This is the outfit that I wear in warm to hot weather. It’s also versatile enough to be worn on actual traveling days. Admittedly, this is more of an adventure-type travel outfit as opposed to a work-type or casual travel outfit.
- Hat. A hat is an optional accessory for me. I wear glasses and don’t always bring prescription sunglasses, so a hat is a way for me to avoid the sunshine. I prefer a plain flatcap. Hats of this type aren’t as informal as a ballcap, which means you can wear it anywhere. It also carries the benefit of not screaming “I’m a tourist.” If you choose to bring a hat, be sure it is packable, washable, and fits with the activities you’ll be doing. I would recommend wearing a hat that free of branding or sports teams. Otherwise, you risk drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.
- Shirt. A collared shirt offers a couple of advantages. First, it is a bit more dressy than just wearing a t-shirt. Second, it can help protect your neck from excess sunlight. One of the shirts I enjoy traveling with is the REI Sahara Tech shirt. It’s a nylon based shirt that wicks moisture, dries quickly, and has UPF 50 to block out some sun. A quick drying shirt allows it to be washed at a hotel and will quickly air-dry. This is critical when you need to pack light.
- Belt. A belt is an optional wardrobe item. However, I tend to wear one when I travel. Not only will it help keep different styles of pants fitting properly, but you never know when you might need a strong piece of nylon. A belt with a plastic belt buckle is great when going through airport security as it eliminates the need to remove your belt. Just one less thing to worry about when trying to get to your flight on time.
- Undershirt. If you sweat quite a bit, you will want to consider wearing an undershirt all the time. Personally, I tend to find synthetic shirts like the REI Sahara Tech shirt to be less comfortable than a cotton shirt, so I often wear undershirts with them. That being said, I can’t deny the convenience of quality synthetic shirts, and that is worth sacrificing a bit of comfort. Depending on the weather and level of activity, layering an undershirt beneath an outer shirt will allow the outer shirt to be worn twice, once with the undershirt and once without, before having to wash it.
- Socks. Unlike my shirts, I typically like my socks to be synthetic. They seem to do a better job at wicking moisture and keeping my feet cool. In addition, having some elasticity will allow the sock to do a better job at conforming to my foot. Getting socks in a neutral color that is not white will allow you to wear socks like these in a variety of settings.
- Shoes. Go for comfort over style. Ideally, you’ll be able to get both. But if you can’t, always go for comfort. Being in pain will undermine any fun you’re trying to have when you’re on travel. My preference is to go with a mildly dressy casual shoe. In this case, Merrell Realm Lace shoes. These offer good grip and a nice blend of comfort and style. You’ll notice that these shoes are actually shaped like a human foot. Something that cannot be said of most dress shoes. This is the type of shoe that can serve equally well on light hikes or in an office meeting. These shoes also lack overt branding, yet another way to avoid being labeled a tourist.
- Pants. As with the shirt, synthetic pants offer the convenience of wicking moisture and drying quickly. These pants, in particular, offer an additional feature. The bottom portion of the legs can be removed by unzipping them, making them into shorts. It’s like having two pieces of clothing in one. Convertible pants offer a unique level of versatility for the traveler.
The bottom line, dress for the activities you’ll be doing. Dress in a way that doesn’t draw excessive attention to yourself. Be cognizant of how your clothes will be perceived by those where you are traveling. Finally, dress in a way that will give you comfort so that you can thoroughly enjoy what you traveled to see in the first place.