When packing clothing before a trip, it’s easy to feel that you have to sacrifice either practicality or style. But this doesn’t need to be the case. Now, I don’t recommend trying to climb Machu Picchu in heels or a dinner suit, but it is possible to save luggage space, stay weather appropriate and throw together an outfit worthy of your travel pics. Layering clothes can help keep your outfits practical, appropriate and interesting. These are the essentials.
Button-up linen shirt
Perfect when worn over a singlet or undershirt, a linen shirt adds a layer of modesty, sun protection and warmth. Wear it open during the day then button it up in the evening and, voila, you’re looking formal enough for a nice dinner and drinks.
If you’re going somewhere cold, thermals are a must. They’ll keep you warm, can double up as pyjamas and can be worn under nearly anything. I’ve worn thermal pants under a pair of jeans and have got away with wearing a long sleeve thermal as a top.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, a scarf is the single most useful item of clothing you can take travelling. It can be used as a plane blanket, an impromptu pillow, a shawl and can be layered with just about any outfit. I’ve used a scarf as a sheet in a questionable Airbnb, fashioned one into a beanie and even worn a scarf as a passable skirt.
Jumpers and jackets
Instead of lugging around a bulky winter coat, consider bringing a jumper and a water-resistant jacket. These items of clothing may be worn separately or together, giving you all the practical elements of a winter coat without the bulky inconvenience.
Try to pack tops that are diverse in their size and fit. Wearing a loose shirt over a tight long sleeve adds both warmth and interest to an outfit. A thin, loose knit that can fit over a shirt but under a jacket is a perfect extra layer for exploring at night.
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