To help me pack less clothes, I try to erase the idea of different outfits, or even a capsule wardrobe idea of mix n match. I wear one “travel costume” the entire trip. This does not mean wearing the same underwear the entire time, just being ok looking the exact same the whole trip. I also try to have a little fun with it, imagining myself as a cartoon character (ex: you’ve only ever seen Ned Flanders wear one thing, right?) Actually my motivation was behind a Tom Robbins character, Switters, who wears a suit everywhere around the world. I liked the idea but took it down a notch.
Does anybody go for the one look travel costume?
On a trip through central Europe last year for a few weeks I knew we were gonna be walking through mostly cities and wanna look cool (or as cool as I can be), walk a ton, and see some outdoor national park (easy hiking on well maintained trails). I kept wanting to bring my trail shoes and some more outdoor stuff, but remembered being in the bottom of the Grand Canyon one time. We were sitting down taking a rest and eating a snack before heading back up and we saw a man walking down wearing nice jeans, a leather jacket, black dress shoes, and some aviator sunglasses. Stopping near us he lit a cigarette, smoked and took a sip of water, said “magnifique” half-heartedly, then turned around and walked back up. Got me thinking.
Here is what I wore on our Euro trip:
Clarks desert boots
Outlier Futureworks in Navy. One pant for the trip. When is the last time you had a catastrophic pant emergency?
One maroon polka dot shirt sleeve shirt from H and M. Best shirt ever and I wear it all summer at home. Very light weight and dries pretty quick.
Light brown blazer I’ve had for a while. Linen blend. It wears like a shirt jacket but looks pretty decent. Key travel piece. It had some pockets on the inside which were great for my small camera and extra stuff.
I normally wear a baseball cap in the sun, but it looked funny with a blazer, so I went full old man and got a short brimmed floppy hat (hunter thompson style) and called it good.
Underneath I had:
Wool socks (from costco, 4 for $10 and they last for years) x3
Basic grey Uniqlo t shirts that I like x 3. They’re cotton but pack small.
Boxer briefs x 3 (some quick drying synthetic Haynes or something)
I had a light rain jacket and Pata-puffy in the bag for when it got cold and rainy.
I also brought a long sleeve button shirt, and after not wearing it for a few days, didn’t touch it for the trip. I thought I needed a backup. Lesson learned.
Also brought and used:
some Bolivian linen striped pants my brother picked up years ago for nighttime lounging. I also wore them as a scarf, but my wife wouldn’t stop laughing so I gave it up. Still a pretty good travel hack I think.
Some light running shorts that I used from occasional swim trunks once we got to Croatia.
There we go. I had clean socks, underwear, and t shirt each day. Spot cleaned the pants as necessary. This all fit in a small daypack and when we cruised the city I would just put a camera and the puffy/rain jacket (plus my wife puffy/rain jacket) in zipable tote bag and cruise the town.
Planning our next trip through Italy and am considering just wearing a suit and bringing a briefcase 🙂