Posts Tagged women’s clothing
I have a new best friend for water play and summer travel! The Exofficio Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody is the latest from Exofficio’s Sol Cool line, utilizing the company’s Icefil treated fabric and offering sun protection up to UPF 50+. Like all Sol Cool products, this hoody breathes wonderfully: on a hot day, it wicks away sweat so well, I’d rather be wearing it than nothing but a swim suit.
The ultimate hoody is more than just a swim cover-up (though it does that well, too): you get underarm mesh ventilation, which means it performs well while river rafting, kayaking, and just about any other activity on or around the water. There’s a nicely sized security zip pocket for keys or a room card, and side cinches that can give you a roomier fit or slimmer fit.
The full-sized hood is just as light as the rest of the hoody, and includes a drawcord for a nice fit when needed. I wore mine with a hood on a particularly hot day in Death Valley National Park less than a week ago: I pulled the hood up over my sun hat to keep the sun off the back of my neck. I also appreciated the thumb loops and the fact that Sol Cool fabric is odor-resistant (or perhaps the others in my party appreciated that even more than me).
The hoody is form-fitting without being clingy, as it’s made from 91% polyester and 9% spandex, and comes in XS-XL in Oyster (kind of a gray), Pizazz (pink) and Varsity (dark blue). Trust me, if you like the hoody, you’ll be back to Exofficio to purchase more from the Sol Cool line. You’ll pay $75 for the ultimate hoody, but will wear it nearly daily when traveling on water or in humid, hot environments. Find it on Amazon and Moosejaw as well, for a bit less.
See Tim’s earlier review of the Sol Cool Hoody for Men.
I’m not a fashion-forward girl. My closet is more likely to be filled with luggage and hiking boots than the latest trends. Thank goodness for Aventura Clothing: I keep reviewing their travel pieces for good reason. They make it easy for me to look good, and still have fun traveling and in the outdoors. Aventura Clothing is organic, comfortable, and practical, but it’s also stylish and flattering. A few easy-to-match pieces tossed into my luggage, and I can look good for days. It’s all a fashion-challenged person like me needs.
For this spring, I’m packing the Ballari Skirt in my bag for trips from professional conferences to wilderness lodge tours. Made of an organic cotton and bamboo blend, the Ballari is incredibly soft, doesn’t wrinkle, and wears beautifully. The length is 24.5″ (it falls just below my knee) and includes fun embroidery on the side seam of flowers and leaves on a stem. It screams ‘spring’ and ‘outdoors’ while still looking classy enough for a museum stroll or brunch. I’ve been wearing the Ballari with tights and boots on days mother nature insists on continuing winter, and with sandals or Mary Janes on days it’s actually spring. The waist line is lightly elastic and while the skirt hugs the hips, it’s certainly not tight-fitting. In fact, you may want to size down.
I’ve been pairing the Ballari with the Mayfield Top, also organic (rayon from bamboo and cotton). The Mayfield comes in solid colors or patterns, and is perfect as a stand-alone piece for warmer days. I’ve been layering it under a cardigan, wrap, or light jacket this spring. Like the Ballari, the Mayfield can be dressed up or down, perfect for travel. The cap sleeves include tucks that give it just a little bit of flair: with a scarf and necklace, you can easily wear it with slacks or a skirt for a nice night out. Paired with shorts or capris, and you’ve got a nice ensemble for light hiking, city touring, or traveling.
Pick up the Ballari skirt for $59. It comes in sea blue, mineral red, shitake, or black. The Mayfield Top retails for $48 (in a wide variety of solid colors) or $50 for patterns at Aventura. Find both styles at Zappos or Amazon.
When I travel, I travel light, so I need clothes that do double-duty. This goes for my workout clothes, too. Whether I’m traveling for work or pleasure, I don’t always know what my workouts will look like. Will I have time to hit the hotel gym? Will the hotel gym be any good? Will I be staying somewhere I can run outside? Hike? Lately, I’ve been packing my Salomon Endurance 3/4 tights to cover all my bases.
The Salomon Endurance is constructed of a very thin, but very tough performance synthetic blend. You get light compression with a skin-fit that looks good and performs well. I love the zipped pocket in the back (perfect for a room card or single key) and there are two additional gel pockets that you don’t even know are there if you don’t need them. I’ve worn the Endurance tights in the gym numerous times, but also on hikes, outdoor runs, trail runs, bike rides, and climbing sessions. They don’t lose their shape after numerous washings, and they are a breeze to rinse and air dry in hotel rooms. Instead of packing several pairs of tights or shorts for workouts when I travel, I can pack only the Endurance tights and easily clean them in my room. By afternoon, they’re 100% dry again.
