makes $32,000 or less to this day. Didn't you ever learn it is impolite to talk about how much one makes? And to top it off, most Americans cannot possibly afford a trip abroad and you have had how many trips? Why don't you take a trip where you can do something of value for another culture, instead of satisfying your wonderlust tendencies in sunbathing, shopping and other titilating activities?!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Firstly, according to the Census Bureau, the median income in the U.S. was $50,233.00 in 2007. Secondly, if the Hoveys can afford a trip abroad, good for them! I may stay at home this year, but I'll get vicarious pleasure from reading about their trip and I'm looking forward to it.

  8. David says:

    HH: I think very similarly when I travel. We went to Paris and London for my birthday last October, and I took two pairs of boots because I was determined not to look like a tourist in my New Balance cross trainers.

    Nine days abroad with my black Frye engineers and a pair of brown Mark Nason ankle boots. Two belts, a few pairs of good jeans, and solid sweaters and shirts in navy, black, and white. My leather bomber can go black or brown depending so it worked with both.

    The one thing I didn't think to take was a scarf, and I should have. French men work a scarf like nobody's business.

  9. Anonymous says:

    From census.gov

    Generally, the long-term trend has been toward increasing income inequality. Since 1969, the share of aggregate household income controlled by the lowest income quintile has decreased from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent in 1997, while the share to the highest quintile increased from 43.0 percent to 49.4 percent. Most noticeably, the share of income controlled by the top 5 percent of households has increased from 16.6 percent to 21.7 percent.

    Shut up "vicarious pleasure" anonymous. You missed the whole point with your rapid race to check my approximation of the dismal salary situation in this country. You are another one who needs to get up off their ars and do something for somebody else instead of living through someone else's life.

  10. Anonymous says:

    By the way, who are you David? Do you try to be all things to all people? I'll swear, you make comments on every blog I read. Are you just somethin, somethin or what?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous, your comments are boorish and obnoxious. You have no knowledge of the charitable activities of the Miss Hoveys or anyone else who reads this blog and it isn’t really any of your business.

    Hollister, my apologies for continuing this ridiculous exchange in your lovely blog. I will say no more.

  12. To the concerned anon: Only pointed out my salary to underscore how ridiculous it was to buy those shoes. And frankly, as frivolous and self-indulgent as it may be, leisure travel ensures that millions of hard working people keep their jobs at hotels, restaurants, airlines, shops, amusement parks, the theater, etc. and supports the economies of whole nations. You must not have been in New York after 9/11. All those so-called pretentious world travelers and shoppers helped keep the city afloat. I in no way mean to equate shopping to building latrines, but it's ridiculous to demonize those who want a little escape and cultural enrichment in their lives. Everyone needs a vacation - and Americans don't take enough of it.

    I think you take this blog (my goodness, it's a style blog!) too seriously. It's all (minus the tributes to my dead relatives) meant to be in good fun and taken with a grain of salt.

  13. Hollister, would you mind terribly sharing how you do these image boards?

  14. Unknown says:

    Love the ideas in this post. After spending around ten months in the past year and a half travelling, I know how important packing correctly is!


  15. *e says:

    Like the shopping guide! Just wish it wasn't so pricey. Do you have any suggestions for inexpensive alternatives? :) Thx!

  16. absolutely adore the items you chose and am expecting the Aspinal of London Plain Travel Collection to arrive any day now . . .