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“Indy, your dad is missing. He was last seen in Venice. I think something’s happened to him.”

“Hang on, while I go put on my travel clothes,” said Indiana Jones.

That scene never happened in any Indiana Jones movie.

Why? Because Indy hopped on a plane, with a single black satchel for his carry on, and flew to Venice, Italy, to find his father.

He didn’t stop and put on travel clothing because he was traveling. He didn’t pack his one and only bag with travel clothing.

True, he left his professor outfit of tweed jacket with elbow patches and glasses at home. He swapped them out for his more-comfortable adventure outfit of soft khakis, worn boots, and swashbuckling fedora. Tucked in a corner of his bag is his whip, right next to his problem-solving skills and appetite for adventure.

If Indy can save the world and attempt to land a plane in simple khakis and white shirt, why do we think we need clothes that are made only for travel?

As though traveling is an action that requires specific clothing, like race car driving or being an astronaut.

I don’t own a piece of “travel clothing.” Because I hate this type of clothing. Travel clothing sucks. Let me tell you why: Click to continue…

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Even though I’m already a light packer, the capsule wardrobe trend recently inspired to pack even less (clothing). Usually, I’ll travel with about four outfits that I can mix and match with each other but this past winter, I cut that in half. In essence, I wanted to create a minimalist travel clothing capsule that I could tweak slightly depending on the destination (add in a swimsuit, take out a sweater, for beach vacations — vice versa for cold climate trips).

Minimalist Travel Clothing Challenge

I traveled to 6 cities for 25 days with only 2 outfits.

For 25 days this past winter, I put this test to the test and traveled to 6 different cities throughout the U.S. — Seattle, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Portland (Maine), and L.A. — with only 2 outfits. That’s a total of:

  • 9 articles of clothing (not including undergarments)
  • 6 accessories
  • 2 pairs of shoes

Best yet, I built it from my existing wardrobe and it took up about half a duffle bag. At the end of my travels, I never felt like I’d been unprepared for weather or the types of activities I wanted to do. Below is what my minimalist travel clothing capsule looked like, and how it functioned in action: Click to continue…

We’ve all been wearing them on our feet since our very first day in the world. Although many of us have spent decades kicking them off, fending off the sock monster while searching for their other half in the dryer, trying to put them over our little ones’ wiggly toes, or mismatching them on purpose to make a fashion statement – at some point in life, most of us have worn a pair of socks.

Whether we believe it or not, travel socks are in a  different category than those fuzzy ones with grippers on the bottom, the over the knee ones with awesome pictures of jellyfish, the ones we wear to the gym, the ones only made to grip our yoga mat or those toe-socks that take longer to put on than any other piece of clothing. Travel socks are in a category all their own.

There is more than one type of sock out there for each pair of feet. Beyond the options of ankle, knee or toe, these socks, produced by dozens of companies, come in a plethora of styles and all with their own sort of something-special weaved into the fabric. Some are designed as liners but people wear them on their own. Some are infused with insect-repellant. Made of cotton, wool or synthetic fibers, they each feel different on our feet. One size does not fit all. It can be a bit overwhelming at first – but at the end of the day, choose the one that feels best on your feet in the color that makes your heart smile most.

Expert Advice

An REI staff member (who wished to remain anonymous) spent time talking with me in their hefty travel sock section. He showed me the difference between the merino wool of today’s socks that were far less itchy than the ones I remember from yesteryear.

He explained the sweat-free benefits of the CoolMax® synthetic fiber used today for many liners and socks. He shared the made in America nature of the Farm to Feet® brand and how the ones in their ‘No Fly Zone’ have the bug spray built in to the material. He explained that the greater the thickness of the sock the fewer blisters you might develop (depending of course on the fit of your shoes).

And, he shared his favorite (liners made of CoolMax® fabric which he wears as stand alone socks) along with this advice – “If you’re looking to be able to wash and dry your socks quickly, the thinner sock is better for that purpose.”

Different Types of Travel Socks

Socks are no longer only made from cotton. Today, ‘technical socks’ are available in all materials and with many extra attributes. Although we’re all looking for comfort, blister-free and stink-free feet, each of us might need something a little extra.
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