When you travel carry-on only as I do, you have to choose your wardrobe carefully due to a lack of space available. One main rule that I abide by is that I always travel with clothes that I can wear multiple times and in various situations.
For women, I’ve found that including one (or two) perfect travel dresses is a good idea, but I’ve also found a perfect travel dress is the hardest item to buy.
The “Little Black Dress”, a favourite staple among all women, is a mainstay in my wardrobe at home and works for any formal occasion but it doesn’t work for me when I travel. It’s too hot and stark for travel days and really, who wants to wear it every night for dinner on a cruise. Even if you change your shawl nightly, it still looks like you are wearing the same dress every night.
In case you are curious, I prefer a black pair of pants or a skirt and separate dressy tops is a more practical option for formal dining on a cruise.
The Search for the Perfect Travel Dress is ON
My requirements for the perfect travel dress are simple:
- It must be easy care – easy to wash, fast to dry and wrinkle-free
- It must look good day and night
- It must be suitable for rural or urban environments
- It must fit well and be comfortable
- It must be modest – not too short, not too revealing
My Almost Perfect Travel Dress Found — Mountain Hardwear DrySpun Batika Dress
I was sent a Mountain Hardwear DrySpun Batika Dress in Dark Raspberry to test out and here’s what I found.
“Designed for travel, this dress features a batik-inspired pattern and a wrinkle-resistant fabric that feels like cotton.”
The tag on the dress says that it has “Wicking Technology — Pulls moisture away from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable”.
Comes in Dark Raspberry, Nectar Blue and Black
Mountain Hardwear DrySpun Batika Dress Pros
- Wrinkle-resistant. I had the dress folded and packed inside a packing cube for one week (I prefer to pack early) and when I took it out to wear it was still wrinkle free.
- Moisture wicking and breathable fabric keeps you cool.
- UPF 25 protection blocks out harmful UV rays. Bear in mind, your arms and neck are exposed, so you aren’t fully protected from the sun.
- Wide shoulder straps, not low-cut and has a high back. You would still need to wear a shawl/sweater when visiting places of worship, but I find that a lot of travel dresses made using “tech” fabrics and manufactured by Adventure Clothing companies are too “strappy” and low-cut.
- The dress has an A-line skirt and some gathering on each shoulder, but otherwise, the dress is simple with plain surged seams. It’s simple yet a lovely versatile style that can be worn when touring around during the day or for casual dining at night.
- The colour isn’t too bright or neon, so it works well when touring an urban environment but would also look good when strolling a beach boardwalk.
- The Batika dress washed well in the hotel sink. I shook out the dress and smoothed out the fabric when I hung it up to dry. The dress was dry by the morning and had no wrinkles.
- Fabric feels nice to the touch and is very soft and comfortable.
- Can be worn with the provided fabric/string belt. But I think it will look great with a brown leather belt.
Mountain Hardwear DrySpun Batika Dress Cons
- If I had to be picky, I’d love side pockets (this dress has none) plus a small secret pocket on the inside of the skirt to hide some money or identification
- Again, I’m picky, and this is entirely personal, but the dress is just slightly long for me. I’m “petite” fit, and the dress is a “regular” fit. It isn’t noticeable to anyone but me, but if the top of the dress was a bit shorter; it would be a perfect fit. I do wish that all manufacturers made petite sized clothing more often, but sadly they don’t.
- Price point is a little high for a cotton dress, but I see myself wearing this dress for years to come.
- You can wear it day and night but obviously not for formal occasions like a dinner with the Captain on a cruise ship.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the Mountain Hardwear DrySpun Batika Dress and love the colour. It isn’t an exact perfect fit, but it is pretty darn close.
Do you have a perfect travel dress in your closet? Tell me about it in the comments below.
For other clothing reviews check out:
Ramblers Way – Cosy Cool Good-Natured Fashion
Anatomie – Style and Travel-ability – Review
An Outerboro Clothing Review for the Female Traveller