Finding the right clothes for travel can be a challenge. And I should know — I’ve been travelling full-time since 2006, and I’ve never felt like I’ve got the perfect travel wardrobe. I’ve hit upon the right socks (from Kathmandu, an adventure sports shop from New Zealand) the right undies (cheap cotton ones) and the right bras (from an underwear shop in Valencia, somewhat inconveniently). And I’m happy enough with the t-shirts and casual tops I carry — they change as time goes by.
But I have huge problems with the rest: waterproof jackets are never waterproof enough for me; travel dresses are all too heavy or don’t suit me; nice tops get all crinkled; trousers ALWAYS fit wrong in some way; and the last time I bought a sweater, the neckline was too low and it looked awful with most of my t-shirts. And I bought two of them.
Don’t get me wrong, my travel wardrobe doesn’t get me too down — but I would love to have some of these problems fixed for me. Luckily, prAna came to the rescue to address two of my major travel clothes issues.
1. Trousers: prAna Mantra Pant review
Since the stereotypical silhouette of a woman includes curves, typically a smaller waist and wide hips, you’d think more trouser manufacturers would factor that in to their design! I have huge problems with finding trousers that fit both my thighs and my hips, and usually end up with a huge swayback in the waistline, which has to be corrected by judicious belt use.
When prAna’s mantra pants arrived, I opened the package with trepidation — after all, my hit rate for finding trousers that fit is pretty low. But not only do they fit, they also look good and feel comfortable — a great option for travel days.
The loose fit means that even my thighs are happy, and the drawstring closure combined with a lightly elasticated waistband eliminates the swayback effect I’m so familiar with. The herringbone pattern gives the pants a jean-like look (when the waistband is covered) so I’m happy to wear them in casual situations. Plus, the pockets are deep enough to actually be useful, and they’re comfy enough to use for yoga or pilates.
Plus, the fabric used (hemp, polyester and spandex) apparently has natural odour-reducing features as well as being wrinkle-resistant, which I definitely appreciate when I’m travelling!
The one thing that I’d improve on would be to add a zip or button to the pockets to prevent my phone from falling out when I sit down, but apart from that, they’re great.
2. Sweater: prAna Mariana Sweater review
I tend to buy quite neutral colours when shopping for travel clothes — after all, everything has to go with everything else! The two sweaters I referred to earlier were a mid-blue and black, for example. Well, this time I decided to opt for a bit more colour in my life, and chose the Mariana Sweater in deep plum. And by “deep plum” they mean half dark purple and half bright pink.
It’s a heavier sweater than I usually carry, but still packs down nice and small. It looks great with all my trousers, which are shades of grey and black, and my mother-in-law complimented me on it — and she’s very fashion conscious! I think she sometimes despairs of my travel wardrobe, but she’s very impressed with this new jumper.
prAna — now part of my travel wardrobe
The biggest compliment I could pay to these clothes is to take them with me. They arrived while I was back home in New Zealand, and I tried them out for several weeks before it was time to take off again. And when we left, they both came with me. I travel with a carry-on sized bag only, so my travel wardrobe is very limited. But prAna’s now a part of it.
These items were provided free for review. Of course, all opinions are my own.