TRAVEL & LGBT
Summer Packing List for Gender Neutral Clothing
It’s vacation season! Whether your going across the world, country or state there’s one thing for sure, we’ll all be packing. The internet and more specifically Pinterest has a packing guide for almost everything imaginable, except gender neutral clothing. I see you, and here’s the summer packing list you’re looking for.
My androgynous style is minimal and casual so this list will echo those vibes. I also absolutely hate checking bags, it’s expensive, adds extra steps and is a pain to lug around. Obviously, there are times when it’s just unavoidable like visiting multiple climates or super cold places. For the most part, I have a base that I pack for every trip in my carry on and then add in location-specific items as needed.
Ten times out of ten I’ll pick a backpack over a rolling suitcase. We use a lot of public transportation and there’s nothing that annoys me more than dragging the wheeled variety all over. In my opinion, Tortuga is the best carry on backpack out there. I have the 45L Outbreaker maximizing the carry on limits for most airlines. The best part of the bag is that its portable like a typical backpack but easy to organize like a suitcase. There are tons of pockets and it zips completely open so you don’t have to take everything out like with a hiking pack. It also has thick padded shoulder straps and a waist belt making it as comfortable as possible for long walks. It’s the perfect city travel or light adventure bag. If you’re looking for a true backpacking pack for long walks I’d check out The North Face line. I’ve had the same one for 5 plus years and am still grateful I spent the money.
Carry on Friendly Toiletries
When it comes to the idea of carrying on, tons of people get hung up on the personal hygiene products. The TSA allowance of 3.4oz allows most makeup products and stick deodorant is good at any size. Lush has been an absolute savior for all the other stuff. We always travel with the Toothy Tabs and Shampoo Bars. The shampoo bars last forever (although I suspect less than the 80 washes advertised) and come in a bunch of scents that aren’t fruity or floral. The “new” scent is my absolute favorite, I even started using it at home. I’m pretty hooked on everything Lush has to offer with their gender neutral scents and packaging. Gender neutral grooming products are becoming increasingly popular and I’m totally here for that! Meg and I are absolutely that couple doing face masks in our fluffy hotel robes after a long day of exploring.
A hat I usually prefer light color neutrals for the summer. Bandanas like this are small, easy to pack and can really change an outfit. When ever my hairs at a funky length I throw one on to get through the grown our period. My favorite bathing suit are all from Nike and similar to this one. Watches are my favorite but I needed one the worked with t-shirt casual, this Casio has been my go to for over a year now. I’m constantly losing watches and sunglasses so it’s been great to find a watch I love for under $20. Sunglasses are tricky because it’s all about matching your face shape. The ones that work best for me are the Ray-Ban Wayfarer style but I started going for cheaper alternatives after losing my second pair. Sometimes you just have to accept your own shortcomings.
For me, it’s 5-7 t-shirts no matter where I’m going. If the trips longer than that I don’t mind doing some laundry and if its shorter I’ve got some options. My summer daytime look is almost exclusively t’s.
A Plain Back T-Shirt is a must on every trip. I like that they are easy to layer and can be worn with almost any pants.
One from one of my favorite gender neutral clothing brands like BloFish, Refuse to Conform or Androgynous Fox. They all offer affordable androgynous clothing options and you can order online so it doesn’t matter where you live. or the record the BloFish shirts are possibly the softest I’ve ever worn. This Adidas has also become a staple in my wardrobe because the cut is more flattering in my shoulders. The rest of my T’s typically come from Urban Outfitters, Pac Sun or some sports tournament shirt I’ve held on to from the early 2000’s. When I go home to PA its sorta like vintage shopping in my own closet.
In addition to the T’s, I’ll add some combo of 2-3 polo shirts or short sleeve button downs. I usually wear these in the evening and can be dressed up with pants or down with some shorts. I’ve been into some old school polos in funky colors recently. I have realized if the fit isn’t right they end up making my boobs look huge which is not necessarily the androgynous look I’m going for. Shop here for a couple of my favorites. With the button downs I’m loving the bold prints, just make sure they match more than one of your pants options. Zara has my absolute favorite prints right now, like this one.
For me, two long sleeve dress shirts are about the average. The amount usually depends on if there are any nice restaurants or events were planning to attend. A little planning ahead makes packing really simple. I’m a huge fan of the Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirts, while slightly more casual they’ll absolutely work for anything less than suit and tie formal. When I was working in an office it tried all sorts of shirts and these just seemed to fit me best. Money saving tip, if you can shop in the boy’s department the shirts are about $20 less. I’m 6ft, about 160 pounds and wear boys extra large. For sizing purposes, I do have pretty small boobs and always wear a sports bra under them.
For long pants it’s pretty simple, typically a pair of my favorite black jeans, a pair of the best fitting light colored and my absolute favorite chinos ever. The chinos are from Urban Outfitters are the skinny stretch make. They fit really well in the waist and legs plus they come out in a variety of different colors each season. Note, if I realize I’m running out of space one of these three is definitely getting left behind.
I’m going, to be honest, here, I’m clueless about shorts. I don’t know what length I like, I don’t know if I like the drawstring jogger top, and I hate how denim stretches out throughout the day. I’m lost and I live in a place where it’s 100 degrees every day. For now, I have this pair of light denim and a drawstring chino pair like this and they go everywhere with me. I’ve heard great things about Chubbies recently, so that will probably be the next pair I buy. If anyone has shorts that they love, tell me all about them in the comments! Please, I’m begging.
Don’t get carried away with shoes, this coming from a recovering shoe addict. The first weekend I went to visit Meg in Brooklyn I took 5 pairs, in hindsight she probably thought I was taking that U-Haul lesbian thing too far. I used to avoid sandals at all cost unless I was headed to the pool or beach. Since moving to Merida, where it’s hot all time I’ve completely changed my tune. Give me all the sandals! I have a bad hip, like probably worse than your grandpa’s – so cheap flip-flops just aren’t an option for me. The best walking sandals I’ve found are Birkenstocks or surprisingly Adidas Slides. I always wear my heaviest shoes while in flight, usually these Vans and pack one additional pair to match the activities we have scheduled. I’ve called the black slip-on Vans “dress” shoes more times than I’d like to admit to avoiding packing dress shoes.
Tech and Blogging Gear
I know for most bloggers this list gets big fast. Luckily, Meg and I travel together most of the time and can divide up the gear we need. I recently got a camera bag that doubles as my personal item on flights, it’s from Mega Gear and has been a game changer for me. The bag is big enough for my camera, extra lens and usually my wallet and phone permanently in an Otterbox case because I’m clumsy. We also love the Joby GorillaPods and have them in two different sizes. People ask us all the time how we get the shots of us together and more times than not the answer is a tripod and this stupid cheap remote control. We also each have two power banks that we do our very best to keep full and are great when we’re out all day. Last but not least my MacBook Pro and a GoPro for adventures or just bad weather.