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  1. #31
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Iíve just bought a Prana Cozey Up T in the end of season sale, good tip. It feels very light and breezy, but itís not too thin - itís a good fit together with my wide leg pants. Iíve also kept the woven linen blouse I ordered, but the pants didnít work out. Havenít found new sandals yet.

    Iím 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.

  2. #32
    Forum Member Ca1i's Avatar
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    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 cuteSmirk
    Last edited by Ca1i; 02-06-2020 at 07:30 PM.

  3. #33
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    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!

  4. #34
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    I love my Teva Tirra water sandals for the summer. Theyíre 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 wonít be sweaty, but I havenít taken the chance yet. There isnít a store near me but they do offer free returns.



    Quote Originally Posted by b1gsky View Post
    Iíve 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 thereís 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 wasnít all that helpful because the women mostly pack short shorts and strappy tops and mini dresses and I already know that this isnít appropriate dress for the destination. We donít 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? Iím 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? Iíve 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 itís 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? Iíve read that itís 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!
    Quote Originally Posted by b1gsky View Post
    Iíve just bought a Prana Cozey Up T in the end of season sale, good tip. It feels very light and breezy, but itís not too thin - itís a good fit together with my wide leg pants. Iíve also kept the woven linen blouse I ordered, but the pants didnít work out. Havenít found new sandals yet.

    Iím 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.

  5. #35
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote 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 cuteSmirk
    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 at 08:55 AM.

  6. #36
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote 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. Smilie 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.

  7. #37
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    I love my Teva Tirra water sandals for the summer. Theyíre 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 wonít be sweaty, but I havenít taken the chance yet. There isnít a store near me but they do offer free returns.
    Thatís another recommendation for the Teva sandals - Iíll 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.Wink I think Iíll definitely give some of these a try and see if I canít find a nice pair of pants or a short sleeved shirt. And some of the scarves are lovely too, of course.

  8. #38
    Forum Member Ca1i's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1gsky View Post
    Thanks! Thereís 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. Iím 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 itís not as humid, obviously. No idea how my feet will cope with that. Iíll definitely pack some blister pads and socks! I think of definitely taking my Birks along, but Iíd 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.

  9. #39
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    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
    just a Bihnion here

  10. #40
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  11. #41
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    Quote 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 at 06:56 AM.
    just a Bihnion here

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