Echo Designs Spring 2012 Collection

In response to one of the most popular questions we receive, “How do I add zest to my travel wardrobe?”, here’s our answer:

You can add Spring flare to your travel, business travel, and leisure wardrobe with great scarves.  A great scarf will last for years to come, does not wrinkle easily, and is comfortable, stylish, and packs well.

One of the most innovative yet classic brands we have found.  Here are a few recommendations.  When we tested them, we found them especially suitable in the area of durability, comfort, style, and packing well.

Echo Designs Spring 2012 Collection recommendations:

Top Picks:

Vintage Baroque Scarf

Vintage Baroque Status Scarf

This scarf is truly gorgeous.  It instantly transforms a plain travel garment into formal elegance.  The baroque print is quite unique, classic, and museum-quality.

Vintage Paisley Neckerchief

This neckerchief is bright for Spring  and yet a fancier paisley than most.  The paisley is ornate.  The scarf is made of silk.  It takes paisley to a whole new level.

Spring Paisley Scarf

Spring Paisley Scarf

This scarf is also a work of art.  The paisley design does not overpower one’s natural features, but rather complements.  The green, yellow,and aqua color scheme reminded us of the soft green of Spring, that moment when the new leaves bud on the trees just after Winter has passed and everything glows green.

We also recommend:

Floral Bamboo Wrap

 Floral Bamboo Wrap

This bold and cheery wrap boasts an array of bright-colored flowers.  It is crafted from eco-friendly bamboo and surprisingly soft.  This scarf is a sure head-turner.  It makes an eye-catching hair-fashion accent, too.

You can find these beautiful scarves and more at

Rating: 5 stars!  Best!




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Best Cozy Travel Apparel

Clagstone Quarter-Zip Sweater

If you are looking for his and hers travel gifts, we have recommendations for you!

The Clagstone Quarter-Zip Sweater provides a magnificent combination of lightweight knit and thick-sweater warmth.  It combines several fibers to achieve maximum insulation while taking up minimal space in your bag. Wool, acrylic, cotton, and polyester combine to make a cozy, sturdy sweater.

Made by Royal Robbins and carried by Magellans, this sweater is a must-have for the men in your life!  Dads, husbands, sons, and boyfriends will all love this unique sweater.

The Plush Cardigan by Magellans is great for the female traveler who has it all.  No other travelwear matches the Plush Cardigan in plush comfort.  This cardigan feels like you are wearing a luxurious robe styled as a cardigan!  It is amazing.  You have to try it to believe it.

Find this great travel apparel and more at

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very good!

We have tested both.  They are truly two gifts worth giving!

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Best Scarves: Echo Design

Paisley Oblong Scarf

Nothing adds magic to an outfit like the perfect scarf.  If you are looking to find a scarf that adds magic to your wardrobe, we have a recommendation for you.

Echo Design makes a collection of scarves for any climate and any occasion.  We sampled a few.  Here are our recommendations:

Paisley Oblong Scarf —  This beautiful scarf adds classic elegance with a touch of pizazz to any wardrobe.  It is made of silk.  Best of all, Echo Designs provides a link on how to tie scarves here.

Peacock Feather Scarf — This silk twill scarf adds a touch of royal beauty.  Its colors are great for Fall or Winter.

Multi Marled Muffler — Brightly colored and warm, this muffler brings cheer to drab Winter days.  This scarf combines acrylic and wool to bring warmth without the itch.

Find these great scarves and more at

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very Good!

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Great Little Girls’ Jacket

Warm-Up Hooded Jacket

If you are looking for a “just right” little girl’s jacket, we have a recommendation for you.

The Warm-Up Hooded Jacket by L.L. Bean is water-resistant on the outside and snuggly-soft on the inside.  It has a nylon shell and fleece interior with insulated sleeves.  It’s truly a great jacket for little girls on cool Fall days.

The jacket comes in three colors.  We tried the Wild Orchid/Carnation color, pictured above.

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very Good!

You can find it here at

*Also, please note, we evaluated a sample from the company.  This is our standard policy for all reviews.

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Fall Shoe Style with Clarks

Wave Cruise Shoes by Clarks

Enjoy Fall Shoe Style with Clarks. Clarks makes lightweight, breathable shoes which rank among our Fall favorites.

We recently tested Clarks Wave Cruise shoes in pewter leather.  They are stylish and comfortable.  The Wave line is specially designed to provide extra support to your feet when they move.

