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Wrinkle-Free Jersey Clothing for Travel: Women Over 40

travel outfits wrinkle free

by Tina Boomerina

Jersey clothing is not the only good women’s clothing for travel, but jersey is great for several reasons. It doesn’t wrinkle. It stretches to fit your body. It is easier to buy online than fitted clothing. It is easy to wash. It has nice drape.

I used to believe that jersey was the only type of clothing worth packing, but I’ve matured over the years. Now, I include other fabrics.

You can survive without an iron if you travel with denim, modal, silk, wool, and various blends. Well, silk wrinkles, but the wrinkles usually hang out if the silk is good. And, who cares if your tunic is wrinkled… it’s silk.

best travel clothing

Wrinkle Free Jersey Travel Wear

Jersey is Wrinkle Free

According to Wikipedia, jersey knits were only used for undies until Coco Chanel went rogue and started making clothing out of it in 1916. Thank you, Coco, baby. We owe you big time.

Jersey doesn’t wrinkle because it stretches and then it pulls back into shape. Well, I’ve always assumed the explanation was something like that, but I’m not a scientist. Anyway, who cares?

You can smoosh jersey tops, dresses, jackets, and skirts into your carry-on bag and you won’t have to iron them when you unpack. What more do you need to know?

What is Jersey?

If you’re not quite sure what jersey is, try imagining T-shirt fabric. Well, jersey is not always like a T-shirt. Jersey knits can be made of wool, polyester, cotton, silk, or other stuff. And, jersey comes in different weights. It can be thinner than your average tee or it can be quite a bit heavier, in which case it will have less stretch… but jersey always has a bit of stretch.

Stretchy Jersey Travel Clothes for Women

When you’re traveling, you’re going to want to wear something comfy, so stretch is a good thing. Try sitting in coach for 8 hours in tight denim jeans. (Well, I used to be able to wear jeans on a flight to Europe, but that was when I was young and stupid and skinny. Now, I know better.)

Unfortunately, there can be a downside to stretch. If you’re a woman over 40-ish, you may have a few more rolls of flab than you did when you were 20-ish. (All Pilates instructors should cover their ears or ignore the next few paragraphs.)

Stretch Travel Wear

Plus Size Jersey Outfits for Travel - Women Over 40

Anyway… if you’re not toned to hell and back, your jersey tops and dresses will stretch around your fat… making your flab obvious to the whole world. And, that really sucks.

However, I happen to know that you travelers like to be able to breathe when you’re on vacation, because not being able to breathe can make it difficult to climb those 414 stairs to get to the top of Giotto’s bell tower in Florence. Heck, not being able to breathe can make it difficult to climb just two stairs to get into various public-transportation vehicles (like buses and trolleys and trains). So, wearing non-stretch fabric is probably not an option for most women over 40.

In my opinion, you should wear jersey when you’re on vacation because it’s one of the best options. You can always hide your out-of-shape body by covering your jersey with another layer of jersey in the form of a knit jacket or shrug or something similar. Heck, anything that covers your fat will work... a raincoat, a huge gauzy scarf, a crocheted crop top, a fuchsia cape.

Also, not all jersey will show your bulges, because not all jersey is created equal. Look for matte (non-shiny) fabric in a good, substantial weight. If that isn’t industrial-strength enough for your cookie-loving torso and hips, pull out the big guns and find a travel outfit made from a cute “camouflaging” jersey print. (And, if you’ve got big bucks, get several tops and dresses made from something like DVF’s rockin’ silk jersey).

cute travel dresses

Jersey Dresses for Travel

Jersey Travel Clothes Online

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, stretchy clothing is easier to buy online than tailored clothing is. If a dress or top has “pull-on” styling – with no zipper or buttons – it’s more likely to fit you than tailored clothing made of classic fabrics… with all those darts and seams and tricky bits. Well, there are some wonderful jersey outfits with zippers and buttons, but most “travel clothes” slip right on without any fuss.

You can even find simple, pull-on jersey pants with elastic waistbands. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s okay for you to wear those “mom” trousers as long as you hide the waistband with a long tunic or a tush-covering sweater… please. I’ll even allow you to travel for your job – while wearing stretchy, jersey pantsuits – but don’t make Chanel roll over in her grave. Have a little class.

