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Women’s clothing recommendations for Southeast Asia (mainly Vietnam)

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  • Rei
    replied
    Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
    Did you travel with your GE S25? My backpack is a 45 litres pack and I suspect it’s actually way too big for this trip. It was fine for New Zealand/Australia, but then I had to pack for warm and cold weather and bring hiking gear.
    yes I did, with a (1-3L non TB)purse, for 1 month in SouthEast Asia, I did laundry my underwears and tops (cami and such) regulary, but I was fine (not carrying too much worths it)

    I did travel with a 40L (lovely) backpack for a month in Argentina 3 years ago (I did North and South in Argentina Spring), and it was too big (as I remember 1 short+1 skirt+some underwears+1 jacket too many, and many not useful stuff... big bag, many stuff)

    for record I am tiny and I don't care wearing the same pants/jacket trice in a row (and I am ok with laundrying in the faucet... ... and I didn't buy many souvenirs...).
    Last edited by Rei; 02-11-2020, 06:56 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • b1gsky
    replied
    Originally posted by Rei View Post
    my 2 cents
    I came back from Lao/Cambodia,
    linen was good (I just have a long sleeves shirt), open shoes for walking are a good idea, no need to bring to much but enough to handle changes between sweat and dirt, and easy to clean ones (multiple cheap ways to laundry there)
    BTW I brought around 4 tops 2 shirts 2 pants 2 dresses
    Did you travel with your GE S25? My backpack is a 45 litres pack and I suspect it’s actually way too big for this trip. It was fine for New Zealand/Australia, but then I had to pack for warm and cold weather and bring hiking gear.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rei
    replied
    my 2 cents
    I came back from Lao/Cambodia,
    linen was good (I just have a long sleeves shirt), open shoes for walking are a good idea, no need to bring to much but enough to handle changes between sweat and dirt, and easy to clean ones (multiple cheap ways to laundry there)
    BTW I brought around 4 tops 2 shirts 2 pants 2 dresses

    Leave a comment:


  • Ca1i
    replied
    Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
    Thanks! There’s no Exofficio available in Germany (besides on Amazon for ridiculous prices), I know because I looked them up because their underwear gets recommended so often. I’m slightly bigger, a size 38/40 in bottoms and 36/38 on top. But I think I prefer to have my clothing sorted before leaving in any case... I wear my Birkenstocks in our summer heat without a problem, but here it’s not as humid, obviously. No idea how my feet will cope with that. I’ll definitely pack some blister pads and socks! I think of definitely taking my Birks along, but I’d like to have a second pair that are fin getting wet.
    The problem with this thread is that now I want to go check out all the recommendations.

    There are outlets/overstock stores here that sell exofficio for steep discounts. My suggestion would be to try to find one top locally that doesn't hug your body....that way you can drip more discreetly. ;-) If you are used to 'barefoot" or flat sandals, xero shoes make some very lightweight, water-friendly ones. There might be something similar in Germany. If you prefer more comfort and aren't as much of a weight freak as I am, then I'll add my vote for Teva. I love them too.

    Have a great trip. SE Asia has been one of my very favorite places to visit.

    Leave a comment:


  • b1gsky
    replied
    Originally posted by Cristina View Post
    I love my Teva Tirra water sandals for the summer. They’re so comfortable in my wider feet and I can walk several miles a day in them.

    I love linen so much for modest summer clothes. I usually buy my linen items from Etsy, and I usually look for sellers in Lithuania because there is an enormous linen industry/tradition there. You can filter items by where the seller is.

    Here is a shawl I have an eye on myself:
    https://etsy.me/3aqSGXG

    I also like the shop LinenWorld, here is one of their scarves:
    https://etsy.me/2UNkjVF

    Here is a wrap skirt I have my eye on:
    https://etsy.me/2o1Kf1q

    I want to try Uniqlo airism for tops that won’t be sweaty, but I haven’t taken the chance yet. There isn’t a store near me but they do offer free returns.
    That’s another recommendation for the Teva sandals - I’ll definitely give them a try if I can find them in a store. And thank you very much for the links and recommendations for the linen items! You just sent me down an Etsy rabbit hole. I think I’ll definitely give some of these a try and see if I can’t find a nice pair of pants or a short sleeved shirt. And some of the scarves are lovely too, of course.

