Travel Fashion: Tips for looking polished on your trip

You’re looking at my latest travel uniform.

Do you have a travel uniform? You know, that reliable outfit you wear on the airplane, that’s both comfortable and decent enough to take you from the airport to a meeting or dinner at a nice restaurant? Or how about a dress, that despite how many times you’ve worn and washed it, still holds its shape, its colour and is a constant companion inside your suitcase? If not, let me help. I may not be the most fashionable gal, but I know my travel clothes and I have a few tips to share before you pack for your next trip.

Airplane Wardrobe

For sure wear your bulkiest clothes on the airplane. You need this space in your suitcase for toting home your shopping spoils. Dress in layers: a T-shirt or tank underneath something long sleeved. Plane temperatures fluctuate and the last thing you want is pit stains. Boots are better worn than packed and jeans (especially the stretchy skinny kind) are an excellent choice that looks good and wears well.

What to Wear Travelling

Casual, yet not sloppy.

For the love of Pete, please do not wear your Lulus, jogging pants or anything else over 10% Lycra on the plane. I know you want to be comfortable. I get it, but you’re not going to get upgraded that way. Not that anyone gets upgraded anymore, but you know what I mean. As a friend, I’ve gotta tell ya sweats (no matter how expensive) look slobby.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has all the right pieces at the airport.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has all the right pieces at the airport.

If you’re a scarf person, by all means wear one on the plane. It can serve double duty as a pillow, blanket or wrap around your waist if you happen to bust your trouser zipper.

Best lightweight jacket for travel

I’ve got this puffy jacket from MEC that balls up into a mound the size of a baseball. Anthony Bourdain wears a similar one on his travels (so I read) and it’s fantastic for the plane and cold-ish destinations. If you’re hitting the beach or a hot desto, it still could be breezy out. Lululemon also has loads of cute, light jackets that are made for travel.

Puffy Jacket

If Tony wears it…

Wardrobe staple: neutral cardigan

Best fashion advice I ever took (received lots, taken few), was to buy a neutral coloured cardigan. Shades like oatmeal go with pretty much everything. Sweaters can be too heavy, but a cardigan is a different story. Cardis can be unbuttoned and thus worn in hot climes over a little slip dress to ward off the AC. They work especially well on flights when you’re peeling on and off layers. No matter the season, consider the cardi your travel BFF.

Best outfit for the outdoor 

Many Canadians on vacation seem to fall victim to dressing as if they’re going for a hike, when in fact they’re exploring a new city. If you’re hunkering down at a cabin or actually conquering the great outdoors, go ahead wear your rad pants, your fleece jacket, your hiking shoes. If not, consider putting on a proper pair of pants and treat yourself to a shirt with buttons. You’ll look better, you’ll probably feel better, and most importantly, you won’t look like a tourist. Unless of course, you’re wearing white runners and then all bets are off. 


There’s no such thing as too much Tony.

Gentlemen, look to my future second husband Anthony Bourdain on this one. Casual, button down shirt + tidy trousers + ankle boots = comfortable, yet stylish. This is a man ready to tackle any adventure on a moment’s notice. Swoon.

The best travel dress

More important than the LBD in my books, your travel dress is worth every penny you spend on it. Guess how many years I’ve been packing this Patagonia dress? Eight! This cobalt blue number has made its way to Maui, Italy, England, Mexico, Thailand and across North America. I kind of wish it would wear out, so I could buy a new one, but that’s Patagonia for you. It cost around $80 and better money was never spent. I don’t need to wear a bra with it (major score!), it dries quickly and doesn’t wrinkle. So beloved is this dress, I tote it in my carry-on in case my luggage is delayed. With one good dress like this, you’ve got a few days grace.

Patagonia dress

Having my Lord of the Flies moment in my favourite Patagonia travel dress.

Downtime travel clothing

No matter where I travel, I’m often looking for something cozy to slip on at the end of the day. This is where the modern day muumuu comes in. OK, it’s not a muumuu exactly, but any dress that’s lightweight, shapeless and made of fabric that caresses your skin is worth packing. Naturally, I’d never attempt to wear this outside the hotel room. I wouldn’t dream of wearing it if I wanted to have sex (not that I ever do mind you, because my father-in-law might be reading this), but there is a time and a place for casual clothes. So go ahead and pack that security blanket piece of clothing you have. Just don’t wear it in public:)

I bought this lounge around dress at Soma in the States.

I bought this lounge around dress at Soma in the States.

What are your must have pieces of clothing for travel?

P.S. You might also enjoy 6 Fashion Mistakes Moms Make and Best Medications to Travel With.

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