When we’re traveling for weeks or months at a time, ideally we’d pack clothes that look good and perform well, too. Fortunately, there’s a growing number of options for travel clothes that are functional, fashionable, and even sustainable in nature, so we can comfortably travel the planet while doing our part to protect it at the same time.
12 best travel clothes for women in 2021
The best travel clothes look cute on camera (hello, Instagram!), but also use quality fabrics that won’t wrinkle, pill, or take a lifetime to dry. The following items fit this bill and more; read on to discover our top twelve picks for travel pieces that are high-performing *and* picture-worthy.
1. Best pants for travel: Athleta Venture Pant
The best pants for travel say it right there in the name — Athleta’s Venture Pant is the top of the line for commuting, work, and wherever your travels take you. Their unique Featherweight Stretch™ fabric is made from recycled polyester, and offers a sleek feel that’s truly light as air. Among its many fun and practical details, the Venture Pant actually has seven pockets, so you can easily store all your essentials while you’re on the go.
2. Best dress for travel: Everlane Japanese GoWeave Slip Dress
Everlane’s GoWeave Slip Dress is made from a special Japanese textile called triacetate, which is composed of more than 92% cellulose (that is, plant-based materials). Not only is this fabric crease-resistant and cooling on the skin, but it has a silky drape that’ll flatter every body. This long slip is the perfect base for building any outfit; wear it with heels or flats, and layer it with a cute tee, button up, or sweater when things cool down.
3. Best jumpsuit for travel: SiteSee Everywhere Jumpsuit
SiteSee’s Everywhere Jumpsuit was thoughtfully created with a multipurpose design — it’s polished and pulled together for your daytime calls or meetings, but it can effortlessly transition into a chic look for your after work outings with friends. Plus, this jumpsuit is made of 70% modal fabric for ultimate comfort and stretch, comes with zippered pockets for keeping your phone and passport safe, and has an elastic waistband for additional ease of wear.
4. Best basic tee for travel: Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tee
There’s something really classic and wonderful about a cotton tee, which is exactly why you should always put one in your travel bag. The Cotton V-Neck from Madewell is an updated version of their best-selling tee, now with a removed pocket and smoother fit. Made from light and airy slub cotton (part of the company’s Better Cotton Initiative), this T-shirt is exceptionally soft and perfectly draped, and one you’ll want to live in day after day.
5. Best skirt for travel: VETTA Two-Piece Wrap Skort
VETTA’s Wrap Skort is really a *three* for the price of one kind of look; you can tie the wrap in front while you’re out for brunch or on a date, tie the wrap in back for a work-appropriate pencil skirt silhouette, and then wear the shorts alone for more movement-oriented weekend ventures. Made from 100% Tencel in a family-run factory in New York, this versatile piece also has a sustainable side that feels really nice to support.
6. Best baselayer for travel: Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Crew
Baselayers are great for travel, because they help regulate your body temperature to keep you cool in hot conditions and warm in colder climates. Smartwool’s Base Layer Crew is made from 100% Merino wool, and offers incredible warmth, moisture-wicking abilities, and even enhanced odor resistance. This fan-favorite comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and is guaranteed to help you stay comfortable on all of your upcoming excursions.
7. Best jacket for travel: Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie
When you need a quality jacket to add to your travel wardrobe, Patagonia literally has you covered. Their Nano Puff Hoodie is made from a bluesign-approved™ recycled polyester, and has a water repellent finish that protects against unwanted moisture. Did we mention this highly-compressible hoodie weighs less than eleven ounces, and can be folded into a small pouch to save some major space in your suitcase? We love to see it!
8. Best swimsuit for travel: Summersalt Perfect Wrap One-Piece
Packing a swimsuit is sometimes a ‘must have,’ and other times more of a ‘just in case’ — but either way, you’re smart to always bring one along. Summersalt’s suits are made out of recycled materials and shipped in reusable bags, which makes them a fashionable and sustainable purchase you can feel good about. The Perfect Wrap One-Piece is universally-flattering, and its added compression means everything stays securely in place as you *dive* into adventure.
9. Best denim for travel: prAna Buxton Jean
Shopping for jeans can get pretty tricky, especially if you’re looking for a great pair to travel with. Luckily, prAna’s Buxton Jean checks a lot of boxes in this department. Their slim boyfriend fit and five-pocket styling makes them look contemporary and feel comfortable, too. These jeans start with organic cotton, and then add a bit of polyester and Lycra® to the mix for superior stretch and durability no matter where your day leads.
10. Best leggings for travel: Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Pocket Legging
Leggings are a travel staple, and few brands do leggings better than Girlfriend Collective. This compressive, squat-proof, high-rise style also has double pockets to boot — meaning you won’t have to look far to stash your phone or keys. And if you need even more reason to love these leggings, they come in an awesome range of sizes (XXS to 6XL), and are made from recycled water bottles; each pair diverts 25 water bottles from being thrown into the landfill!
11. Best underwear for travel: ExOfficio Give-N-Go Bikini Brief
If you’re looking for a great pair of underwear to take with you on travels, look no further than ExOfficio’s Give-N-Go Bikini Brief. This breathable, quick-drying underwear has an antimicrobial treatment that helps reduce order and keep you feeling fresher, longer. What’s more, the lightweight mesh fabric supplies airflow to keep you cool, and the flatlock seams and wide waistband help to limit chafing and retain their shape for continued wear.
12. Best walking shoes for travel: Allbirds Tree Runner
Allbirds Tree Runners have a silky smooth, pleasantly cool upper, thanks to their proprietary knit made from responsibly-sourced eucalyptus fibers. In addition, the midsole offers amazing contour and bounce, since it’s been designed with Brazilian sugarcane SweetFoam™ (the world’s first carbon-negative EVA). And we can’t forget to mention that the laces are made from post-consumer recycled polyester, making this a totally sustainable, ultra-comfortable kick!
Travel Clothing FAQs
What are the best travel clothing brands?
When you’re in the market for travel clothing with both technical components and stylish details, there’s a handful of great brands to choose from. Look to SiteSee for the best in digital nomad wear, Everlane for premium basics, and Patagonia for all your adventure-ready items.
What should you wear to the airport?
As you’re getting ready to head to the airport, put on something comfortable enough to wear for long hours in-flight, but that’ll still look good once you reach your destination. Go for a fun jumpsuit with tons of stretch and an aversion to wrinkles, and then throw on a nice pair of walking shoes to complete this easy, breezy outfit.
What travel clothing do I really need?
If you’re starting a travel wardrobe from scratch, you might be wondering what pieces you really need versus which you can wait on. A few essentials include a dress or jumpsuit you can layer and wear year round, a breathable baselayer and lightweight jacket, a pair of durable leggings for active outings, and some comfortable sneakers or sandals to roam around in.
Meredith is a freelance copywriter based in Des Moines, Iowa, not far from where she grew up. She earned a degree in journalism from Belmont University, and has been writing remotely for a variety of brands and businesses over the last seven years. To read more of Meredith's work, check out her portfolio here.