    Leave a comment:


  • b1gsky
    replied
    Originally posted by UpToNoGood View Post
    This is such a great thread! It synthesizes so much of what I love about the TB community - a love of seeing the world and a sustainable lifestyle. Having spent some time in SE Asia at different seasons, you are dead on with looking for natural fabrics, and merino wool will never let you down. Years ago we had a great company in the U.S. called Ibex, and they made some great merino tanks and tees. They've unfortunately folded. Icebreaker has a lot of options, but they're very expensive, tend to be cut very form-fitting, and in my opinion, aren't made as well as they used to be. If you are near an REI, they are starting to offer their own merino line, and so far I'm impressed with it.
    Whatever merino tops you wear, I recommend getting several single-use packets of Woolite for hand-washing your clothing during your trip. You'll actually have enough in one packet to share with your friend.

    Additionally, in terms of merino underwear, I will recommend Icebreaker for that - at least their siren style. You can also put inserts in the siren bra to provide more modesty.

    In terms of linen, a few years ago someone on here introduced me to the brand Elizabeth Suzann. https://elizabethsuzann.com/ Her philosophy is sustainable, slow fashion. Her team doesn't start making the item until you order it; expect 2-3 weeks for it to arrive, if you live in the U.S. I have a pair of her Clyde Culottes in linen and I just about lived in them last summer (humid Eastern seaboard summer). They will relax a bit with wear, but they are well-made and worth it. I also have a couple of her Georgia tees and Georgia midi dresses and wear them frequently; I like to wear the midi as a tunic over leggings. I'm not much for dresses and skirts, but she has several styles of those in linen, silk, and cotton canvas.

    Shoes: Like others have said, the Mephisto Helens are great. Comfortable, stylish, and totally worth the money. It will rain lots. Wet feet are horrible. Wet feet in wet shoes are even more horrible. So, even though you'll be wearing sandals, make sure to bring a pair of wool socks to warm up your toes once you get back to your hotel room, because the A/C will make you freeze. (I wear Smartwool toe socks with my sandals to stay warm whenever I wear sandals on a plane - which is usually only when I go to Asia.)

    I have yet to try Luna sandals - https://lunasandals.com/ - but I've been looking into those. Allegedly, they're also good for running, assuming you've already prepped your body for barefoot-esque running instead of in cushioned shoes.

    Shawl - at least one. A good wool shawl should be relatively easy to find - LikeMary, on Amazon, sells some lovely and well-made ones. Be mindful that they are quite large and made of somewhat heavy weight wool, so they will not pack down like some others will. NxN makes a square merino handkerchief that is much smaller, but keeps you warm and packs well. I've used it as a scarf around my neck or over my shoulders, and as a small blanket for my daughter when she's cold during trips. https://www.northxnorth.co/shop/meri...-handkerchiefs

    I'm so excited that you and your friend are taking this journey together. Safe travels and much joy!
    Thank you very much. My friend is not exactly a minimal traveler, no idea how much she is going to take... Hopefully not too many things. Maybe I can motivate her to pack a little less.

    No REI around here. I have a few Icebreaker items, but you’re right that the quality isn’t what it once was. But I’m still not sure I want to wear Merino Wool in any case, but if I do then I’m fairly good with what I already have.

    I have thought about hemming two patterned cotton voile tops I have shorter so that they look better with the Macabi skirt. Unfortunately they are sleeveless, but maybe I could mock up some sleeves with the fabric I’m taking off at the hem! I’m not wearing them as they are in any case.

    The Mephisto Helens seem to be a variant of my Birks, which are comfortable sandals for sure (I have the Rio sandals). Just not the best for rainy weather... The Luna sandals look more suited for getting wet. But I can’t stand to have something between my toes, I definitely need regular sandals. But there’s still time. If I wait until spring I can have a look in our local stores to see what’s available and try them on directly.