Most Jersey is Washable

Okay, read the label. Don’t ruin your clothes because of something you’ve read on this website… however, I usually wash my travel wear in the sink of my cheap Paris hotel room or in the sink in my cruise-ship cabin (using the free shampoo in the little bottle). It’s surprising how fast you can dry most jersey tops with a hairdryer after hanging them in the shower for a while.

Jersey Clothes Have Good Drape

Drape, of course, depends upon the quality and the weight of a fabric, but jersey will generally hang nicely on your body if the clothing isn’t too tight. Hey, cheap polyester jersey gives you a lot of bang for your buck… as long as it’s not too flimsy or too shiny. Natural fabrics are usually preferable, but who wants to spend a lot of money for an outfit that your airline might lose… or some little kid at Disneyworld will barf all over?

Yes, in a lot of ways, jersey is the perfect fabric for women’s travel outfits. Well, jersey clothing is not the only clothing you should pack, but you absolutely must have at least one comfortable outfit to go with your comfortable walking shoes. So… browse around to find a few styles that will look good on you and still allow you to enjoy your holiday. You’ve earned it.

More Articles for Women Over 40, 50, 60:

Women's Travel Clothing: Sheer Clothing Trend

Women's Packable Raincoats and Jackets for Travel

Best Crossbody Bags for Travel: Women Over 40, 50, 60

What I Wear When I Travel to Europe: Stretch & Jersey


read travel wear tips

Main Photo - Wrinkle Free Jersey for Travel

Photo Resources: All photos are from prshots.com

  • Main Photo: Marisota.
  • Wrinkle Free: La Redoute.
  • Plus Size: Evans, Asos Curve, La Redoute (2).
  • Jersey Dresses: Marisota, East, Fever, East (2).

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page or give us a Google Plus. Thanks.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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  1. kay kerns

    How cute the dresses are -- you found some good pictures

    • Tina-Boomerina


      Thanks so much. The pictures are always the most fun part of doing a blog.


      • MaryAnn

        Tina: What website would you suggest to purchase something like this that is not too ($$) expensive. Thanks!

        • Tina-Boomerina


          Didn't the Hollies write a song about you?

          I'm sorry I didn't see your comment. It was on page two of all the comments... hidden off in the corner with the bad spam commenters/commentors... am I British or American today when I'm spelling and using grammar? I was taught to write by a Canadian so I'm a mix. Or maybe I just can't spell today.

          Wow, what sites would be good? Wow. I'm going to assume that you're a plus size because most of us are these days... well, I'm right at the cusp between reg and plus. Hmmmmmmm... let me think for a minute. I'm going to assume you're in the US. If you want travel wear, Travel Smith is an obvious place to start, but they aren't cheap unless you find something on sale. I have found a lot of good items at Macy's lately. Asos is a site where you can find less expensive clothing. It's meant for people under 35, so if you're my age (around 60), you have to be choosy about what styles you try... but I like that they have free shipping both ways (I think they still do), so you can try things without a lot of extra cost.

          I'll look around and email you a few sites. I don't have a lot of time, but I like a good challenge.

          Tina Boomerina

          I wish I knew your price range and your size range... age would be good... but it's not as necessary. Oh, I'm rambling.

          • Tina-Boomerina

            I can NOT tell you to go to a website that advertises on Boomerinas.com. It's against policy. I just looked at LaRedoute.com and they have lots of goodies on sale. I'll email that to you along with some other stuff.

  2. Jeannine

    Thanks for all the great info on your site! Just recently found you and am loving it.
    Chico's Travelers line has been my go-to jersey choice for years. They layer well and are very comfortable even on long plane trips. I have found the quality to be excellent; I have been wearing some items regularly for well over 10 years and they still look great. They keep their basics year round and offer new cuts and colors seasonally. Their size 3 works well for my plus size girl friends. Though a bit pricey for some of us, I have found alot of my pieces on sale and at their outlet stores.

    • Tina-Boomerina


      I like the way Chico's stuff looks on other people, but it doesn't fit me very well. I don't know why. Maybe it is made more for pear shapes and hourglass figures. It's a nice store and the clothes are perfect for travel, but I've only found one thing that I actually wear very much. And, I know their clothes are good for years.

      I get very upset when a good dress doesn't last forever. And, I'm always thrilled when I find a top or dress that I can wear to death.

      Unfortunately, I haven't found the right cut or something. I have one of Chico's skirts that I've worn for about 5 years, though. Maybe I'll try them again. My friends rave about Chico's.