When the things in your wardrobe aren’t right for your upcoming summer trip to Europe or beach vacation in Cancun, it’s time to go shopping for stylish travel clothes to take with you. The type of travel clothes we prefer are lightweight, comfortable, flexible, and versatile – but still stylish.
There’s no reason to give up style when you travel. You don’t have to reduce your wardrobe to beige pants and shapeless dresses. There are far better ways to fill your travel wardrobe. Below are a few of our favorite travel brands and styles. We only include versatile options that can be mixed and matched and paired with layers.
Mix and match is the name of the game in travel. If you’re looking to streamline your travel wardrobe with versatile, stylish pieces that will help you cut down on luggage, there are some great options below.
These are travel clothes that I personally wear on our trips. They’ve been tested and approved by me, so you can be assured they meet our high standards.
How to Choose the Best Travel Clothing
We’ve come to understand that the best clothes are quality clothes: they use the best fabrics that don’t scratch, snag or pill, they have extra features like hidden pockets and secure zippers, and they are designed and constructed well so they lay right and don’t become annoying. We’ve come to rely on a few favorite travel clothing brands for reliable, high-quality travel clothes.
Our favorites are Bluffworks, Arc’teryx, Columbia, and Aviator USA. When it comes to finding great travel clothes that are both functional and stylish, it pays to stick with the top brands that have proven themselves with reliable styles and great customer service.
Of course, you don’t have to choose clothing that is designed for travel for your trips, but we have found that there are many benefits to choosing travel-specific clothes.
- They’re typically lighter and streamlined so they pack down well.
- They are made with technical fabric that wick away sweat, prevent sun exposure, and provide flexibility for activities.
- They often don’t wrinkle when packed and dry quickly when washed by hand.
- They are made with functionality in mind and often have hidden pockets and special features built in like sunglasses wipes and even bottle openers.
Creating a Versatile Travel Wardrobe
For most every day travelers there are a few things you really can’t go without. If you buy the right set of travel clothing, you won’t need many items. They will be multi-functional enough to be mixed and matched for all situations, like dining out at a nice restaurant, hiking, airplane travel, etc.
For women, we recommend stocking your travel wardrobe with the following versatile items: (Click the links to jump down to our recommendations below)
- Travel pants
- Versatile skort
- Versatile shirt
- Comfortable pair of capris
- Women’s dress
- Travel jeans
- Lightweight jacket
Best Travel Clothes for Women
Women's Travel Pants
One of the most important pieces of a versatile travel wardrobe is a great pair of pants that can be worn in just about any situation. The Kyla pants by Arc’teryx are those pants. They are really comfortable, with a casual, light and breathable polyester taffeta material.
These pants are very lightweight so they are breathable and quick drying. That makes the perfect for summer travel. They have a tapered leg and a trim, casual style so they are great in many different situations. They have a slightly articulated knee for more flexibility.
There are pockets in the front and back, plus a low-profile zippered pocket on each thigh for your cell phone or room key. I really like the feel of these pants. They’re soft and slightly stretchy. I find them to be very comfortable.Buy these pants
These pants are made with 97% Nylon and 3% Spandex. The four-way stretch design with reinforced knees makes them really comfortable to move around in, so they’re great for all types of travel situations. I find them to be fairly wrinkle-free and quick to dry.
There are two pockets in the back with flaps sealed with silver buttons, plus a secret hidden pocket on the top right leg, which you can see fairly well. The front closure consists of a zipper and two silver buttons. Aside from being really durable, breathable and water resistant, the Halle travel pants also have a roll-up feature, so you can easily turn them into shorts. They come in three different lengths and it’s important to get the one that fits you right.Buy these pants
Womens Travel Jeans
Aviator travel jeans and even better than wearing your most comfortable pair of leggings. They fit like skinny jeans, and have all the great features, like zippered and hidden pockets, but they feel like leggings. The features of these jeans are what led them to be called the “best travel jeans in the world” by USAToday.
They have six internal pockets – one pocket in the back is zippered for added protection, and one pocket is large enough to fit a cell phone. They are made from a material that is breathable and cool. I was recommended not to put them in the dryer to extend their life, but it’s not a problem because they dry very quickly.
Shape recovery is great – I’ve worn them for three full days in a row and haven’t had an issue with them stretching out. I own a few pairs. I have the Performance Skinny and the Comfort Skinny, and I have one of each color. I have to say my favorites are the Comfort Skinny. The material is amazingly soft and luxurious. They are a dream to wear.Buy these jeans
Women's Travel Skirt
One of my favorite skorts for traveling is from Jack Wolfskin. It comes in dark blue and dessert green. The waist is a comfortable elastic with drawstring. The inner short is a lightweight mesh that is silky.
