Like any backpacker, my wardrobe in half full of travelling clothes. Harem pants seem to take up most of the room. I have them in varying styles and sizes. Some have crotches that almost touch the floor, others are only knee-length. Some are tapered at the ankle, others are flowing free. Several of them are covered in pictures of elephants, others are striped or have various patterns.
Sadly over the years, most of them have seen little of the UK. The majority have only seen the inside of my house and lay in wait until I can break them out for a future holiday and they can see the outside again. A couple have had trips to Tesco but the problem is that I personally can’t get away with wearing them here without looking ‘gap yah’ or like a stereotypical student who deems it acceptable to leave the house in her pajamas.
The same can be said for my masses of bracelets. For the first few months after I returned from my Great Big Gap Year Adventure, they had quite a lot of use. I’d dedicate the time in the morning to tying them onto my wrists. Now I choose sleep.
Come the sunny weather, harem pants are actually very practical. They cover you up and keep you out of the sun but are lightweight so you don’t overheat. Alternatively, in the winter, my llama print hoodie is unbeatable for cosiness.
I’ve started to ease similar items into my daily wardrobe. I’ve invested in harem pants from high street stores instead. Paired with simple sandals and chiffon white shirts, they look more sleek and less nightwear. I also look less likely to begin a sentence with the phrase, “When I was in Thailand…”
My various printed T-shirts are easier to take out. Worn with high-waisted shorts and sunglasses, they’re perfect for beaches and festivals. Alternatively, my ‘tubing in Vang Vieng’ vest and shorts are ideal for the gym, although I try not to wear them together.
But the thing is that the rest of my travel clothes are full of memories of exploring various countries and wandering around markets and haggling with the people on the stalls and it would be nice to relive them (although admittedly my llama hoodie came from a shop in Kent instead of somewhere in South America).
I buy the clothes both because they are handy to have whilst I’m away but also because I love the styles, colours and fabrics. So this summer, I’m going to try and take the plunge and take them outside. Admittedly the more conservative ones will probably get the first wear.