    Agree on taking a shawl along, I’ll definitely do that. I think that’s going to be one of the last items I’m going to buy, when the rest of my clothing has been decided on, that way I can go with a color that works with everything.

    Leave a comment:


  • b1gsky
    replied
    Originally posted by Ca1i View Post
    This probably won't help you since this isn't a natural fabric option...nor a stylish one. I went to se Asia on a 6 week trip and the one top that worked well was the exofficio Dryflylite. I was bringing *only* the tri-star and was super weight conscious. The top worked because it floated away from the body, dried almost immediately and could be washed in the sink. That said, after I returned I have never worn them again. I was dying for something natural by the end of the trip.

    If you are really small you can find lovely things locally (linen) but if you are over a size 4-6 (us sizing) you'll be hard pressed to find anything unless it is made for foreigners.

    If you are not used to wearing sandals bring some socks and/or blister pads. I wear sandals all the time but not in a hot humid climate. After my first day tromping around I'd made a mess of my feet and had to go try to find bandaids. Socks were actually my answer. So not cute
    Thanks! There’s no Exofficio available in Germany (besides on Amazon for ridiculous prices), I know because I looked them up because their underwear gets recommended so often. I’m slightly bigger, a size 38/40 in bottoms and 36/38 on top. But I think I prefer to have my clothing sorted before leaving in any case... I wear my Birkenstocks in our summer heat without a problem, but here it’s not as humid, obviously. No idea how my feet will cope with that. I’ll definitely pack some blister pads and socks! I think of definitely taking my Birks along, but I’d like to have a second pair that are fine getting wet.
    Last edited by b1gsky; 02-09-2020, 08:55 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cristina
    replied
    I love my Teva Tirra water sandals for the summer. They’re so comfortable in my wider feet and I can walk several miles a day in them.

    I love linen so much for modest summer clothes. I usually buy my linen items from Etsy, and I usually look for sellers in Lithuania because there is an enormous linen industry/tradition there. You can filter items by where the seller is.

    Here is a shawl I have an eye on myself:
    https://etsy.me/3aqSGXG

    I also like the shop LinenWorld, here is one of their scarves:
    https://etsy.me/2UNkjVF

    Here is a wrap skirt I have my eye on:
    https://etsy.me/2o1Kf1q

    I want to try Uniqlo airism for tops that won’t be sweaty, but I haven’t taken the chance yet. There isn’t a store near me but they do offer free returns.



    Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
    I’ve never travelled to Asia before and I have no experience with a (sub-) tropical climate. I usually do well with minimal packing, but I suspect I need some new clothes for this experience. We plan to travel in July/August next year, which will be hot and wet. Unfortunately it has to be around that time, because my travel buddy and best friend is a primary school teacher and the only time she can go on an extended trip is during the German summer holidays. I know there’s still a lot of time, but I plan to start looking early because I prefer to a) not break the bank, b) have clothes that are as responsibly made as possible and c) want items I can also make use of at home.

    I looked around a bit on the internet and on YouTube, but that wasn’t all that helpful because the women mostly pack short shorts and strappy tops and mini dresses and I already know that this isn’t appropriate dress for the destination. We don’t plan to go to a yoga retreat or on a beach holiday, we want to see something of the place and the culture. My travel guide recommends covering the shoulders (which means short sleeves, right?) and most of the legs. Is it fine when I wear tea length skirts that cover my knees? I’m not a fan of maxi length skirts and dresses on myself.

    And which kind of fabrics are best? I dislike synthetics and usually prefer to wear wool, cotton, hemp, linen or silk. I guess the merino wool is too hot, but what about cotton? I’ve read some mentions that cotton was too warm and too difficult to dry. Is that also true for breezy woven cotton fabric?

