Fat travel to Spring

I’m still thinking about travel wardrobes after my ‘Fat Travel Planning’ blog (which was posted a little while ago now) and decided to mock up a travel wardrobe now that I can sew.

I’ve been thinking of some past holidays which have been marred by wardrobe issues, and I’ve been thinking about “re-packing” for those trips- what I would take now that I have options available to me!

Up first, I’m repacking for 3 weeks in Japan during early spring.

I remember being too cold and too hot and feeling so under-dressed and so un-stylish in Japan. I remember incredibly painful chub rub, sore feet, clothes that I felt didn’t pair together, and so many other wardrobe malfunctions. I definitely remember thinking that discomfort and pain were unavoidable when you’re fat and travelling (rather than thinking that I could have been comfortable if my wardrobe hadn’t let me down).

So, here’s a little thought experiment for what I’d pack for my Spring trip to Japan if I had my time over again. I’m not sure this would be a ‘carry on baggage only’ amount of clothes, but I’d take a lot of clothes in my carry on because if they lost my bags I would have absolutely nothing to wear (where does one source plus-size clothes in Japan, exactly?)!

Comfie Unders

pink cotton

I love my Kapundies, and I’d make some in a merino which dry super fast. I’d obviously have some Banksia Bralettes (since bras are dead to me), and some merino singlets too. I could do Banksia Tanks (with built-in Banksia), but I like the idea of being able to remove the singlet if I heat up.

The Duclie Boxer Briefs would have been the chub-rub shorts of my dreams for basically all of my trips, and would have stopped a lot of painful chaffing while I was trying to walk around and see the sights!

Dulcie Boxer Briefs-10

Undergarments I’d pack

Perfect travel pants

Huon Shirt

My go-to travel pants would be the Glebe Pants! They’re my T’n’T pattern, I feel like they dress up and down, and the pockets are delightfully travel sized (big enough for all your stuff).

I put a pic of my natural linen Glebe Pants here, but I’d probably choose a dark-colour (but I have kept these natural linens surprisingly clean even though they look like they’d be dangerous). I’m enjoying the idea of wool suiting pants for the excellent qualities of wools (and wearing the Dulcie Boxers to ward off itch)! I’m also quite smitten with the idea of even more pockets (cargo Glebe).. This needs more thought!

Pants I’d pack

  • Dark neutral-for-me Glebe Pants (linen)
  • Dark neutral-for-me Glebe Pants (wool)

Tops

Styles for tops

Since I spent most of my time in Japan feeling pretty under-dressed, I’ve had a think about what I think can elevate tops for me and I think it comes down to particular silhouettes and nice fabrics; drapey knits, silk noil, fabrics in particular shades.

Mix-and-matchability

Reading through the comments on my Fat Travel Planning blog, it got me thinking about how the tops I pack could be layered under or over one another to provide additional warmth and also outfit flexibility.

Tops I’d pack

  • A long-sleeve more-fitted knit tee, maybe with a mockneck or turttleneck (merino)
  • A relaxed boxy knit tee with long-sleeves (merino or cotton) which would layer over the fitted tee (so open neck or an open funnelneck)
  • A long-sleeve boxy button-up shirt (silk noil) perhaps collarless
  • A shirt in a heavier fabric which could double as an outer (as suggested by Wendy on my travel planning post).
  • A boxy merino sweater (maybe a RTW sweater rather than something I’ve sewn) with open side splits which layers over all of the above
Silk Medlow Robe-002
Silk Medlow Robe-104

Sleepwear

For chilly places, I like to sleep with a knit turtleneck (probably a shortened Hexham Dress). Silk Spinifex PJs bottoms would roll up super small, but M-C commented on my last post to suggest making the PJs bottoms from fabric that could be day-wear in a pinch. I like that idea A LOT so would probably do daytime-appropriate linen or cotton PJ bottoms.

Sleepwear I’d pack

  • Silk Medlow Robe (a small luxury that I stand by)
  • Spinifex Bottoms and a Hexham long-sleeve turtleneck top

One comment on my blog suggested that robes were only for people who sleep naked and another said that the robe was useful for an extra layer in bed to protect against the chill! My Medlow rolls up so small and I know it fits me and looks great on (so would have no problem answering the hotel room door, etc in it)

Outer Layers

I run hot, especially when I’m moving about, so what has got me the most wear while I’ve been touristing in chilly places is a quilted puffer vest. I had a RTW one from Land’s End (like above) but would like to make myself one and I’d like to make it a bit more inconspicuous, if that’s possible. I particularly like the secure zipper pockets, but my me-made version would have even more pockets (some internal and maybe a big back pocket too). Although it was quite handy that it was slightly water-repellent, I’d probably use breathable fabric and batting instead of feathers (maybe wool or cotton). Of course, it needs to be easy to pack into a bag if I’m too hot to wear it.

