Save money by checking what’s already in the closet. Splurge on a couple of new purchases, only if budget allows. It’s best to choose one color that serves as foundation for travel clothes. Whatever appeals to the senses! Look in your closet or shopping rack. Usually black works well as a base. This summer, update wardrobe and showcase neutral, light or muted colors in place of black or in addition to black. My go-to basic pieces in my closet are: black pants, brown-toned lightweight jacket, a print scarf in black, brown & white, and a roomy latte-toned bag.
|Inflight Outfit in Black and Brown. ©Lu Sobredo|
Since RA medications e.g. prednisone and other anti-inflammatory prescriptions have led to weight gain, I have learned to embrace the more-generously-fitting clothes. And I think, it’s all good. I smile as I speculate on the alternative: slender, yet in excruciating pain when not taking my meds. Clothes-size is not as important these days. I go for simplicity, including my choice of color palette. Black or any solid color makes wardrobe-building uncomplicated.
- Summer Skirt or Pants: I am leaning towards sage green. Why? Sage seems like a calming color reminiscent of nature but not overwhelming so. Some 2018 Spring Catalogues seem to feature it. Lightweight skirt or a pair of pants in sage serves as my starting point this year.
- A Top with Sleeves—Plain or Printed: One short sleeves or three quarters sleeves in black is a practical choice. It works well for casual day wear, but could be dressed up with tasteful accessories for evening wear. Bring a second top—one printed and preferably floral for a summer flair. It pairs wonderfully with the sage skirt or pants.
- Sundress: Summer sun calls for a summer dress. Knee length or ankle length—whatever rocks your travel world. This summer, add a little whimsy with a chevron striped long linen dress in white and latte/beige color. It’s an unconventional rendition of a striped sundress. Linen does tend to wrinkle, but don’t let that stop you. Besides, the fresh crisp linen look just screams summer. And linen washes and hang-dries easily. The wrinkled look just emphasizes how much fun you’re having.
- Sweater: One hip-length lightweight sweater either in black, forest green or coffee brown would pair well with sage green skirt and pants; even with chevron striped white & latte summer dress. Keeping warm during flights or train rides could be annoying. A light cotton or wool blend is a practical solution. A sweater eases well into evening: maybe a dinner at an affordable yet high-end restaurant. See my blog post on the topic on where to eat: Affordable High-End Spanish Food: Dining at Narru.
|Coffee Brown Sweater over a Sundress. ©Lu Sobredo|
- Black Pants: Can’t go wrong with a pair of black pants (see earlier photo). A blend of cotton, rayon and elastic material is a practical wear onboard airlines. A pair of black pants gives versatility to the summer wardrobe on the go. Wear a black top with black pants in both casual or slightly formal venue.
- Shorts: Any color will do. Don’t be afraid to go for the basic black. You can’t go wrong. A pair of shorts could double as sleep wear if needed. A cotton or linen blend is my choice. It’s lightweight and doesn’t show dirt easily. Why worry about a little dirt when sitting on sand or outdoor furniture when sipping cold drinks while watching the sun come down? Taking in the ambiance is much better for the senses.
- T-Shirt: A lightweight cotton or cotton blend shirt has practical uses. Wear out while sightseeing or indoors while lounging. Even practical as sleepwear. The color is immaterial. Choose a solid color for a dressy look; printed for a more casual one. A black tee goes well with sage or black pants.
- A Short Summer Dress: Sundresses are fun to wear in the summer. Floral prints exude a happy presence. I lean more to a linen blend knee-length dress. My choice is a toss up between floral or solid black in linen. As you can see, I just can’t stay away from pieces in solid black or linen. Have fun with your choice of color or prints. A black or forest green sweater is a perfect cover if desired.
- Scarf or Pashmina: Never travel without some kind of scarf. They are a travel staple. If big enough, it works as cover over a bathing suit. It serves beautifully as a wrap in cooler weather. Use over a summer top or sundress. If large enough, it could work as a sarong for quick dressing to walk on the beach. Depending on material or color, it can dress up any outfit. My color choice for a generously sized scarf is pale pink, a nice complement to black and sage green pieces. It is a refreshing option to summer white.
|Light Pink Pashmina/Shawl from my Closet (Gift from a Colleague). ©Lu Sobredo|
- Bathing Suit: A must now that I maintain my aqua exercise even while on travel. Water therapy is especially critical for relieving stiffness and pain from RA. Any bathing suit that is one piece/traditional could work. Even an elastic pair of shorts and top could fill the bill.
|Charcoal/Black Swimwear. ©Lu Sobredo|
DISCLAIMER: I am in no way endorsing a clothing line or brand by this post, nor do I get monetary incentive when mentioning my go-to stores. I tend to shop at JJill particularly since my weight-gain. But where I shop depends on my needs: REI for outer wear, Costco for everyday wear, the Loft for sweaters, and Macy's or Nordstrom for more formal wear. I am also drawn to Zara, Corte Ingles and small local boutiques when in Spain.
About the Author
Lu Sobredo is writer/publisher at Lu Travels Abroad, a blog dedicated to folks whose limitations do not hamper them from traveling. About a year into early retirement came the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Her world collapsed from under her as the disability rendered her nearly-immobile and wheelchair-bound for almost three years. Her family's life changed. Her total life changed, but she did not let RA define her. With much will & love from family, friends and an awesome doctor, she regained some functionality--her new normal. She will have RA all her life. And she now writes about life and travel with RA.