Entries in ‘Travel Apparel’ Journal

Review: Tilley Hat

Wednesday February 25, 2015 at 6:06 AM | 0 Comments

A hat that comes with an owner’s manual? Say it ain’t so. But the journalist in me likes the fact that the folks at Tilley want you to love their travel apparel as much as they love it. Their adoration shows; from the detailed owners manual to their guarantee for the life of the product, in this case a sun hat.

Tilley hat, Nancy D. Brown, sun hat

The author wearing her sun hat.


“My Tilley hat has outlasted my phone number,” said Nancy Ross-Madnick. “I bought my hat over 20 years ago to wear during family camping and hiking trips in the Sierras. Then it became my “go to” hat for travel and the first item I put in my suitcase. Now when I wear my Tilley hat to twice weekly water aerobic classes I think about these wonderful times in my life. Who knows where my trusty and indestructible Tilley hat will take me next!”


Tilley hat, swimming pool

Nancy Ross-Madnick wears her Tilley hat. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


Skin Cancer and sun protection

After my recent experience with basal cell carcinoma skin cancer, I’ve paid much closer attention to clothing with UPF protection and sun hats with a broad brim that offer protection from UVA/UVB radiation. It’s an added bonus that the women’s Tilley TH9 hat floats and is fashionable, too!

Made with a downward sloping broad brim and hemp material, the natural fiber makes the Tilley hat durable and fade resistent. The fabrics of all these hats are certified to block 98% of harmful UVA/UVB radiation and deliver an ultraviolet factor (UPF) of 50+.

I also ordered the Raffia Fedora but this hat has proven so popular that it is currently on back order. Do you have a favorite hat? What adventure have you and your hat shared? Leave your comments below.

sun hat, water aerobics, outdoors

The water aerobics crew wearing our hats in the pool.


Insider Tip:

Tilley, floating hat, sun hat

It floats! Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

Ever find yourself out walking, or sailing on a boat or swimming and only want to carry a $20 bill and your driver’s license? The clever folks at Tilley have stashed a small plastic, zip lock bag in a hidden pocket inside the crown of your hat. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @TilleyEndurable on Twitter.

Where to Buy:
Tilley website http://www.tilley.com/us_en/

Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Tilley supplied me with this sun hat for a travel apparel review, however, all opinions are my own. No hats were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Travel and Adventure Show 2015

Wednesday February 11, 2015 at 6:06 AM | 1 Comment

Now in its fifth year, the Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show attracts people from around the greater San Francisco Bay Area. This was my first time attending the two-day show. With over 500 exhibitors, the Santa Clara Convention Center was buzzing with travel enthusiasts learning the latest travel trends and destinations and shopping for travel apparel. Here are five things that I learned at the Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show.


Winery San Francisco, wine, travel & adventure show

My custom blend from Winery San Francisco. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown


I. Wine tasting on San Francisco’s Treasure Island
Did you know that you can go wine tasting on Treasure Island? The Winery San Francisco offers California wines paired with some of the Bay Area’s best water views. I had the pleasure of creating my own custom wine blend using three varietal wines (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) on tap at the travel show. Guests 21 and older were offered a special wine pairing and tasting session (for an additional fee.)

bay area travel show

Bay Area Travel Show. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown


2. Travel experts share their secrets
Travel experts such as Samantha Brown, Rick Steves and Peter Greenberg share how travel has changed, smart European travel tips and what the airlines don’t want you to know. Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for snapping the ultimate travel selfie at the show without setting foot at the airport.
3. Travel apparel
If you travel as often as I do, you become an expert at how to pack light. With 18 tech-ready pockets, I’m a fan of the Scottevest for my equestrian travel. A new find for me this year was Clothing Arts and their Pick Pocket Proof Pants. Founded by Adam Rapp, the clothing company offers more items for men than women, but he’s working on introducing clothing beyond the women’s travel pants. Stay tuned.

"Safari Endeavour" Alaska

Safari Endeavour for the noncruiser. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


4. Crusing
Alaska cruises are still on the hot list for 2015, but have you considered a cruise in Costa Rica, Panama or the Galapagos? Closer to home, UnCruise Adventures offers “edutainment” cruises with crew dressed in period costume on the Columbia and Snake River.
5. Exploring California
Living in California, we don’t have to travel far to experience something new. This year I look forward to exploring Amador, Calaveras and El Dorado counties, in addition to a stay at The Heritage House in Mendocino county. Where will your travels take you?

Korea tourism, travel & adventure show

Meeting new friends from Korea.


