I know what you’re thinking – “Summer is coming up – shorts are what you wear in summer!” Stay with me for a minute. One of the principles of one bag travel is to have clothing that can be worn under multiple conditions. Each piece has to work for its space in the carry on bag. Do shorts really do that? Men can get more than one use out of shorts by wearing them as swim trunks. Shorts are dual use for them. But women? Not so much. On top of that, many cultures consider shorts as beach wear. You can’t wear them anywhere else. Fortunately, there are a lot of cute alternatives to shorts.
Capri Pants – Capri pants are nice because they are considered equal to pants in many cultures. They can be dressed up with a nice top and shoes for dinner. They can be dressed down with a T-shirt and casual shoes for outdoors activities. Surprisingly, they are almost as cool as shorts. The air can still move around your feet. Stay away from heavy cotton – it is oppressive in summer humidity.
Skirts – Many women hate skirts and I’m not sure why. They give you a certain level of respectability. This is not a bad thing when dealing with shop keepers and hotel desk clerks! Like capri pants, they can be dressed up or down. In a really hot climate they allow the cool breezes to swirl through your legs. I think this makes them cooler than shorts. One of the key issues with skirts is finding the correct cut and hem line so that they flatter your figure. Skirts that fall at or below the knee are a better fit culturally. I like to bring reversible skirts so I get more fashion choices. Several are made out of georgette, so they are especially cool. Georgette also washes and dries quickly, making it great for travel.
Skorts – I really like skorts – as long as they have the right cut. Knee length skorts can have the same level of dressiness as a skirt. They can be dressed up or down. One of my favorite skorts is the “Whatever” skort from Athleta. It is made from a rugged wicking material that can handle a hike in the jungle. It will wash and dry quickly. It comes in petite, regular, and tall sizes. Just about perfect. Athleta has stopped making these shorts but there are usually several on sale on E-bay.
Update on July 2, 2015 – Added note that Athleta Whatever skorts are still available on E-bay.