Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What to wear: when travelling...

The thought of my next trip overseas in less than three short weeks brings up an interesting conundrum. It's one of life's eternal questions - what do you wear when travelling? I like to remain smart and stylish but still practical and comfy. Those things don't necessarily work in tandem. I also like to make my travel wardrobe work hard - I try not to take too many things that only go with one outfit. I like to think I can mix and match pieces to make different outfits without having to take too many clothes.

I guess there are two sides to this dilemma - what to wear while getting to your destination (in the act of travelling) and then what to wear when you are actually on holiday.

Let's deal with the first thing first: what to wear en-route to your destination.

Unless you are lucky enough to be at the pointy end of the plane (and for most of us, this is unfortunately not the case), being squeezed into a tiny seat with virtually no legroom doesn't really call for a high fashion outfit. It calls for practicality and comfort.

I usually opt for neutral colours (i.e. black) to try and avoid the inevitable culinary mess when the person in front of you reclines their seat and pushes your dinner into your lap. It happens more often than you think.

My usual travel arrangement is a pair of stretchy black wide leg trousers, a black tank top and a cashmere cardigan for warmth. I also opt for black slip on shoes (like a ballet flat) as trying to get a pair of boots back on your feet after a 14 hour flight is nigh on impossible. Trust me - I have tried. Massive fail. Ditto for skinny jeans (don't even attempt it). I also travel with a cashmere wrap that doubles as a blanket and take a change of tank top and underwear to freshen up just before landing.

I really like the look of these cashmere travel trousers, but I do wish they came in black. In black they would look less like trackies and a lot more like regular pants which would be good for wearing at your destination (multi-function packing - me likee). The cashmere would keep you warm on the plane (I tend to get really quite cold on flights) and it won't crease, meaning you look smart all the way to your destination. They are also light to pack and can roll up meaning that they won't take up a lot of space in your luggage when you pack them for the rest of your holiday.

In terms of a nice practical but stylish cardigan I really like this one from YUM at Pink Zebra. It would be really nice and warm with the hoodie, and the longline shape means it's a bit more practical for travelling. I also have a great cashmere cardigan from Oroton that works well for travelling because it wraps around you and makes it nice and snuggly for sleeping in.

Now, the two items I have posted above definitely fall into the investment dressing category (i.e. they are very pricey for loungewear, particularly the trousers). We have previously established that you don't have to spend a lot to get good quality clothes. For example, the two items below are from Witchery - the trousers are $59.95 and the cardi is $109.95. Exceptionally practical, tres chic and not too hard on the wallet.

Good quality tank tops you can pick up in loads of places - I like Giordano because they keep their shape no matter how many times you wash them, and they are very cheap. Other good suppliers include Ojay and Witchery (if you particularly like them longer).

For cashmere wraps and pashminas, I stand by my earlier recommendation of The Pashmina Store. Great value and the shipping isn't too pricey. For ballet flats, I like Wittner, Bloch and French Sole. And don't forget a pair of nice warm socks for when you want to slip off your shoes and get some well deserved sleep!

In my carry on, I always pack the following items: hand cream, facial moisturiser, lip balm (I like Kiehls), deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, and eye cream, all in handy mini sizes to fit into my ziplock bag. I also pack a good book (or three), my iPod, a few snacks (like Larabars) and a few litres or water which I now buy at the airport. It's expensive but I can't function without it and I feel so much better at my destination if I am fully hydrated.

Coming up soon: destination wardrobe - what to pack for the actual holiday!



Sydney Shop Girl said...

Thanks for this post! Very practical.

I am getting cravings for cashmere myself.

SSG xxx

Miss Kitty-Cat said...

A girl can never have enough cashmere. Ever.

Not Quite Nigella said...

I'm one of those unfortunate creatures that gets freezing cold of flights and I need layers upon layers and always make use of the blankets (although I wonder how clean the blankets are, I once rejected 4 blankets until I found one that didn't smell horrible). A Pashmima is a must for me for this reason -in case I can't find a good blanket! :)