Winnowing for the next overseas move

So, I'm headed to Scotland (from Australia) in 3 months. This will start my "nomad time", where I'll be doing a lot of travel back and forth. I've been in Australia for the past year, and I will be in Scotland for 4 months, then back to Australia for 2, before finally returning to Scotland for a year. It seems like I've just gotten settled here and now it's time to start thinking about how I'm going to cram everything into a suitcase again, what's useful, what can stay in Australia, and what it's time to let go of. 

I'm starting the process with shoes. They are the easiest in that there's not so many to deal with, but they also take up the most room and weight. They're also the most expensive to replace, at least here in Australia. I'm travelling through the US on my way to the UK, and I intend to do a bit of shopping there. I also don't have to take everything at once--the hops back and forth means I can move in shifts. 

Starting with the front row, on the left:
-The gym shoes go, without question.
-The hiking boots stay here as field shoes. They'll go on the second trip.
-The thongs/flip flops are tacky, but a girl's gotta keep her feet protected in showers. They don't get worn in public, and don't take up much room. 
-The black flats are quite plain, and aren't as walkable as I thought they'd be. As such aren't getting worn very much as I thought they would. I don't think they'll stay. 
-The leopard flats are cute, and new, but they've rubbed blisters. I need to see how they soften up. (They're leather, they will.)
-The black heels are cute, and walkable. They can probably stay, but I haven't worn them that much. 
-the mary jane 'vogs are also new, and also not very comfortable. I don't want to give up on them..they might be deposited in the US. 
-The black boots get a lot of wear, but they like to pull my socks down and irritate me. They'll go for now. 

Second row, from the left (this gets harder): 
-Brown 'vogs...I love them and have worn them..only a couple of times since I've been here.
-Black toms: stay for now. They're horribly tacky, but they're comfortable. I wear them out wakeboarding (not in the water, but to the water)
-blue 'vogs. Haven't gotten as much wear as I'd like. They're good to walk in, though. 
-Multi-booties: Worn exactly once. They're getting cut. 
-Sandals. Are a little beat up, and probably need replacing. But I"m not buying anything new here in Aus, and won't need anything for a year. They'll stay in Aus, then be donated.
-Brown 'vogs. They've gotten a ton of wear. They're warm, and a bit roomier than the blue ones (which are on the same heel style). 

From a thematic perspective, I feel like I'm missing the walkable sneaker (like a converse), a tall boot, and color. I see too much neutral here, where colors would add some pop. I feel like I've got too many fluevogs (there, I said it). I don't want to get rid of them...I'd mail them to my parents for storage. 

Thoughts? What deserves the axe? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Krista replied 11 years ago

    I agree with your assessment about the holes in your shoe wardrobe - a tall boot would be very versatile as well as a walkable sneaker. Can you give us a little more of an idea of the types of things you'll be doing in Scotland and what the dominant season will be? That can help with giving you some guidance.

  • froggiebecky replied 11 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback Krista! 
    I'll be living there without a car, so everything must stand up to lots of walking.  
    I'm doing a PhD, so I'm in a (computer) lab frequently, sitting most the day. Your standard office job, with a casual dress code (or MOTG). My life also consists of evenings out with friends (try to dress this up a bit), dates (everything from coffee to a night at the opera), and some specialty activities (belly dance, gym, and water sports). 
    I'll be there for the winter (November-March), and then returning in early summer (June) for a year. Winter is the immediate need, but will have to cover 4 seasons. 
    I'll be doing some travel through Europe in my spare time, but that will only require your standard travel capsule. Right now I'm planning on Christmas in Germany and possibly a ski weekend in the highlands, if I come across a deal. Probably some domestic travel, too (weekend in London, etc). Overall, this should be treated as a move. 

  • Glory replied 11 years ago

    I agree with a tall boot and with a snazzy sneaker. Perhaps the Josef Seibel Caspian or a Converse. Do you have winter boots that are not shown here? It sounds like you may need some for the German xmas trip.

  • Suz replied 11 years ago

    A tall riding type boot would be a great addition, for sure. And isn't it rainy in Scotland in winter? I think I'd be looking for a good mid-calf or tall rainproof boot that also looks fashionable, one that can stand walking. 

    Re the flats: are flats ever truly comfortable for you? I ask as someone who can't really wear them unless they have at least a baby lift of 3/4 of an inch. They just hurt my feet. And some of us are like that. Everyone says flats are great and walkable, but then, for us, they are not. Of course if they are comfortable, it's great to have a couple of pairs, but if not. then it might be best to concentrate on shoes with a low heel. 

    Also, nobody can own too many 'vogs.  :-) Those blue ones look gorgeous. 

  • Lisa replied 11 years ago

    I also think a tall boot and a fun sneaker would be lovely here.  Any shoes that are not walking friendly have to go.  There is no room in a bag for "sitting" shoes.

  • Beth Ann replied 11 years ago

    It's good that you're planning now.  It gives you some time to sort things and budget for replacements.  I agree that tall boots, a sassy sneaker and some weatherproof options would be sensible to start.  I also think you could use one refined pump, mid heel, that could take you to fancier functions. 

    Without a car, the outerwear. capsule needs to be more rugged and varied than a car bound commute lifestyle.  How's your coat situation?

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 11 years ago

    This is an interesting conversation, and I look forward to seeing what you end up with!

