Packing · Uncategorized

Clothes that Pull Their Own Weight

It’s Travel Tip Tuesday! Here’s a classic from 5 September 2015.

Greetings, friends! Packing posts seem to be quite popular here, so I thought I’d elaborate on something I just adore–clothes that pull their own weight! This can be double duty style, moisture wicking, airy, day-to-night, wash-and-wear, and probably more!

First item of double-duty clothing: Jeans

Oh, the blue jeans. Sort of heavy when wet, sort of bulky to pack, but if you’re only gone a weekend (or a whole week), this might be the only pants you need to have on you–literally, don’t pack them, just wear them. They do not show dirt, they spot-wash easily and quickly, and they hold their shape for the most part. They maybe get looser the longer you wear them, but you can literally wear a regular, nondescript pair of jeans all week, and no one will even notice or care.

Next up: Scarves

Or just one wisely chosen scarf. This can work as a scarf (of course), or it can be a blanket or covering on a chilly airplane. Or you can tie the two ends together to make an infinity scarf for a fresh look. It can add color to an outfit you’ve already worn, or an outfit that’s just a bit too neutral. You can use one as a towel in a pinch, or even as a sarong to cover up a bathing suit. I have even heard of people using their scarves as a top or a skirt by wrapping it a certain way, but I’m not quite that crafty yet… though maybe I should look into it! They also come in handy in predominantly Islamic nations where women have to cover their heads in certain areas.

For the athletic type: Wash-and-wear

This is mostly for workout clothes, but it can certainly apply for long-term travel gear as well. Lots of athletic clothes these days are made from moisture-wicking, quick-drying material. Companies have even started making underwear out of this stuff! You can wash your clothes with regular soap (or travel-size laundry detergent, if you want to go that route) in the sink or the shower, wring it out, maybe run the blow-dryer over it or put it on the radiator or other heater in the winter or let it air-dry in the summer, and in an hour or so, you’re good to go! I read about one guy who traveled the world for a year with three shirts made out of the moisture-wicking material, and he only used a washing machine a few times–throughout the year!

Day-to-night: Basic Black

Basic black is probably easiest, but this can go for brown, navy, even plumb (which I don’t think is a neutral, but people keep telling me it is). If you want to pick one color to work with and use accessorize (perhaps a scarf and some color-popping earrings?) to create your outfits, do it! I actually like mixing black and brown, and adding some color to create a couple of outfits:

Day-to-night II: “Wad-up Dresses”

Call them whatever you want, but my mom and I call them wad-up dresses because you can throw them in any bag, wadded up if you’re in a hurry, and it won’t come out wrinkled. I guess it’s polyester, but I like to think of it as magic! I love to pack a cute one that I can wear all day, then put a scarf with it at night for a nice meal out. Then I can wad it up again and put it back in my bag without worrying it’ll get damaged or wrinkled!

Not sure what the weather will do: Light and Airy Layers

Harem pants are in right now, and though I don’t own any, I sometimes wish I did! They give your legs coverage on brisk mornings but are also airy and don’t stick to your legs when the sun heats things up mid-day. Capri yoga pants are also good for this–it’s breathable fabric that won’t wrinkle! For the top of your outfit, a camisole or tank top under a t-shirt or billowy top gives you coverage without too much bulk. Add a scarf (yet again!) or a light jacket and you’re ready for a chilly morning, warm or even hot afternoon, and a chilly evening without needing to change clothes!

A “foot” note: Running Shoes

Running shoes, walking shoes, tennis shoes, whatever you need them to be, they are! They will be your workout shoes, your walking around all day shoes, even your running through the airport to catch your plane shoes! Don’t leave home without them.

So there you have it! What clothes do you usually take with you that pull their own weight?

Photo credit: Lindsay Robinson

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