It’s hard to figure out what to pack for your trip. You probably have a closet full of clothes and can’t decide what to bring. So what should you wear? If an outfit can’t be worn two or three times and look different by customizing it with accessories, then you shouldn’t bring it. But if you bring pieces that you can mix and match then those are what you should wear. For example, with a no-nonsense navy blazer, you can look put-together and formal if you pair it with a nice blouse. For a more casual look, pair the blazer with your favorite jeans and a white T-shirt. Attire that can go from day to night is always your best bet. And you’ll look effortlessly chic and stylish in a sea of tourists who are wearing tourist shirts, sweats and baseball caps.
Whether it’s because you’ll stick out like a sore thumb abroad, or you’ll be uncomfortable on a plane, always dress appropriately. For some that means you’ll want to research your specific destination to find out which clothes are and aren’t applicable to your particular trip. You should also keep in mind the local customs and religious beliefs. For example, if you’re visiting a mosque, you should have clothing available that will cover you up almost entirely or risk offending the locals. Finally, you should consider safety when you pick out your clothes. The key is to blend in. This means no bright or loud colors and sticking to neutrals. You’ll look less like a mark for thieves who prey on people who look like tourists.
Now that you have a general sense of what to bring while traveling, here are 12 specific things women should wear on trips, as well as 12 things they shouldn’t wear.
DON’T WEAR: HIGH HEELS
It’s simple. Do not ever bring or wear shoes with heels. That means platform shoes and stilettos. First off, do you know how hard it is to walk through a cavernous airport while wearing high heels? You have to walk from security to get to your gate, and that may be a long stroll. And besides, if you’re on vacay, when are you going to wear high heels? While suntanning by the pool? While getting ice from the ice machine? Yes, you may want to dress up for dinner, but remember, as Town & Country said, comfort is everything when you travel.
WEAR: A HAT THAT SUITS THE CLIMATE
A woman should always bring a hat while traveling, according to Smarter Travel. A hat serves three purposes. One, you can wear it on bad hair days. We recommend a fedora straw hat, a newsboy cap or a military cap. Two, a hat can keep you warm if you’re going somewhere cold. We suggest a wool or cashmere beanie. Finally, a hat can drastically change your look. A straw hat is the best to bring because it can make a white T-shirt and jeans or any ensemble look effortlessly chic. If you want to look sporty at the beach, wear a visor or borrow your boyfriend’s baseball cap.
DON’T WEAR: BRIGHT COLORS
Don’t wear clothes in bold patterns or loud colors. Remember that you should bring attire that coordinates well with each other, such as any combination of black, navy, grey and charcoal. You can’t go wrong with a black T and your favorite jeans or leggings, and you will be keeping your packing to a minimum. As Smarter Travel pointed out, those colors will make you look put together and you’ll be able to blend in with the crowd while sightseeing and not draw unwanted attention to yourself, especially thieves.
DON’T WEAR: MORE THAN ONE PAIR OF JEANS FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
Jeans go with anything, they’re versatile and long-lasting and are perfect for any type of weather. As we suggested, for that effortless look, pairing denim with a navy blazer and a white T-shirt is perfect for informal events, such as when visiting tourist sites. While other people will look like tourists, you’ll look very chic. But there’s no reason to bring more than one piece of denim. Stick to one pair only. Anything more, and you’ll have little room in your suitcase, as denim is also heavy, even when it’s folded tightly, as USA Today pointed out.
DON’T WEAR: SKINNY JEANS
You should always bring jeans with you on your trip because they go with almost everything. But you should not wear skinny or tight jeans while flying. All that time you’re sitting on a plane, especially one that is over ten hours, will make your skinny jeans feel very uncomfortable. And, according to Town and Country, you increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. So wear more sensible jeans and, for preventive measures, put on the compression socks we talk about later. Regular socks will inhibit blood circulation and cause swelling of the legs.
WEAR: COMFORTABLE CLOTHING WHILE ON A PLANE
Even a six-hour flight will make you uncomfortable if you’ve chosen the wrong things to wear on the plane. The trick is to stay away from bulky items (puffy jackets, for example) and to wear clothes you can layer and that are comfortable. The New York Times suggests wearing exercise gear. For tops, bring with you a sweatshirt made of lightweight cotton over a T-shirt as a base. Then put a sweatshirt hoodie in a larger size over your shirt, big enough that it won’t prohibit your movement. For pants, wear leggings or nylon workout pants. You can get some quality-made sweats at J.Crew or Pink.