I am going to go ahead and make it clear from the start that I don’t know a lot about fashion. As anyone who has worked with me in the last four years would attest I believe it is fine to wear sports tops and jeans to all occasions, and if you are lucky they will be paired with a pair of sneakers (and if you aren’t it will just be socks). Though that might be fine clothing for work, when you are travelling you have to make some calls about what you can bring with you (to fit in bags), and what you should actually be wearing (to get along with locals, and not pass out from the heat).
So here is a summer-y (BOOM!) guide to what I am wearing on my travels in the European and Middle Eastern hottest times of the year.
Let’s start with this outfit that I was wearing while visiting Versailles, I think it nicely captures how to tourist almost as well as the best tourists out there:
So here is a run down:
- Audio guide - this is optional depending on where you are, but if you want to look like a pro buy a cheap MP3 player (they still exist) and wear it on a lanyard everywhere you go
(even more pro-tip always carry a pair of wired headphones with you, they come in handy)
- Camera - lots of you will say your phone has a good enough camera, but if you really want to be hardcore you need at least a mirrorless camera if not a full blown DSLR. You can carry this in your bag, but you know what they say in fashion, “if you’ve got it, flaunt it!” so it is better off worn on a strap around your neck
- Linen - Shirts pants, everywhere (unironed, obviously) - Let’s be serious for a moment, I didn’t know about linen clothes until we started planning this trip and when I first saw it I assumed it wouldn’t be good for hot environments. Turns out I was wrong and all the other people on the internet who specifically said it was great for summer were right. You can get nice, light, linen shirts and pants from lots of places and they look good (enough) and also are quite breezy so you don’t get too hot.
I think the most important thing about linen clothes is that they dry fast. While in Paris I would wash the shirt I wore each night in the shower and it was almost fully dry when we work up the next morning. Turns out I only needed to bring two shirts with me for this trip.
- Underwear - You might not want to hear about it, but I honestly believe Uniqlo Airism underwear might be the best thing you can buy. It is really light, airy, comfortable, and again dries really fast. Perfect for travel. I can’t take all the credit for discovering this (obviously), I first read about it in 2014 when we were travelling from NZ to the UK via the US and I haven’t worn much else since.
- Shoes - Anything comfortable. I would say something you can wash or dry or something like that but I haven’t found a good pair of shoes for that. I like sneakers/sports shoes as I know I will be walking a lot anywhere I am travelling.
- Socks - Though they don't always dry the fastest, I always wear Thorlo Experia socks if I can. These socks are comfortable, light and breathable. If you can’t get those I would suggest something lightweight merino (for summer) because I am a sucker for that kind of thing.
- Packable backpack - The one in the picture (or at least the straps are) is this one which seems to be working well. I previously just used the ones from Kathmandu (the store, not the city). I would say whatever you are getting try and look at it in person if you can as some have really bad shoulder straps that can get painful if you are carrying it all day.
And there you go, how to dress like me for a trip. One day soon I will run down everything in my bag (because that sounds just riveting to read about), but I figured by doing this quick outfit summary it would make it clear that though it appears I am wearing the same things in every photo I am washing the clothes as well.