    And what kind of shoes would you recommend? My usual warm weather travel shoes are Birkenstock sandals, but those are not good in wet weather. I know that a lot of people just wear flip flops, but I cannot wear them (the only pair I ever had was for showering). Are leather sandals a problem in that kind of weather? If no then I would prefer them to plastic shoes... I have wide feet, so shoe shopping is always a problem for me and it’s important to start looking early.

    I also have a travel skirt question - I remember reading a thread a while ago about those Macabi skirts. Would that skirt work for these kinds of temperatures or would it be too hot? I’ve read that it’s quick drying, at least. I think the skirt looks quite awkward in the product pictures, but I can imagine it looking better sitting a bit higher in the waist and being some kind of midi length.

    If you are from Southeast Asia or have travelled there before I would be grateful for advice. Thank you!
    Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
    I’ve just bought a Prana Cozey Up T in the end of season sale, good tip. It feels very light and breezy, but it’s not too thin - it’s a good fit together with my wide leg pants. I’ve also kept the woven linen blouse I ordered, but the pants didn’t work out. Haven’t found new sandals yet.

    I’m going to go to Athens for a week at the end of February and I think I will try to carry my MCB as a day bag for this trip and see how I like it and how it works out with my camera.

    Leave a comment:


  • UpToNoGood
    replied
    This is such a great thread! It synthesizes so much of what I love about the TB community - a love of seeing the world and a sustainable lifestyle. Having spent some time in SE Asia at different seasons, you are dead on with looking for natural fabrics, and merino wool will never let you down. Years ago we had a great company in the U.S. called Ibex, and they made some great merino tanks and tees. They've unfortunately folded. Icebreaker has a lot of options, but they're very expensive, tend to be cut very form-fitting, and in my opinion, aren't made as well as they used to be. If you are near an REI, they are starting to offer their own merino line, and so far I'm impressed with it.
    Whatever merino tops you wear, I recommend getting several single-use packets of Woolite for hand-washing your clothing during your trip. You'll actually have enough in one packet to share with your friend.

    Additionally, in terms of merino underwear, I will recommend Icebreaker for that - at least their siren style. You can also put inserts in the siren bra to provide more modesty.

    In terms of linen, a few years ago someone on here introduced me to the brand Elizabeth Suzann. https://elizabethsuzann.com/ Her philosophy is sustainable, slow fashion. Her team doesn't start making the item until you order it; expect 2-3 weeks for it to arrive, if you live in the U.S. I have a pair of her Clyde Culottes in linen and I just about lived in them last summer (humid Eastern seaboard summer). They will relax a bit with wear, but they are well-made and worth it. I also have a couple of her Georgia tees and Georgia midi dresses and wear them frequently; I like to wear the midi as a tunic over leggings. I'm not much for dresses and skirts, but she has several styles of those in linen, silk, and cotton canvas.

    Shoes: Like others have said, the Mephisto Helens are great. Comfortable, stylish, and totally worth the money. It will rain lots. Wet feet are horrible. Wet feet in wet shoes are even more horrible. So, even though you'll be wearing sandals, make sure to bring a pair of wool socks to warm up your toes once you get back to your hotel room, because the A/C will make you freeze. (I wear Smartwool toe socks with my sandals to stay warm whenever I wear sandals on a plane - which is usually only when I go to Asia.)

    I have yet to try Luna sandals - https://lunasandals.com/ - but I've been looking into those. Allegedly, they're also good for running, assuming you've already prepped your body for barefoot-esque running instead of in cushioned shoes.

    Shawl - at least one. A good wool shawl should be relatively easy to find - LikeMary, on Amazon, sells some lovely and well-made ones. Be mindful that they are quite large and made of somewhat heavy weight wool, so they will not pack down like some others will. NxN makes a square merino handkerchief that is much smaller, but keeps you warm and packs well. I've used it as a scarf around my neck or over my shoulders, and as a small blanket for my daughter when she's cold during trips. https://www.northxnorth.co/shop/meri...-handkerchiefs

    I'm so excited that you and your friend are taking this journey together. Safe travels and much joy!

