Travel Fashion: How to Look Good on the Go

Looking good on the go often starts with knowing what you like and what you feel best in.
Looking good on the go often starts with knowing what you like and what you feel best in.
© Les and Dave Jacobs/cultura/Corbis

You open the car door and exit the driver's seat, stretching your arms and legs. It's been a full day of driving and you have just 30 minutes to check in to the hotel and meet your colleagues -- some of whom you've never actually seen in person. It's time to make a good first impression, but your shirt is wrinkled, there's a Rorschach stain on your pants because of an unfortunate ketchup incident, and your hair has taken on the appearance of the "before" photo in a hair product commercial.

If "looking good on the go" were a ship, it would have sailed a long time ago.

Truth is, whatever your mode of travel, looking your best starts long before departure. To prep like a pro, you'll want to strategically select certain luggage pieces, clothing items, and hair and skin care products.

Overwhelmed? No need. Becoming a gorgeous (or handsome) traveler is even easier than entering an online bidding war for a mystery hotel room. Start with your wardrobe. Select a two- or three-color palette and stick with it. With a few pairs of pants and shirts, and a couple of cardigans or jackets, you can mix and match the separates for different looks and end up packing fewer items. Add a few accessories to your wardrobe, like scarves, belts and jewelry, and you'll have even more options.

Tencel, known generically as lyocell, is a fabric made from wood pulp that's wrinkle resistant and often blended with cotton, silk and other materials. Polyester, polyester blends and spandex blends tend to wrinkle less, too, thanks to a manufacturing process that impregnates the cloth with resin and helps it maintain its original shape.

In general, to avoid wrinkled clothing as you travel, keep this guide in mind:

• Choose thick fabrics over thin.

• Choose loosely woven fabrics over tightly woven.

• Choose print fabrics over solids (the prints make wrinkles less noticeable).

[source: O'Donnell]

Pay attention to the terminology used on fabric labels, too. "Wrinkle resistant" means a fabric won't take on a raisinlike texture after a few hours in the car, but that it still might benefit from a gentle smoothing with a warm iron. "Wrinkle free," on the other hand, refers to garments that can be washed, dried and worn without any ironing [source: Tasker].