Travel Underwear ~ Packing for a Trip
Bras, Panties, etc: How Many Do I Need ? What Colors, Fabrics?
Travel Underwear is basically your regular underwear -- bras and panties that you'd usually wear at home. The question here is how many bras and pairs of underpants, in what colors and what fabrics should you pack for a trip.
Bras: What Colors, Fabrics, How Many To Pack:
Ladies, you can get by with two bras (one on, one spare) if you rinse one bra out each night. But since bras are relatively compact(and do choose lighter weight bras for travel), throw travel packing caution to the wind and pack a third bra!
Depending on the color of travel shirts, skirts and pants you've already chosen (if you haven't then go to travel pants, travel skirts, travel shirts), pack dark colored bras and / or light colored bras, or a mix of both.
Nude or flesh color bras are a good choice, as they go well under any top. If you have chosen white tops as part of your travel wardrobe, then bright colored or print pattern bras will limit which bra you can wear with what top. I find if I take that third bra, I rarely wear it. Two seem to do me just fine, for up to a month on the road.
Panties: How Many Pairs to Pack, What Colors, Fabrics?
All you really NEED are 2-3 pairs of underpants as you can easily rinse them out each night and they should be dry by morning. The exception will be heavy cotton panties that take a long time to air dry in a humid climate.
But, as with bras, feel free to add several more pairs, as panties are small. Choose solid color white, cream or nude colors as these don't usually show under most pants and skirts.
If your bottoms -- pants, skirts, capris, etc. -- are all dark neutrals, then black underwear is fine, too. I usually have room for 7 pairs of undies.
Long Underwear, long johns, leggings for travel:
If you are traveling to a colder climate, or in the winter, or going on a trip that will take you to altitude (Kinabalu in Borneo, the Ethiopian Highlands), then pack some type of leggings or long underwear that you can layer under your pants or skirt to keep warm. Bonus! You can sleep in them: Long undies / tights do double duty as travel pajama bottoms. Camisoles On a Trip
While I am not a fan of camisoles worn on their own in place of a proper travel shirt, blouse or T-Shirt (see why), camisoles are great when layered under a shirt to give another layer of warmth. Camisoles can also be worn as a pajama top. This double / triple duty elevates camisoles from a travel No-No to Bonus status:
- Warm Underwear
- Pajama Top
- Mock blouse / T-shirt under a jacket or shirt.
But be aware that close-fitting, knit camis with built-in bras can be uncomfortably hot in the tropics. And the caveat: Does the cami look like lingerie or a T-shirt? If lingerie, do you really need it just for that?
YOU: But one of the tops I am taking is sheer!
ME: Then maybe take a different top. Clothing that needs 'wardrobe support' is not travel clothing.
The goal is to have enough clothes for a week or a month using the fewest items possible.
Make Sure Your Underwear Fits Comfortably, Fabric is fast-dry
Do try on your underwear before you pack it, especially if it's new. We all know the pain of a chafing bra strap, the red marks from a too-tight bra. Imagine this niggling discomfort for days on end. Not nice at all!
The wisdom used to be wear cotton bras and panties, but with the newer fabrics it's not really necessary. But wearing heavy body shaper foundations in the tropics is cruel and unusual punishment, so try to do without it :-)
- TIP: In hot humid climates, some women find that running deodorant/ antiperspirant under the bra band keeps the area dry.
- TIP: In hot humid climates when you are not in an air-conditioned environment (Cairns Australia, Florida, Hong Kong), you will find that your undies are soaked with perspiration much of the time. This is really annoying after a few weeks :-) so make sure your bras and panties can be rinsed easily and dry fast (lightweight).
Long underwear / Cold Climate travel:
Try it on under the pants to make sure you are comfy and can move. If you feel like a sausage, then change either the pants or buy lighter weight long johns. Silk long johns (and other silk undewear) are great for travel: Lightweight on your body and in your baggage.
I finally found a great pair of silk long johns in Hong Kong, so now I am set for winters in Canada or trips to other cold climates.
See some ideas on Amazon at silk underwear - as it's light, warm, breathable and fast drying. See also travel undies. (Related: Packing for Canada (cold climate) in winter) I've also worn heavy weight tights, like pantihose but knit out of wool like fabric.
Good TIP Launder socks and undies with shampoo -- it's great for removing body oils -- or carry a small package of powdered detergent.
Not so Good Tip: Some travel tips suggest when you go on a trip, you pack all your worn out underwear. Then, after you've worn it, simply throw it in the garbage. I find this disturbing: The thought of some hapless hotel housekeeper finding sad, old skivvies in the trash is too awful to contemplate.
More Travel Wardrobe Packing Tips