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20 Clothing Tips and Packing Secrets ...

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COLUMBIA IN THE SUMMER TIME - I was in Colombia in June and July. The weather in Bogotá was quite cool, about 10-18°C during the day, and sometimes drizzling. I would suggest wearing layers, with a rain jacket as the outer layer. On the other hand, I also spent time in the provinces of Caquetá and Huila, where it was warm enough to wear shorts or a skirt and a T-shirt during the day. Average temperatures about 25°C during the day, cooling at night. Wear sunscreen and take bug repellent. At night I slept under a mosquito net. Medellín has similar temperatures, 25°C during the day. It is a modern city and I found that fashion was ahead of us in Vancouver. Both Bogotá and Medellín close their main thoroughfares to traffic on Sunday so take running or cycling gear and mingle with the locals. I did lots of walking so running shoes and sturdy sandals were my preferred foot ware. The coastal city of Cartagena is very hot and muggy, even in the winter months of June through September. Cottons and linen are what to wear to look stylish, although many of the synthetic fibers allow you to wash clothes out in the sink and they dry very quickly (Sherry, Vancouver, Canada)

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ON THE WAY HOME - Pack your clean clothes at the bottom of your suitcase. Add a layer of tissue paper or plastic and then put your dirty clothes on the top. When you get home there is no sorting. The top layer goes directly into the laundry (Micheline, Phoenix, USA)

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NO SHORT SKIRTS IN CHILE - The women of Chile wear unrevealing clothing, i.e., no short skirts or plunging necklines. In Santiago, near city-center, professionally dressed women are plentiful. Young women dress more casually, some with denim pants, but I saw none in shorts even though some days were very hot. This held true for the smaller cities and towns as well. The only exception was in Patagonia where there were fewer dresses and skirts but still nicely turned out women in pants, slacks or denims. (Cheryl, San Francisco, USA)

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NO SHORTS IN RURAL TURKEY - Here's a lesson for all of us. Avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops when travelling in Turkey. My sister-in-law had stones thrown at her by farmers in Northeast Turkey, a very rural area (Doris, Regensburg, Germany)

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MY PILOT DAD TAUGHT ME THIS ABOUT PACKING - My dad was a commercial pilot who flew worldwide for thirty years and he knew everything about travel. One of the simplest but very important packing tips he taught me is this: When you are moving from one location to the next and are packing your bags, first check your bed-sheets then underneath the bed for any items of clothing. Then either make the bed or throw the spread or cover over the entire bed and check for any bumps (items you might have missed). Then place all your bags on the bed and repack. This has been my habit since I was very small and it has saved me from losing or leaving behind many of those "crucially important" belongings. Thanks, Dad! (Dinah, Concord, USA)

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YOU WON'T FIND BIGGER THAN A C CUP IN SOUTH KOREA - Korea has greatly evolved in the last decade, and recently people have become more and more used to having foreigners around. You will stand out as a foreigner no matter where you go; especially if you are like me: pale white and blonde. Especially in Seoul, women are extremely focused on fashion and brands of all kinds. You aren't expected to wear any particular kind of clothing (as they will just say you're a foreigner) but try to avoid wearing low cut tops that show cleavage or wearing a tank top in public. As Korean women don't naturally have a lot on top, I think they've focused men's attention to their bottom halves: legs. There, you will see women wearing some of the shortest and tiniest skirts and shorts you will ever find (some even showing some bum). It's a great place to shop if you are a small size... otherwise you are better to bring your own. Anyone bigger than a C cup will not be able to find bras there... and even Cs have trouble (Lara, South America)

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PACK A LARGE GREEN GARBAGE BAG - I put a green garbage bag at the bottom and top of the clothes in my suitcase. This minimizes the chance of my clothes getting soaked if they are unloaded from the plane in the rain (Evelyn, Journeywoman Editor)

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WHAT THE LOCALS WEAR IN KENYA - Having grown up in Kenya, the most comfortable piece of clothing I recommend is the kikoi shirt. Kikoi is a handwoven fabric in a rainbow of hues, and sold in sarong lengths or made up into baggy T-shaped tops. Pick up a few at the local market in Nairobi, and wear with comfortable leggings, pants, capris, jeans. (Shila, Toronto, Canada)

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STUDENTS LOVE T-SHIRTS FOR TRAVEL - Advice to students. Pack light. Don't pack very many tops so you can buy local t-shirts in inexpensive street markets along the way. This gives you the fun of shopping and bargaining (if one top is $10.00 then two are usually $17.00, etc.). Shopping this way also helps you to fit into the local fashion scene. If any of these tops survive both your trip and the laundromats along the way, then share the "fun ones" with girlfriends back home. (Betsy, Winnipeg, Canada)

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NO STRICT CLOTHING RULES IN HOLLAND - The Dutch are much the same as the Americans. Guys won't stare at you any more than they would at a Dutch girl. We don't have a dress code whatsoever. You wear what you like. Period (Bloem, Huizen, The Netherlands)

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IF I AM TRAVELLING BACK HOME THE NEXT DAY - I pack my purse with all my important items I will need - passport, tickets, etc. Then I fill my backpack with any items I want with me. Finally, I take care of the suitcase and go over the room to make sure I've included everything. Then I line them up in front of the door so when I leave the next day I know that I've done all my checking and re-checking the night before and don't have to look for things I might have left behind.

Womens words on clothing...

Your clothes speak even before you do.
(Jacqueline Murray, 2989)

Who said that clothes make a statement? What an
understatement that was. Clothes never shut up.
(Susan Brownmiller, 1984)

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Clothes and courage have so much to do with each other.
(Sara Duncan, 1900)

Designer clothes on children are like snowsuits on adults.
Few can carry it off successfully.
(Fran Leibowitz, 1977)

Any garment that makes you feel bad
will make you look bad.
(Victoria Billings, 1974)

There are two times in a woman's life when clothes
are important; when she is young and when she is old.
(Marcelene Cox, 1944)


Find a packing mentor...

Need clothing advice for a certain destination? It's incredibly easy! Simply log on to What Should I Wear Where? and find out what other JourneyWomen pack when they travel. Or, log on to HERmail.net and connect via e-mail with a woman who lives in the destination you are travelling to. She will be your clothing advisor who will let you in on what the locals are wearing.

P.S. If you don't hear back from her right away, try the service once again. Your first mentor might be travelling at the same time you are trying to contact her.

 

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