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The Best Travel Clothes for Women : 19 Shortcuts to Choosing the Perfect Travel Wardrobe

Women on the Road
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Investing in the best travel clothes for women is well worth it. 

If you buy excellent quality women's travel clothing upfront, you’ll be able to use it time and time again for your trips, rather than thinking of the short term and purchasing various items cheap women's outdoor clothing every time you travel. 

Plus, the best women's travel clothes are so comfortable and will fit so well you may want to incorporate them into your everyday wardrobe!

Fashionable travel clothes make all the differenceWell dressed and lookin' good!

But how do you find the best travel outfits for women? There are many excellent brands, so how do you distinguish a good brand from a bad one? And then, which travel clothing items are essential and which aren't?

In this guide, which unveils the best and most comfortable travel clothes for women, I’ll take you through why you should consider investing in high-quality ladies travel clothes, what to consider to make sure you purchase both practical and stylish travel clothes and finally, a few recommendations for the best travel clothing brands.

Why you Should Invest in the Best Travel Clothes for Women?

Why purchase clothing which is specially designed for travel, anyway? No doubt you have a perfectly good set of clothes that you wear every day at home. Well, for several reasons:  

  • When you travel, its best to travel light, which means traveling with less clothing. This often means wearing the same piece of clothing multiple times before having it washed. Good travel clothes are made from top quality fabrics designed to not trap odors, so even if you have to wear the same item several times, it won’t smell.
  • Also, quality clothes to travel in are made from fabrics that pack well and are wrinkle resistant, and so won’t look dreadful when they are pulled out of the corner of your luggage. Plus, they are usually lightweight and not overly bulky.
  • Good travel wear for ladies wash and wear well and also dry quickly – in some cases you could even use a hotel hair dryer to dry your clothes.
  • Womens travel gear often has some handy pockets which everyday clothing may not have. You can even get travel attire for women with hidden pockets for valuables, or even just to be able to carry a little bit extra on the plane and not have it accounted for in your carry on baggage.

Above all, a good travel wardrobe for women can really take a beating. Quality clothes can be washed in older washing machines, worn days on end, squeezed into small spaces in your bag, be resistant to tears and much more.

How to Choose the Best Womens Travel Clothing?

So now that I’ve convinced you that you need at least a few good quality pieces of travel clothing, you’re probably wondering how to get the best value for money. To find the answer, ask yourself these 19 questions before investing in your women’s travel apparel.  

The more boxes the item of clothing can tick, the greater the chance it’s worth the investment.

1. How comfortable is it? 

In some cases, you might be in the same clothes for a day or more, particularly if you have a long haul flight, so you really do want comfortable travel clothes for women.

You don't want your skin chafing from tight waistbands in the heat or trousers so tight you can't breathe when you walk. Comfortable and fashionable travel clothes will keep you out and about longer than those that constrict you. 

But that doesn't mean you have to forgo style for comfort. These days, the best travel wear for women looks fantastic, and as I said earlier, these items might even make their way into everyday wardrobe.

2. How much does it weigh?

These days, baggage allowances are shrinking, and we need to pack as light as possible if we want to avoid excess charges (and lugging around more weight than makes sense). This is why the investment in women's clothing for travel is well worth it. The best lightweight travel clothes allow you to pack more variety!

3. How quickly does it dry?

Traveling light means having enough clothes for every occasion without packing your entire closet. Especially important in the quick dry clothing for travel clothing category are your travel underwear and travel bras.

4. How easily does it wrinkle?

Natural linen is beautiful, but it isn't convenient for easy travel (unless you're staying in a luxury hotel with pressing services). The best travel gear for women is usually made of mixed fibers that are part natural, part synthetic. Not only will these wrinkle less but they'll often dry faster. (This is particularly important if you're on a long-haul flight.) Wrinkle resistant travel clothes are definitely worth the investment.

5. How sturdy is it?

If you plan to wash something by hand often, it had better be sturdy and well made. Otherwise it might fall apart at the first rinse. This is where paying a bit more for good quality wash and wear travel clothes is worthwhile. 

Also, some materials are more resistant than others to stains and dirt. Wear a natural fiber in black or white and you'll see what I mean. Will this item 'hide' a full day's wear easily? Buying the best women’s travel outfits will end up saving you money by lasting longer.

6. How versatile and flexible is it?

To travel light, you'll want to choose clothes that can do double duty. Travel clothing and accessories such as a cheerful infinity scarf with hidden pockets can be both decorative and practical. A sarong can be used as a beach spread, a sheet over your hammock, or as a scarf.

