What’s in my suitcase?

Favorite Things, Guides, Style, Vintage World Shopping

What’s in my suitcase?

8 Comments 02 April 2013

Over the past three years of traveling I’ve exchanged clothes with people around the world, been given some very special items and purchased a few amazing finds. Basically, the contents of my suitcase are pretty eclectic. No item has made it along with more the entire trip, but a few have been with me for years and are pretty close to my heart. From a feather ring in Port Douglas to Genie pants in Thailand, this is what I’m packing.

Cowboy boots

These boots are made for walking and they’ve done their fair share around the world. It was love at first sight when I laid eyes on these bad boys at a vintage shop in Brisbane, Australia. I can’t remember the name of the shop, nor what year they were made, but I do remember dishing out $AUD60 without hesitation. It was my birthday and I’ve wanted cowboy boots forever. They don’t go down well at say, a locals hangout in Donsol, Philippines (everyone stared and one guy even said, “Western boots,” like he was spitting something gross out of his mouth), but they make you feel like an American bad add and are very easy to walk in.

Photo by Richard John Hackey

A Bobbi hat

This item has been with me the longest of all the pieces on my list. My friend Bobbi, who I road tripped Australia with, made it for me at the end of our tour. That’s right, she made it. It’s pretty cool looking and I’ve worn it in all climates, from the tropics of Port Douglas, Australia to the snowy city of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Photo owner unknown.

Yellow dress

I found this little number at a market in Chiang Mai. I paid about $5 for the dress and a belt to go with it. It makes me feel like a dainty traveler, like I’m on my own Roman Holiday. I wore it on my 26th birthday, which might be my best yet.

Photo by Richard John Hackey

Liverpool jersey

I’m sure anyone who has dated an English man can relate to this. Ric is a Liverpool supporter, so naturally the first gift he ever bought me was a Liverpool top. I like it not only because I’m a fan myself, but also because it reminds me of the first Christmas Ric and I ever spent together, Melbourne 2010.

Leopard Coat

A definite impulse purchase, but I don’t care. I’ve always loved the 50s style leopard-print coat and have been looking for one for a very long time. It’s hard today, because new coats in that style are either expensive or cheesy. So when I spotted one that was neither at a vintage store in Santa Cruz, California, I just couldn’t say no. It’s a fake, from the 50s and cost $100. I feel like Caggie Dunlop whenever I wear it.

Photo by Emily Kostic

Leather coat

I never would have attempted to wear leather before this coat, but Ric convinced me, so how could I say no. I do love it. I bought it at a boutique on Chapel Street in Melbourne for $AUD99. I’ve had it for over two years now and it’s starting to fall apart, because I wear it constantly. When it finally does, I’m not sure I’ll own another leather coat again considering it took 24 years to finally find one I like.

Photo by Richard John Hackey

Genie pants Thailand

Part of my SE Asian uniform, I admit it, I f*cking love genie pants. I don’t know if they’re the most stylish digs, but they’re so comfortable, easy to throw on at the beach and you don’t have to worry about whether what your wearing is too short for the temples when you have these bad boys on. I’ve owned four pairs in the past two years.

Photo by Richard John Hackey

German dress

This dress isn’t actually from Germany, but it reminds me of the traditional dresses that girls wear at Oktoberfest, so I always associate it with the country. I bought the dress while studying abroad in London in 2007. Another vintage item, I bought it in Soho and its from the 1960s, so a pretty ideal shopping experience in the city considering this dress is definitely swinging 60s and Soho was the place to shop at that time.

Photo by Richard John Hackey

Thai skirt

This is another one of my favorite purchased in Thailand. I bought it on Khao San Road, where most tourist do their shopping in Chiang Mai, for no more than $4. Like my dress from Chiang Mai, I love traveling in this.

Photo by Richard John Hackey

Australian opal earrings and feather ring

I don’t carry a lot of jewellery with me, because I rarely wear it and I don’t really want to worry about it in hostels, but there are two pieces I bring along everywhere I go and both are Australian. First are the Australian opal earrings my dad got me for my 21st birthday. He purchased them in Aruba, because my birthstone is opal but he’d never seen the stone like this. I hadn’t either, but it became my favorite. Australian opal is a greenish blue, compared to the white we’re used to in the USA.

