The Lady Packs for Travel

This week I am slightly obsessed by What. To. Pack. For. Orlando. Orlando, as most of you reading this will know, is where the Romance Writers of America is holding its annual conference. NEXT WEEK.

Each year I tell myself I’m not going to buy anything for the conference, just make do with my old conference clothes (worn only once or twice), but inevitably I wander into Macys (virtually or for real) and devour the sales racks. I found some pretty blouses I couldn’t resist and some great light-weight sweaters from Land’s End for chilly conference rooms. I’m all set.

And I might as well announce here that I will be signing copies of the September book, Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Lady at the Literacy Booksigning! Get your signed copy early and do something good for Literacy.

Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Lady is Book 2 of my Three Soldiers Series. I’m working on Book 3, Gabriel’s story as we speak. I hope to bring it to an end before leaving for the conference next Monday.

In Gabriel’s story, my heroine, Emmaline must travel around England with Gabe, so she had to pack a bag, too, right? just like I will be doing…I had to imagine what she would take with her.

Emmaline is not of the aristocracy, so her clothing would be more functional than elaborate. It is summer, so a nice shawl should be enough for cool nights (she wouldn’t need any clothes for the “hot” nights!).

She’d have one bag she could carry herself- a portmanteau. My imagination has her carrying a portmanteau made of sturdy cloth, like the carpet bags of the Post Civil War South, but I couldn’t find any Regency era images, so she might have carried a leather valise similar to this. (This is a handmade reproduction. You can actually purchase one like it at River Ridge Leather)

What would she pack? Here’s my guess:
1 Pretty dress, suitable for impressing Gabriel.
1 Traveling dress in a fabric that can be brushed off to clean it.
1-2 other dresses in lightweight fabric.
1 pair Half boots for travel
1 pair of slippers for other
2 pairs of gloves, one for traveling, one for “good”
2 bonnets, one for travel, one for “good”
2 shifts/chemises, one to wear, one to launder
2 corsets? Or maybe she would only have one. It might take up too much room in the portmanteau.
Hairbrush, comb, hairpins
Tooth brush and tooth powder
Bar of soap
Small bottle of scent -lavender, I think.
Clothes brush

Okay, what am I missing? What else might she need?

Tonight here I’ll announce the winner of Mary Blayney’s Courtesan’s Kiss. Tomorrow at Diane’s Blog, I’ll announce my winner of my two week Blog Contest for a signed copy of Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady (still time to enter – just leave a comment)

And next Monday I’ll be on the road to Orlando!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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Mary Blayney
12 years ago

Love this entry, Diane.

Bit what about stockings and garter?

Little bit of jewelry –like earrings?

No book to read?

I would think only one set of stays as it is worn over the chemise so not likely to need laundering as often.

So how many pairs of shoes are YOU taking to Orlando?

Michelle Styles
12 years ago

A spare pocket rather than the reticule.

And I agree with one set of stays.
Possibly more handkerchiefs.

12 years ago

Ah. Packing. One can never have too many handkerchiefs, you know.

If you don’t want to buy anything new, can you ask your BFF to lend you that cunning new shawl?

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Mary, I’m slapping my forehead for forgetting stockings and garters. Hope I don’t forget MY stockings…or anything else essential.

As for jewelry, she wears a ring on a chain under her clothes, if I can remember it in certain scenes…I don’t think she wears other jewelry.

And how many pairs of shoes am I taking? I’m telling myself 4 pairs – one fancy; one semi-fancy; two comfortable…We’ll see how many more I add.

Michelle, handkerchiefs!!! How could I forget (reminder to myself to pack some of those little kleenex packets)

I appreciate the photo and article about pockets. Shows that we forget that the purse/pocketbook came later and the reticule (From “a ladies’ small bag,” 1801, from Fr. réticule, from L. reticulum”)was the transition.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Carolyn, Borrowing!!!! Now there’s a concept I might possibly use at RWA!!! (along with small packets of kleenex)

Kalen Hughes
12 years ago

Dress pins. Gotta have dress pins, LOL!

