Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • The fashion of Ralph Lauren has always been an inherent part of my life. During high school, I opted to switch from private to public school, just so I could wear something besides a white starched shirt and plaid skirt each day. I didn’t grow up wealthy, but I was raised by my grandmother to always dress nice, no matter where you’re going. I loved reading the fashion magazines in her beauty shop, dreaming of an African safari wearing Ralph Lauren or attend a polo match in the UK while donning Polo by Ralph Lauren.

    Saint Tropez Polo Club practice by Shannon Hurst LaneI spent my summers with the same grandmother and she would take me school shopping for my birthday each August. We’d spend an entire day inside of T.J. Maxx looking through clothing racks to find the outfits I had glimpsed in the magazines. I would find the items, or something similar, and they were always the brands I searched for. I would attend school each day wearing Ralph Lauren or other popular fashion houses and feel confident in my outer appearance.

    Shannon Hurst Lane wine tasting in Moab, Utah wearing Ralph Lauren black label cashmere shawl collar sweaterAs an adult, I continued to invest in a few classic Ralph Lauren items each season (although I no longer have time to search through discount racks). I even named my daughter Lauren. And I must confide, I was so excited to be on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2005 where each audience member was gifted with a cashmere Ralph Lauren shawl collar sweater in camel. Divine! So when I went to Blogher in New York City this year, I was honored to be invited to a Ralph Lauren private party inside of Polo Ralph Lauren headquarters on Madison Avenue, hosted by

    ThemeParkMom, MommyMusings, and I made our way past the security guard, up the elevator, and into the wood paneled world of Ralph Lauren.  We listened to his son, David, tell the story of how his father’s original designs were inspired by travels he had dreamed of, including those African safaris. I stood there in the back of the well-dressed crowd, shocked, because I had never known the actual story behind the designer. He built a fashion empire from a desire to travel, in my opinion. I stood there daydreaming a bit about how this man’s fashion inspired me and how I did get to experience a European Polo Club and how I’m working towards that African safari.

    Glimpse Inside Ralph Lauren Headquarters image by Matt Schuierer

    ThemeParkMom (in pink) Tweeting Inside Ralph Lauren Headquarters image by Matt Schuierer

    David Lauren sharing stories about his dad, Ralph Lauren and revealing interactive children's book The RL Gang image by Matt Schuierer

    Just when I thought the experience couldn’t get any better, David Lauren revealed a new technology for shopping through a children’s back to school storybook adventure – The RL Gang. It’s an online interactive story where viewers can click on the character’s outfits and purchase the items they like on the RL website. The story is sweet, but for me, hearing Harry Connick Jr’s voice gave me chills, especially when I learned that 15% of the hardcover book’s proceeds for the first month of sales (up to $25,000) will be donated to the New Orleans Habitat Musician’s Village. Knowing that this company is doing something to help a charity in my state of Louisiana endears me to them even more.

    The RL Gang by Ralph Lauren

    Fashion is important in travel, be it bringing our own look to a new place or immersing ourselved in the local culture’s dress. Style and celebrity magazines also inspire a desire to experience a destination through the fashion and photographs. While not all of readers can afford expensive fashion purchases, we do suggest investing in at least one or two classic items each year to add to your wardrobe. Try and find items to mix and match, which helps when traveling with just a carry on. Be sure to check out The RL Gang’s adventure and take note of little Willow’s hats. I think I want one of those in a mama size.

    Special thanks to Ralph Lauren and for the evening’s hospitality and the gift of scented candles and personal copy of The RL Gang.

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  • I took my first real snow trip last year to Quebec’s Winter Carnival and had no idea what to pack. I live in a place where it rarely snows, so not only did I have a lack of knowledge about winter gear, but I knew that I would be hard pressed to find a store that carried these needed items. I did what I know best, I reached out to my friends in the travel and social media communities and was able to gather together a list of things to keep me warm and dry during my foray into the wilds of snow covered destinations.

    The Base Layer

    I was advised that a good base layer is made of a non-cotton wicking material that draws moisture away from the body. The best materials would be made of wool or polyester. We call these long-johns where I live, but athletic stores call them body suits or something. Also, be sure to use liners for your feet and your gloves. I had no idea what liners were, but was sure glad that I found some.

    The Middle Layer

    On top of the base layer, you want to wear a fleece jacket or something along those lines. You’ll need something that keeps your core (chest area) warm and can be peeled off if you get too warm later.

    The Outer Layer

    This is what everyone sees, if they can see in the snow. I noticed that most people walk with their heads down when it’s snowing, so it seemed that the foot gear was the most fashionable. Get outer wear that is not only water proof, but is lined with down or other insulating material. You’ll want closures that are easy to open and close with gloved hands. Most important, make sure this layer has ultimate protection from the elements and that you can move comfortably. You don’t want to look like a marshmallow person when you’re completely dressed.

    Ski Fashion at Alta Ski Resort in Utah (c) Shannon Hurst Lane

    Head Gear

    The majority of your body’s heat will escape through your head. That’s why investing in a hat that is fashionable and practical is a good idea. You want to look cute when you’re outside in the snow, but that fashion won’t do you much good if you get frostbite of the scalp. Keep your ears covered and something around your neck that can be pulled up over your face. Also, a good pair of sunglasses or ski goggles will help with the glare of the sun on the snow. I like The Polar Buff which can be worn in a variety of ways and make you look like the ultimate Survivor in the snow.

    Helping Hands

    A mama has to keep her hands warm at all times so that she can perform those tasks of motherhood. Be sure to wear those liners and top them with insulated waterproof gloves.

    Fancy Feet

    Sock liners will keep your feet dry, but you’ll also want a good pair of woolen socks to keep your tootsies warm. Check out Point 6 for some high quality cold weather socks. Finish the outfit off with some serviceable and stylish boots that will help keep you upright (don’t want to slip) and dry.

    Après Ski

    Be sure to pack some après ski socks and shoes in a cute bag where you can enjoy a hot drink and snacks inside the lodge after a day at play in the snow.

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