Travel Shirts | Blouses, Tops, T-Shirts, Camis Packing Tips
For travel, you can buy special travel shirts made from wrinkle free fabrics with SPF sun protection, or choose your travel shirts, tops, blouses and T-shirts from items you already have in your closet. Make sure they pack small without wrinkling too much, and are easy to wash out if you need to. Here are my tips on travel shirts fabrics, colors, sleeve lengths, T-shirts, camisoles.
TIP Look for good travel shirts and tops at summer sales. Stock up on lightweight, wrinkle resistant shirts that are easy to wash by hand and dry fast. Before packing a top for a trip, you should wear the top, then wash and line dry to see how tops perform as travel shirts.
TIP Pack one top that you can wear as a bathing suit cover up, or pack a sarong.
How many travel shirts to pack for a trip
For one week, or longer trips, how many travel shirts and tops you pack depends on where you are going, and for how long, and what type of traveling you will be doing: Business trip, resort, cruise, staying put when you get there, or on ta tour to somewhere new every few days, such as a tour of Borneo or Australia.
- One Week or Two Weeks Trip: You can easily get by with packing 4 to 7 tops for a one week and two week trip, if you will be 'on the move' and seeing new people every day. They won't know that you've worn the same top 4 times in 10 days -- for them, it's the first! Pack travel shirts and tops that can be rinsed out and will dry overnight (also applies to travel underwear).
- Trips of two, three weeks, one month or six months: The same rule applies: 4 to 7 tops should do you, but add a few more even if they are duplicates. For example, if you are packing a white T-shirt, then take one or two more. They are lightweight and don't take up much room in your suitcase. Add a scarf or two and your white T-shirt looks like a new travel shirt! But know this: When packing light for longer trips, There will be Laundry, so make sure your travel shirts are easy to wash and hang dry fast!
Do the Math:
3 travel pants/skirts X 4 travel shirts = 12 outfits
3 travel pants/skirts X 7 travel shirts = 21 outfits
4 travel pants/skirts X 7 travel shirts = 28 outfits
These few travel shirts and tops should see you through several weeks. Since tops are usually less bulky than pants, you have room for more tops than bottoms in your suitcase.
Mix and Match: coordinating Travel Shirts, Blouses, Tops, T-ShirtsMixing and matching travel shirts and tops gives you the most bang for your travel wardrobe buck. Coordination is the key to packing light: You should be able to wear each and every top -- blouse, shirt, T-shirt or golf shirt -- with each and every one of the travel pants or travel skirts you have packed.
Why Should Your Travel Wardrobe Match? If you spill your coffee down your top at breakfast and need to change, you won't need to change your pants or skirt because the color's wrong. Any travel top should match whatever you are already wearing. The reverse is true; dribble sauce on your pants or skirt, and the top you have on is fine with whatever pants you change in to. (See pictures showing How to Pack a Suitcase page to see how I coordinated my clothes for a trip.)Matching Your Travel Wardrobe is a bit like playing Dress-Up:
- Lay out your travel pants and skirts on the bed.
- Take one of the shirts your thinking of packing.
- Place it next to each of the bottoms (pants, skirts).
- Does this top go with all the bottoms? No? Next!
Do this with all the tops you are considering, and see how well each one goes with the travel wardrobe as a whole. It only takes a few minutes and is actually quite fun!
Good Fabrics for Travel Shirts
Good fabrics for travel shirts include lightweight cotton knits, silk and rayon, cotton, crinkle cotton, silk knits and blends, quick-dry tech fabric, as long as they are ABL (anything but linen). Also look for travel shirts and other clothes made with SPF (sun protection factor) built into the fabric if you are traveling to sun destinations.
Test travel shirt fabric for wrinkle resistance before packing: Take hold of part of the top and squeeze the fabric tightly in your fist and let go. If it wrinkles badly, or the wrinkles don't fall out fairly easily, move on. You have better things to do on a holiday than iron your clothes.
Good Colors For Travel Shirts
If you've chosen your travel pants (trousers, jeans, khakis, slacks) in solid, neutral shades such as BLACK, BEIGE, KHAKI, BROWN, GREY or NAVY, then choose your travel shirts to go with all of those colors. Print shirts and tops are good, but look for prints that coordinate with all of the bottoms. Bonus with prints: They don't show dirt or wrinkles, which is nice for a long bus or van ride, or hike in the woods.
TIP: Whether you are buying a new travel shirt or two, or packing tops and blouses from your closet, do check to see that if they get wet, or you perspire heavily, that the fabric doesn't become see through or unattractively dark.
Sleeve Style, Collar Style for Travel ShirtsTravel shirts sleeve length is up to you. I prefer three quarter length sleeves, or long sleeves that I can roll up to my elbows or a bit higher. For me, long sleeves are more practical, offering warmth if needed or some sun protection, and, if I want to go into a temple or church, my arms and shoulders will be acceptably covered.
- Consider Climate: If you will be in a cooler climate, then long sleeves may help keep you warm. If in a hot climate, then short sleeve or sleeveless tops may suit you better; Long sleeves offer a bit of sun protection.
- Consider your destination: If you will be in traditional, conservative or especially religious countries, or plan to visit temples and churches, etc. make sure you have something to cover your bare arms if needed.
Travel Shirts With Collars
If you will have a camera or glasses strap around your neck, or a day pack / backpack when touring around, then a collar on your shirt helps keep the strap from rubbing on your bare neck, which can get really irritating after a few hours' walking in a hot, humid climate.
Camisoles and Tank Tops
The test for whether or not a camisole or tank top is suitable to wear in public is this: Does it look more like lingerie or does it look like a T-shirt? If lingerie then wear it as such; if T-shirt, then wear in public. This is for travel only, not when you are at home where you know the culture. I do a lot of solo travel, so my goal is to blend in, not stand out as a tourist woman on her own.
In many cultures, women wearing camisoles or tank tops in public send a message they may not intend. If you are at a beach resort, fine. But if you go into a city, or a fine dining restaurant, then do put on a shirt with sleeves, or cover up with a light jacket or sweater, or wear a dress. Leave skimpy clothing at home or wear as sleepwear.
Special Purpose Travel Shirts
I do have a few travel shirts in tech fabric and style. These shirts are designed to handle specialized adventure trips, though you could wear them anywhere. These shirts are made from special fabric to be rip-resistant, wind and water resistant, and come with SPF built into the fabric.
These types of skirts are geared to the more active traveler -- canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, etc. so are overkill as far as my travel activities go, but they were gifts, and so much appreciated.
They are good for canoe and kayak trips, rafting trips, and just walking along a beach.
Here are some examples of these types of special travel shirts on Amazon: Women's Tech Polo Shirt, Patagonia Shirt, ExOfficio Dryflylite Shirt. Have a look to see what is available.