Fashionista on the move! If you follow us on the socials, you might have noticed I am not posting the Dutch winter pictures at the moment, but instead sunny tropical ones! Yep, that’s right, I am currently backpacking through Indonesia and the Philippines. See some of the worlds beauty and not so beauty: poverty and plastic garbage everywhere. 

Backpacking means some fashion limitations. You can imagine the limited space, broken items and a limited wardrobe. Nonetheless, I have found some things that might help packing a fashionista’s backpack.

#1 Pick your colour

Maybe stating the obvious, but as you have to deal with limited space, make sure the items you do pack, match each other. Pack your basics, some black and white stuff, and your fav colour. That means no crazy prints that require specific items. This way you can make the most combinations out of your portable closet.

#2 Handling the broken items

On the way, some crucial items have been broken. As I try to go off the beaten track, it is quite difficult to find sustainable stores in local villages (or at souvenir shops in the more touristic places…). Now there are two options: make it or replace it.

So make sure you pack a small repair kit. If it’s for the easy, quick fix.

In my case, my flip-flops broke irreparable. As I walk on those nearly every day, I could use some new ones. With no sustainable options nearby (for as far as I knew), I decided to pay some more money for flops I would wear a lot, and that would not break that easily. That is, to my concern, always the most sustainable option: make sure you will wear the item lots. Also when it is sustainable sourced.

#3 Leave nothing but footprints

I have three favorite footprints while traveling. The flip-flops I just mentioned. Second is espadrilles. They are light-weight, comfortable and so easy to handle. I walk long distances on them, walk through water (sun is strong enough this side to let them dry quickly), pretty much good for everything. Sustainable options are Toms (for every pair sold, they give a kid in need a pair), or Paez.

For the more fancy days I like modular shoes. That means build/design shoes with different parts. I am carrying Galago with me: a sole with different straps to create a sandal for each outfit. Looking for closed shoes? Try Shooz. If you fancy heels, you might like Mime et Moi or  Tanya Heath. The sustainable thing about changeable shoes is that you don’t have to buy many pairs, but still have your different looks. This saves a lot of materials and resources.

#4 Every Day Bikini Day

Sun, beach, cocktails… doesn’t that sounds like the life?! It is much more fun though with a different bikini every day, don’t you think? As that is not really reasonable, I choose to pack Nalla. This brand came with the brilliant solution to create one shape, in various colours and prints, that you can layer, knot, and adjust as both top and bottom. This way you can create unlimited looks! This is the only brand I know that offers such designs. If I missed out on something, please inform me.


#5 Hammam for life

My ultimate travel basic is a hammam towel. This light weight towel dries quickly, is very absorbent, easily stowed away, and can be used as towel (duh), wrap as a dress/skirt, or beach plaid. I carry one from Happy Towels. This brand uses bamboo as material (one of my favorite materials), is made in Turkey, fairtrade and supports Turkish girls from a poor background with a scholarship.

Other sustainable options for a hamam towel is Harmony, which is made from 100% organic cotton and produced in a sustainable way with respect for people and planet.

#6 Spice it up

My second ultimate travel basic are wraps. Whenever it is hot or cold, wrapping your hair can make the difference. Moreover, it can spice up your outfit! Personally, I love love love vintage hairwraps, from secondhand or vintage shops and my two African wraps. If you go for a bigger wrap, it is even possible to use it as top. Make sure you pick the right colour;)

#7 Your personal catalogue

After you have packed your mobile wardrobe neatly, you don’t want to mess everything up to search for a new outfit. I highly recommend you to download a ‘closet’ app on your phone. There are plenty, and plenty free ones. You take a picture off each garment you are going to pack, and store it in the app. Now when you aren’t sure what you packed and which combo’s you can make, you create one in the app. It enables you to grab the specific items you need that day without screwing your packing system up! One of these apps is Stylebook!

It turns out I am dealing with 20 pieces of clothing, including footwear, for about 3,5 months. Off course I do miss my heels sometimes, or some more fancy dresses. But it is very clear that we don’t need to pack our wardrobes until they are about to break. The capsule closet is a real thing now. I am not saying it should be the ultimatum for all, but I do understand why it can be a positive change for some. Living with less clothes saves a lot of stress!

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