I've always wondered: Why can't someone take performance-wear fabric and turn it into clothes that look appropriate for first-class, the office, or just respectable casual wear for traveling? Turns out, someone has.
Through extensive testing (read: trying on a lot of different outfits), I've found some great clothes that can be worn just about anywhere—without sacrificing comfort. Bonus: They're all made from anti-wrinkle and anti-odor fabrics.
You might not be a pro athlete, but you can dress like one on your next trip with clothing from Lawrence Hunt. This "professional performance" brand uses the same technologies as uniform producers, making dress shirts (for men and women) that will never show sweat.
That's thanks to the patent-pending anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking, and breathable performance fabric used in the underarm area. (It looks like the rest of the shirt, so you'd never notice the difference.) The rest of the shirt is made from 100 percent cotton that never needs to be ironed and is stretchy enough that you won't feel restricted.
Just because the weather's cold doesn't mean you have to stop wearing skirts. Skirts and thermal tights can be much warmer than thin denim, especially when you're wearing a skirt from Skhoop. This Swedish company knows how to insulate you from winter temperatures using natural materials like wool that are known for their warming properties.
The Wool Mini Skirt is a wraparound style so that you can step in to it easily. The wool keeps you warm and doesn't wrinkle, and best of all—it has a zip pocket to stash your valuables.
Whether you're taking a bike tour around Europe, commuting to work, or just want to move freely on a plane, Outlier has the outfit for you. The company started by designing clothes for bike commuters, but have since expanded into comfortable clothing for all situations. Their motto: "Clothing should be liberating. What you put on in the morning should never restrict what you do with your day." Every piece is designed to handle anything you can throw at it.
The Slim Dungarees are ideal for wet weather—they will resist light rain and dry quickly after getting soaked. The Workcloth Doubleweave Canvas fabric is self-cleaning and can repel spills and dirt. Pair the dungarees with the Ultrafine Merino T-shirt, which is UV resistant, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant, and the No Pocket Pivot Button-up, which is made from a hefty merino twill fabric that will never wrinkle and can be machine washed.
QOR clothing is designed to help you be more active and fit more activity into your day. That means that it will perform equally well on your plane ride, in the office, or on a hike. The Performance Suiting Pants live up to the name—they look good enough to wear to a nice dinner or important meeting, but they're perfect for biking or walking around a city thanks to the hidden nighttime reflectors.
Basically, they're hiking pants—they repel stains, sweat, and water; and they're breathable, comfortable, and quick-drying—that look like dress pants (straight fit legs, normal-looking fabric).
I'm pretty sure these thermal leggings from Heat Holders are going to become a daily part of my wardrobe this winter. They look like normal leggings, but use a thermal yarn to hold in heat and insulate you from the cold. Men can wear the same technology via the thermal pants, which look like regular slacks but feel like long johns.
Nau is a sustainable clothing company, which means that their pieces are ethically sourced and manufactured. They use natural fibers like wool and organic cotton, and design the clothes to last as long as possible.
Their Elementerry Boat Dress is made from a French terry/organic cotton/TENCEL/spandex blend, which results in an easy-to-wash, breathable, wrinkle-free travel dress (with pockets!).
For men, the Parallelogram Shirt uses an organic cotton/wool blend that will never wrinkle or need dry cleaning.
Mountain Khaki clothes are made to withstand the rigors of the mountain lifestyle without sacrificing style. Everything is made to be easy to care for, like the Passport EC shirt, which is a dress shirt with travel-friendly features like a hidden zippered security pocket, UPF 30+ protection, and quick-drying fabric.
The clothes are meant to enhance any activity you're doing—like the Camber Commuter Pants, which are designed for biking with a slim leg, reflective tape inside the hem (just roll it up for night riding), and reinforced pocket bags.
Eddie Bauer Travex
You've probably heard of Eddie Bauer, but did you know about their Travex line, which is performance apparel made for hiking and travel? It's my go-to stop anytime I need something for an active trip. The travel blazer is a much classier replacement for your sweatshirt—it's just as comfortable and looks way better. Pair it with the super stretchy Ponte Hasten 5-Pocket Pants and you'll have the perfect plane-to-meeting outfit.
Guys can wear the On The Go Poplin Shirt "from the tarmac to trail" thanks to its cotton/polyester fabric, which has a wrinkle-resistant finish and FreeDry moisture-wicking. The shirt has a hidden interior chest pocket for your passport or other valuables, and it's super lightweight and easy to pack.
Outdoor Research's clothes are so tough that they come with an "Infinite Guarantee"—so you get it replaced if it fails you in any way (forever). I like the Bryn Dress, which is quick-drying, wicking, breathable, and moves with you rather than restricting. It's a scoop neck, but still modest enough for most destinations. The Gastown shirt is a great option for men, as it's also moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and breathable.
Duluth Trading also has a great guarantee—specifically, the "No Bull Guarantee" that lets you return an item at any time for any reason for a full refund.
I refuse to spend any time ironing while traveling, so I appreciate the serious resistance to wrinkling that you'll find in a lot of their clothing. The 100 percent cotton Wrinkle Fighter Long Sleeve Shirt really does avoid looking crumpled, and it has great wicking capabilities to prevent sweat.
The NoGa Active Dress is equally resilient against wrinkling, plus its thick Supplex nylon/Lycra spandex blend is super flattering. I also love that this dress doesn't have any side seams, which prevents chafing on hot days or just general irritation. The hidden zippered pocket seals the deal.
Ibex Outdoor Clothing
Wool sometimes gets a bad rap for being itchy or heavy, but Ibex uses a small gauge micron Merino Wool fabric that's soft and easy to wear. The Arranmore Sweater Dress is the warmest dress I've ever worn, so it's great for long flights or cold-weather tours. Merino Wool is naturally anti-odor and UV protective, which is why it's such a great travel fabric. The Champlain shirt offers excellent warmth in a more lightweight wool.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Stylish Shoes You Can Wear Without Socks
- 7 Slip-on Shoes for Speeding Through Security
- Foldable and Collapsible Shoes Perfect for Your Carry-On
Read the original story: 11 Performance-Wear Outfits You'll Actually Want to Wear While Traveling by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.