The CHIC traveller...
Updated: Jul 14
Anna Murphy packs the pieces that’ll stay looking great – even on the longest journey
Woman & Home (South Africa)
1 Jan 2020
Fashion expert Anna Murphy on what to pack for your travels It’s the time when many of us look our worst – when we’re travelling. But the good news is that this makes it easier to stand out from the crowd by looking noticeably great. Wear clothes that flatter, clothes that fit, and you already have a head start. I would advise keeping it fairly classic, too: a touch of the utilitarian here, a smattering of athleisure there, but nothing too desperately on trend, which can just end up looking try-hard, and can also fail to deliver the hard-working comfort you need. You may be on holiday, but your clothes need to work harder for you than usual. At no point do you want what you are wearing to get in the way of you having the very best time. At no point do you want your headspace to be invaded by something that’s not quite right: shoes that rub; clothes that are fussy, rather than easy-breezy. Your headspace should be for family and friends, for sightseeing and doing-absolutely-nothing, for great food and drink, and even better chat and laughter. A few beauty items that will make travelling easier are: Sh’zen Breathe Easy Aromaremedy, R169 for 10ml, a rollerball that contains a blend of eight natural essential oils – including antiseptic cajeput and anti-inflammatory lavender – that work together to boost your immune system so you don’t catch a cold on every flight; and Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol, R330 for 60ml, a refreshing rose petalinfused mist that calms with camomile and bergamot – great for perking up a tired complexion after a long journey. The sunglassesas-best-friend (honestly) I am the first to admit that much of what the fashion lot get up to is not to be recommended. But wearing sunglasses as much as you can when travelling is a very good idea. Fear not, I don’t mean on the plane. But I do mean in the airport. The whole fandango is nicely dialled down when seen through tinted glass. And, just as importantly, post-flight, you and your weary eyes are, too. As for once you have arrived, top dermatologists tell me that protecting your eyes from the sun is one of the best anti-ageing moves you can make. Always go for 100% UV protection. R4 320, Maui Jim The bag of many options One of the great things about travelling is never knowing what the day might bring. But how to prepare for the unexpected? By picking pieces you can change up to suit whatever happens next. This brilliant multiaccessory can be worn as a belt bag, a crossbody, or even over your shoulder. So that’s a yes, yes, yes, from me. R559, Zara The shirt dress I am a huge fan of the genre. It’s so flattering on so many dierent body shapes, and doubly so when you add in slimming mixed stripes. I love the versatility, too, and multi-use is what it’s all about when it comes to travelling (and packing) well. This is a dress, of course, but it’s also a beach cover-up. Plus, you can wear it open and loosely belted over jeans or slim-cut trousers, too. Shirt dress? That description doesn’t even begin to cover it. R899, 6 to 18 Poetry The multiway cover-up It seems impossible in the heat of the midday sun, but we all know even the most determinedly summery of days and/or destinations can turn cool when the sun sets. How to find cosiness that looks suitably summery? The airiness of a crochet cardigan is a great way to go. Wear it open over a strappy dress, or buttoned up and tucked into a midi skirt. It’s that flexibility that makes this a great investment piece. R849, S to L, Mango The perfect carry-on If there is one item I have tested to infinity in my job as a fashion writer, it’s the suitcase. I travel A LOT. And I ask A LOT of my luggage, even a check-in bag. It needs to be indestructible, it needs to be light, and it needs four wheels so that – once I’ve rendered it very heavy with all the stu I’ve crammed into it – I can manoeuvre it with ease. The Escape Society Carry-on is certainly one of the best around, not least because it has a built-in USB charging port, as well as a removable powerbank. R1 899, Escape Society >> The superspecial wrap I am not going to pretend that this is cheap. How could it be? It’s handwoven out of silk and cotton. But I haven’t got enough words to tell you why it’s worth every penny. The Lalela Scarf is a small South African brand that came into existence to provide arts education to at-risk youths across sub-saharan Africa. The artwork is digitally printed onto the fabric, which is then hand finished. It’s of stupendous quality, and will turn even the most budget of flights into a luxurious experience, and the chilliest of air-conditioned rooms cosy. The ultimate ever-after buy. R1 900, The Lalela Scarf The goanywhere hat To find a hat that looks good isn’t that hard. To find a hat that still looks good when you get to your destination is considerably trickier. Whether you brave the suitcase or overhead locker, you will more than likely end up with something that looks more like a fortune cookie. Not so with this clever ra a style from Australian designer Tina M Copenhagen, which is flexible enough to pack lightly. At last. R799, Emthunzini Hats The stealthslob bottoms If there’s one time you need to feel comfortable, it’s when you’re on the road. But you don’t want to look too comfortable. You want to look cool and eortlessly chic. Praise be, then, for Zara’s jogger pants with a dierence. They may have – shhh, don’t tell anyone! – an elasticated waist, yet their attitude is anything but stretchto-fit, thanks to the sleek pleated lines and sophisticated taupeygrey colour. This is how to survive even the longest, hauliest of long-haul flights; to arrive on the other side with a veritable spring in your step. Yet, worn with heels and a pretty blouse, these trousers will even look stylish after dark. Trust me. I know whereof I speak. R459, S to XL, Zara The fashionpack jacket What’s the collective noun for a group of fashion editors in transit? A khaki. Because that’s what a default a jacket in said hue has become among the front row when travelling. Why? It makes you look relaxed, but also pulled together. And it can be worn as a single overlayer or on top of something more substantial (make sure to buy a generous-enough size for the latter). R475, 6 to 22, Next The all-day sandals It’s always important to be able to walk all day in comfort. But that’s even more the case on holiday, when the kilometres tick by in a way that makes that fitness app on your phone wonder if you’ve had a change of identity. (You have! Isn’t that what vacations are all about?) I have found that a chunkier sole turns pavementpounding into something altogether softer. R699, Saint & Summer w&h