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Microfiber shorts, skirts, and trousers--Travelsmith?

Microfiber shorts, skirts, and trousers--Travelsmith?

Old Apr 7th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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Microfiber shorts, skirts, and trousers--Travelsmith?

Hi
I'm trying to plan a stay-cool, practical, wardrobe, for a trip to the Middle East this summer.

Travelsmith offers various hot-weather wardrobe items, including shorts and other items that to my surprise are made of a "micro-Cordura" fabric (sounds like nylon to me)

I usually a cotton and linen person in hot weather, but these are specifically mentioned as being 'breathable' and good for hot weather. My nephew, who is a runner, reminds me that running shorts are often made of nylon which wicks away perspiration, as opposed to cotton which just soaks it up.
Any comments on this kind of fabric for hot-weather travel?
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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I have had good luck with shirts, capris & skorts from Patagongia. In particular, I just bought an "A/C" shirt that is a super light weight cotton blouse that is great if you need/want to be covered, but don't want something that be hot, or add weight.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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elaine, I bought some items for the gym which are made out of that micro-fabric and they drive me crazy. To me that fabric holds in the sweat and makes me hot and itchy and I can't wait to pull them off! I would stick to cotton and linen, time tested for centuries.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I'm not sure that nylon wicks away much moisture; after all, it is used in the outer shells of a lot of raingear where it is used to repel moisture.

Something made with a blend of CoolMax and cotton would be a lot more effective at keeping you cool and it dries fast (after laundering) too.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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Elaine,
For what it's worth I was in Africa last summer (I know, I know, totally different), but I ended up sticking to my cottons and linens. I felt more "dressed" in them, and it was easier to find items of clothing that I felt were culturally appropriate.

I'm a runner and use microfibers, etc., for exercise. But I don't find them any cooler than cotton.

Your trip sounds very exciting. How wonderful for you!
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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HI
thanks so far
As soon as I posted I realized I didn't mean to emphasize the shorts per se.
I'm not a shorts person except at barbecues or at the beach, but we will be doing some clambering around ruins and such in hot weather. What I prefer are summer skirts, but it's the fabric I was wondering about.

thanks for the input, I think 'not' on the microfiber, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on a modern improvement
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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I have a pair of microfiber pants and while they may be "breathable" I was hot in them yesterday at 80*. I don't think nylon wicks but there is a kind of polyester that does. You might check LLBean's travel catalog also.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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Elaine. A couple of years ago we were in Bali. It was very hot!
I like the thought of all the microfiber clothes because they are washable and dry quickly. But I wear a plus size and they are very pricey in my opinion.
I stuck with my cotton and linen things also. I found them cool.
But today I was at a Liz Claiborne outlet and they have a new line of golf clothes and I caved in and bought a pair of capri pants. They are microfiber. So I will see. They also have shorts. They practically weigh nothing. The price isn't too bad either. I am taking them to Portugal in May, will let you know.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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I was in Dubai and oman last summer and lived in the Travelsmith Ultimate travel skirt ( I have it in 3 colors), and the coolmax Wanderlust shirt.

It is a tailored look; appropriate for anywhere in those areas.

Just make sure nothing is tight or binding on your skin.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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Hi elaine,
I spent some time in Israel and Jordan in July of 1998 and the temperatures down near the Dead Sea were 114 F. It was a dry heat, but still miserable... and I was only 18 at the time and used to spending summers outside in Texas, which most people consider hot!

I wore knee-length linen skirts (a-line in style so that the material wasn't sticking to my sweaty legs) with linen tops. I found that because the sun was so intense, I was better off wearing a top with sleeves than a sleeveless top. If you have long hair, definitely bring something to pull it back with and you might want a hat too for the really bright days.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:18 AM
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P.S. It cooled off dramatcially in the evenings.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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I just got back from India and wore loose, cotton and linen clothing. I also exercise with that alternative material, and really don't like it. I find loose cotton and linen still the better choice (and cheaper). I also was able to send my laundry out in India for dirt cheap and returned later that day. I certainly wouldn't overdress and just bring loose cotton t-shirts and capries that can be easily laundered and a wide-brimmed hat and you'll be fine.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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I don't think this is the fabric you're considering but I had a horrible experience with 2 CoolMax shirts from TravelSmith a couple trips back (Europe, summer, heatwave).