    Leave a comment:


  • Ca1i
    replied
    This probably won't help you since this isn't a natural fabric option...nor a stylish one. I went to se Asia on a 6 week trip and the one top that worked well was the exofficio Dryflylite. I was bringing *only* the tri-star and was super weight conscious. The top worked because it floated away from the body, dried almost immediately and could be washed in the sink. That said, after I returned I have never worn them again. I was dying for something natural by the end of the trip.

    If you are really small you can find lovely things locally (linen) but if you are over a size 4-6 (us sizing) you'll be hard pressed to find anything unless it is made for foreigners.

    If you are not used to wearing sandals bring some socks and/or blister pads. I wear sandals all the time but not in a hot humid climate. After my first day tromping around I'd made a mess of my feet and had to go try to find bandaids. Socks were actually my answer. So not cute
    Last edited by Ca1i; 02-06-2020, 07:30 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • b1gsky
    replied
    I’ve just bought a Prana Cozey Up T in the end of season sale, good tip. It feels very light and breezy, but it’s not too thin - it’s a good fit together with my wide leg pants. I’ve also kept the woven linen blouse I ordered, but the pants didn’t work out. Haven’t found new sandals yet.

    I’m going to go to Athens for a week at the end of February and I think I will try to carry my MCB as a day bag for this trip and see how I like it and how it works out with my camera.

    Leave a comment:


  • AlaskaGirl
    replied
    Originally posted by kathryn View Post
    Uniqlo is super seasonal in their offerings--if you want to snag some merino or cashmere sweaters, do it soon. Once the spring/summer items come in, the winter ones disappear for the most part.
    Greetings,
    After seeing so many recommendations for Uniqlo products here over the past few years, I decided to check out the merino wool shirts.

    THANK YOU so much for the suggestion! The regular prices are very nice, but the sale prices are incredible. I'm amazed at how many colors they offer compared to other merino wool suppliers. I signed up for their email, too.

    I appreciate the suggestion. Thank you again! elisa

    Leave a comment:


  • kathryn
    replied
    Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
    What kind of trousers did you order?
    They’re the Wyldcat pants from 5.11 tactical. Basically skinny cut with a ton of pockets and zips at the ankles so you can wear them inside or over boots.

    I’m not at all into tactical gear or weapons, so I really can’t remember how I stumbled across them... weird Google rabbit hole, maybe, or a rec from r/HerOneBag on reddit? In any case, I figure the magazine pockets will work just as well for other stuff I want to carry.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • b1gsky
    replied
    Originally posted by Duggy'sMom View Post
    Sadly the tshirts are not always in stock at Uniqlo. They seem to come in every two years.

    [...]

    for what it’s worth my feet are extremely wide size 5 and my daughter has narrow feet. We can both use the tirra sandal because every strap is adjustable.

    Good luck!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks! I’ll definitely give the sandals a try again if I see them in store. Also thanks for the screenshot - so it’s a cotton rayon blend? If I see them around this spring I’ll give them a try.

    Originally posted by kathryn View Post
    Uniqlo is super seasonal in their offerings--if you want to snag some merino or cashmere sweaters, do it soon. Once the spring/summer items come in, the winter ones disappear for the most part. It may be that in stores items are available on a more year-round basis, but there isn't one near me.

    Unrelated: I have a new pair of technical trousers on the way, that I ordered over xmas. I will post a review here when they come!
    Thanks - I just had a look because I moved recently, but we do have a store here. Not sure how big it’s going to be, but I’ll have a look when I’m in the city next. What kind of trousers did you order?

    Leave a comment:


  • kathryn
    replied
    Originally posted by b1gsky View Post
    Are these shirts available regularly at Uniqlo? I’ll have a look next spring if I see them.
    Uniqlo is super seasonal in their offerings--if you want to snag some merino or cashmere sweaters, do it soon. Once the spring/summer items come in, the winter ones disappear for the most part. It may be that in stores items are available on a more year-round basis, but there isn't one near me.

    Unrelated: I have a new pair of technical trousers on the way, that I ordered over xmas. I will post a review here when they come!

    Leave a comment:

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