Top Eight Fashion Staples for the Road: The Backpackers Style Guide

clothes, fashion, high street, style, travel

Life on the road is frustrating if you love clothes. Moving from one place to the next and not knowing where your next fashion fix is coming from. What’s more, you are probably taking a lot of selfies and would like a variety of clothes in your backpack to distinguish between the photos, more than anything…

What makes matters worse is that everyone back home, on Facebook I mean, um not that I check, has wonderful clothes (the grass is always greener, eh?)…. They seem to be heading to Glastonbury and Wireless wearing the most incredible “fashionable” garments that you have no access to whatsoever.

Well, the first thing to remember when you experience a bout of jealously, or “clothes envy” let’s call it, is that you are travelling the world. You sacrificed a lot for this trip, and the clothes you bought before you left you thought would be perfect. Didn’t you?

From my experiences, it’s easy to make mistakes when you pack at home. There are too many distractions, like the latest trends, to see what you will really need for your trip. So I have decided to help you out with my top eight staples for your fashion wardrobe while on the road:

1/ The White Linen Shirt

When you are at home preparing for your trip, the grey clouds tend to literally cloud your judgement when making fashion decisions. It’s seriously tempting just to buy six hundred bikinis and be done with it. Everyday in a different bikini, surely that’s all you’ll need? What we tend to forget is that everywhere you go will get a little chilly, and if you are heading somewhere hot it is also highly likely to be filled with mosquitoes. What’s great about the white linen shirt is that is never goes out of fashion, it’s a classic, it’s cool, it covers your precious arms on those late nights on the beach, and it also serves as a cover up from the sun – which, whether you believe it yet or not, you will need.

This Topshop shirt is perfect!

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Topshop shirt

2/ The Black Legging

I know they are boring, but they are absolutely 100% necessary when travelling. There’s will come a day when the sun is shining, but all of a sudden the weather changes (it happens) and you become frozen in the tiny dress you are wearing that exposes your legs, it’s time for a leggings grab. Reach for those handy, comfy trousers in your backpack and feel the warmth and comfort of your lovely leggings. You will probably also end up sleeping in them, so bring a few pairs if you can, they take up very little space and are so handy you will be wearing them everyday by the end of your trip.

Leggings by TTYA from

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Asos leggings

3/ The Trainers

I guess this is obvious – but you will be walking a lot, and so comfy shoes, ideally trainers, are a must. It’s ideal to set off with a pair of flip flops like you would for your Spanish holiday by the beach, but sadly they just won’t cut it here. You’ll find yourself walking through dusty, dirty roads and wish you had a pair of comfy and practical trainers to make it a lot easier. You can stay fashionable with some Reebok Classics or classic black Converse. Avoid white if you can, but if you really have to, then go for it and give them a wash every now and again!

Classic converse from

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Asos Converse

4/ The Jeans

I hate jeans. They are hot, uncomfortable and heavy. But, as soon as you hit a country like Colombia or India, despite how hot the weather is, everyone will be wearing jeans, and I mean everyone. I don’t know why, and I don’t understand it, but they do. If you want to “blend” in on a night out then I advise you to don a pair of classic blue jeans (you can always jazz them up with a nice American Apparel chiffon top!) and hit the town feeling “fashionable”.

These dark grey jeans from Zara are practical and look amazing with vests and shirts.


Zara jeans

5/ The Socks

It’s not something you want to worry about, you are obviously more concerned with new co-ords and some great skirts and shorts, believe me, I know. But, socks are a MUST. Travelling can be unpredictable, you may have to sleep one night in a hammock or camp outside without a blanket, and the thought of your tiny toes being exposed to the wildlife around you is not fun. And, you will get cold at night. Even the hottest countries can be freezing during the night. Take a few black and white pairs, you’ll need them for your trainers too…

American Apparel are great at doing staples

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American Apparel socks

6/ The Black Dress

Aside from all of this practical stuff, there will come a moment when you will need a party outfit. And the little black dress, the staple of any wardrobe, is going to be your best option. The length is up to you, but make sure you feel comfortable in it. If you do get invited to a nice dinner or on a date, you know you can whip it out and feel super sexy.

American Apparel has a great selection of plain, black classic dresses like this one.

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American Apparel dress

7/ The Denim Shorts

I literally live in these when I travel, and usually opt for the high-waisted variety so I can couple them with a funky crop top or just plain white crop. The great thing about denim shorts is they always look great and they never go out of fashion. Every summer they come back. What’s also incredible about them is that they seem to last a lifetime. Invest in a solid pair of vintage denims or Levi’s cut aways and you will be sorted for your whole adventure.

These high-waisted denims from Beyond Retro do it for me, and can be rolled up to fit.

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Beyond Retro shorts

8/ The White Tee

It’s another obvious, but you won’t believe how many times you will just need a plain white tee. They are great to sleep in, are lightweight and easy to carry, and look fabulous with black leggings and denim shorts. Buy a man’s oversized white tee and it will double up as a funky dress for a night out!

This simple but quality cashmere tee from Topshop will be well worth the investment.

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Topshop tee


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