Travelling can be a nightmare getting everything right even when you do it all the time - how many times have you sat down in your seat on the plane hot, flustered and uncomfortable and that’s before you’ve even set off or even worse got to your destination having packed all the wrong things? Add inexperience, age, a change of climate, different lifestyle activities pursuits whilst away and possibly a super curvy body difficult to dress at the best of times and a trip, short or long haul can throw even the most fashion conscious traveller into a tail spin.
Carry on one large statement bag big enough to hold everything you will need in transit, a handbag you love you cannot get anything in is useless when travelling.
When I travel I always try and get an upgrade. An upgrade to first class is the best way to start any trip so looking at your absolute best before you even set off is vital for Hollywood Look For Less Styling, champagne taste on a lemonade budget. When economy is full, airlines have to upgrade some passengers so don’t turn up at the airport in the sweats you went to bed in, the better you look the more likely it is to be you.
The perfect travel clothes are a pair of cotton leggings, thick and super soft yet sturdy enough to offer some control. Travelling in style is definitely the way to go when you are on the move whatever your age and starting with the right pair of leggings takes the pressure off and makes styling a cool Athleisure travel look easy. Choosing a well fitting cotton base layer for travelling, simple to style up with a fabulous jacket and beautiful accessories, will keep you completely comfortable and relaxed in mid flight (like a decent pair of pyjamas) and give you the best of both worlds in the travel style stakes. Jeans for travelling clothes are an absolutely no and if you are looking for comfort, exercise leggings will not allow your skin to breathe on a long flight and may leave you clammy and possibly chilly too. Perfect cotton leggings will make you the seasoned traveller and the person everyone else looks to for advice and inspiration.
We can all have a tendency to pack too much, worried about not having what you’ll need and ending up taking everything. When I travel I only pack black these days, something I know may be too extreme for many but for me it saves a step of doing the work necessary for styling success away from home i.e. putting outfits together before I leave, something you must do if you don’t stick to a single colour palette for styling.
Don’t make the fatal mistake of dressing for where you have come from or where you are going. Landing in the pouring rain in skimpy shorts and a tank top will put you in last place in the travel in style stakes and tottering about on killer heels when lots of walking is in store will expose you as a once a year 2 week package holiday maker instead of a style siren completely at home jetting around the world. Image credits – Amy Neville modelling the PBL and Like Nothing Bratop base layer set (@amynevfashiondiaries for more stylish travel inspiration.
As a tall, curvy girl even when travelling in really hot countries I take one pair of sunglasses and pick something I know will go with everything. I avoid white, (unless it’s a plain long sleeve T for layering) controversial I know, but I like to be tanned and voluptuous, blonde, tanned and older all in white is not a good look. Light colours do make you look fatter so my recommendation would be to go nowhere near white jeans, the staple many reach for the minute the sun comes out unless your proportions mirror a super model or screen siren and you have ultra long legs to match.
The secret to packing light and still getting it right is a pair of really good quality cotton (and cotton is the key) black leggings, (FYI I created the PBL because this magnificent holy grail piece of clothing I so desperately needed didn’t exist) and a pair of already worn in trainers (I never pack new shoes). This travel clothes combo is perfect for flying but even more essential when you arrive at your destination and you’ll find this type of styling universal so I can guarantee wherever you are going you’ll never look out of place.
I only ever pack two additional handbags for any trip and depending on what I have planned determines what I choose. A small pochette or clutch bag for evenings or knocking about the hotel when all you need is your room key, money and a lipstick/lip salve and something practical for the spa, the beach or a spot of shopping, something I always manage to fit in wherever I am. For work, meetings or looking smart I use the bag I travelled with.
It’s always a shock (unless you live at the beach) the first time in the year you try to wear a bikini or bathing suit particularly if it’s been a while so my advice don’t ever let this shock hit you and knock your confidence in an unfamiliar environment with only a few days to shine. I always have a two week pre trip preparation when it’s important I really look my best when I lay off bread, have a professional Fake Bake and then top up with James Read tanning at home products – the best I’ve found for an easy natural streak free finish.
Even when travelling on business I take every opportunity to relax in the sunshine but never walk around in just a bathing suit even after weeks on a Caribbean island.
I have always preferred a bikini to an ugly cross over or ruched one piece swimming costume but finding the right one can take years, no joke. I always avoid anything too skimpy, forget triangles of fabric on a string and go for a halter neck style on a broad band under the bust for the most secure and most flattering fit, these days it’s the ONLY style I ever wear. My advice for all women, cover up when you are in the move and choose monochrone or lace instead of bright massive prints. Even if you have the best body in the world, less is always more and you’ll look way more stylish. If you are young and think you look fabulous have a look around at who looks really good and who doesn’t, wobbling anything is not a good look on anyone.
My other wardrobe travel clothing essentials are a plain black stretchy good quality long sleeve dress, a pair of well worn in flats with a little sparkle or glamour, comfortable to chuck on in the day but interesting enough for the evening, to a pair of sweat pants, I have an amazing Sundry pair, beautiful fabric with a slight kick flare I have had for years. They lengthen my legs, look so good on and easy to slip in and out of. I always throw in 3 or 4 plain round neck good quality cotton long sleeve T shirts your basics always get dirtier when you are on trip. When you transition to a seamless base layer they’ll be no going back making your shoes, bags and additional layering choices even more exciting, simple to showcase and vital for effective super cool athleisure styling when you travel.
Travel opens the mind, broadens your horizons and exposes you to different time zones, different schedules, different cultures and trying new things regardless of whether you are travelling for business or pleasure. Being comfortable in a new unfamiliar environment is not half the battle it’s the whole war and athleisure styling, this global, ageless fashion phenomenon allows you to fit in and feel comfortable wherever in the world you find yourself.
Shopping Links – Second hand, pre loved and plus size travel clothes, designer shoes and accessories on a budget
Stella Mc Cartney Sneakers
Louis Vuitton Pochette
Lunar Stretchy Travel Shoes
Zara Black Lace Stretchy Skirt
Carvela Sparkle Flats