In Paris with Whitney Olschwanger

In Paris with Whitney Olschwanger

LA-based stylist Whitney Olschwanger is having the summer we all dream of — three months spent traveling around Europe. While taking a few of her favorite Merlette pieces out on the town in Paris, she stopped sightseeing and shopping long enough to answer our questions on just how she approached packing for such a long trip. 


Q: How do you approach packing? Do you plan outfits in advance or pack pieces that could all work together? 

A: For this trip I was packing for almost 3 months so I had to be VERY strategic.  I put everything on a rolling rack and I had to do a massive amount of eliminating with my stylist friend.  I put together about 15 looks and then knew I could change some of the looks to dress up or down the look for the occasion.  I have also done a decent amount of shopping here so I sent a suitcase back with a friend today so I have more room ;).

Q: What makes a good travel piece? What are your requirements? 

A: Most importantly,  I like the items to be neutrals with a twist and that can be dressed up or down.  I love prints, but I’d say for this trip I did like 60% black and white with the remainder being prints and color. I haven’t needed any jackets but I find that lightweight shirting is perfect for a jacket option in the evening.

Whitney in the Wallis Dress

Q: Why do you like traveling with Merlette garments? 

A: They are so versatile, easy to pack, and can be worn dressed up and dressed down.  I love that they look just as cute with a sneaker and a cute sock as they do with a cool boot or heel.

Whitney in the Martha Dress

Q: How do you approach dressing for a day of sightseeing? 

A: I go for comfort, but this really just means a lightweight dress or a pair of trousers and a comfortable sneaker or sandal.  I pretty much walk around the city on a daily basis because the weather has been so nice so the Merlette pieces have really been coming in handy.

Q: What are your favorite spots in Paris? 

Picasso Museum
Rodin Museum
Hotel Costes (get the pavlova!)
Brasserie LIPP
OFR bookshop and cafe next door
The Broken Arm
Tom Greyhound
Brancusi Museum
Le Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marché
Freddys Restaurant 
Cosi (if you’re living here or want a healthy meal, it’s the perfect spot)
Dreaming Man for matcha lattes


Quick Questions!

Q: Carry on or Checked? 

A: One of each for 3 months. For work trips carry on usually

Q: Hotel or Airbnb? 

A: Hotels on short trips to London, Marseille, Normandy, Florence and Air bnb in Lake Como and Paris

Q: Planned itinerary or wing it? 

A: Planned. Always. But I did join my friends in Marseille and that was so much fun!

Q: Rolling or folding?

A: Rolling and packing cubes


Photographed by Darail Kevich

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