September 24, 2023


For splendid leisure

Wool Clothing Is Great for Travel—Here Are Our Favorite Pieces to Wear This Fall

4 min read
Wool Clothing Is Great for Travel—Here Are Our Favorite Pieces to Wear This Fall

When you think of wool clothing, your mind probably goes to chunky socks, stiff slacks, or expensive cashmere that you’re afraid to ruin. But a recent push toward sustainable fashion has put wool under a new spotlight, with more brands using the fabric to create clothes that are both functional and fashionable, and wearable in all seasons.

But what makes wool the perfect fabric for travel clothes? Some may say that wool is too thick and itchy to be comfortable, but wool comes in many forms. Merino wool, for instance, is an ultra-fine and super soft wool that’s lightweight and breathable, creating clothes that are great for adventure travel and city trips in both cold and warm climates. Wool is also odor-resistant—the absorbent fibers in the fabric wick away sweat and lock in odor, so even if you sweat through a wool shirt during a hike in the Adirondacks or a summer day in Paris, once it dries it will be odorless and ready to wear without washing, making it easier to pack light. Wool is also wrinkle-proof, so opting for a wool T-shirt or shift dress on your travels means that you’ll look fresh and polished, even if you forgot to pack a steamer.

While adventure and performance clothing brands have been harnessing the power of wool for decades, recent fashion-forwards brands like Babaa and Nadaam are putting a stylish spin on the material, creating everything from shoes to dresses—and of course, sweaters—that are perfect for today’s travelers. Below, find eight of our favorite pieces of wool clothing (and shoes) to pack this fall and beyond.

Smartwool Merino Sport shirt dress

In addition to all things wool—including socks, underwear, base layers, and more in both men’s and women’s sizes—Smartwool has created a line of athletic clothing made from its own merino sport material, a blend of wool and recycled polyester. This shirt dress is made from that fabric, and has all the great qualities of merino wool along with an added stretch for maximum comfort and versatility, creating a piece of clothing that you can wear on the tennis court or at an art museum.

Naadam Essential Cashmere sweatsuit

Nadaam has created a line of stylish, travel-ready clothing from sustainable cashmere, recycled cashmere, and cashmere blends. This sweatshirt and matching sweatpants (available in both men’s and women’s styles and made with 100 percent Mongolian cashmere) is an ultra-cozy, ultra-luxe outfit that’s sure to make flights more comfortable. If you’ve never invested in cashmere because you’re worried about ruining it, Nadaam offers a line of care tools, including combs to take care of pilling and cedar accessories to repel moths.

Icebreaker Merino Berlin pants

Seamlessly blending performance wear with streetwear, these merino wool pants are classic chino-style trousers that will look good on almost any trip, from chic city escapes to weekend trips in the country. The cozy merino blend will keep your legs warm in the winter, while the breathable fabric will wick away sweat and odor in warmer months. Available in two neutral colors—khaki and black—these are a travel wardrobe staple.

Woolloomooloo Belmont sneaker

Made with premium Australian merino wool, these sneakers are more comfortable, durable, and sustainable than their synthetic counterparts. Breathable and soft, these knitted wool sneakers transfer moisture away from the skin, keeping feet cool even when you’re on a run. And best of all, they are machine washable. Remove the laces and insoles, pop them in the washing machine on a cold, gentle cycle, let them air dry, and they’re good as new.

Wool & Prince crew neck tee 100%

No travel wardrobe is complete without an essential T-shirt. This crew neck from Wool & Prince is made of 100 percent merino wool, creating a thin and lightweight shirt that’s incredibly soft. Wrinkle- and odor-resistant, it can be worn multiple times between washes, cutting down on luggage space and hotel laundry bills.

Unbound Merino muscle tank

Lightweight and breathable, this sleeveless shirt from Unbound Merino has a perfectly soft, worn-in feel. The thin material is moisture-wicking, making this a great piece for layering on cold days or wearing on its own when the sun is out. This versatile top can be worn with Unbound’s merino leggings during outdoor adventures or paired with jeans or a skirt for a simple city look.

Wool& Brooklyn wrap dess

This faux-wrap dress is the kind of outfit that’s good to have on nearly any trip, whether you’re planning a low-key weekend in the countryside or a sightseeing trip to the city. Wrinkle-proof and odor-resistant, it is made with a thin and lightweight merino wool and will take up minimal room in your suitcase. Plus, the dress has no itchy labels or zippers, meaning you can wear it with the overlapping neckline in the front or reverse it for a backless, draped style.

Babaà skirt set

Comfortable yet sophisticated, this cozy set is made by artisans in northern Spain using local wool. The midi-length skirt and matching sweater are made with a chunky, ribbed wool crafted from hand-dyed yarn that will keep you warm and toasty during cold-weather travels. If you’re not a fan of skirts, Babaa’s merino sets, which come with a top and joggers, are a cozy alternative that are perfect for plane rides, après ski adventures, and more.

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