My next Aussie jewellery item is from the Sunday Markets in Port Douglas. I’ve always like feathers, because of my Native American ancestry, but I never owned anything with feathers except for a dream catcher. When I saw this ring, I had to have it. It was the feather item I’d always wanted. But I actually associate Ric with it more than my ancestry. We started dating not long before I found this ring and there was only one available at the stall. That one fit my wedding ring finger perfectly.

Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Everyone says it’s bad luck to wear anything other than an engagement or marriage ring on that finger and I’m usually very superstitious, but I didn’t care for some reason. I was definitely just too lazy to go to a jewelers and get it fixed, but now that I look back, maybe it was a sign.

What are you packing? If you liked this post, let me hear what’s in your suitcase.

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Thai dress guide: ten key items

Destinations, Guides, Style, Thailand

Thai dress guide: ten key items

11 Comments 09 April 2012

Grab something comfortable, add a bit of color, pile on the bracelets and let’s head to Thailand.

There’s not much you can’t get away with in regards to fashion in this country, outside of the wats of course. Smoldering hot most of the year and boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, some rules to remember here is to never forget a swimsuit, almost always prepare for heat and cover up when need be.

There’s almost a uniform for backpackers in Thailand: loads of bracelets showing where and what parties you’ve been too, colorful singlets declaring the same, baggy pants and Havainas. It’s fun to finally get that singlet declaring to all those people down the road, “Yes, I’ve been there!” and no country does it as cool as Thailand, but remember to add a bit of your own personal flare.

The main rule to your Thailand packing list is to bring as little as possible. Not only will you probably end up wearing the same thing most days, but shopping in Thailand is dirt cheap and free space in your bag means room to bring interesting wearables home, where the Thai backpacker style isn’t uniform. I’ve picked ten key items to bring on any backpacker holiday to Thailand. These ten items may be all that is required for some. My suggestion, wait until you arrive in Bangkok to purchase most of these pieces, they are easier to find on Khao San Road and much more affordable.

Thai dress guide

Jean shorts: Make sure they’re comfortable. These little bottoms are nice to throw on after a day at the beach or for a wander around the city.

Loose singlet: Like jean shorts, these are nice just to throw on any time, but you’ll find a colorful singlet is almost mandatory at the Full Moon Party. Koh Phangan has oodles of themed clothing stores selling their version of this piece all the way into the wee hours of the morning.

Swimsuit: Obviously, you’ll need this. Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Unlike the rest of the items on this list, I suggest you purchase this item at home. I actually didn’t see a ton of swimsuits on sale in Thailand and the ones I did were really small.

Sunnies: Don’t bother buying anything too expensive, chances are you’ll lose quite a few pairs in some body of water. Make sure your sunnies are comfortable, they’ll be on your face almost every day here.

Massive linen scarf: This is a must have if you don’t want to keep renting clothes at wats. Some buildings or places of worship in Thailand require you cover up. It’s really important to be respectful of the countries you visit. But Thailand is really hot, so it’s not practical to stay covered up all day. A big scarf can cover your shoulders, sometimes even your legs if large enough and it’s easy to carry around. Linen is the ideal material for keeping cool.

Fisherman pants: This is probably the most well-known Thai fashion item worn by tourists. Back West, people usually save these pants for yoga class, but in Thailand they can be and should be worn daily. The pants are really comfortable, especially on long bus rides. Match these with a fitted singlet.

Bracelets: Don’t bother buying any. You’ll collect plenty all around SE Asia and if you don’t then go back, because you mustn’t have traveled the area properly.

Genie pants: Some will cringe at this pant/skirt combination. There was a time when I did. But these days they’re probably my most worn piece of clothing. So comfortable, so versatile and so fun. You can’t get away will them everywhere, so make the most of them in Thailand.

Gladiator sandals: They’re just a bit nicer than your average flip flops and they go with the scenery in Thailand. Why not?

Colorful beach dress: Another great item to throw on after the beach, but also stay in throughout the night. Having a simple and comfortable dress like this that transitions easily makes day to day travel a lot easier.

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