    I'm curious about whether color will work for you, it looks like the one really colorful pair of boots you have, you are cutting because you only wore them once.    Maybe go with richer, deep colors, like Oxblood or navy?

    As far as what deserves the axe:  anything you don't love and can't make wearable with alterations (new insoles, weatherproofing, grippy things added to the outer soles).  

  • Kim replied 11 years ago

    Try some Body Glide (found at your local running store most likely) or if you're not able to get that or the Bandaid Brand version (if you have that there) for blisters.  You rub it on the hotspots and it should help prevent them.  If they continue I'd ditch the leopard flats and anything else you have already said is uncomfortable.  Anything that's proven to be very walkable, comfortable would come with me for now, until I can replace it (if it needs it.)

    I also agree with the fun sneaker and the tall winter boot, and maybe a pair of wellies for the rainy season.  Likely you can find those in Scotland...LOL

  • Elly replied 11 years ago

    I would get rid of or store anything that isn't comfortable and wearable/walkable. Keep what you like. I would be tempted to carry the TOMS back and forth since you use them in Australia, but they might make great houseslippers or a pair of shoes for inside offices and the library on days when you have to commute in waterproof boots in Scotland.

    I would strongly consider investing in boots and a pair of sneakers or walking shoes, and maybe a pair of wool clogs or house slippers. IDK if you run cold, but I would stock up on wool socks for Scotland.

    If you ditch the 'vogs that are not comfortable and the multicolored boots that only leaves you with 3 pair of 'vogs and a 4th pair of shoes (black heels) other than "gear" shoes (hikers, runners, flips, toms).  With a pair of boots or two and a pair of fashion sneakers or comfortable walking shoes (maybe something like oxfords, with laces) I think you'd be fairly well set.

    I think it also depends on your wardrobe and your plans for it. Do you wear a lot of slacks and jeans, or do you wear more skirts? Do you need to have a casual or cold weather skirt option?

    I for one would be delighted to see more posts about you preparing for your upcoming move. I travel and move often for work, but haven't figured out the science of it yet and have boxes at my parents' house and my SO's apartment to prove it.

  • rachylou replied 11 years ago

    Me too, I'd just ruthlessly cut everything uncomfortable. I like the idea of tall boots, a colourful pair, and a "flat" with a 3/4" heel.

    I have the falling sock problem with all my shoes... No magic answer, but would love to hear one!

  • froggiebecky replied 11 years ago

    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone!

    My initial decisions to bring those particular 'vogs was that, when I moved here from the US, my business-wear stuff was all brown and navy, so the shoes made sense. I've since lost a fair bit of weight and need to re-do that side of my wardrobe, but the neutral has shifted over to black. So the brown and blue 'vogs are now relegated to more casual wear (though I could probably make the spectator toe pair work). Hence me thinking about leaving some behind in Australia, or dropping them off for long-term storage in the US. If I really missed them, I could have them mailed back.  I know it's possible to do both colors with black and make it look deliberate, but I don't really feel like i have the pieces or skill at pairing yet to accomplish that and not make it look like I just didn't have anything else. 

    Tall boots are on the purchase list; I'll pick them up in 3 months. I wasn't familiar with the Josef Seibel shoes. They're really cute; I might get those. Or maybe some red converse. :) 

    LBD, I think I struggled with those shoes because I don't really wear much in the way of pastels. In fact, I don't think I own a single pink item. It's not the pattern, or even the's that these particular colors don't appear anywhere else in my wardrobe.

    Kim, thanks for the idea about body glide. I'm also going to take some alcohol to the inside and soften them up a bit. 

    Elly, good point about the slippers. I've got a little pair here, but my understanding is that I will need something more. I've got wool socks, but you also make a good point about the Toms. My initial thought was to store and retrieve, but it wouldn't be any trouble to toss them in. I think you're right, I need something like a pump. I practically live in jeans right now, but I'd call it more of a rut than a signature style.

    Suz, as far as the flats go, I think it's a width thing. So many of them are delicate and cute, but I've got a somewhat duck-shaped foot, and the black flats tend to run a bit narrow through the toe box. It's usually not a lift thing for me. But I never thought about just looking for something with a low heel and skipping the flat part of it. 

    Beth, the coat situation is abysmal. I have a leather moto and a fleece that are both 2 sizes too big, and a light trench cape. I have also learned my lesson about buying what I think I need. I did that moving from the US to Australia and wasted a lot of money. I can't anticipate, and Australian winters aren't anything like Scottish winters, so there's not much point in trying. In addition, anything that would be warm enough would cost a fortune here. It would be cheaper in London or NYC. I'll look when I'm in the US (in November), or buy something as soon as I arrive. 


  • MovingFashionForward replied 10 years ago

    You may find that you don't use open-toed or flimsy footwear as much as you might predict, because it is often cold and wet in Scotland, and depending upon where you are, you may have cobbled streets, steep hills and big puddles to negotiate. You will want footwear that is comfortable and sturdy and that won't be ruined by rain, deep muddy puddles and cobbled streets. My sister lives there and even when she goes clubbing, she wears shoes that can take a real beating. I do hope you don't get a shock from the weather there. Never have I felt so cold and wet as I did last time I was in Scotland. Beautiful architecture though. Just be sure you have sufficient clothing and sturdy footwear to protect yourself from the cold and wet.


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