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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Travel in Style 3.19.11

While I go on and on about packing light and buying clothing made specifically for travel, it doesn’t mean that I don’t also want to look good and be fashionable (and also comfortable) on vacation. It can sometimes be a struggle between pretty and functional, but with the new selections in travel clothing, you can now bring functional and attractive clothing with you, wherever you go. With Spring almost here, it has put me in the mood to talk about lightweight clothing for your Spring and Summer travels, including those for men.

Photo provided by Magellan's
eBags Packing Cubes - 3pc Set (Grasshopper)eBags Slim Packing Cubes - 3pc Set (Titanium)eBags Slim Packing Cubes - 3pc Set Blossom - Packing Aids
You may have noticed that the stores are moving out jackets and sweaters and replacing them with bold-colored items and swimsuits. You may want to look the other way before thinking about putting on a bikini or swim trunks (as I find I do after the winter), but drawn to the brighter colors of everything else. It’s okay. We all slightly panic when faced with racks of tiny bathing suits and our lack of winter exercise and extra calories. Take a look at the new trends for clothing: flowing fabrics (linen and lightweight knits), brighter colors, bold patterns (including florals and polka dots), khakis, wedges (for the ladies) and safari-inspired pieces. Of course there are more that I probably haven’t mentioned or haven’t even noticed, but these are ones that are easiest to bring into your Spring travel wardrobe and, with some staple pieces, can be worn for many vacations to come.

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Fashion 'Fraidy Cat
If you’re really reserved and a bit scared to bring new prints and colors to your travel bag, you can start off slow by purchasing a nice range of khaki and neutral colored pieces. They are always going to be in style. Ramp it up a bit with a bright item, like a scarf, belt or shoes. If you love color, but don’t want to overdo it, find a few tops that have some brighter colors, like orange, coral, yellow or spring green and pair it with neutral bottoms. TravelSmith, Magellan's, Lucy, Columbia, LL Bean and other retailers can help you incorporate neutral OR spring colors/patterns into your collection with their stylish lines.

GoLite Women's Wildwood Sleeveless TopLeopard Animal Print Lightweight Scarf Stole Shawl Wrap Chocolate Beige Ivory
I Just Need a Little Oomph
Already have a great travel wardrobe, but think it’s looking a little bland, because the colors are all in the same family? Grab some bold and colorful jewelry (or ties) to keep it looking fresh and for a pop of color. It’ll renew your confidence when you go out sightseeing and make you feel like your travel pieces got an overhaul, when it really only needed a mini-makeover.

It’s lucky that almost all travel clothing and activewear is lightweight and contain moisture-wicking fibers, so you always look your best, even when the sun is beating down. Many pieces even include omni-shield (or similar) that incorporates fabrics treated with SPF so you can look great and also avoid a nasty sunburn. They are usually also quick-drying (so you can pack less and do a bit of laundry), pill-resistant and wrinkle-resistant. With shorts and tanks (and often many short sleeve items) you may even find bug-repellant pieces that work great in a tropical setting.

No More Stinky Clothes
Look for clothing made of bamboo or soy, as these pieces are cool to wear, wick moisture from the body and don't retain odors, so if by some chance you can't wash your clothes and need to rewear a piece, you will still smell fresh and look as good as the first time you wore it.

Pack Twice The Clothes in Half The Space
Double your travel pieces by finding attractive reversible clothing. TravelSmith, GoLite and other companies have affordable and stylish items that can be used two ways. It's especially useful when cruising or when you know you will be going out several times. You can pack less, but still wear different outfits.

GoLite Women's Cayambe Reversible Travel Dress,Granite/Pale Blue,Large

Some of my Frugal Living fashion buddies have told me that an absolute must for ladies who travel is a pashmina/shawl. They are fantastic for keeping warm on the airplane and chilly weather conditions and you can use it for a multitude of other things: beach blanket, emergency towel, skirt, picnic blanket and more. They can also pack down into a small space.

