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Reversible Clothing: Perfect for Travel


Reversible clothing for women: Travel light is the motto

Some time ago my old college friend Caroline from London breezed into my apartment here in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida. She was heading out on a cruise - if I remember rightly, it was for eight days.

'Is your luggage in the taxi?' I asked. Caroline laughed heartily. 'You know me' she said 'everything I need is right here in this small bag'.

Well, I've known Caroline for so many years and I remember that traveling light is one of her specialities, but really ..... 'I've been on cruise.' I told her 'You need beach gear and clothes for sightseeing excursions. A couple of dresses are nice for going out to lunch when you're in port. I know the cruise line you're going on and there will be some dress-up evenings where you'll need a long dress and a nice wrap. There'll be parties. You'll need a good sunhat with your pale skin.....'

Caroline chuckled again. 'I have fifteen items. It's all I need'. This is how she did it.


Images from Amazon where you can buy these items and artworked by BritFlorida.

Traveling light with fifteen items


The first consideration is your colour scheme. As you can see, Caroline had chosen beige, black, white and red - three of her favorites.

You can, of course, select what colours you want but a good tip is to base your colour scheme on one item - in this case the Burberry scarf you see on the bottom row in the middle. You know it's going to match everything else.

Here's what she packed

Starting from top left:

  1. When she arrived at my apartment, Caroline was wearing these beige jeans. She's into skinny jeans right now (she's just been on a very successful slimming diet) but there are so many to choose from. The important thing is to select a pair of jeans, chinos or pants that are comfortable.These stretch so were fine for wearing on the plane. They'll be great for sightseeing and port excursions.
  2. She was also wearing plain white tank. Nice and cool and easy to wash. Tanks can be worn with skirts, jeans, pants or as a beach cover-up. They can also be worn for evenings when dressed up with jewellery. So very versatile.
  3. This black skirt is very clever because it's reversible. One side is plain black and the other a delicate grey pattern. This is so adaptable as it can be worn during sightseeing trips or for the evening. Two garments in one.
  4. The black tank is just as adaptable as the white. Although a simple black garment has more sophistication than the white (or so Caroline and I believe).
  5. This brilliant reversible dress is very striking as you see it here. When reversed its pattern is more subtle. It's great for a leisurely lunch at one of the ports of call. It's a good dress for casual evening events too.
  6. The final tank - this time in beige. These are wonderfully washable and the splendid thing with these is that all three colours came in a three-pack, saving money and time.
  7. I told her that a sunhat was essential but she'd already thought of that. This is reversible - black and white.
  8. This bikini top is also reversible with a cute polka dot design trimmed with red on one side and plain red on the other. Truly versatile.
  9. I call these sarongs. Caroline, being a top fashion editor,calls them pareos. But whatever you choose to call them they are infinitely versatile.
  10. You can see immediately how these bikini bottoms match with the polka dot top. But these too are reversible - black and white.
  11. Pareo / sarong number two. These can be used as beach cover-ups, shawls and so much more.
  12. These shorts are not reversible but will match well with the tanks and the bikini top. They are fine for swimming too. These shorts, long with one of the tanks, make a great sightseeing / shopping / lunching outfit.
  13. This is a large scarf / pareo / sarong and is the basis of the colour scheme. Sarongs can be wraps,beach cover-ups, dresses, skirts ...I completely understand why Caroline took three on her cruise. Folded and rolled, they take up very little room in your luggage. Folded to form a square, they can also be used as a convenient bag - Dick Whittington style.
  14. Speaking of bags,this is truly brilliant.It's reversible - white on one side and black on the other. It also includes a smaller clutch-like bag that can be used for evenings or for times when all you need is a lipstick and your iPhone.
  15. This dress is simply magic! You'll see why later. What a value-for-money price too. Caroline raved...

Example combos


Here we see the outfits that Caroline can create using her jeans and the tanks. Not that using different accessories gives each outfit different look.

Although I have only shown three combinations here, you can see how the items can be mixed and matched even further.

These are great for shore excursions, traveling or for lunch in port.

