10 tips for looking good when you’re travelling

Disclaimer: this is a requested blog post! I’ve probably felt properly ‘glamorous’ maybe twice in my entire life (this was one of those times). I’m not a fashion blogger, super skinny or a model and I don’t really know anything about style! You still there?! This is just what I do when I want to look half decent.

It’s really just about wearing what makes you comfortable.

I feel horrible in active wear and hiking clothes. This sounds dramatic but for half of our trip (because half of our trip has involved being active) I’ve felt extremely uncomfortable and frumpy because hiking clothes just aren’t me. If I’m dressed like I’m going to the gym I just don’t feel… dressed?! I think once I finally realised this and bought a few cheap things in Brazil getting ready every day suddenly became a lot easier?! And having my photo taken didn’t feel quite as torturous!

Anyway, this is what has worked for me:

1 Wear black and white

It’s an effortless and classic pairing.

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San Christobal, Mexico

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Valparaiso, Chile

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Monument Valley

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New Orleans

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Charleston, South Carolina

2 Or wear one bright colour

I really admire people who wear patterns and make them look good. Especially people who can wear two patterns and look effortlessly chic. I can’t do that! I like wearing bold colours, it’s easy and helps your significant other find you in a crowd. I honestly don’t know when I started wearing so much pink?! But apparently that’s my colour. I actually prefer red but it’s hard to find the right shade.

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Tulum, Mexico

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Scotland for a wedding

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Trinidade, Brazil

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Paraty, Brazil

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Sao Paulo, Brazil

3 Get a cool hat

Panama hats are kind of annoying to travel with. The first one I bought in Brazil got really wet on our San Blas boat trip and drooped into the saddest looking slug before I threw it out. But I really liked wearing it and they are pretty darn sun smart so I bought a new one for 10 pounds in London. I’ve been super careful with it. It’s survived all of the Greek islands so far!

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Santorini, Greek Islands

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Crete, Greek Islands

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Colombia (starting to lose its shape!)

4 Pack a versatile black dress or playsuit

I bought a black playsuit for $7 from H&M in Salt Lake City and its cost per wear is probably in negative numbers by now. I’ve worn it everywhere from the beach to a cooking class to the Taylor Swift 1989 concert. At night I sometimes wear tights underneath.

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Naxos, Greek Islands

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Paraty, Brazil. Exactly the same outfit as above but actually a different hat!

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Mendoza, Argentina

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Utah/Colorado border

5 Avoid wearing thongs/flip flops all the time

I’m a major failure at this. I’m always wearing thongs and when I see photos of myself I can’t help but think my casual footwear really lets me down (see above photos!). I’ve been keeping my eye out for some espadrilles or cool sandals for ages now and nothing has taken my fancy.

EDIT: since writing this yesterday morning I found black espadrilles for 10 euros! Thongs be gone! No wait I need them for hostel showers…

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Wearing new flats in Washington DC

6 Wear something ‘on trend’

Off the shoulder tops are everywhere at the moment. While I’m not convinced they are even that flattering, wearing a ‘trend’ makes me feel a tiny bit closer to being one of the cool kids. And I mean like 1 millimetre closer.

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Santorini, Greek Islands

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Santorini, Greek Islands

7 Carry a bright bag

I love this clutch. I got it in Bali a few years ago. It’s so happy and colourful and seems to go with everything! Because it’s just cloth it packs really easily and it’s a great size; fits my camera, GoPro, phone and cash.

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8 Sunglasses, sunglasses, sunglasses 

They fix everything. I’ve been through so many pairs on this trip! I don’t recommend taking your expensive sunnies backpacking, plus its fun to find new ones along the way.

9 Throw on a trench coat

They have stood the test of time.

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Falkirk, Scotland

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New York City

10 Accept that you’ll mostly look crap

And it doesn’t matter because you are seeing and doing amazing things! Unfortunately some places just call for zip-off pants and hiking boots.

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Embrace it.

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6 Responses to 10 tips for looking good when you’re travelling

  1. Ha ha I love this post! I’ve definitely been guilty of the whole ‘eh just become a bag lady’ thing while out and about, so I probably needed this.

  2. Claire Dearle says:

    This is so good! You always look so gorgeous in your travel shots. Also- I may have clicked the link and spent too much time reading your post about ‘The Ball’… So good!

  3. Jess Carey says:

    OMG you’re my travel fashion hero! It’s funny how we see ourselves – you might not feel glamorous, but every time I see a new photo pop up on Instagram, all I think is “why don’t I look that fancy when I’m travelling?!” I LOVE that playsuit you got, too, and you’re totally right – one simple plain black dress or playsuit can make so much difference… especially with one bright bag or cute hat!

    • Bec says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment Jess! So true about how differently we see ourselves compared to how others see us. Probably a good thing to remember on the days when I’m feeling less than average!

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