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Best Dresses for Travel?

I am traveling to Europe for the first time next May/June, and I would love to take a couple of dresses for warmer days. I've looked at several different stores and websites, but I'm having a hard time finding quality items that are comfortable, quick drying, multipurpose (can be worn for touring or dinner out) and will pack easily. Does anyone have some suggestions for brands and styles to try? What is your go-to dress for traveling? Thanks!

Posted by
9406 posts

I have purchased many summer sundresses from Travelsmith.com that were packable, washable, and versatile. Chico’s Travelers line may also suit you.

Posted by
11404 posts

I always take dresses - in fact mostly dresses . They are so easy - cool out , throw on a cardigan , warm out , perfect as I find dresses and skirts cooler than pants or capris .

I just buy anything I like that can be washed in a sink and hung to dry . I prefer patterned ones to solids as little marks don’t show as bad on them . I avoid white but usually bring one or two of going somewhere super hot like Greece Italy etc .
All washable .

Bonus points if they have pockets ( so rare )

Posted by
923 posts

I bought an Eva Varro (brand) knit dress at Dillards last year at 75% off and wore it to my class reunion, It packed great, light weight knit, no wrinkles and washed great. I felt that I could have wadded it up into a ball and it still would have looked good. I have an old "travel knit" dress that's super comfortable but I found that clothes sold as travel knits are heavy and take longer to dry. Now that I'm retired I seldom wear dresses, usually leggings and tunics for the little bit of traveling I do and often at home. The dresses I wear are longer to hide my old lady legs.

Posted by
63 posts

I second the suggestion for Title Nine - their dresses are great for travel. The only downside is shipping and returns are slow to process if you're on the east coast.

Posted by
439 posts

Wish I could get away with a dress. Kilt is just too bulky.

You might wish to peruse this site, although a bit dated, there are many valid recommendations for style, features, and brands.

https://herpackinglist.com/

There a dozens of travel-specific clothing makers for women. The thing my distaff acquaintances look for in dresses for travel: pockets, no belt, adjustable length (adjust waist up or down, sounds like magic to me), and easy care fabrics like polyesters, wools, and silk. Polyester and other synthetics will dry quickly if washing is necessary. Wool is warm but heavy and expensive. Silk is the lightest and thinnest fabric with high strength, warmth, and ease of care but high cost. So couple of lightweight adjustable length skirts with leggings and some sashes.
More:My sister purchased two pick pocket proof skirts from Clothing Arts but returned them because “they were stupid”. I did the same with their pick pocket proof nylon pants and shorts for men: good idea, lame execution. Shop carefully.

Posted by
70 posts

I purchased a Santorini Athleta dress with pockets from ThredUp--a site with second hand clothing, some with tags. I could wash it out and line dry overnight. It can be dressed up or down.

Posted by
3536 posts

Uniqlo had mid calf sleeveless solid dresses perfect for a lot. Add a shirt or sweater and the outfit goes anywhere. I chose gray and navy.

Posted by
244 posts

Another vote for Uniqlo (especially their built-in bra dresses), and I've also had good luck at REI. My other go-to with dresses would be Jockey slipshorts (I get the ones at Target) which honestly have changed my life wardrobe-wise. They're great for travel since they can be easily washed in the sink or shower and dry overnight.

Posted by
45 posts

I have a black elastic waist flare skirt that has traveled around the world. Polyester and just below knee length. All my shirts and sweaters go with the skirt. Have traveled with a denim skirt also. Have lots of dresses that would travel well but find a skirt makes more outfits while packing light. All my purchases are made with travel in mind.

Posted by
1168 posts

Dresses are comfortable and easy. Most light knits will do.

If you want a real workhorse I would suggest a 2 piece dress (top and skirt). Then you can wear the pieces with other clothing too.

One thing to remember - most women will need something anti-chafe under the dress. This is especially important on hot sweaty days. You could wear a pair of light bike shorts or skimmies.

Posted by
960 posts

Gap and Old Navy are my go to for travel clothes/clothes in general. Solid basic colors, cotton, basic design and not fussy. I like knit, easy to spot clean and super comfy. For May I would start looking around April, I know cutting it close but you can always look on Zappos and Amazon too. Also look on Pinterest "spring travel dresses".

Posted by
923 posts

Thanks Amy for the tip about Jockey Slip Shorts. Next shopping trip to Target, I will get a pair.

Posted by
141 posts

I suggest looking for dresses at Steinmart for travel. They have lightweight knits that wash easily, dry overnight and are very affordable. Usually prints and add a cardigan or shrug for arm coverage unless it is too hot! Often, the dresses can be paired with a pair of leggings (capri length). Otherwise, the slip shorts work great. Also, JJill has knit dresses that can work on a trip. I love the Wearever line at JJill for traveling.

Posted by
3315 posts

Chicos, Chicos, Chicos! Not to say that other places don't have good stuff, just personal preference.

Posted by
211 posts

In addition to others mentioned, Lands End.