Clarks’ marketing states, “The sole gently propels you forward through each step, as you flow from one stride to the next–helping you to conserve energy.”  We  found these claims to be true.  We felt like we were walking on a cloud.  In fact, we had to retrain our feet to actually relax while walking.  These shoes are truly “stride-enhancing”.

We found Clarks Wave Cruise shoes to be extremely comfortable. We highly recommend them as a “travel and leisure essentials” product.  They are lightweight and will pack easily in your suitcase.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

You can find these great shoes and more here at


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Sweater-Weather Warmth This Fall With Travelsmith

Marvelous Merino Solid Cardigan

If you are looking for a “just right” warmth cardigan or jacket for Fall, here’s what to look for:

Each season brings a change of weather and a change of wardrobe.  Wearing wool or down-filled garments for the Fall and Winter months will keep you snuggly warm.

When traveling, we recommend taking a button-down or zip-up outerlayer in all of your travels, especially in the Fall and Winter.

We recently found two essential pieces that make the perfect accompaniment to your travels:

The Women’s Marvelous Merino Solid Cardigan combines warm yet lightweight classic sophistication with smart style to make a winning combination.  When we tested it, we loved the combination of style, sophistication, and sweater-weather warmth.  This cardigan has a significant advantage over the average cardigan: it is lightweight yet wooly warm.  You will surely want to take the Women’s Marvelous Merino Solid Cardigan with you everywhere.

Puffer Down Jacket

The Down Puffer Jacket (Pearl) is also carried by Travelsmith.  This jacket is one of the best down jackets we have seen.  It provides high-quality insulated warmth, waterproof protection, and is far more slimming and stylish than most down jackets available today.  One of the jacket’s best attributes: it is made of ultra-soft feathers, so when you squish it down to pack it, it easily regains its shape when you unpack it!  This is a truly great and rare quality in down jackets!

Jamevar Cardigan by Travelsmith

Travelsmith also makes some lightweight cardigans for those who are traveling to less-cold places this season.  We tested the Jamevar Cardigan, pictured above.  This cardigan is vibrant and ultra-lightweight.  It feels like you are wearing a cardigan-shaped scarf, as it is made of the same material many scarves are made of: rayon.  It packs easily and gives a cheery message of the international joie de vivre!

The Jamevar Cardigan is a lightweight outer layer garment which makes a colorful addition to any travel wardrobe.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

You can find these great items and more at

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No Iron Needed Travel Attire!

Fiesta Crinkle Skirt

When traveling, the last thing any of us want to do is iron!  If we must, we must.  But wouldn’t you love to find a way to avoid ironing while traveling?

The way we see it, you have two options: wear “no wrinkle” clothing or wear “crinkle” clothing.  Then, you’ll win either way.

We set out to find some crinkle travel clothing recommendations.  Here’s what we found:

Travelsmith makes a very good line of crinkle clothing.  We tested a few pieces.  Our favorite?

Travelsmith’s Crinkle Fiesta Skirt

This beautiful skirt comes in two colors/styles: the Crinkle Fiesta Skirt and the Ribbon Crinkle Fiesta Skirt.  Both skirts fit in a matching drawstring pouch for easy packing and transport.  These travel skirts are unrivaled in their beauty and ease of use.  They make great travel skirts.  And best of all?  No iron needed.

Travelsmith Fiesta Skirts Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

Lightweight Crinkle Jacket

Lightweight Crinkle Shell

Travelsmith also makes an accompanying line of crinkle shirts and jackets.  We tried the Lightweight Crinkle Jacket and the Lightweight Crinkle Shell.    These pieces will be useful anywhere you go.  They come in a variety of colors.

They are very functional.  What we liked best: they will go with anything and no iron needed!

Travelsmith Lightweight Collection Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

You can find these great products here at

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The Fall Fashionista: Best Wool Fashions Fall 2011

The Fall Fashionista ~ Westminster Jacket by Pendleton

By: Mandy Seymour, Managing Editor

If you want to turn some heads this Fall, we have a recommendation for you!  Become a Fall Fashionista.

The Best Rated definition of a Fall Fashionista:  A woman who is a head-turner.  Her fashion-sense matches the inner confidence that drives her to make a great impact on her world.

