Last month, Sarah Von talked about commandments 1- 5 (black shoes: good! print t-shirts: bad!) Here are our travel fashion commandments 6-10.
Thou Shalt Pack a Sarong
After a pocket dictionary and a few tablets of Imodium AD, you will find few things more useful than a sarong. It’s a beach cover up! It’s a towel! It’s a sheet/blanket/pillow/skirt/scarf/impromptu bag! You can use it to cover your shoulders or knees when entering cathedrals or temples or cover your hair during a surprise afternoon rain shower. If you’re one to hand-wash things in your hotel’s sink, sarongs dry really quickly as well. I’d highly recommend steering away from the tropical, tie-dyed sarongs in favor of something a bit more sophisticated, so it could actually pass for a piece of clothing, like this one or this one.
Thou Shalt Not Wear Something Thou Bought in Said Country
I know you can’t wait to wear that awesome Che Guevara/Kangaroo/I Heart NYC t-shirt. And I know that it’s one of the only clean things that you have left in your bag. But trust me, roll it up, tuck it into the bottom of your bag and save it for your flight home. You’ll thank me later. Not only will you look cooler, you won’t be such a target for touts, pickpockets and the other no-goods that hassle tourists.
Thou Shalt Not Wear a Visor/a Fanny Pack/A Passport Holder
You do, in fact, need something to protect your head/ carry things/hide your passport. But let’s opt instead for this cute little number. And a messenger bag. And a hidden, under-your-clothing money belt. You can carry more in a messenger bag *and* tuck it under your arm so you’re less likely to get pick pocketed.
Thou Shalt Consider a Color Scheme
If you are going to attempt the carry-on-only approach to packing (and I know you can do it!) a well-thought out color scheme will help you out immensely. Choose two neutral colors and an accent color and work from there. I’m a big fan of black and grey plus pink, or brown and navy plus orange – but you should obviously choose something that works for you. Shameless plug alert! Karina dresses are super packable and a great piece to base your travel wardrobe around.
Thou Shalt Consider The Local Culture
It’s tempting to think that because you’re going somewhere warm your travel wardrobe should consist of tube tops and short shorts. But a surprising number of countries that we think of as beach-y destinations are actually quite conservative. You’ll rarely see native Thai women swimming topless like the tourists, or Fijian women even baring their shoulders. Indonesia (and its famous islands of Bali) is actually Muslim and not too keen on your bustier as a top. You aren’t required to wear long sleeved shirts and pants through out your trip, but you may want to bring at least one outfit that’s culturally appropriate if you’re going to visit rural areas or religious sites.
Though Shalt Bring Two Swimsuits
If you’re headed someplace warm and beachy, you’ll probably be spending approximately 97% of your time next to the water. And the other 3% of the time ogling the waiters over the top of your Pina Colada. But if you spend your morning splashing around in the shallows in your bikini, then dress for lunch, putting back on your wet, slightly smelly swim suit is a less than appealing option come 2 pm. And if you want to try kite surfing? Or snorkeling? Or riding a horse through the waves? You’re exponentially less like to flash your goodies if you bring along a cute one piece.
What are your travel fashion commandments?