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A versatile travel wardrobe is essential for any trip; whether it’s one night or 100, tropical or arctic, casual or formal, you’ll need clothes.
Of course, putting together your “travel wardrobe” is a matter of taste, budget and destination. But there are essential pieces that you can use in almost any climate or social situation. So I took a little shopping spree on Amazon Essentials to see how many staple pieces from my travel wardrobe I could find at great prices. There was a lot ! All of them are well-designed and well-made from quality materials.
But before you start shopping, consider my three rules that all clothing must pass before I put it in my suitcase.
3 rules for a versatile travel wardrobe
Before packing an item of clothing, I ask myself: “Does this respect the rules of my travel wardrobe? All of the Amazon Essentials clothing I suggest in this article passes all three.
Rule 1: Clothing must be worn more than once
The sequined cocktail dress stays home when I know I will only attend one stylish event while traveling and the dress will only be worn once. Instead, I wrap my outfit in black silk jersey. It works for both smart and casual occasions and has three pieces that can be worn individually. It’s always with me when traveling. It’s versatile, timeless, and can be packed in a gallon plastic bag for a month without wrinkles.
Rule 2: Clothing must match something else
When it comes to colors for my travel clothes, I build each trip’s wardrobe with just two colors. A neutral – black, beige, gray or white – and a bright color that adds a bit of pazazz to my outfit. With this rule, all my pieces can be interchanged to make different sets.
Rule 3: Easy maintenance is essential
If you’ve recently used a hotel’s laundry service, you may have discovered that dinner costs less than washing your jeans. I rarely travel with an item of clothing that cannot be washed in the sink with shampoo from the hotel shower if necessary. I therefore look for light fabrics, run-resistant colors and natural fibres. Linen, silk and cotton are my favorites. For synthetics, jersey is my hero.
I don’t take a bulky coat unless I’m traveling in snow and ice conditions. Instead, I use the proven “layer method” to adapt to changes in climate or temperature. Amazon Essentials has all the layering pieces you need. I love them:
1. Fleece vest
Buy now $26.10
A track vest is one of the best layering pieces you can pack. At least one is always with me when traveling. It is widely used, even in hot climates with cool nights, on a long flight, it is ideal for over-air-conditioned aircraft.
I love this Essentials Vest because it has a full length zipper, side pockets and a generous mandarin collar to keep your neck warm or tuck away when not needed.
The 100% polyester fabric is available in 24 solid colors and 9 patterns. Sizes range from X-Small to 6X.
2. Cardigan Sweater
Buy now $27.30
A classic sweater cardigan can take you anywhere from afternoon tea to a sunset beach party. Wear it with a skirt, jeans or shorts, or over a t-shirt, turtleneck or collared blouse. A timeless cardigan will be a staple in the travel wardrobe for years to come.
The fiber blend of 58% cotton and 42% synthetic is available in 28 colors, with sizes X-Small to 6X.
3. Tank top
Buy now $16.30
Winter, summer, spring or fall, you need a versatile tank top in your suitcase. Layering under shirts, tops or sweaters gives your core extra insulation. But it is ideal for warm temperatures as a stand-alone device.
The fiber blend is 55% cotton and 45% synthetic. Tanks come in sets of two and dozens of colors. Sets are available in solids, stripes, and mixes of both. Sizes X-Small to XX-Large.
Buy now $15.60
Yes, we all wear leggings, even some guys. I own several pairs of Essentials leggings and always travel with them. I wear them as pajamas and under skirts, and when it’s cool they go under my jeans.
The fiber blend is 50% cotton and 50% synthetic. The leggings are available in 20 colors. I love them because all sizes are sold in short or long lengths for sizes X-Small to XX-Large. Less than $16.
5. A classic white shirt
Buy now $27.30
This long-sleeved poplin shirt travel with me on every trip. I like the versatility. I wear it under my blazer with a skirt or jeans, or even shorts. I use it as a light jacket or as a beach cover-up. Last year I decided to get adventurous and ordered a blue striped one.
The fiber is 100% light cotton. The shirt is available in 21 colors and patterns, including solid white and solid black. Sizes X-Small to XX-Large.
Buy now $19.30
I know I don’t need to sell you t-shirts. They are a wardrobe staple worn by millions of people every day. People wear them on their own, under shirts as an extra layer, under a blazer, and as a pajama top. I selected a V-neckbut Essentials also sells scoop and traditional neck styles.
The fiber mix of 56% cotton and 44% synthetic is pleasantly breathable. Tees come in sets of two or four with 36 combinations of solids and stripes. Sizes X-Small to XX-Large.
7. Long Sleeve Top
Buy now $16.30
A long-sleeved shirt is essential in a travel wardrobe. I like this particular shirt because of the collar. The collar keeps your neck warm but isn’t as tight as a turtleneck.
The fiber blend is 56% cotton and 44% synthetic. Shirts are available in seven solid colors for sizes X-Small to 6X.
Buy now $28.70
I generally travel in light casual pants rather than jeans for two reasons. Have you ever tried to dry jeans in less than two days in a hotel room? It’s a challenge. These Essentials chinos are lightweight and casual for everyday use. Easily upgrade your look with a blazer and scarf.
The fiber blend is 98% cotton and 2% synthetic. The pants are available in nine solid colors for sizes 0-20.
Buy now $21.80
A simple skirt is an essential part of the travel wardrobe. This mesh midi can be rolled up or folded up and come out of the bag unscathed. The pullover knit has a soft fit. I selected a midi skirtbut shorter and longer versions are available.
The fiber blend is 95% rayon and 5% spandex. The skirt is available in 11 solid colors and 4 patterns for X-Small to 6X.
10. Little black dress
Belgian designer Diane Von Furstenberg has made the “wrap dress” a wardrobe staple. Flattering for all body types, this easy-to-wear dress can be an elegant basic black or carefree patterned “day dress”. Whether you choose a basic black or floral pattern, your wrap dress will look great on your travels.
The fiber blend is 95% polyester and 5% spandex. The dress is available in 4 solid colors and 5 patterns for X-Small to 6X.
Pro tip: When a surprise gala event comes up during your trip, consider renting your fancy clothes from a bridal boutique.
11. Cinderella’s Slipper
Buy now $21.70
I don’t know who designed this smart little shoe, but they are awesome. This durable yet collapsible apartment is another piece that will get a lot of wear and tear. I wear my black pair with dresses and skirts, long and short, casual and elegant. They add an “Audrey Hepburn” look to jeans, pants or shorts. They can be a good substitute for slippers.
The flats are made of 100% synthetic material which comes in faux leather and faux suede. They are available in 31 solid colors and 5 patterns for sizes 5 to 15. There are full sizes and half sizes available for each size.
3 more travel wardrobe tips
- Accessories are your best friend when it comes to giving your basics a new look. For me it is a scarf, but jewelry is also a good complement. Hats can change the way things look. Try a pair of colorful leggings or bright socks for a pop of color.
- Before packing, lay out what you intend to pack. Does each room follow the three rules I described above? Otherwise, store it in your closet. Then see how many outfits you can create with what’s left. You will be surprised.
- Don’t take anything you’ve never worn — especially shoes! If you’re planning on buying a new pair of walking or hiking shoes for your trip, buy them a few weeks in advance, then wear them and break them in. Nothing is worse than ill-fitting shoes and blisters.
Shop Amazon Essentials first for these versatile travel wardrobe basics. You will find quality, variety and unbeatable prices. If you bought everything in this story at the time of publication, you would spend $259. Add shoes, accessories, underwear, and plane tickets, and you’ll be ready for your next travel adventure.
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