Stylish Montrose restaurateur launches pop-up for her fab and functional travelwear
As savvy Houston travelers know all to well, creating the perfect travel wardrobe is a journey in itself. Suitcases must be packed with functional, versatile pieces — and let's not forget the all-important stain resistant staples. And when it comes to packing for a travel adventure, size matters.
We've all seen the cringeworthy videos of Americans lugging their oversized luggage up flights of stairs in Europe – let's make a pact to avoid that at all costs. Travelers should keep their wardrobes minimal but try to incorporate magical pieces for those Insta-worthy photos.
Knowing that a great wardrobe is the key to unlocking a stylish trip, Houstonian Thy Mitchell set out to create a line of clothing perfect for travel and wanderlust inspo. Enter Foreign Fare, the clothing line she created earlier this year with her husband Matt. (Locals know the couple as owner/operators of global cuisine restaurant Traveler's Table.
The grand opening event of Foreign Fare's pop-up is on Saturday, December 2, from 1 pm to 4 pm. Guests are invited to shop, enjoy music from DJ Danielle Dupont, and nosh on light bites and drinks provided by Fiora Bottle Shop.Photo by Emily Jaschke
After years of globetrotting to research food for the couple's restaurant, Thy Mitchell was inspired to start the clothing brand. During her travels, she realized "there was no brand specifically designed to provide stylish yet functional clothing tailored for travelers," she recalls to CultureMap.
So, Mitchell set out to create an apparel line crafted with modern adventurers in mind where comfort and convenience could be paired with luxury and flair. Foreign Fare's first collection features six silhouettes that she hopes will "inspire people to explore the world in style."
Until now, her brand has been available exclusively online, but just in time for the holiday travel season, Foreign Fare is hosting its first pop-up in the buzzy Montrose Collective. Stylish shoppers can jet to the Foreign Fare grand opening event on Saturday, December 2, from 1 pm to 4 pm. Guests can get the jump on Foreign Fare's dresses, jumpsuits, jackets, and more, enjoy tunes from DJ Danielle Dupont, and nosh on light bites and drinks from Fiora's Bottle Shop.
Ahead of the her big grand opening event, we sat down with the always-on-the-go Mitchell to get her take on curating the best travel wardrobe.
CultureMap: What are your three essential tips for curating an excellent travel wardrobe?
Thy Mitchell: I focus on versatile, low-maintenance, comfortable pieces when curating a travel wardrobe. However, I refuse to sacrifice style, and that's why I love apparel that I can wear day to night, with just a switch of jewelry or an accessories update to transform a look.
I appreciate multi-functional items like stylish belt bags that can be worn as a crossbody sling and reversible jewelry that can change the look of an outfit.
CM: Why is Houston a perfect place for Foreign Fare?
TM: Even though Foreign Fare is available via e-commerce from anywhere in the U.S., I think Houston is a fantastic place for its first pop-up store and home. We are one of the most diverse cities in the country, with many Houstonians having a passion and love for travel.
One thing that we've learned from our restaurant, Traveler's Table, is how people can instantly connect with one another over sharing travel stories or discussing trip recommendations, and we hope a travel clothing brand can resonate with customers in a similar way.
CM: This one is an essential ask for the ladies: If you are only taking two pairs of shoes on a trip, what are they?
TM: First off, let me say that my default setting is always to try to travel with only a carry-on, because it allows me to be flexible and to pivot at a moment's notice – changing airlines or destinations when there are delays is almost impossible to do when the airline has your luggage.
However, this means I must be very intentional in my clothing and shoe choices, so let me break down a couple of shoe scenarios for different seasons:
- Spring/summer travel: A pair of stylish Tory Burchplatform sneakers and Stuart Weitzman mule sandals with a block heel
- Fall travel: Nike Air Force 1s and Prada black-brushed leather loafers
- Winter travel: Superga platform sneakers and All Saints slip-on ankle boots with a block heel
CM: What is the biggest mistake people make when packing for travel?
TM: I think people often focus on single-use pieces, which can lead to overpacking and being forced to check in luggage. Often, people don't know what to pack, so they pack certain items "just in case," when they should ideally focus on multi-functional items that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits.
Focusing on several high-quality and stylish foundation pieces that can go together in different combinations and be accessorized to create different looks is definitely the way to go.
The Foreign Fare pop-up runs through January 14, 2024 at Montrose Collective (888 Westheimer Rd. Ste 153). Hours are 11 am - 7 pm Tuesday - Saturday; noon - 5 pm Sunday. The store is closed on Mondays.