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Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: GoLite Cayambe Reversible Travel Dress

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Trying to fit clothing for a week or more in a carry-on can sometimes be a big challenge, especially if you have a lot of activities planned that are all over the map: hiking, sightseeing, dining out, boating, plays. How can you possibly pack for all those things and still go light? One word: Reversible. While there aren’t a lot of products to choose from that do double-duty, the smart people at GoLite created the Cayambe dress for those of us that are active, but still want to look good.
I’ve been eyeing this dress for some time, as it looks pretty simple, has two layers of fabric (read: no fancy underthings like a slip is needed), is moisture-wicking, quick-drying, lightweight and moves with you. Or so it claims. I had previously gotten the Stelvio 1/3 Zip Travel Sweater when it was on clearance on Amazon and loved it so much I ordered a second color that was NOT on sale. They are super warm, lightweight and comfy. Then I decided I must try a tank for my warm-weather trips and picked up the Vista Ridge Sleeveless Top. Another homerun! So of course I said yes when offered the chance to try out the Cayambe dress.

I immediately tore open the package when it arrived and tried it on. The fabric felt great on my skin, which is always a plus in any garment, and the colors were pretty. I received the black/fern. The fern is a soft green and seems like it would be fairly complimentary to most skin tones. But don’t worry, if it’s not for you, there are other colors to choose from.
I wondered about the versatility of the dress, so I tried it out with some different accessories and shoes and ran around my yard with the dog and did some hoola hooping in it. (That’s about the extent of my exercising most days.) Surprisingly, it allowed me to be mobile without feeling constricted, I didn’t feel too girly in it to keep me from being active and the fabric kept me cool throughout activities and running around the house in search of things to pair it with – yes, I am also not that organized. Thanks to the DriMove Lite technology, you can get really active in this dress and never feel sweaty and gross, because it pulls moisture from your body to the outer fabric and it evaporates.  
Considering the dress is flattering, though not really fancy, I threw on a necklace, cardigan, belt and some nicer shoes and it turned into a thing I could go out on the town in. You could probably do this by just adding a nice looking wrap and strappy sandals, too, since you probably won’t have all these accessories with you on vacation. The black can easily be your new LBD for travel (and even to keep in mind at home in the warmer months that make you hope you don’t have to dress up for anything outside). The chest has a nice ruching to flatter your bust and give some extra support for those heavier on top, and the straps are nice and wide to hide your bra straps (a big gripe of mine for many warm-weather dresses and tops).

The bottom has a raw edge, so it gives it a bit of ruffle. When turned around, you get a double hem, as some of the black peeks out at the bottom. Cute, right? The longer length gives you extra coverage for whatever you have on your itinerary, whether it’s sipping wine at a cafĂ© or playing touch football on the beach. The slight A-line gives you freedom of movement, but falls in an attractive way that is flattering on most body types. The dress is a bit clingy from the waist up, so if you aren’t into that, you may want to go up a size. You know what else is awesome? You can save your sunscreen and just use it on your exposed skin, because this dress has built-in UPF of 50+. You won’t get a nasty burn underneath like you can with other thin fabric.

This dress is seriously lightweight and for two items to take up less space in your bag than a t-shirt, that’s pretty cool. Going away for the weekend? Throw this baby in your carry-on with a change of underthings, some accessories and a pair of shoes and you are good to go anywhere. This is definitely a must-buy for those trips to tropical climates or long trips to Europe, but also perfect for trips to Disney, romantic getaways and your cousin’s wedding weekend. And if you go to GoLite.com, you can get it for less than $45! That’s two dresses in one that can be worn for almost any occasion for a little over $40. Want more versatility? Pick up the Cayambe Reversible Travel Skirt for $28 and in discontinued colors for $19! You can’t beat prices like that for awesome travel pieces that have a lifetime guarantee*. (GoLite also sells amazing travel clothing for men and travel bags that have gotten rave reviews from everyone I’ve talked to that owns one.)

My size: I am wearing the Cayambe Travel Dress in XS. I’m 51 and weigh ~115 lbs.
More information
Where you can buy it: GoLite online
Other colors it comes in: Burnt Orange/Espresso & Canal Blue/Gunbarrel Blue
How much it costs: Regular price is $85, but you can purchase this year’s inventory for more than half off.
Fabric: Polyester with built-in UPF 50+, weight 6.7 oz

*GoLite will replace any gear with a manufacturing defect, free, for the life of the product.
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Disclaimer: I was provided with the GoLite Cayambe Dress for the purpose of this review, but all options are my own.
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