Best Sites for Women’s Travel Wear: Wrinkle Free Clothing
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
Here are some great American sites for women’s travel wear. You should always look for wrinkle-free clothing that’s made to fit Baby Boomer chicks over 40 or 50 or 60 or 70.
Some of you like to go to the malls and try clothing on in the dressing rooms. I prefer shopping online because I can’t be swayed by some salesgirl’s suggestions and I usually end up with clothing that looks good on my over-60-year-old body. I wear travel clothes everywhere, even when I “travel” to the local grocery store. My motto is: “Be comfy. Be happy.”
You Should Use the Paris Test
Before I take the tags off a piece of clothing, I ask myself if the garment can be worn in Paris. Now, I’m not talking about designer clothing that costs a fortune. I’m talking about simple clothing, usually made of jersey that can be tarted up with a scarf, to create an outfit that is good enough to wear in Paris.
If I can say, “Yes,” to the Paris Test, then I keep my purchase. If the outfit isn’t flattering on my body, or I don’t think it has some level of elegance, I throw the garment back into the box and send it back.
Why I Love Travel Dresses
In Europe, a simple dress is perfect for travel because it can be worn with:
- A sun hat in Venice or Barcelona.
- A rope of costume pearls for dinner in Berlin or London.
- A long scarf in Paris or Rome. (Buy your scarves on the streets of France or at Anthropologie.
- A warm coat and leggings in Helsinki or Copenhagen.
Stretchy dresses are perfect, because they will fit after you eat too many cupcakes in Los Angeles or after you shed ten pounds from walking through Manhattan’s mazes.
Wrinkle-Free Outfits at Travel Smith
Travel Smith always has several cute, wrinkle-free dresses (without waistbands) that are made from a stretchy Supplex Nylon Spandex. I know the fabric sounds awful, but it looks fine when worn. It's not shiny and it looks like a cotton knit. These dresses have no zippers, and they slip over your head like tee shirts.
Anything made from this great material can be mooshed, pushed, folded, machine washed, or washed in a tiny, cruise-ship sink and dried in the shower.
Usually, I start my outfits with a dress, because dresses made of stretchy fabric are easy to fit. And, Americans will find women wearing dresses and skirts all over Europe. Here is the style of my favorite Travel Smith style.
- Voyager Knit Seamed Jersey Dress: I have this sleeveless gem in Navy and I had to buy it in small, even though I normally would have bought an ZL. The small dress fits fine, as long as I wear a lightweight, front-tied shrug to cover my tummy. (I prefer featherweight shrugs to the Tape Yarn Wrap shown with this dress. Usually, I find the best shrugs at Zappos. Look for a knit fabric that looks more like lace and has “holes” in it.) I now have this dress in several colors and sizes.
I am not always thrilled with the prints used for most Travel Smith dresses. However, I buy them because the prints don’t show coffee drips. Soon, I will do an article showing great dresses from other websites I didn't know about 5 years ago when I wrote this article.
Wrinkle-Free Travel Tops at Old Navy.
I only like tops which stretch. I only like tops that don't wrinkle. What else would you pack, unless you are bringing your butler? Also, I avoid T-shirts with pictures of kitties, large writing, or cutesy graphics. Not only will those tops not pass the Paris Test, you can’t dress up those shirts with cute travel jewelry, scarves, or hats.
One of your best resources for travel tees is Old Navy. Their cotton shirts and blouses don't always fit my body, but if you go to "Basic Layering Tops”, you will find some good, reliable, and inexpensive staples. I prefer their Scoop-Neck Tees and V-Neck Tees, which flatter my top-heavy body. And, though I've never tried their "lightweight" versions, I'm sure they would be good for layering.
Other tops at Old Navy are hit or miss, but if they fit you, you've scored big-time. (Note: I have recently discovered some cool tops at Kiyonna and I recommend these if you are plus sized. Also, I'll be trying some tops from SWAK.com.... nope... it's several years later and I still am wearing what I have. Embarrassing, but good.)
Travel Clothing at Soft Surroundings
In general, I like the fabrics at Soft Surroundings more than those at Coldwater Creek, and I have found several tops at Soft Surroundings that I like.
- It's dangerous to write about fashion. Sometimes you see things you have to have. I wonder if the top I like will go on sale...
- You can never have too many stretchy jersey tops. A long jersey top can be dressed up or down for slumming the streets of Paris or worn as an extra layer to keep you from freezing to death in Denmark. (I think some designer is finally listening to us.)
- If you can find a long tank with lace on the bottom, get it. You'll need it for layering under tops that are too short to cover your flabbo stomach or your squishy fanny. You can wear a lacy cami under your jacket or cardigan or anything... and just let the bottom hang out. This slouchy style will make you look younger and hipper than the usual tuck-in camisole that you think you need. Trust me... don't be a "church lady".
Packable Travel Raincoats
One of the best, lightweight raincoats is the reversible Mycra Pac. This coat scrunches into its own pouch/purse, or your carry-on bag, and it shows no dirt. Also, the reversibility makes it extremely practical. My favorite is the Donatella Short, which I have in leopard/brown, lilac/black flocked, and lilac/black. I also have a long flocked Donatella that kept me warm at the end of winter in Paris... of course my layers of whale blubber helped.
The Mycra Pac raincoat in the photo on the right reverses to a dark purple. These coats are ridiculously expensive, but they only weigh about as much as a black garbage bag. Trust me. You won't leave home without this little thing in your carry-on luggage.
I don’t wear jeans because they aren’t comfortable on long flights. The best pants for travel (if you have an apple-shaped body) are CitiKnits... or some type of totally knit stretch pants. Unfortunately, I don't see them online right now, so I'm going to tell you about the pants that my friend at my doctor's office loves. I don't know which style she wears but I know they are from Susan Graver and they're from one of the shopping channels. Try to get something in black or dark blue with a wide waistband. I like wide legs for long flights and regular legs for everything else. If you get knit pants in the right size, they will feel like pajamas all the way to Sydney. (Note: I don’t like cropped pants but that's your call.)
I have heard great things about Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, but I don’t even want to try them on. I am so sick of jeans. However, that would be the brand I would try if someone held a gun to my head and told me I had to wear denim. Of course, I would get a dark wash, so the jeans would pass the Paris test.
Hopefully, this info will help you stay happy, comfortable, and, of course, chic on your travels. I don’t want to see you looking like a schlump in Europe…or anywhere. If you’re over 40, you’ve earned the right to wear something decent that allows you to breathe. Look around and compare prices, but these sites are where I start when I need something to wear on a trip.
Update: This is fall of 2017. I'm in shock because I just turned 65. I am now officially "old". Anyway, I would like to do a newer article, which will have great travel styles from the UK. If you get your cheapie (or expensive) clothes from a site in London, you won't find 5 other women on your tour bus with the same dang thing. So, harrass me until I show you the good sites I just discovered a month or so ago.
Photo Credits: Prshots.com.
- Main Photo: Three Jersey Dresses for Travel. Simply Be.
- Jersey Travel Dress - No Wrinkles: Marisota Plus Size.
- Cute Plus Size Travel Outfits Marisota: Marisota.
- Non Wrinkle Jersey Dresses for Travel: Eucalyptus.
- Best Type of Dress for Travel: Fifty Plus or Marisota.
- Best Travel Raincoat Mycra Pac: Chesca, 2017. (They are low on stock, but Chesca will be getting more. If you can't wait, google around for other sizes.)
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