To be a Fall Fashionista, what you need is stylish, iconic clothing that flatters your figure and keeps you warm on cool days!

One of our top pics in Fall fashion is Pendleton.  Pendleton is an iconic American company which produces high-style wool fashions that will last you a lifetime.

Our top Fall picks:

Vanessa Jacket

The Vanessa Jacket

The Vanessa Jacket is a flattering, plaid jacket which gives a spirited zest to an iconic style.  We like that this jacket style is based on Pendleton’s archives but the vintage flare combines with a modern chic to give a perfect jacket to enhance your wardrobe.

Elin Paisley Cardigan

The Elin Paisley Cardigan is a lightweight cardigan that adds a touch of warmth to a cool Fall day.  The paisley print gives whimsical flare to this cardigan.  What we liked best: This cardigan has a zippy personality yet it’s professional enough to give you a serious edge.  It’s versatile, great for wearing in the office and when you’re away!

Westminster Jacket

The Westminster Jacket proved to be an all-around favorite.  With classic lines and a just-right length, this boiled wool jacket is surely the best wool jacket available for Fall.  What we liked best: This jacket is fully lined and fully flattering.  It has a “just right” fit, not too big, not too small, to show off your flattering Fall fashionista figure!

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

You can find these great fashions and more  here at

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Best Cosmetics Case: Trina Makes Travel Terrific!

Lillie Cosmetic Box by Trina

As most travelers know, a great cosmetics and toiletry case proves to be invaluable.  However, in our years of product research, testing, and reviews, we have rarely come across a cosmetics and toiletry case that we really liked.  Most cosmetics cases are too flimsy to be useful.  Every woman needs a case that will retain its shape yet be flexible enough to pack easily.  This combination is hard to come by.

The solution?  Our idea of a perfect cosmetics/toiletry case is one that has a bit of stiffness, a boxy and spacious frame, and yet is malleable enough to conform to our suitcase or bag.  An added bonus?  It would be stylish, too.

If you are looking for a must-have travel cosmetics case, we have a recommendation for you: Trina.  Trina makes travel terrific!  Their new Lillie Cosmetics Box is truly first-rate.  We tried it out in our travels and it works like a charm.

This carry case also includes a heavyweight plastic pouch which fits snugly inside or out.  It is perfect for holding your toothbrush, toothpaste, and other hygiene essentials, since it’s waterproof.

Trina makes several other great products as well.  You can’t go wrong with any of them!  We also tested these products in their Fall/Winter 2011 line-up:

Avery Makeup Organizer by Trina

Avery Makeup Organizer

The Avery Makeup Organizer is cow-cute on the outside and satiny on the inside, adding a touch of whimsy to luxury.  It’s a great size with a spacious interior.

Rita Fashion Tote by Trina

Rita Fashion Tote

The Rita Fashion Tote adds pizazz to style with a glam-rock attitude.  This tote is certainly fun for the fashion-minded!  It has a slimline over-the-shoulder strap and magnetic enclosures.  We guarantee it will get you many compliments!  We tried it!  (Being stylish is about getting noticed, isn’t it?!)

You can find these great travel accessories and more here at

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

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Best Travel Skirt 2011

Ribbon Crinkle Fiesta Skirt

Have skirt, will travel!  If you are looking for a “must have” travel skirt, the Women’s Ribbon Crinkle Fiesta Travel Skirt by Travelsmith is one of the most beautiful travel skirts we have ever seen.  A far cry from plain, this skirt dazzles beholders with its vivacious colors and sassy swag.  The Ribbon Crinkle Fiesta Travel Skirt has several traits we look for in travel clothing.

Packability: The Ribbon Crinkle Fiesta Travel Skirt is made of 100% crinkled cotton.  It rolls up and stuffs into a colorful travel bag, which is also included.

Wearability: The Crinkile Fiesta Travel Skirt can be worn numerous times and does not show stains easily.  It makes for worry-free travel because you never have to worry about getting a smudge on it.  Smudges?  Easy on, easy off, not easily seen!

Styleability!  Okay, so that’s not really a word–until now.  This skirt is truly stylish.  We think it expresses the excitement and exuberance many women travelers share.  With this skirt, you’ll look as happy on the outside as you are on the inside when traveling!

Our expert panel of reviewers gave this skirt the rating, “Best Travel Skirt 2011”.

We highly recommend it!  It’s made by Travelsmith.  You can find it here.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

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