I went overboard on 'packing light' so each piece really counted & these were brand new untried (rookie mistake) - one black and one white coolmax sleeveless v-neck t-shirts.

they were so bad they became a running joke with my traveling companions... they pilled, they stained, they were hot and sweaty, they did not dry quickly, and i won't even go into the details of the time one caught fire!!!

ok enough outta me, and i do want to try some of the TS's crinkly rayon separates they're showing this year, just stay away from coolmax.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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If it's not natural fibre I'm scratching and itching and hot! Guess everyone react differently to synthetics or microfibres. I stick with cotton, linen and even silk in hot weather. Sure they might soak up the moisture, but I'm still cool.

Surprisingly, in the Middle East during summer months, your best bet is loose fitting light weight cotton or linen (that almost sheer see-thru kind); white or beige or tan, rather than black when it comes to colors.

It's best to keep yourself covered and protected from the sun. One must use sun-protection lotion on any exposed skin.... and definitely a hat, covering the back of your neck. And do not forget the water. It is sometimes so hot, one can barely get from one block to another.

Try to stay cool.
 
Old Apr 7th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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I'm going to Italy and have been wondering the same thing. I'll be going on and off trains and I'm concerned about lugging around too many clothes. I'm curious if most hotels offer to clean them and if it is reasonable. I went to Africa last year and did buy a lot of clothes from L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer and Eastern Mountain Store. Cotton and linen are not as light in suitcases and tend to wrinkle. It depends on how important packing light is to you. I found the micro fibers did dry much quicker than cotton. Columbia and L.L Bean shirts are poly but feel like cotton, they are very lightweight (almost to light as in gauze) as are most cool max shirts. I ended up wearing a micro sleeveless tee with a UV protection cotton shirt (again from L.L. Bean) over it and open.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 12:28 PM
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I prefer to travel in cooler weather during off-season, but this has me wondering. Doesn't linen wrinkle terribly in your suitcase? Not only that, but I find linens a bit scratchy as well. They look awesome, when you first put them on, but it seems that after I have worn linen for more than an hour it looks messy. Cotton is so much more comfortable to me.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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I've purchased a number of microfiber and coolmax items from Travelsmith for an upcoming trip to Egypt. The quality and fit are very nice. I like the zipper pockets in the pants. I've worn them a few times -- but the spring in Wisconsin isn't a warm weather test. They do dry quickly and pretty wrinkle free. Even the jeans dried overnight after being handwashed.
We met a couple last summer while in Ecuador and they both swore by their coolmax & microfiber clothing. I've always worn cotton--but will be very happy to get rid of the travel iron!
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Regarding hotels and laundry or dry cleaning: it's one of my favorite travel luxuries, if I have to choose I'll pay for that, and have bread and cheese and fruit for a dinner or two. Some people go out to laundromats, which saves on the cost, but I don't want to take the time to do it myself ( and I don't ever travel for more than 10-12 days at a time, and often much less than that, that makes a difference in considering frequent laundry expenses.) Anyway, I do Woolite in the sink for small items, but happily give my larger items to the hotel laundry/dc service, assuming they offer it. Just make sure, even when they promise 'same day' or 'next day' service, that they note your schedule, so you don't have to depart without your clothes. I love having a clean and pressed set of clothes mid-trip, and it saves on my initial packing also. I just build the expense into my trip budget.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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elaine, a woman after my own heart! We picked hotels at 2 points during our upcoming 2 week trip that offer same day laundry and dry cleaning.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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Elaine,

Just out of curiosity, have you posted your itinerary on the Africa/Middle East board? Don't mean to invade your privacy, but I'm sure I and others would be most interested.

And by the way, I am a bigtime cheapie about hotels/laundry, etc., but we were in the middle of the Serengeti and our lodge had "run out of water" (?) and they still managed to get our laundry done lickety split, perfectly ironed, including our unmentionables (an accident on our part as it was against the rules). Very inexpensive. My guess is you'll encounter similar in the Middle East.

p.s. Love the thought of you parading around Jordan or somewhere in microfiber hot pants.
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