You could also choose some great reversible clothing for travel, such as dresses or skirts you can wear on both sides, or dresses that can be worn multiple ways – this gives you several different outfits with limited clothing pieces.

convertible clothing travel - wear it different waysYour travel clothes should be versatile - a shawl can also be a scarf or a blanket

7. Will the color hold?

Women's clothes that travel well shouldn't fade at first wash or look dull almost immediately. You want travel wear women’s clothing that will look as new at the end of your trip as it does at the beginning.

8. Is it sprayable?

This is only something to worry about if you're heading where there are mosquitoes or other stinging beasts. If you are, make sure you have packable travel clothes which can be sprayed with repellent and don't disintegrate in your hands at the harsh chemical treatment. You even buy mosquito repellent clothing.

9. How secure is it?

You shouldn't neglect safety – the best travel wear women can buy often involves hidden and secure pockets. Do your travel pants have a secure pocket? Does your travel skirt have a secret compartment? Think women’s travel clothes and accessories with either zippers, because they're hard to get into, or velcro, because the noise will alert you if someone tries to sneak a hand in. 

Women's travel clothingChoose clothes that make you comfortable

10. How appropriate is this item of clothing?

As well as the best women's clothing – travel means you'll be on your feet a lot, so leave those slim heels at home and consider a good pair of women's walking shoeshiking sandals or hiking boots.

11. How culturally suitable is it?

If you plan on visiting mostly churches or mosques, you won't need shorts or deep necklines. Make sure all the women’s travel separates you bring along 'fit in' with local mores. This doesn't mean you should always dress like a local – there's a time and a place for that. 

12. Is it temperature-appropriate?

Of course the best clothes for travel for women must also be temperature appropriate.  Off to Finland in February? You'll want cold weather clothes. Greece in July? A travel hat is a must. November in Seattle? Waterproof clothing

13. Is it resistant to UV rays?

If you’re planning a long stay in the sun and if you're sensitive, consider a women’s clothing travel collection which is UV-resistant.  (And a good pair of sunglasses and a hat, of course).

14. Is it water-repellent?

If you're traveling during the rainy season, then water repellent travel separates for women are worth a thought. You're not going to wear raingear everywhere but if your jacket repels water as well as keeps out the wind, it'll do double duty and be more practical.

15. How much does it cost?

Good women’s travel friendly clothes don't usually come cheap. Often, the cheaper item simply doesn’t compare in terms of performance, comfort and longevity. In the end, good quality and stylish travel clothes for women are well worth it. You want value above all, something that answers these questions at a reasonable price.

travel wardrobe for women - be able to mix and matchAn outfit can be stunning but you might only be able to wear it once without drawing too much attention to yourself

16. How compatible is it with the rest of your travel wardrobe?

Easy travel clothes for women are those that mix and match, to help you travel light with what will seem like an endless wardrobe. Try to stick to a specific palette of colors and use prints and unusual hues as accents or accessories.

17. Does it look good?

No matter how resistant, practical, comfortable and cheap – if it looks like you're wearing a sack, you won't wear it at all, so this may be one of the last things on the list – but it's a question that should be answered with a resounding YES! 

Ladies lightweight travel clothes which are stylish as well as practical will enhance your confidence by making you look good... And you don’t need to sacrifice a stylish travel wardrobe for comfort.

18. Will it always fit?

Are you a woman whose weight fluctuates? If you are, make sure you don't get women’s travel outerwear that is too tailored. Otherwise, a little weight gain or loss and your clothes will no longer fit. Look for good casual travel clothes for women with a bit of give and stretch.

19. How practical is it?

Say you buy a few too many souvenirs and you can't fit another feather into your already heavy luggage: do you have a travel vest or jacket whose pockets you can stuff?

What Womens Travel Clothing Should You Invest in?

Above I’ve talked about questions to ask yourself before purchasing great quality travel clothing but what items of clothing should you invest in? Below I’ve provided several items specifically designed for travel that I personally think are well worth purchasing.  

Lightweight Travel Pants

Travel pants women can wear all day comfortably are essential. Good quality lightweight travel pants are designed to be wrinkle free, comfortable, easy to wash and quick drying.

If you need help choosing a pair of comfortable and stylish travel pants, you can check out my detailed guide here.

Travel Skirt

If like me you enjoy an alternative to trousers, there are some great options when it comes to the best travel skirt. Like ladies travel pants, look for women’s travel skirts that are lightweight, wrinkle resistant and easy to wash.

If you need help choosing lightweight skirts for travel, you can check out my detailed guide here.

Waterproof Lightweight Jacket for Travel

When traveling, you need to be prepared for anything, including the weather. I highly recommend investing in a good quality waterproof lightweight jacket for travel.  This is doubly important if you're traveling during the wet season or to a destination known for unexpected downpours.

The best lightweight women’s jackets for travelling are ones that are easily packable, so look for one that doesn’t take up too much room and that you can put in the bottom of your day pack, just in case.

