Function Over Fashion: a minimalist approach to styling while travelling
I am NOT someone who overpacks when they travel. I travel on budget airlines which charge you even for a hand luggage carry on. On my latest adventure to the West coast of Ireland to do some hiking, I packed everything into my small and beloved Lululemon backpack. It fits perfectly under the seat of the airplane. Bear in mind that the trip was four nights, five days, and included city days and countryside hiking days. I needed a LOT of variety when it came to my clothes… Or so you would think. I managed to find basically one outfit that worked under all circumstances. Admittedly I did not look fantastic and chic in the cities, but it was good enough!
I wore my comfiest pair of jeans. A certified #30Wears (probably more like 300 if I’m honest) pair of jeans that I bought from American Eagle in high school. They’re high waisted and made of stretchy, comfortable jean material, so they’re very comfy. Luckily, they still look nice enough to wear on an evening out. I also packed two pairs of leggings. One skin tight, high waisted navy blue ones that are basically just the legging version of my jeans. And one pair that are more of a jogger fit, which I wore to bed and occasionally to lounge around the hostel in. Other than that I rotated through three basic t-shirts and one long sleeved thermal top. None of my shirts were ever really visible because I wore my big woolly sweater EVERY day.
Everything you need to know about the jumper
My sweater is from H&M, it’s very large on me because I stole it from my very tall sister. It’s my favourite sweater because it’s SO comfortable, still relatively cute, and incredibly warm. I wore it under my raincoat to keep out the chill and I was never cold. Even on my long days out hiking and biking. The ‘raincoat’ I have is actually just shower-resistant (ugh) and from the Gap (in the men’s section!). It’s very useful though as it has a TON of utility pockets, and fits over my giant sweater.
The comeback of the fanny pack
The best part of my travel outfit was my ever present bumbag, or as we call it in the Americas, my fanny pack. Sidenote: apparently that name does not go down well over in the U.K. I had the idea to use a bumbag because Ryanair charges you for a second bag, and I didn’t want to pack a whole purse into my backpack as it would take up space, PLUS I would then have to take my backpack off whenever I needed my wallet, phone, or passport. Instead, I made a trip over to Mountain Warehouse and picked up a bumbag for 6 pounds, and wore it across my chest for the entirety of the trip. It was the BEST idea I had. It was SO nice to have a hands free bag that was close to my chest (no pick pocketing risk! I’m all too familiar with that). I kept my wallet, phone, passport, granola bars, and even a book in there most days.
Most importantly: footwear
My shoes on the trip alternated between my hiking boots (also Mountain Warehouse, the cheapest I could find) and my old runners. What I wore tended to depend on which pair were drier at the time. Honestly, the change in shoes hardly affected the look of my outfit. It was consistently very outdoorsy. The last thing you’ll see me wearing sometimes is a neck tube that I call a ‘buff’ because of the brand name (but this one is also MW because I didn’t bring any Buffs from home and they’re pricey). They’re made of cotton and you can wear them as a neck tube, or around your head and over your ears to keep you warm! I did both.
If you want to see more from my trip to Ireland, or see how these outfits worked out real-time, keep an eye on my Youtube channel! I’ve be uploaded a 24 Hours in Galway vlog, and I’ll be uploading a Hiking the Cliffs of Moher vlog ASAP! In the meantime, are you a heavy packer? Do you bring everything in your closet and then some?! I’ll be doing a post on my best ‘travel light’ tips soon!