Insider Tip:

travel channel, San Francisco travel showTravel & Adventure Show app
The Travel & Adventure Show offers a free downloadable app. TAS Trip Finder features a schedule of events, floor plan, exhibitor list, social news and all the information a person needs to keep organized during the show.

If You Go:
Travel & Adventure Show http://www.travelshows.com/sanfrancisco
Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California 95054

Travel Outside Your Fashion Comfort Zone

Wednesday January 21, 2015 at 6:06 AM | 2 Comments

We’ve all heard the phrase “step outside your comfort zone” be it related to travel, career, or relationships. But what about when it comes to fashion. How often do you travel outside your fashion comfort zone?

For those of you who know me, I specialize in equestrian travel. I take horseback riding vacations on a regular basis to review dude ranches and luxury resorts. I work with fashion brands such as Ariat, Royal Robbins, Durango and Wrangler. You get where I’m going with this; I’m more comfortable in flannel shirts, denim jeans and cowboy boots than I am with Spanx, high heels and high-end fashion.

Neiman Marcus, fashion, clothing

The latest styles from top fashion designers


Travel outside fashion comfort zone

Like a kitten dipping one paw in a pool of cold water I slowly stepped inside the doors of Neiman Marcus, an upscale clothing retailer in my neighborhood. Walking through the tall glass doors and over to the bright lights of the Laura Mercier cosmetics counter was certainly traveling outside my fashion comfort zone.

The day before I scheduled my makeup consultation, I’d reached out to some of my beauty and fashion blogger friends to ask, ‘what one item would you select from the Laura Mercier cosmetics line?” Beauty expert and Teen Vogue contributor Amber Katz was the first to respond via Twitter with “no question, the tinted moisturizer” with Zippy Sandler of Champagne Living,  Beauty Blogger Nadine Jolie Courtney and Beauty Writer Aly Walansky of A Little Alytude giving their thumbs up approval for the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer broad spectrum SPF 20 sunscreen. Needless to say, I bought the moisturizer in bisque.

Laura Mercier, Neiman Marcus, makeup

Milk and cookies with Laura Mercier. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Breakfast of champions

Fortunately, Jose Contreras, Laura Mercier Product Specialist, welcomed me with open arms and milk and cookies! Neiman Marcus prides itself on extraordinary customer service and my morning of fashion pampering was no exception. After all, chocolate chip cookies and cold milk is the breakfast of champions, right?

Jose created a flawless face for my New Year New You look and kept me looking natural and feeling radiant. I’m sure I’m committing a fashion crime by placing before and after photos for all the world to see online, but as I said previously, this post is about stepping outside your fashion comfort zone.

What I liked about Laura Mercier cosmetics. Mercier came to the beauty business from a makeup artist’s perspective – creating editorial spread for magazines such as Elle, Vanity Fair, Glamour and Seventeen. Her cosmetics accentuate a woman’s natural beauty. I didn’t feel like a made up clown wearing endless layers of makeup when I left the cosmetics counter. I also liked that Jose was not on commission and was not pushing the products. It was clear that he loved his job working in the beauty industry and did a wonderful job of showing me how to recreate the flawless face look.


Nancy Brown, Laura Mercier, cosmetics

Nancy Brown’s Laura Mercier makeover.

Designer fashion

With my game face on, I was ready to try some designer fashion brands. My stylist had hung several items in the dressing room for me to try. I immediately gravitated toward Akris punto. These black pants would carry me from day to night in comfort and style.  The Swiss label is known for their designer sportswear. My Neiman Marcus Selling Specialist Joy Anya called the pants an “investment piece” when I winced at the designer price tag.

Nancy Brown, Nicole Miller, fashion

Nancy Brown wearing Nicole Miller Artelier dress

Nicole Miller fashion

I asked if Joy had any designer fashions that were on sale. Out came Nicole Miller’s Artelier dress. It should be noted that I don’t own a “little black dress” and this long-sleeved dress with an elegant high neckline and side tuck draping gave me a figure flattering look. I could wear this dress with my Starstruck gold Tieks or a hip pair of Ariat black boots. Certainly, this Nicole Miller dress was traveling outside my fashion comfort zone. What do you think?

Akris punto, fashion

Designer sportswear. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Insider Tip
Do you travel outside your fashion comfort zone? If you’d like to schedule a complimentary makeup or wardrobe consultation, give Neiman Marcus a call. For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @LauraMercier and @NeimanMarcus on Twitter.

Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Disclosure: Neiman Marcus supplied me with milk and cookies. All opinions are my own.