If you need help choosing a waterproof ladies travel jacket you can check out my detailed guide here.

underwear

Yes, you should invest in some great quality travel underwear. Think about it: you can easily change your outer clothes if they’re not comfortable, but it isn’t so easy with your underwear.

The best travel underwear is lightweight, comfortable, supportive, easy to wash and made from sweat wicking fibers and even anti-microbial properties.

If you need help choosing the best underwear for travel, you can check out my detailed guides on choosing a travel bra here and travel underwear here.

Travel Shoes

Ok so not really clothes, but in my opinion probably the single most important item you can invest in for your travels is a great quality pair of shoes.  Unfortunately good quality shoes for travel don’t come cheap and you’ll need at least two three pairs – walking shoes, hiking shoes and walking sandals.

If you need help choosing the best ladies travel shoes, you can check out my detailed guides on choosing the best walking shoes here, hiking shoes here and walking sandals here.

What are some of the Best Travel Clothing Brands for Women?

The last thing I’m going to leave you with are some great brands that make excellent quality clothing for travel. The brands I’ve listed below do a brilliant job of making women’s travel clothes, which are comfortable and practical as well as being stylish. 

If you're looking for travel clothes for women over 50, these brands will have what you're looking for.  

Ice Breaker

Icebreaker makes clothes from merino wool, which we all know is a fantastic fabric for travel clothing and has the advantage of being lightweight, moisture wicking, odor resistant and is very breathable. Merino wool clothing keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer so, perfect no matter where you’re traveling too.

I highly recommend checking out Icebreaker if you’re after some base layers such as lightweight tops for travel, socks and thermals.

Check out Icebreaker clothes here.

Smartwool

Like Icebreaker, Smartwool is another great clothing brand that makes excellent clothes for travel using merino wool.  While Smartwool makes great basics like socks, underwear and ladies travel shirts they also make some nice dresses too.

Check out Smartwool clothes here.

ExOfficio

ExOfficio make a wide range of travel clothing from super comfortable underwear to sun protection and bug repellent clothing. They make clothes that are lightweight, moisture wicking, quick drying, wrinkle resistant as well as being odor resistant too.

ExOfficio are one of the great travel brands that make clothing with built in bug blocking technology. This is great if you’re one of those people who constantly get bitten. These clothing items have an odorless and invisible insect protection which is designed to last around 70 launderings.

As well as their bug repellent clothing, within the ExOfficio range you’ll find women’s convertible travel clothing with hidden zippers for added security, travel jackets, vests and of course their comfortable travel underwear range. 

Check out ExOfficio clothes here.

The North Face

No doubt you’ve heard of the outdoor clothing wear brand The North Face.  These guys make a huge range of travel clothing, particularly mid and top layer clothing.  If you’re after rain jackets, fleeces, vests or footwear go and check out the range from The North Face.

Check out The North Face range of clothes here.

Uniqlo

Uniqlo is a Japanese brand with a great reputation for making travel clothing at a low price.  Uniqlo sell some great basics perfect for layering such as tops that are lightweight, anti-odourless and easy to wash and wear. They also have some good heat retaining clothing if you’re travelling to cold destinations.

patagonia

Patagonia has been around forever and have an excellent reputation for making high quality clothes for the great outdoors.  You will find pretty much everything in their range, particularly mid and top layer clothing.  

Whether you’re after a warm jacket for the coldest of climates, mid layer fleeces or even lovely women’s travel dresses, Patagonia is well worth visiting. 

Check out Patagonia travel clothes here.

prAna

prAna is well known for making particularly comfortable women’s pants for travel. Not surprising really, given that they  started by making yoga pants.

While they are known for their super comfortable and stylish travel pants, they also make a range of other great clothing items for women and use eco friendly fabrics.

Check out prAna clothes here.

Columbia

Most people are probably familiar with the travel brand Columbia.  These guys make really practical, comfortable and stylish clothing in a range of items including pants, skirts and dresses.  

Clothes from Columbia are lightweight, functional, wrinkle resistant and really really comfortable.  They also make clothing for women of all shapes and sizes including petite, tall and plus sizes.

Check out Columbia clothes here.

Arc’teryx

Arc’teryx pretty much make everything and anything in terms of women’s clothing for travel.  They have a great reputation in the market for making high performance clothing that is practical, comfortable and looks great too.

The Arc’teryx range of clothing is well worth checking out, particularly if you’re after mid to top layer clothing such as insulated jackets, shell jackets, pants, fleeces as well as footwear.

Check out Arc’teryx clothes here.

So take the right clothes with you! 

The best travel clothes for women are those that reflect quality, even if it is a little more expensive. There's nothing like good seams, strong stitching and fine finishing when it comes to making clothes last and look good, no matter how long you're on the road.

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