This trip was a learning experience for sure. We had two moderately tropical environments to accommodate: one urban and semi-casual-to-casual and one more rural and very-casual/resort-to-just-a-little-rugged. Overall I’d give the wardrobe I packed a score of 6 out of 10.
First, let’s look at what worked well. (Using baseball metaphors again, go Giants!!)
- The ECCO sandals were perfect for Hong Kong and some of the Phuket leg. They were comfortable enough for all-day walking without looking clunky. I felt perfectly appropriate wearing most evenings too. The only downside was when we were visiting temples or other spots that requested removal of shoes prior to entry, unbuckling (and then having to re-buckle once back outside) had me wishing for a slip-on style.
- For the Hong Kong portion of the trip, I found the Eileen Fisher linen button front shirt was what I kept reaching for. (Similar styles here and here.) With a tank underneath, it was comfortable even on the warmest and most humid days, and looked just a bit more polished than a tee.
- In Phuket, the Marketplace India “Divya” top was the one I wore most frequently. Even though a darker color, it was so lightweight and airy, it handled heat+humidity beautifully, while being appropriate for visiting temples and other sites with a “modest” dress code. The fabric is opaque enough that no other layer was needed, another plus.
- The Eileen Fisher slim crepe ankle pants were surprisingly comfortable in the heat. (Plus option). They were also hand washable and dried overnight. On the warmest days I rolled them up just a little.
- The tencel ankle pants (no longer available, similar) were my go-to’s most days in Hong Kong, due to the pockets where I could stash my Octopus card for easy access when exiting the MTR.
- The Longchamp Le Pliage bag with a cross-body strap was Just Right.
- My straw UPF 50 fedora. Despite being crushed/abused a bit, it held its shape quite well.
- My Jord wood watch. Very comfortable under hot conditions.
- The Eileen Fisher silk tanks (here and here) were perfect under lighter weight linen tops or underneath a jacket in the evenings.
- The dresses (here and here) and skirt were each worn once. Neither took up much room in the luggage, and I was glad to have them in each instance.
- Likewise, the asymmetrical skirt was worn once, for a casual evening. (Plus option.) I probably could have made do with one dress and the skirt.
- The heeled sandals were nice to have on the evenings I didn’t have to walk far, but wanted to dress up a little. Next time would probably leave at home, though.
- The Teva sandals while too rugged for the city, were perfect for some of the excursions in Phuket that required a bit of hiking. I didn’t have to worry about getting them wet or muddy, and they provided great traction for some rocky trails.
- For air travel days, an Everlane Seed Stitch sweater, which is warm enough to mitigate chilly airplane cabins but lightweight enough not to be sweltering. Also a pair of zip ankle boots, loose fit, which keep feet warm on the plane and are easy to remove and put back on when going through airport security. (Worn with a pair of wicking athletic socks, they weren’t sweltering for the periods of time I spent outdoors.)
- I didn’t wear the short-sleeved tees as much as I’d anticipated. (See above regarding the Eileen Fisher linen shirt.) I’d pack maybe only 1 or 2 on a future similar trip.
- A second bathing suit. Didn’t need it.
Future Draft Picks (wish I’d brought):
- More linen or lightweight cotton collared, button front shirts. These are a better dress-up/dress-down option than tees, and the sleeves can be rolled up or down as temperatures require. I’ll be on the lookout for options for future travel.
- A low-heeled closed-toe shoe to wear with in evenings with dresses instead of the heeled sandals.
- A laptop. For blogging and reading work email attachments, I really need the full-on functionality of a laptop. I can make do with the iPad, but its limitations are frustrating enough to make me willing to shlep something heavier.
I did sink laundry twice on the trip, and in air-conditioned interiors had no problem with clothing items drying overnight.
What have you learned from travel wardrobes that didn’t quite achieve a 1000 batting average?
Oh, and GO GIANTS!!
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