What is Always in My Suitcase

Have you ever played that game: “If you could only bring one item when you were stranded on a desert island, what would it be?”

I finally have my answer!

It is also the answer to: “If you could only pack one thing for vacation, what would it be?”

Last Christmas, my aunt gave me the most wonderful gift that has become my favorite wardrobe piece as well as the best piece to take on vacation in Europe! It’s a beautiful sweater/top/dress called the NORA by NAO. It perfectly checks each box on my list of wardrobe essentials. Plus, it is deliciously soft, versatile, and the material seems to always keep my body at the perfect temperature.


I have always been a kinesthetic learner and I adore finding luxuriously soft materials for my clothes and bedding. When I was little, I had this double sided, white and teal baby blanket, that I took everywhere I went. It had a silk border and the material was so delectably soft; with each wash it became even softer to the touch. This top has now become my new adult security blanket!

As a traveler, I try to keep my wardrobe rather small and versatile. My goal is to be able to always fit it in one giant suitcase (Honesty: it may not be so pared down at the current moment because I have stayed in the same city for almost a year in a half). When I travel, I travel light, but I also like to travel fashionably and have enough options that I could get dressed up for a nice dinner if the occasion arose.

My tricks to accomplish having a stylish, small, and versatile wardrobe is to own neutrals! They can then be matched up with one another creating gazillions of looks. A couple great pieces will go a long way, and one neutral top could make very different outfits just by changing the accessories. Check out how I did this with just one great article of clothing:









This piece is the dream for travelers! If you choose to wear it as a sweater it has a gorgeous huge cowl neck that doubles as a hood (I have used it in both rain and snow when I’ve forgotten an umbrella)!

The other weekend I took the train to Florence, I was there for two days and took a tiny backpack. In it, I packed underwear, a small cosmetic bag filled with the basics, tights, and a couples small accessories (black belt, necklace, and earring). My bag was so lightweight and made touring around the city easy and comfortable! Plus, no one seemed to realize I had worn the same piece both days!

Here are just a few ways to wear the NORA:

Add a black waist belt for a night out

A cozy sweater layered with a scarf and jacket!

A casual dress to tour the city in










The Nora is easy to dress up but also great cozy loungewear. I’ve even worn it the ballet studio.  Can you believe it? One piece that I can wear for any aspect of my life! It’s a bit pricier but I have definitely gotten more than my money’s worth for it!

(I’ve even worn it as my pajamas while relaxing at home just because it is that comfy!)

I’m truly obsessed and cannot thank the amazing New York City based designer enough for making this stunning piece! Thank you so much Naomi Strauss Hightower! I told Naomi how much I loved her work and how great it is for traveling, and so, she is kindly offering all you beautiful readers and travelers a 10% Discount! Check out her online shop and don’t forget the discount code: Blonde10 (expires March 15)

Happy -stylish- traveling and a huge thanks to Naomi for letting me share my love for her beautiful designs!



PS: Can’t wait to see how the NORA transitions into springtime!!


  1. Marty

    March 9, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    What a great piece of writing and reporting on what to wear . You are definite the writer and expressionist that I always wanted to be . Love you bunches Miss you

  2. Sarah

    March 10, 2017 at 6:04 PM

    What a fun post! I love that dress/sweater!

    1. Emily

      March 11, 2017 at 10:06 AM

      Thank you so much!

  3. Jean Bean

    March 12, 2017 at 7:09 AM

    Oh I love versatile clothing too. It makes life so much simplier.

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