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My Feet Hurt Already!
Fashionable walking shoes can be found. You don’t have to rely on just your trainers anymore for a decent shoe to keep your feet comfortable all day. Find pretty loafers, wedges, sandals, mary-janes and more. You can go from sightseeing to dinner and still look stylish. If you are limited to 2 pairs of shoes (as I limit myself), it’s always good to have a pair of comfortable and nice looking shoes that can work with a dressy outfit as well as your normal walking around clothing (whether that’s khakis, a skirt or shorts). You don’t want to take shoes with you that are going to look great, but kill your feet after just a bit of walking. It will ruin your day and make you hate your vacation…and yourself for bringing those shoes. Find wonderful options with brands like Clarks, Born, Aerosoles, Columbia and more.
Clarks Women's Latin Samba Thong Sandal,Brown Leather,8.5 M USClarks Women's Luster Weave Sandal,Sand,7.5 M USindigo by Clarks Women's Berry Blossom Flat,Purple,7.5 M US
Clarks Men's Wave.Road Closed Toe Sandal,Brown,14 M USClarks Unstructured Men's Un.Pacific Boat Shoe Slip On,Brown,9.5 M USClarks Men's Itaska Lace Up,Tan,9.5 M US
Once you get them home, make sure to break them in and test them out before packing them in your travel bag. I make sure to wear them during a variety of activities for a couple of weeks. In that time you can see if they hurt your feet, have too much stretch, pinch, become less cushy, receding arch support or any other problems that can occur on vacation. Believe me, no one wants to feel like cutting off their feet on a trip, no matter where you are, so do everything you can to prevent foot soreness by getting the right shoes. You may have to pay more for a good pair, but that pair can last you for years, so it’s well worth the money you spend. Don’t forget that not all shoes in a brand’s line will be the same, so just because you got some wonderful Clarks sandals that you can walk all day in, doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same experience with a pair of their loafers. (This is just an example, not a dig at Clarks. There is never consistency with any shoe or clothing brand with the variations of styles. It’s virtually impossible.)

Do you still need help on packing? Check out my previous posts on packing lists and packing light. Remember: the more you practice, the better you'll get and soon you'll be able to pack faster and lighter and more efficient. For links to other travel clothing sites, see my list of favorite sites on the right sidebar.

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 Always look your best and save time by bringing along a canister of dry shampoo. Instead of taking the time to wash your hair every day (which is bad for your hair anyway) or to give yourself a quick new slate for a night out, spray some of this dry shampoo from Tigi on your roots to pull out excess oils and keep your hair looking just washed for an extra day or for a few more hours when hitting the clubs. Keeps the shine, but eliminates the oil that makes your hair look limp and dull.

Don't forget that booking travel through merchants on Ebates also saves you money with their fancy cash back program. While Travel Week is over and double cash back has come and gone, you can still get discounts on many of your favorite travel websites...and this week is Spring Fashion Week, which means double cash back on many clothing merchants, including LL Bean, which has fantastic clothing for travel as well. If you're not signed up yet, do it now!

Join in the discussions on Spring Fashion on the Frugal Living Community over at Blog Frog or right here! There are several great members over there that are fashion experts and can also tell you how to look great for less! Join in some of the conversations, including my latest on Spring Travel Fashion. Do you have a favorite piece of Spring clothing? Tell us about it!

New Discussion: 

When you're on vacation you want your feet to be comfortable with all the walking, but you also want to look good and get something that will work for the weather and all your outfits. 
I find that Easy Spirit, Aerosoles and Clarks have great shoes that are stylish and comfy, plus you can get cash back on all your favorite brands with Ebates! I try to find a new pair of walking shoes each time I travel (mostly because after my vacation, I love them so much that I wear them out). 
Do you go for style over comfort when you travel, comfort over style or do you try to find a good balance between the two? 

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