Do travel and dresses go together? Our answer is a categorical maybe. Choosing the wrong dress to take on a trip can be as painful as waiting on the longest, slowest line at customs. Whereas packing the right one makes your life as easy as Global Entry.
The least fun part of travel (aside from getting to the airport three hours early) is making sure you pack things that go together so you can actually wear everything when you’re on the ground. The beauty of dresses (besides the fact they make us feel beautiful) is that no matching is required. One and done. The drawback is that most dresses are designed with beauty in mind, but not for their ability to keep up with a woman on the move. Travel puts some wear and tear on a girl and her clothing. It can be hard to feel put together when you’re on the road. The best solution for that is a dress that can keep up with your adventure. Here are the best travel dresses to keep you cool, calm, and confident (not to mention unruffled, unwrinkled, and unsmelly) when you’re on the road.
The Dress With Pickpocket-Proof Pockets
How a piece this cute can also serve double duty as an anti-theft device is beyond us. The Women’s Travel Dress by Clothing Arts has every single perquisite a traveling woman could ever want in her dress. It’s got two hidden, zipper-secure side pockets. It’s wrinkle-free. It’s made of breathable, moisture-wicking, ultra quick-drying fabric. It’s UPF 30+. It’s lightweight (14 oz.) It’s got a removable belt for two way styling. And, of course, it’s super cute or it wouldn’t have made our list. In XS-XXL.
The Dress for After (And Before and During)
The Apres Dress by Athleta should actually be called the Avant and Apres dress since you can wear it before the beach, on the beach, and after the beach. It’s somehow soft and form-fitting at the same time with a cinch detail that’s flattering on everyone. You can throw it in the washer no problem and, in a genius detail, the cap sleeves button up so you can wear it as a tank as well. In XXS-XL.
The Stink-Free Dress
The Orvis Pack & Go Long-Sleeved Travel Dress is giving us luxury safari feels. This sweet, simple number is constructed of a special anti-odor fabric so you can wear it more and wash it less, which is a serious bennie when you’re on the move. The moisture-wicking fabric dries overnight and protects skin with UPF 50. A hidden-zip pocket keeps your local currency, credit card, hotel key, and photocopy of your passport safe and secure and the sleeves convert to three-quarter length. In sizes XS(4)-XL(18-20).
The Dress Designed by a Fierce Ballerina
When the world’s grittiest, most graceful ballerina hooks up with a leading sportswear company their love child is the perfect travel dress. The Misty Copeland Signature Woven Perforated Dress is loose and lightweight with allover perforations for extra breathability. And that’s not even the best part. The built-in bodysuit underneath is made of a material meant to keep you cool and keep you in place, which means you don’t have to wear anything under it and ruin that perfect backless back. In XS-XL.
The Superior Shirt Dress
The folks over at Title Nine describe their Adventurista Dress with Pockets as able to go “where mere shirt dresses cannot” and we have to give it to them. The idea is that this model works as three-fer: Wrinkle-free dress, swim cover-up and tunic over leggings for cool nights or conservative countries. Extra points for replacing the buttons with a zipper, which buys us seven extra seconds we can now spend outside exploring instead of inside getting dressed. In XS(2) to XL(16).
The Dress That Won’t Let ’Em See You Sweat
A simple A-line dress in black with a keyhole neckline and a back pocket for valuables, the X-Dress RUU-MUU by Nuu-Muu is technically an exercise dress, but sometimes travel actually feels like exercise we so we are including it. Breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-dry anti-wrinkle, SPF 50+ and best of all doesn’t show reveal any signs of perspiration. We love that this model can we worn over pants, and then not, for a travel day that starts off cool, gets hot and then cools down again at night. In XS-3XL.
The Shift Dress With a Twist
The Tara Hemp Sleeveless Dress by Toad & Co takes all the good qualities of linen for travel and eliminates all the headache qualities of linen for travel. The hemp/stretch blend has Tencel® stretch to drape your body better while keeping you cool, dry, and wrinkle-free. In XS-XL.
The Linen Dress
In lightweight linen, the Monique Dress by Reformation offsets ankle-length modesty is offset by a deep V back and center front slit. Cold wash it in the sink, throw it over the shower rod, and rock it again the next day. In XS-XL.
The Dress With Pockets for Days
The Kosan Go Travel Dress doubles down (or should we day quadruples down) with a multi-pocket wrap dress. You can leave your pocketbook at home when you go out seeing the sights in this dress. Born on Kickstarter, the travel dress has got specially designated hidden pockets and slots for phone, passport, cash, cards, sunglasses, and lipstick! And the convertible length allows you to style it above or below the knee. It’s (of course) also odor and wrinkle resistant and one of the few travel dresses we found that comes in a pattern as well as a solid. You can choose a version with a keyhole in the back or a closed back.
The Silk Travel Dress
If you never knew that silk is one of the best materials for a travel dress, well, now you know. While you might think of the material as dressy and fussy, that’s all in your mind, actually. Silk is lightweight, breathable, durable, and super easy to wash and dry. In the silk category, we love the Corin Premium Silk Asymmetric Dress, the Silk Kimono-Sleeved Dress by COS, the Go Long and Go Lean Dress by GoSilk and the Simple Elegant Long Silk Shift Dress by Lilysilk.