Packing for a vacation always poses the dilemma of what’s essential to bring and what can be left behind. For me, the deciding factor is often how wrinkled an item will be by the time the airplane wheels touch down at my destination. For example, this year I will be traveling to three weddings and a graduation, and while I want to look nice for the events, I also don’t want to spend valuable vacation time ironing when I could be catching up with friends and family.
This packing conundrum got me thinking—what are the best fabrics to pack? Depending on your destination and time of year, packing moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you cool or warmer wool blends may vary, but wrinkle-resistant clothes are a good bet no matter where you go. Silk and wool are good choices because they are made up of stretchy fibers, so they don’t crease as easily. Knitwear is also a travel-friendly option because it rolls up into tiny spaces, according to Twitter user @healthy_travel, but doesn’t crinkle as much as woven articles. And denim, a staple in almost every wardrobe, also escapes wrinkles, especially if it’s blended with a stretchy fabric like Spandex.
Readers have also chimed in with recommendations about the most packable fabrics and clothing. MsDawntreader says, “My secret weapon for winter is silk long underwear. It takes up virtually no room at all, works underneath all kinds of clothing to keep you warm, doubles as pajamas, washes in the sink and dries overnight, if not faster.” On Twitter, @crazyauntpurl recommends cotton jersey for travelers, while @bigtravellittle says that “preshrunk cottons, denims, and stretchy, lightweight polyester blends” are the way to go. And Joanne writes, “… if you start with clothes manufactured with travel in mind you’ll be much more comfortable. Two great sources are Travel Smith, which features wrinkle resistant garments, and Winter Silks for layers which literally roll up into a sandwich bag.”
Readers, what are your favorite travel fabrics and clothing? How do you stay looking your best on vacation? Share your tips in the comments section below.