A few minutes searching online will tell you how many companies have “the perfect travel something” for you. Do these clothes live up to the hype? Is it worth investing in clothes just for your travel?
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My Facebook feed is full of ads for “the one item EVERY traveler needs” and, unfortunately, I’ve tried too many of them. I can tell you that many of these items aren’t the elixir they’re promised to be. Most of the clothing just doesn’t convert all that well and won’t fool anyone into thinking they’re anything but a long piece of fabric. I’ve tried one with snaps that popped open in the airport (yikes!) or several with ‘wrinkle proof’ fabric that held every crease.
But there are a few exceptions- items I love and pack on every trip. So instead of focusing on the fails, I give you the winners in women’s travel clothing:
Carry-On Cozy by Diane Kroe
A lightweight piece that can be worn as a scarf, a jacket, poncho, skirt, or dress/cover-up. I haven’t tried the skirt YET but love the poncho, sweater, cover-up, and scarf options. Four uses for one item is good enough for me!
I have the carry-on cozy in a limited edition print and love how it goes with every color in my palette!
Unlike some other manufacturers, Diane Kroe uses a strip of snaps for adjusting how this item is worn. This feature feels more secure to me than one or two larger snaps. I’ve never had a fail using these small, but closely spaced snaps. (The strip does show in some styles, but doesn’t detract from the look.)
I purchased a more casual pattern in this style for a white water rafting and camping trip. It worked very well as a blanket on the plane, skirt for evenings at the campsite, and even transformed my camping clothes into a cute dinner outfit at Bryce National Park! (shown with my Encircled Dressy Sweatpants.)
Price – $71 USD, Weight – 7 oz.
Diane Kroe Sleeve & Sash
Another ingenious item from Diane Kroe! As a scarf it’s a bit short but that’s not a problem when you realize how this little piece of fabric become a shrug. Perfect for chilly evenings or visiting sacred spots where you need your arms to be covered. This is a go-to item for travel in Europe.
I either wear it as a scarf (or a belt!) or keep it in my bag for when I need it. Takes up little space!
Price – $41 USD, Weight~ 5 oz.
Diane Kroe Travel Tights
And one more winner from Diane Kroe. These tights can be worn as a body suit, but if you’re like me, you’ll wear them mainly as skirted tights. Finally a tight option for older women! I wear the body suit option if I’ve a lightweight tunic top. In this case, the travel tights take the place of a camisole.
Fold up the bottom of these tights and you have a cute pair of capris!
So versatile and flattering that I’ve got two pairs! One black and one in navy!
Price – $71 USD Weight ~ 14 oz.
NOTE: items from Diane Kroe are made to order. This is great if you’d like to specify a length for your tights or pants, but does mean the items are not returnable unless there is a defect.
Travel Pants by Athleta
Classic lines, zippered pockets, and easy care make these pants a favorite for travel. I pack one pair of black Venice pants, and pack another, and that will last a whole week!
Price – $79 USD (look for coupons!)
Dressy Sweatpants by Encircled
Lightweight comfortable pants that look more refined than your average sweatpants. These are great for travel days. There’s a zipper pocket on the back waistband for extra security.
These pants are a bit expensive but I’ve had mine for years so they last! Wore those for a nice dinner at Bryce Canyon lodge last month(photo above), and wore them again as pajama bottoms while camping!
Price – $148 USD Weight ~ 12 oz.
Not marketed as a travel clothing these swim tops are fabulous for every adventure. Lightweight, quick drying and comfortable. I wear the Breton stripe version on travel days, and sometimes pack one of their high neck swim tops to use as a sleeveless blouse. The high neck sleeveless is great sun protection for that delicate chest area.
Price – from $40 USD, Weight ~ 6 oz.
Scottevest hoodies and jackets
Scottevest specializes in jackets, vests and fleeces with pockets everywhere! Both Mr TT and myself bring one of these fleeces or jacket on every trip. Not only is it added security but a great way to stretch your ‘one bag’ allocation. Most everything you’d put in your personal item will fit in the jacket!
(be advised that these jackets are heavier than usual due to the added zips, etc. The trench coat, in particular, is quite heavy)
Price – List price $100 (look for sales), Weight ~ 24 oz. (1 lb, 8 oz)
Runners Up – Still Amazing Travel Clothing for Women
I love this skort and take it on every European adventure. Fits well, has pockets, and works for visits to sacred spaces as well as hikes. The straight line style is quite flattering and I love the zipped pockets!
Caveat: a bit heavy but worth the weight for me!
Price – $88 USD, Weight ~ 15 oz.
Kameleon Rose Ultimate Travel Dress
This is a nice addition if you’re traveling in a cruise or similar. The unusually styled buttons add some interest when the dress is styled as a top.
Caveat: the dress option features a gathered waist which doesn’t flatter me, but might be great for you! This dress is heavier than most, so be advised if you’re trying to travel light.
Price – $87 USD, Weight ~ 15 oz.
Check out our Capsule Travel Wardrobe for Women Over 50
Do you have any go-to pieces for travel? Do you save these or do you wear them at home?