The skirt is a light, soft textured fabric, with active moisture management and odor inhibiting properties. The material also has a UPF 40+ sun protection built in. If you’re a light packer, you can be confident that this skirt will suit many occasion and it doesn’t wrinkle easily. There are two regular pockets. This is the most comfortable skirt (skort) I own. I love the built-in shorts.Buy this skort
Women's Travel Shirt
This is one of the best t-shirts I’ve worn in a long time. It’s perfect for travel because it’s moisture-wicking and odor-resistant, and it dries fast in case you need to wash it in the sink on a long trip. But where other travel t-shirts fail to look stylish and “non-technical”, this one excels.
The fit and cut are very flattering and it comes in great colors, like ice blue and dark crimson, as well as black, white and grey. I love that the material is super soft. I have the Ice Blue color, which matches well with just about everything. It’s a thick enough material to not be see-through. I also think it’s the perfect length, with ample stretch.Buy this t-shirt
Whenever a piece of clothing can do double duty, I’m happy. The Azores blouse from Bluffworks is perfect for travel because of its wrinkle resisting, odor controlling fabric that’s both breathable and lightweight. But it looks like a nice silk blouse you’d wear to the office. You can easily wear this shirt on a hike or to a nice restaurant for dinner.There are three features to this shirt that I think makes it stand out from similar shirts.
- The material has a good amount of stretch, so it feels so much more comfortable than a silk blouse.
- The cuffs also have a lot of stretch, so you can pull up the sleeves and they’ll stay put, rather than constantly falling down.
- There’s a tiny hidden snap at the top to keep the shirt from gaping open at the chest.
The shirt comes in three colors currently – white sand, pale rose and inky navy. I have the pale rose color, which is actually a very nice light shade of pink. It’s so easy to dress up and down to suit the occasion and it’s so lightweight that it takes up nearly no space in my travel backpack. Another clear win for women’s travel clothing.Buy this blouse
I really like the long-sleeved Fernie shirt from Arc’teryx as a versatile travel wardrobe item. It comes in two colors that I think are easy to pair with black travel pants, that can be dressed up with a scarf for evening, but also provides casual comfort during the day or on a hike.
The reason I like the long sleeves to much is that you can wear it with the sleeves down, for a dressier look, or for cold mornings and then you can roll up the sleeves during the day or to make it more casual. They do have a short-sleeve version as well.
The material for this shirt is an air permeable, soft nylon. It’s a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that also provides sun protection. While it has great technical aspects, it also looks nice enough to wear to dinner. The purple reign color is a nice rich color that can be worn with your black pants or skirt.Buy this shirt
Womens Travel Dress
One of the most important things to look at in a travel dress is the material. For it to be really versatile, it needs to be a breathable, flexible material that preferably has wicking properties. This Arc’teryx dress delivers on material, plus it’s eco-friendly.
It combines the comfort of organically grown cotton with the moisture management of soft recycled polyester fiber. The fit is relaxed and comfortable, while still looking nice. You can dress it up with a scarf and heels, or keep it casual with sandals. There are two hip pockets. The dress comes in three colors – dark blue, grey/purple, and pink.Buy this dress
Women's Travel Capris
Columbia’s Anytime Outdoor line is great for travelers. I really like these capris, but I also really like their pants. The material is very soft and lightweight. It’s got a bit of stretch so it’s easy to move around, but they don’t lose their shape. They are probably the most comfortable pair of capris I have. I would wear them every day if I could.
The drawstring isn’t really necessary as long as you get the right size, so I’ve removed it. It felt like it was always in the way. None of the pockets have zippers, but the back pocket does have a Velcro closure. Another drawback is that the material does pill quickly once you start wearing them – mostly in the crotch. It doesn’t make them any less comfortable, but it would be nice if that wasn’t an issue.Buy from Columbia Buy on Amazon
Lightweight Travel Jacket
The Arc’teryx Atom Hoodie is one of the best lightweight travel jackets I’ve owned. It really lives up to its name in that it’s super light and can easily be stuffed into a backpack while traveling. Just because it’s light doesn’t mean it’s not warm. It has a thin layer of internal insulation, topped with a super soft outer layer that is water resistant and protects against wind.
The hood is treated with a water repellent and it’s insulated, so you can trust it will hold up in all conditions. Really, it’s perfect for mild conditions where you just need a light layer to keep warm, but you don’t want to carry around a bulky fleece or jacket.Buy the womens jacket
The clothing you take on vacation needs to be lightweight and easy to mix and match, so you can get the most out of your luggage space. We love these versatile and stylish travel clothes to form a wardrobe that can go anywhere with you.