There’s nothing worse than taking all your favourite items on a tropical holiday (finally you get to wear that dress!) only to find that most of them, while looking cool, feel anything but. Hot and humid climates can wreak havoc on your packing attempts, you know what it’s like, that maxi starts to feel like you’re wearing a blanket, and that light scarf starts to itch like crazy.
As many of you will know last week I spent a few days in Thailand, including a few nights in Bangkok, a city where dressing for the humidity is essential. Even in the leafy grounds of The Sukhothai where we stayed, complete with courtyards, ponds and weeping frangipanis, one couldn’t help but feel sweaty and flustered. Lucky I packed with humidity in mind! But after living in Hong Kong you can’t blame me can you?
Because humidity is often something we don’t think about when we’re packing, I thought I would share with you a few of my go to points about dressing/packing for humid climates. Applicable whether you’re visiting Vietnam, Florida, Cairns or Buenos Aires.
For me, this is the MOST important consideration when dressing or packing for humidity. The only fabrics you’ll want to wear will be natural ones, ones that allow breeze to flow and feel nice against your skin even when you’re sticky. These types of fabrics include cotton, silk, rayon and linen, because as you heat up you’ll want heat and sweat to escape from your body, which is what these fabrics allow. Man made fabrics like polyester on the other hand create a seal and pretty much press the heat and sweat against you. I’m itching just thinking about it!
Loose silhouettes are great for allowing the breeze to flow through your clothes and cool your down. I usually pack a mix of looser styles and more fitted items, however I steer clear of anything skin tight because you won’t get the airflow you’ll be desperate for.
Personally, I chose items that don’t have any lining as I feel this creates more of a bubble against your skin and causes you to heat up. More often than not linings are made from polyester (even if the outside of the garment is a natural fibre) which is the. worst. for humidity.
You’ll definitely feel more comfortable in lighter colours during the day, as they reflect heat rather than drawing it in. White can feel oh so fresh but gets dirty easily, so if in doubt go for lighter shades like colours and grey marl.
You won’t find me travelling without a hat (or indeed doing anything really), but stick with straw styles so your head can breath – felt and other materials heap oh so quickly!
Packing list: the straw hat.