The other outer layer is a rain ponchos (directly related to drizzly autumn weather and dog walking), and I’ve done A LOT of rain poncho research and I’m pretty sure I know what I want for myself. The benefit of a poncho is that if you’ve got a handbag or backpack or anything else, the poncho covers all!

Outerwear I’d pack

  • A cosy vest, possibly quilted
  • A RTW waterproof hooded jacket (or a me-made rain poncho which folds up really small)

I’ve also snuck in a sweater, and a shirt which doubles as a jacket in the tops section, in case you’re worries about me staying warm.

Swim Tarlee
swim tarlee 10

Shoes

I’m not exactly sure here- I think a pair of comfortable but ‘stylish’ sneakers (like Onitsuka Tigers), but I’m not sure if there needs to be a backup pair of shoes!

Extras

You never regret a swim! Or having warm hands.

  • Pair of me-made togs
  • Scarf or pashmina which is large but rolls up small
  • Backpack rain shield (if no poncho)
  • Gloves and beanie (in vest pocket)
  • potentially some kind of dickie**
  • Merino socks

**I’m not sure if I’m ready to admit that I might be in to dickies but I can kind of feel it happening

My packing proposal is:

  • Merino Kapunda Undies x3
  • Bamboo Duclie Boxer Briefs x2
  • Merino Banksia Bralette x2
  • Merino singlets, x 2
  • Dark neutral-for-me Glebe Pants x2
  • Long-sleeve Hexham knit tee (merino)
  • Boxy Hyde knit tee with long-sleeves (merino or cotton)
  • Long-sleeve Waikerie Shirt (silk noil)
  • Warm outer-ish Waikerie Shirt/jacket
  • Boxy merino RTW sweater with open side splits
  • Medlow Robe (silk)
  • Spinifex PJs Bottoms (cotton or linen)
  • Hexham long-sleeve turtleneck sleep top
  • Cosy vest, possibly quilted
  • Rain poncho or RTW rain jacket (and backpack cover)
  • Scarf or pashmina which is large but rolls up small
  • Gloves & beanie
  • Dickie?
  • Merino socks x3

3 comments

  1. Oh, what a great idea to be so analytical about your travel wardrobe! I love it! I think you have a great packing list here! Definitely make sure to put anything you cannot do without in your carry on bag. For me, that includes meds and toiletries. I agree with M-C about the pj bottoms as extra pants in a pinch. And I know some travelers also just take a daytime top to use as their pj top in case they want to use that as daywear as well. I suggest 2 pairs of shoes in case of disaster (I had a pair of cosy sandals disintegrate suddenly in Paris, and I have a very hard time finding shoes). I think the poncho is a good idea but I think think your arms could get wet, and if it’s windy you could get very wet. (I’m just a worrywort.) I always want sleeves, but I also want my crossbody bag or backpack under my raincoat. I hope you get to go on travel adventures soon!

    1. I’ve seen great cycling ponchos that have snap fasteners under the arms. So you end up with a not quite sleeve effect that reduces it flapping up into your face in a breeze.

  2. Oooh, what a compliment to have you like my pj idea 🤩❤️! Let me add some sympathy for the trips where you’re both too hot and too cold, and just know the natives only see you as a blotch on the landscape.. Don’t let me wallow in the time where fucking Air France went on strike and ate my luggage till the very last night of the dual walking and museum trip. So lucky I was in England, where clothes my size were incredibly dowdy but I could buy some, new undies at M&S even, and I wasn’t trapped in some midget hellhole in France or Italy.
    Ah well. What I really meant to say was that wool pants are the best. But they’re specially good when you make a couple of rayon pettipants to go under them. The real pants stay less wrinkled, you can wash the pettis in the sink and dry them overnight, greatly extending the clean-enough time. They add a nice layer of warmth and they allow you to even add merino leggings underneath for real expedition-grade protection. Oy, now I remember that trip to Lausanne in November where I had to throw myself in a tea place every half hour to thaw out, sensational cakes but I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold even winter camping..

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