Update: Tilley Endurables no longer sells travel dresses. I hope this post inspires you to check out other wonderful products they make!
Last week TurnipSeed Travel was thrilled to announce a partnership with Tilley Endurables, to outfit us on our Around the World adventure this fall.
For a sneak peak of some of the clothing going in our carry on only bags for the trip we will be reviewing an article or two every week or so until we depart. Last week we reviewed our Tilley Hats. Today, TST is going to show you the one go item that every lady needs in her closet: The little black dress - Tilley Style!
The perfect little black travel dress is a holy grail of packing! You want a classic style that doesn’t look too boring, enough coverage to be modest without appearing mumsy and dull.
Ideally, it can be dressed down enough to use every day without feeling out of place, while nice enough to dress up and slip into the opera, theatre, or Michelin starred restaurant without a second thought. Complicating matters, it has to be wrinkle free and tough enough to survive. Fortunately, my Tilley Travel dress passes all these tests with flying colors!
The slight cap sleeves and hint of a cowl neck give it a pretty shape that is flattering to all figures and gives some visual interest to the top of the dress. The fabric is ultra-light, feels breezy, and doesn’t cling to any unflattering body bumps. It weighs less than most shirts I own, easily passes the hand wash/overnight dry test, and resisted wrinkling after 4 days of being battered at the bottom of my pack during our recent camping trip. I threw it on as a beach cover up and, even with the black fabric, it was light and airy.
I would pair this with leggings for a day of prowling Parisian streets and, with a cardigan or jacket, it’s long enough to visit Istanbul’s Blue Mosque with appropriate modesty. With just a pair of dangly earrings it’s dressy enough to visit the Sydney Opera House and you could even pair it with a pashmina and jeans, scrunching it up with a belt to make a tunic top for the perfect airplane outfit.
If your travels require frequent dressy outfits, it would make sense to have this dress both in black and taupe for even greater versatility. My traveling girlfriends have all expressed an interest in having a version made in plum – perhaps we can appeal to the Tilley design team for future colors!
Bonus Review - My Life as an Underwear Model!
Isn’t underwear just… underwear? Well, yes and no!
Tilley Endurables Coolmax Extreme Briefs are soft, comfortable, and modesty-ensuring like any other pair of undies. The difference is in the material. The Coolmax material is similar to that used in sports shirts and is breathable, wicking, quick drying, and non-chafing. If you are on a 15 hour flight or a 26 hour bus ride, you will want undies that keep you warm or cool when you want it.
What is it like to wear them? They are extremely comfortable and I didn't even think about them after wearing them for first 5 minutes (which is exactly what you want in underwear!) They performed well during intense periods of sports and activities, such as setting up the tent and weeding the garden in the middle of the day. They never bunched up or twisted as I worked around the campsite and they dried in just a few hours after an easy hand wash in the sink.
My very minor complaint is that the edges of the underwear has traditional, sewn seams along the waist and leg openings and, if you were wearing lightweight dresses or shorts, underwear lines might be visible. I would love to see a boy short version with flat seams and maybe with some more colors. Perhaps Tilley could make some with cute travel prints, like mini hats, suitcases, or luggage tags!
And, while I might just want to bring along a few extras, I think there’s something to Tilley’s claim that you could travel happily with just two pairs!
As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged. Would you try "travel" underwear? Do you have any special criteria when selecting your travel undies?
If you enjoyed this article, you'll also like:
Tilley and TST - A New Partnership
Anywhere in the World With Carry-on: My Packing List
I Never Travel Without My Three Favorite Things
15/8/2013 04:30:35 am
I have 2 pairs of the underwear also and although I love them - I do agree that you have to watch what you wear them with because you do end up with panty lines.
15/8/2013 06:27:37 am
I think you could also do the dress with slim leggings (belted as a tunic or just worn normally) for areas where you want more coverage or a bit of extra warmth. I love the idea of having a dress with me when I travel, but I also need it to be flexible enough that it can be worn different ways - so far, this dress fits the bill!
15/8/2013 12:25:02 pm
I have used Tilley clothes, hats, belts and more for many years. The travel underwear are great, I have used them on travels around the world. I would take fewer than I did last time (I might take 3, just because) and 2 pairs of travel socks, my classic trouses (the men's pants since we can't get the women's in that fabric anymore), my camp shirts (2) and my Tilleysilk long skirt and top. Throw in a couple scarves, a light cover up and sandals and I'm set! And always, my T3...
15/8/2013 01:03:54 pm
Go Donna Go!!! What a perfect packing list. I'm going to be copying you on my next trip. As a side note: I spent 5 hours walking this weekend in my non-Tilley socks (blame husband for stealing them!) and I got HORRIBLE blisters!! I am the unfortunate walking (hmmm.... limping) poster child for what happens when you leave your travel socks at home.
16/8/2013 03:24:34 pm
Vanessa, have never had blisters in my Tilley socks, and I blister in almost every shoe without them. I love the fact that all the Tilleys I have are swish in sink and hang dry in just a few hours overnight...and look virtually pressed!
Thanks for reviewing this item. I was going back and forth on adding it to my travel wardrobe. wondering if it would become that "extra" item that, while nice to have, is not really essential. But being able to use it as a li'l black dress, a tunic, a bathing suit cover-up, and a nightgown; I think it would absolutely earn it's keep in my travel hoard!
16/8/2013 08:25:16 am
Thanks Angie! I can attest to it being a good coverup. I brought it with me while camping (in part to see if it would be wrinkle resistant after being in the bottom of my bag!) and I ended up wearing it on the beach and it was nice and light. I then used it as my outfit to wear pre and post campground shower and it was perfect - it was easy to toss on when I was still damp post shower (no tight waist band, no cotton being saturated by the moisture in the shower room) and it was great to just keep track of one piece of clothing and not worry about putting on pants and still keeping them dry and off the wet floor. I'm sure Tilley didn't imagine these situations when they designed the dress but I'm happy that it works!
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