Okay, so the truth is that when Maxie went to India, I was so jealous of her Instagram photos. They were incredible and she looked cool, calm, and collected. Like she was having the absolute TIME OF HER LIFE. She also looked like a true professional travel in her beautiful and flowy outfits. So glad she decided to share her tips! (Especially since I recently hiked up a mountain in a button down, not ideal!)
Fashionista or not, all of us have seen the beautiful styles popping up from New York Fashion Week. I’m personally going to make Carly lend her Scalloped Capris and Kate Spade pumps to me after the world’s most amazing Instagram picture ever (who cares that she’s half my size! So perfect.). No one’s account is as amazing as C’s, but regardless…all of our IG pictures are these amazing life moments captured in time. A compilation of some of our favorite “Kodak Moments.”
Last fall when I prepared for India, I was completely perplexed. How am I going to respect the local customs, but still feel fabulously me? How can I capture amazing life moments across northern India, but still be comfortable trekking the country in planes, trains and cars (and elephants!). How can I create visual moments that I look back and treasure, looking and feeling great, while not drawing too much attention from the locals?
These questions raced through my head as I prepared for the trip of a lifetime. Many of you are probably going to take adventures across the country, or even the world, where it’s important to be practical regarding your surroundings, but still feels as fashionable as you would during NYFW. The answers to these questions are completely attainable. I like to believe after looking back at pictures of riding an elephant in Jaipur and standing proudly in front of the Taj Mahal, that with careful preparation, I won a travel fashion gold star. And I’m going to help you do the same so you don’t stress as much as I did!
Do Your Research
Obviously we all know how to use Google… no lightbulb moment there when it comes to preparing for your adventure. But when Google returns an onslaught of well SEO’d pages, keep digging for the good stuff—the stuff written casually by the women who have been there. Read to see what they screwed up, what they wish they had known, what worked really well for them. You’ll be surprised once you start looking for it how much wardrobe choices are written about for travelers. Many countries have very specific customs for female travelers (India sure did!) and the last thing you want to do is stick out like a sore thumb. Get clear on how much leg you can show, if your head needs to be covered, and what types of shoes make the most sense.
Tap Your Network
There is a reason that word of mouth marketing is the most powerful. We believe and trust our friends and acquaintances because we can learn from their first-person accounts. Likely, somewhere in your network there are people who have traveled to your upcoming destination. See what they have to say about their experiences. It’ll help you choose not only what to pull from your own closet but what to go out and buy. I talked with a good friend who had been traveling alone in India for months and she told me she just rocked moo moo frocks every day, which ended up being a life saving tip I had never thought about.
I’m preparing for upcoming adventures through the UK this year and when I asked my dear galpal in London what I needed to buy before getting there, she told me simply, “Get rain boots. Pack lightly. You’ll want to buy and wear things here that you wouldn’t dare wear anywhere else.” Amen! Traveling can give you the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone. Wear that giant sun hat to Napa, rock the white silk flowing pants to the Taj, teach yourself 10 different ways to tie headwrap. One of my favorite pictures from India was when I went shopping for a sari. I felt beautiful and fully engulfed in the culture. Traveling is your time to do the same. This is your chance to be playful and have better IG pictures than Carrie Bradshaw in Abu Dhabi.
Dressing for a far away place is no easy task. But with some thoughtful intention and and playful risk, you’ll have the trip of a lifetime and look good doing it. Traveling the world is about jumping outside your comfort zone and doing things that you’ve never done before, why should your wardrobe be any different? Here’s to fabulous Instagram pictures from every corner of the earth!