clothes I can't travel without

Five clothing items I never travel without

In my ongoing education in strategic packing (you wouldn’t believe my inner turmoil over making a packing list for Camino), I’ve managed to narrow it down to about five clothing items I take with me on every trip. It’s hard for me; I adore adore crazy patterns and bright colours.

On the other hand, pattern mixing tends to be the trend these days. I figure 20 years from now I’ll look back and wonder what the hell I was doing with my life. Stripes and polka dots in one outfit?! The madness! Perhaps it’s the equivalent to tear-away pants and platform sneakers in the 90s. I so wanted to be a Spice Girl.

I try to categorize my outfits into Comfortable Items Suitable For Endless Walking, Appropriate Dinner Attire for Surprise Dates, and Comfortable Lounge Wear For When I Don’t Give a Damn.

The Appropriate Dinner Attire for Surprises Dates is the most laughable of these categories. In all my years of travelling, a Surprise Date scenario has only ever happened once with a cute German man in Montenegro.

Anyway., a fun shopping app, asked me to write about my five key clothing items for travelling. These are my “must have” items, no matter the season. Rain or shine! Maybe not a raging blizzard, though.

clothes i can't live without

A Colourful Shirt or a Casual Dress

In a world of solids, be a crazy colour coordination mess. If you were ever to take a look inside my closet you’ll probably observe how much bright clothing I own. It’s a curse.

But for shorter trips I pack solid colours. Usually. A little bit of colour “pop” goes a long ways.

Perhaps even throw in something with a little cleavage for that Surprise Date with the Aussie guy you met at the hostel bar while throwing back Jagerbombs like it’s your 19th birthday.

 Black Flats

I knowwwww. Black is so boring, right?

I think shoes are my biggest enemies while travelling. I’m never quite certain how shoes will deal with hours of walking until I actually do hours of walking, ya know?

And I am certainly, certainly not a heels person. I look like a newborn fawn teetering on shaky legs when I wear heels.

I usually go with black flats for my shoes of choice. I can wear them with anything – dresses, jeans, leggings, shorts, etc. They never let me down.

On the other hand, flats are also not an item you wanna be picking up at Ardene’s for $10. Make those babies last.

In the winter months, I go for tall boots or wedged heels. Tall boots are just the greatest thing ever.

Black Leggings

I hate pants with a fiery, passionate rage. Likely because I can’t afford good, comfortable jeans.

Black leggings are my saviour. I don’t mean those leggings that are transparent every time you bend over, either. That just won’t do.

Invest in a good pair of leggings and you’ll be happy for life. Diamonds are not a woman’s best friend, leggings are.

Mine are more like a leggings/dress pants hybrid, so they’re suitable for fancy dinner parties and endless walking. I don’t even need a long shirt to cover my behind because the pants aren’t transparent. Huzzah!

A Fancy Scarf

I have maybe a dozen scarves I’ve picked up along my travels because I’m always drawn to their insane patterns and colours. If I’m travelling light with plain t-shirts and tank tops, a nice scarf can really sexify things up a bit.

Plus they serve a more practical element when it’s chilly out. And I think a bright pop of colour peeking out of the neck of a jacket is rather fetching, isn’t it?

A Light Jacket

A nice jacket can take a plain outfit and turn it into something more classy and chic. But in a world of endless jackets, how do you choose?!

I actually prefer a light leather jacket or a solid blazer. Actually, I like bombers too. And everything. You can even pair it with the scarf and a nice shirt, and voila, you look more like a presentable professional.

However, you should take everything I say with a grain of salt because I certainly am no expert in being a presentable professional (see Comfortable Loungewear).

If it’s colder, I’ll probably pick a long-sleeved blazer and wear it underneath a heavier jacket. Layers, my friends. Listen to the Canadian.

These are a few of my favourite things. What packing items can’t you live without? 

  • January 25 2016

    I’m with you on leggings. They’ve become a daily staple for me (the last 18 months in London have ruled out the prospect of me fitting into my skinny jeans anytime soon).
    LC recently posted…Expat Life: A Summary of a Year Living Overseas

    • January 28 2016

      Hahahaha. I feel I should perhaps invest in a good pair of jeans but I just HATE THEM.

  • January 25 2016

    God I love that blazer!!! lol

    • January 28 2016

      Me too!

  • January 25 2016

    I’m with you on the scarf thing; when I was travelling around Asia, I’d regularly buy new scarves. It was a great way to spruce up all my clothes (which were slowly falling apart), and they were so lightweight I could ram them into my backpack, no problem!

    And yes, I’m no expert on packing either. I bloody hate it.

    • January 28 2016

      I have like 10 scarves now! Haha. They’re just so classy and lightweight.

  • January 26 2016

    I’m firmly in the jeans camp, but these legging-pants hybrids you mention are intriguing! What’s the brand in the photo / that you recommend?

    • January 28 2016

      I got them from Dynamite, a Canadian shop! They have really nice bands on the side so that they don’t slip down like regular leggings, haha. So they’re kinda like dress pants.

  • January 27 2016

    I wish I was as put together as this, if I remember to put my shirt on the right way I think I’m doing pretty good. Before I’d never really considered leggings, but I wore a pair on my last trip and liked them, although I definitely think I should invest in a good pair. Any recommended brands/stores?
    Alouise recently posted…The Insanity of El Rastro Market in Madrid

    • January 28 2016

      LOL, if I could count how many times I wore a shirt inside out…

      The leggings I have are from Dynamite and I LOVE them! They have these bands at the top to keep the leggings from slipping down. They’re almost more like dress pants.

  • January 29 2016

    Despite the fact they weigh a ton, don’t pack light and take forever to dry – I don’t go anywhere without my skinny jeans!!!

    I also recently invested in leggings, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to wear them for anything more than running…stay tuned on that!

    Scarf – totally with you on that, it also doubles as head scarf functionality in muslim countries!
    Cat recently posted…Tasmania, a tourist guide

    • January 30 2016

      Hahaha, I WISH I loved skinny jeans. I used to. I should probably invest in some jeans that fit properly.

  • January 30 2016

    YES TO THE LEGGINGS. Leggings are my favorite! They are my way of making the skirts and dresses I wear all summer still work in the winter. I’m still undecided on the “leggings as pants” idea, though.
    Sky recently posted…The Result of Knowing I Can Live the Life I Want

    • February 02 2016

      The ones I have are like pants! They’re like dress pants. It’s hard to explain. And still super comfortable. Hahaha. I couldn’t live without leggings. <3

  • February 14 2016

    I also always carry a scarf and leggings. You never know when you might need a scarf – they are highly versatile, and black leggings don’t show dirt. lol
    Life, Other Than recently posted…Living in a Wind Tunnel: Winter on the Washington Coast

    • February 15 2016

      Totally, and the scarf is always good for when you need to go into places of worship, etc.

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