When it comes to packing for RWA, I’m always in a dither and I always wish I’d brought something I left behind. This year instead of going shopping I’m borrowing a couple of things from a friend. So much easier on the pocket.

Kim in Hawaii
12 years ago

Diane, great post! As for packing, I’m not quite as dainty or refined as Emmaline. I’ve been in Florida since June 5, so I only have shorts and capris with me (I did remember to pack one dress for RWA).

Looking forward to purchasing your new book, Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Lady, at the Literacy Singing …. no dout the story will be as hot as the cover!

Thanks to Diane and Mary for volunteering with the literacy signing set up … many hands make light work!

Susanna Fraser
12 years ago

I think I need that valise…

I went all-out for RWA this year. I had a leftover Nordstrom gift card my husband had given me for Christmas, so I put myself in the hands of one of their personal shoppers and let her outfit me.

I’m only planning on four pairs of shoes, though–two comfortable, one fancy, and a pair of flip flops for lounging around and because one of the events I’ve been invited to is a pajama party. But with everything together, I think I’ll have to use the very biggest suitcase from our set, which has never actually flown before. It normally stores whichever quilts and comforters aren’t in current rotation.

12 years ago

My one and only thought was a book(s) lol. It’s the first thing I pick when going on vacation. Would there be any need for money, small change perhaps? Any medications, smelling salts perhaps lol.

Keira Soleore
12 years ago

Here’s what I’m packing, Diane, for the Beau Monde soiree: Regency gown (made by the excellent modiste Mrs. McCabe), bonnet (by Austentation), fan, reticule, and gloves.

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

I have lots of new dresses for RWA and am getting so excited (only a week away!). I haven’t figured out shoes yet though, and I need to find a suitcase big enough for all of them. (That is gorgeous repro valise…)

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Susanna and Amanda, I suspect that valise, as beautiful as it is, would be VERY heavy.

We should have a contest for who brings the most shoes.

Kalen…Dress pins!!!! (and kudos for being practical, both for my Regency lady and for yourself.)

Keira!!! I am so on the fence as to whether I will pack my Regency dress (made by MY modiste, Helen). I do have a maxidress to fill in.

Kim, you and other Floridians may laugh at the rest of us overdressed people. I’m glad you have one dress!

catslady, I’m bringing my Kindle, but I don’t know about my Regency lady. She’s much too strong to need smelling salts! (maybe I’ll pack some….)

Amanda, you should have new dresses! You and Carolyn are our Risky Regencies stars with your RITA finals!!! This is YOUR conference!

12 years ago

It’s Summer and no air conditioning. Even a non-aristo will carry at least one fan, and a fancy one if she owned it.

Susan in AZ

Janet Mullany
12 years ago

Prayerbook and hatpin to ward off unwanted male attention if she is traveling by mailcoach. Vinaigrette. Writing slope. Traveling medicine chest if food disagrees with her along the way.

I haven’t finished unpacking from my return last Thursday yet!

12 years ago

I’m looking forward to reading about all the adventures!

Debra Key Newhouse
12 years ago

I was going to say handkerchiefs and a small book of poetry.

As for me, granola bars and several books loaned to me by a friend have found their way into my packing. I hope to lay out each outfit, along with jewelry, and make a list. I can’t help it. I’m a Capricorn lol.

I’m going shoe shopping tomorrow. And then will be clomping about the house in my jammies and new shoes so I have a chance to break them in.

See you there!

Keira Soleore
12 years ago

The poke bonnet is the biggest headache. It’ll have to go as a carryon in a box. Sigh!

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Keira, the bonnet is soooo worth it, though.

Janet, I’ll add hatpin. She’s actually French so a prayer book would not be likely….

Susan in Az….a fan!!! Is it perhaps HOT where you are???

Judy, I hope you’ll like this one

Debra, I wish I were as organized as you!

Jane George
12 years ago

Would she have a small sketchbook? That would be a detail I’d enjoy.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

No, she doesn’t have a sketchbook, Jane George. But Jack from Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady does and he sketches her.

12 years ago

Fun post. Hope you are about packed and ready to go. Wish I were going to Orlando, too. Hope you have a great time.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

librarypat, so sorry it is not in Nashville!