They come in size XS-XL, with a weight of 11.8 oz. Unlike some workout tights, they do not slip as you hike, run, or jump, but stay in place with an elastic drawstring at the waist. The inseam is listed as 17 inches. Pick up a pair for $75 on Salomon or Amazon. They come in black, or black with red piping.
Lisa Niver Rajna is the co-founder of We Said Go Travel and co-author of Traveling in Sin (now available in paperback!). She has been living out of her backpack since July 2012 but has mainly been on the road since 1990 with seven of those years on a cruise ship working as an assistant cruise director like Julie McCoy for Princess Cruises: the original Love Boat!
So Lisa, what do you always pack?
I have very little with me when I am on the road and I find that nearly everything in my backpack is one of my favorite things!
1. My Becca Swimwear Bikini.
I love my Becca bikini so much that I have two with me at all times. I love the over the shoulder bra top style. I can wear it all day while carrying my backpack so after a day on the bus in India I am ready to hit the beach immediately. I appreciate their commitment to quality swimwear and the wounded warrior project.
2. My Amazon Kindle
In Summer 2008, George and I left for a one-year sabbatical. We had the idea to leave with nearly no electronics. My sister said, “You cannot travel without books” and my family bought me one of the very first Kindles. By the time we were in Australia (our second destination during month one of our trip), we already had two of them! I have read hundreds of books on the Kindle reader and literally cannot leave home without it. Many of the books I read are listed in our memoir, Traveling in Sin.
3. My Hula Hoop
In 2011, while living in Los Angeles, I took a hula-hoop class. I loved it and even bought a custom hoop. During our recent travels in Asia, I found a hula-hoop at Tesco (like Walmart) in Koh Samui, Thailand. It was 300Baht (about $10usd), came in six pieces and fits in my daypack! Here’s a similar one you can order from Amazon. I often hoop for thirty minutes on the beach but the most memorable day was when I hooped with the Iwahig Dancing Inmates in Puerto Princessa, Philippines. Here’s a post I did on Hooping for Happiness in Hawaii.
4. Tiger Balm
One of the realities of budget travel in Asia is bugs. I did eat fried crickets once in Chiang Mai at the night market and although “Tyler told me they taste like Lay’s Potato Chips, I disagree!” I did not enjoy eating bugs but mosquitos often take a bite out of me. Using Tiger Balm calms the stings and stops the itching almost immediately. I often have one in my day back and an extra in my backpack! If you’re traveling in Asia, you can find it in nearly any market or store.
5. Extension Cord
When we were in Varanasi, India, we spent a day with a BBC Film crew. I asked them about how they charge all their devices (cameras, flashes, lights, recorders, phones) in a guesthouse, which often has only one outlet. Claire kindly explained that they carried extension cords with multiple plugs. I bought one for US$3 at Tesco and it literally changed my life. I could charge the digital camera, the laptop and the phone all at once! You can get a fancier one meant for travel (pictured above) from Monster.
See other travelers’ lists of 5 things they always pack.
As winter gives way to spring, it’s not as if the temperature magically changes and you can ditch all your cool-weather gear. When it comes to traveling, it’s always good to have something for those in-between temperatures, whether you’re being active outdoors, or just looking for a warm layer when you walk around. An ideal piece for this very use is the SmartWool women’s PhD SmartLoft Divide Vest.
The vest has a wool-insulated nylon with DWR shell on the outside (for water repellency and warmth), and Merino lining on the inside (for warmth, breathability, and optimal efficiency in transferring sweat to the outer layer)—all perfect to keep your core warm.
All that put together results in a light and compressible piece that keeps you toasty in cool conditions. And with Merino wool, the vest can be worn multiple times without needing to be washed, which is always ideal when you’re traveling.
Even if you get warm when being active outdoors, you can easily adjust your outcome based on the weight of long-sleeved shirt you wear underneath. When you’re in winter conditions, add a layer on top to allow for more warmth and protection without overheating with all those layers.
The hand-warmer pockets stash items for quick access, and the zippered chest pocket with media routing allows you to listen to your tunes when out on the slopes, in the street, or on the trails.