Just wondering, what do you take on your trips for when you need to 'dress up'? Basically, at home, we like going to nice cocktail bars and nightclubs and hope to do this when we're away. We're also going to be meeting some friends of ours in Hong Kong who are 'society girls' and no doubt we will be taken to some rather flash venues with them. Obviously, we don't want to look out of place.
Just curious to see how other backpackers get around, or deal with, the 'packing light but needing a variety of clothes for a variety of reasons' situation.
#1 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162
If you're trying to travel light, I would suggest bringing one 'nice' set of clothes for when needed, or just buying some when you're over there and you need them. Almost any hotel/guesthouse in SE Asia offers laundery and ironing services for a relatively low cost, so there's really no need to pack enough clothes even for one full week. Just bring a few of your favorite articles of clothing, nothing more. Clothes - including nice ones - are so cheap in SE Asia, so you can always pick up whatever you may need as you go.
"SE Asia offers laundery and ironing services for a relatively low cost, so there's really no need to pack enough clothes even for one full week."
While this is true, I have unfortunately encountered many in the backpacker set who seem to embrace the latter aspect but forego the former. Hence their "grunge" look is more than just a look. Most SE Asians aren't too fond of our natural body odor (and I don't mean BO, I just mean normal scent that all humans have) and this distaste is made MCUH worse if you are truly funky.
I have obviously acclimated to the environment here, and I go through two shirts and two pair of underwear daily. You're going to sweat here unless it's winter. I went to Bangkok on Thursday and came back home on Sunday morning (night bus) and went through six shirts and three pairs of pants.
#3 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
You're female, right? Guys' dress up clothes take up so much more space...
I pack a black skirt and bar-style tank top (can also work with jeans or black capris) then just dress it up with earrings, bracelets, etc. Honestly, I just wear my Birkenstocks with my "going out" attire, but you could pick up a pair of heels in HK - makes a good souvenir, too! :)
I'm a guy. Gay, but not a drag queen so tank tops, capris, earings, bracelets and heels aren't really my thing... If you get my drift? ;o)
Packing is going to be tricky... I don't want to leave my nice stuff at home!
#5 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162
Forgot skirts on my list of not my things lol
#6 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162
Sorry, I assumed Ash = Ashley :)
Hmm... you can't go wrong with nice jeans and a black tshirt, can you? Keep it simple and make your dress-up clothes stuff that you can still throw into your normal rotation.
Ash does = Ashley hahaha
the shoes are the bit that are annoying me...... our nice leather shoes are useless for anything other than going out/looking nice
#8 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162
You strike me as someone a bit more GQ than the rest of the crowd here (myself excluded). Take a nice dress shirt, nice pair of slacks with a decent pair of dress shoes. How much space is that really going to take up in your pack anyway?
I would rather carry more and be suave than carry less and look like I just got off the baht bus downtown. At least when going some place respectable.
#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
cool thanks for the replies guys!
madmac - have heard that before (always at funerals ??? ) so guess you're right! i've been to thailand a few times and (a) wouldn't be caught dead in fake 'labled' clothes and (b) get really frustrated by the markets selling fake stuff - basically if you can't afford the real stuff don't buy it and if you buy fake, everyone will know its fake because it (a) looks fake and (b) you probably don't pull it off anyway. sorry... getting off my soapbox.
its just the shoes that are irritating me. I wear leather shoes alot with my jeans/pants (kind of like casual/vintage brogues I guess) even just casually so will probably be taking a pair of these... i'll probably live in flip flops (and sneakers) the rest of the time. don't want to take any serious walking shoes as we're not doing hard core 'treking' - will favor a good pair of trainers.
suckfull thing about our trip is that it is a 15 week detour enroute to doing our kiwi 'OE' in london so we're actually moving overseas so deciding what we want with us in London when we get there whilst being smart about what we put in a backpack is going to be a nightmare! yes we can ship stuff, but we'll need it when we get there. and i dont think our finances will be in a position to be purchasing a new wardrobe. *sigh*
#11 smash has been a member since 21/6/2009. Posts: 162
Here late as I don't normally look at the gear site.
If HK is the only venue where dress-ups is anticipated, you may like to think about taking the 'stuff' and posting home/UK from there.
I wouldn't necessarily be thinking of buying from HK, it's not that inexpensive for fashion.
Also, travellers often find innovative ways to address dress. Instead of jeans, think outside the square. For example, maybe lightweight tailored linen look polyester pants that can be rolled up and only need a quick iron. I'm not saying such an item is what you'd necessarily wear, but is an example of thinking outside the square. Similarly, well chosen fashion sneakers can be readily packed away, and may be an option (try here.
Remember, western fashion isn't necessarily big in Asia. For some of the most innovative fashion design statements, go look at Japanese or Malaysian culture.
Smash wants GQ, not "I'm a backpacking bum" version of GQ. It won't kill him to pack a pair of slacks and a dress shirt and shoes. He's not planning on moving down the Ho Chi Minh trail with a 75 pound ruck loaded down with rice and ammo. The extra weight and bulk shouldn't bother him.
#14 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957