For the beach and the pool


When you're on a caribbean cruise, there's so much sun to enjoy. Cruise ships have several pools where you can swim, play, sunbathe and sip frozen drinks.

These are just a few of the outfits that can be made from Caroline's selections.

The reversible dress, hat and bag in action


Caroline loves Pandora-type jewellery. To go on the cruise she took charms that matched her colour selections.

Look how cute that reversible dress is - it's great for shore excursions but it's also great as a cocktail dress too. Eminently versatile.

Make the most of your sarong or pareo


Because you have three different sarongs, this means that you have three additional skirts. See here how they can be accessorised and incorporated into outfits.

The jewellery just adds that final stylish touch.

Even more combinations


Here we see three black 'bottoms' - the reversible skirt, the sarong skirt and the swimming shorts - to show how they can be combined into outfits that coordinate beautifully.

We've already seen more outfits than Caroline could possibly wear in eight days.

Getting more sophisticated


We've seen some great outfits for the pool and beach, for sightseeing and shore excursions and for general cruise life.

Here we're looking at ensembles that are more suitable for the evening - for night clubs, dancing or formal dinners.

The magic dress


Above, we saw the dress worn off one shoulder. Take a look above and see just some of the ways in which this amazing dress can be worn.

As Caroline explained, by taking this one dress and using clever accessories, she actually had six different dresses - and yet it took up hardly any space at all in her bag. Genius.

Let's shop

These items are suggested but you'll find many more bargain and adaptable items. Our suggestions:

Here are two reversible items that are incredibly useful. The skirt can be worn on sightseeing trips during the day but looks just as good for a more formal occasion - such as visiting your favourite restaurant.

A hat is essential if you're travelling in warm countries. It protects you from the heat and shades your face from the sun's damaging rays. With a reversible hat,you have two different looks.

See the lovely dress below that Caroline recommends. It's completely reversible giving you two different basic outfits. Worn with different accessories, it can have a new look every time you wear it.

Caroline absolutely swears by sarongs and scarves. I have seen her extensive collection and it's huge. She is right though- they are incredibly flexible and can transform any outfit adding drama and colour.

I love the shorts she chose too as you can wear them on the or during excursions and sight-seeing adventures. They are cool and comfortable for walking, too.

Here we have what Caroline declares are two essentials. The bag, believe it or not, is fully reversible so is such a convenient and flexible item when you're travelling or when you're at home.

The magic dress is well-named. It transforms into several different styles and, by using accessories, it will have a different look every time you wear it.

What do you think? Any more tips?

Paula Wilson on June 27, 2020:

The picture on your page is mine please take it down ... Do you know when , where it was taken ???????? Most likely not ....... i have the orginal time and dated stamped

Loraine Brummer from Hartington, Nebraska on July 04, 2014:

Great way to pack everything in a carry on. Love all the tips.

jetcharterquote on June 17, 2014:

Clever Idea! Thanks for sharing the lens.

rebekah-grelen on June 15, 2014:

Awesome! Never thought about reversible clothing!

SamanthaHaupt on June 09, 2014:

This is a really good idea - I travel a lot and I've never thought of bringing reversible clothing. It sure would save a lot of space. And that dress is so cool!

CherylsArt on June 08, 2014:

So cool to include reversible items. I've heard before to think of a particular color scheme so that clothing can be interchangeable, when traveling.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on May 30, 2014:

@ThreeQuarters2Day: If I can, anyone can :)

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on May 30, 2014:

@Merrci: Isn't it fantastic? Brilliant value for money too.

Jackie Jackson (author) from Fort Lauderdale on May 30, 2014:

@Brite-Ideas: Caroline is brilliant at this sort of thing :)

Dawn Romine from Nebraska on May 29, 2014:

Never seen a reversable tote before, love it. Wish I could pack like this.

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on May 28, 2014:

Great ideas. I keep looking at the maxi dress. Amazing how versatile it is. Fun lens!

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on May 27, 2014:

This is a great idea! Honestly, until reading your page, I would never have thought about doing this!

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on May 27, 2014:

This is a great idea! Honestly, until reading your page, I would never have thought about doing this!