There are some travel days when denim just won’t do, and at those times, I favor a knit dress and a loose lightweight jacket. Knit dresses are the ultimate for cozy comfort and ideal for longer trips. My favorite knit dresses check the following three boxes: a neutral color, a bit longer in length, and a more minimal design. Oftentimes, my favorite finds are well under $100! These criteria, and being so budget friendly, make them the perfect piece for building a go-to alternative-to-denim travel outfit. Most often I will wear sneakers (such as these, these or these) with my knit dresses for a laid back look, but depending on the occasion, flats or ankle boots can be great options as well. Most knit dresses do not have pockets, which sometimes can be problematic, but the added lightweight jacket saves the day!
When adding a lightweight jacket over a knit dress, I ask myself a few questions. Is it just loose enough to be comfortable and still look cute? The last thing I want is a restricting or form fitting jacket, particularly in the shoulders, on a long flight or drive. Does it have enough pockets for carry? Meaning, can it fit my iphone, lipgloss, and passport? And, as I often like to add a lightweight silk scarf around my neck when traveling, does the jacket have a collar that can stand? From here, I look at color, fabrication, and silhouette. I tend to favor neutrals or earth tones in lightweight jackets that can pair back nicely to the knit dress to achieve a more muted palette. In terms of fabrication, I like to keep it as light as possible. It is summer, and is usually hot, but often airports, planes, or trains can be on the colder side. A lower ounce denim weight or lightweight cotton twill fabric usually does the trick. These fabrics make the jacket comfortable and practical both on and off; easy to wear, but also easy to carry, tie around the waist, or fold over your favorite crossbody bag. The classic denim trucker jacket or military jacket are my two most go-to silhouettes, but I do love a good short sleeve option, or a traditional piece in a feminine shade!