Travel Week: Elements of a Successful Travel Outfit

Flashback Summer:  Travel Week- Elements of a Successful Travel Outfit

After hours upon hours and perhaps even days of traveling, the importance of a good traveling outfit becomes hugely important.  One small mistake, such as the wrong pair of shoes, can mean a lot of discomfort.  (No pressure.)  Obviously, utility is a priority when traveling, especially by air.  The concepts of safety, mobility, cultural sensitivity, and convenience have to be considered.  However, we shouldn't have to give up style, should we?   

And all the vintage ladies said, "NO!"

We can be both cute, comfy, and safe.  Now I'm not trying to frighten anyone, but after a lot of travel experience, I've learned that travel safety should be take seriously (if you doubt it, watch "Taken"), and some of that has to do with your appearance and how others perceive you.  Here are elements of a practical yet stylish travel ensemble to take into consideration next time you leave for a trip, followed by some basic travel outfit do's/don'ts:

Flashback Summer:  Travel Week- Elements of a Successful Travel Outfit

1.  A non-wrinkle, stretch or relaxed fit dress.
A comfy, non-wrinkle dress won't come untucked, feel too tight around the waist after several hours of flying, or keep slipping down like some jeans do while sitting for long periods.  Not to mention, it's also classy!

2.  Comfortable shoes.
If you're brave and skilled, you can wear heels (I'd still go low wedges, though), but there's no need to be a hero!  Wear shoes that can be slipped on and off easily when going through security lines and won't hurt your feet.  Also, avoid shoes with lots of straps or that are snug on your feet.  Oftentimes, feet swell while flying, and tight/strappy shoes can cause uncomfortable constriction.

3.  Easy, low-maintenance hair.
Personally, I wouldn't go for a complex updo when traveling.  I like hair that won't look squished after I sleep in a plane seat and will still look good if it's blown about by wind or other things.  Plain ol' brushed-out pin curls are great for this!

4.  Across-the-body bag with thick straps.
If you're carrying a purse or bag, opt for an across-the-body one, like a messenger bag, with thick straps and buckle/zipper/velcro closures.  It's not only adorable and timeless, it will also be more difficult for someone to grab it and run.  Make sure it's big enough to carry your most important items in, but not so full of stuff that your shoulder will ache soon after carrying it!  A normal backpack is not a good option for carrying things like passports, computers, or other important things.  Since it's on your back, it's easier for pickpockets to get into things unnoticed or to cut out the bottom of the backpack, causing all the contents to fall out.  Use backpacks for less vital things and keep necessary items close to you at all times in your bag or purse.

5.  Tights.
We vintage gals love our stockings and garter belts, but now would be a good time to go with a modern seamed tight instead.  I've heard that garter belts sometimes set off metal detectors and cause problems in security.  Tights are also a good option for colder weather or times when you may not have time or opportunity to shave!  (Hey, we've all been there.)

6.  A large scarf.
I always travel with a large scarf.  Since living in Africa in Muslim countries, I've seen how versatile they are!  They're less bulky than a jacket or blanket when needed for temperature changes and will take up less room in your bag.  They can be worn as an accessory, or in a real pinch used to carry things or even worn as a skirt or shirt. (You never know; best to be prepared!)  It can also be used as packing material on the way back to wrap delicate items in.

7.  A confidence accessory.
I'm convinced that a "confidence accessory", like the flower headband above, is necessary while traveling.  This is one of those things in your wardrobe that just makes you feel sassy, hot, beautiful, and maybe even a little bit B.A.  It'll help boost your morale in those last miserable hours of travel when you feel icky and help you walk with confidence and assurance.

While choosing a traveling outfit, don't....
wear lots of jewelry, a belt, and/or layers.
You're only going to have to take them all off when you go through security, and it's a big hassle.

wear loud, bright, or expensive clothing/hair/makeup.
As I said above, don't ditch your personal style!  However, traveling might be a good time to tone it down if you normally wear giant hats, huge diamonds, or crazy prints.  The goal of a traveling outfit is, ultimately, to comfortably blend in as you get to your destination.  Just like the lime green Barbie suitcases always get "randomly selected" to be searched in security, the person with the loudest look will get the most attention, and that's not always a good thing.

While choosing a traveling outfit, do.....
be culturally aware.
Know the countries you're traveling to and through.  If it's a more modest country, for example, leave behind the bullet bra and mod mini dress.  You really don't want to attract negative attention from the people around you.  It could decrease your safety or lower their opinion of you and the country/ethnicity/religion that your appearance may represent to them.

feel free to be comfortable.
Like I mentioned, flying can cause swelling and even just general aches and discomfort.  Though you may wear a girdle or waspie every day at home, it's okay to leave it behind or in your checked bag.  Swelling + bloating + sitting for hours + girdle = great unhappiness.

dress with confidence in your own personal style.
I'm still not trying to scare anyone, but safety while traveling is important, and having a confident demeanor will help to deter predators.  If you're feeling good about yourself, confident in your abilities, and aren't about to take anyone's sass, it will show!


  1. These are great ideas! I will be retaining a few of these for future use.

    1. Now I tried these things, and I can now say with authority that they do work! I wore a comfy dress, tights, cardi, zip-up boots, and had a scarf on my backpack. It worked beautifully!