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The perfect travel dress

Swahlee creates a handmade capsule wardrobe of clothing essentials made in India using sustainable production and natural fabrics.

The Brave dress in white & indigo stripe

Originally published 22 March 2019

When choosing a dress for travel, I look for the following qualities:

Versatile

Often you don’t know exactly what you will need until you arrive at your destination. Or, you know your itinerary and that you are going to need a wide range of outfits for different events and situations. I look for a dress that is versatile enough for a variety of activities, temperatures, and cultures. I want the flexibility to wear a dress with sandals out to dinner but pair the same dress with sneakers or trainers for a day filled with a lot of walking.

Minimal yet put together

Ideally, travel dresses look great on their own. When traveling, the less additional accessories and shoes to pack, the better. This ties in to versatility.

Hardy

This may be a funny word to describe a dress. But when traveling it's ideal to pack items that stand up to sweat, lots of movement, walking, standing, and sitting in busy public places. A travel dress should be re-wearable as well as washable since I plan to wear it multiple times throughout my trip.

Swahlee creates a handmade capsule wardrobe of clothing essentials made in India using sustainable production and natural fabrics.

The Brave dress - perfect for traipsing

Comfortable

No one wants to wear a dress that doesn’t stay comfortable all day long. I want to feel as good at the end of the day as I did at the beginning in my outfit. If traveling in a tropical climate, the goal is to stay as cool as possible so look for natural, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk.

Modest

One of the best parts of travel is experiencing other cultures. Different cultures have different standards of modesty. It’s always a good idea to learn as much as you can about the culture you’ll be entering before you go. Find out what people usually wear and why. In addition to wanting to blend in with the host culture, often historic sites and temples require shoulders and legs above the knee be covered. Sometimes loaner one-size-fits-all robes or sarongs are provided for modesty, but these don’t do much for your vacation photos! A dress provides the same breathability as shorts but with more coverage. Plan ahead and wear your travel dress.

Chic

My idea of a travel wardrobe has changed over the years. I want to feel relaxed and comfortable but still be polished. No one wants their outfit to shout “tourist.” Dresses are great for this. They can be casual but chic at the same time.

Ethically made

What we wear tells a story. About us and about the people who made it. Choose a travel dress that is making ripples of change in the lives of the ones who made it.

Swahlee creates a handmade capsule wardrobe of clothing essentials made in India using sustainable production and natural fabrics.

The Liberty dress in white & indigo stripe

In addition to our Brave dress, our just released Liberty dress is also a dream travel dress. It’s versatile, hardy, comfortable, modest, minimal and chic. It can be dressed up or dressed down.  It is made from 100% handwoven cotton, lined and oh-so-comfortable. The A-line skirt is universally classic with just enough twirl to keep it fun and remain your favorite travel dress for years to come. Not only that, but you’ll always have a great story to share about the dress you wear with those you meet along your adventures.

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