Being restricted to just one (reaonsably-sized) suitcase of clothing was the thing I was most anxious about as we prepared to leave. Not terrorism, not health insurance – clothing. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I’m someone who enjoys having lots of options and having the perfect outfit for any occasion – whether that means a costume party, a fancy dinner, or just working out. I had to be very selective about what I brought with me, and so far, I’ve been pretty happy with my choices.
Which brings me to Betabrand… I’ve been a fan of the SF-based clothing company for many years now. Their clothes are designed with both form & function in mind, are generally very durable, and usually good value for the price. And the company has a cheeky sense of humour in everything they do.
I love how they engage with people… Not only are their emails very entertaining, but their Model Citizen photos showcase the creativity of their customers, and let you see how their clothing looks on a variety of people. They support indie designers by “crowd-funding” their designs – if enough people pre-purchase an item, they put it into production. Or if you have a vision for a garment, submit it to their Think Tank and they will help you turn it into a protytpe, and then a real product if enough people vote for it.
But I was really blown away when their founder published all the details about their Fly Away Program – they put all of their company purchases on a credit card account that collects miles, and then they use those miles to send an employee on a trip! How cool it that? And they think every company should be doing something like this, so they published all the details of exactly how they do it. This is a company that clearly cares about its employees as much as it does its customers.
So while I’m not officially sponsored by Betabrand, I am traveling with 6 pieces of their clothing (and have many more back in SF), so I’m obviously a fan. Not only do I love their merchandise but these are people who do innovative things with both their products and their internal operations, so I wanted to take a moment to sing their praises.
And if you’re curious about what I have with me, I’ve put details below. (I promise I’m not getting commission). Their products tend to be in fairly limited batches, so don’t drag your feet if you’re interested in something:
Travel Cargo Pants:
For long-haul flights, these are amazing! They feel like yoga pants, have a plethora of pockets, but look like normal trousers. The thigh pocket is the perfect size for my passport and was especially convenient in the airport. They are lightweight, stetchy, and waterproof. And they look good.
Grey Work-It Dress:
Again, yoga pants material, but its an adorable dress with pockets! (Yes ladies, pockets!) I’ve had this for years and the colour hasn’t faded and it never wrinkles. Plus the structure makes it very comfortable, but it still looks stylish.
360 Reversible Dress:
4 dresses in 1! You can wear it forwards and backwards, plus its reversible. And its a lightweight material that dries quickly, doesn’t take up much room in my suitcase, and looks cute!
Don’t Sweat It Top:
Another great travel essential – its warm but breathable. Perfect for airports where you seem to constantly be going from “too hot” to “too cold”. It has a cute, sporty look but the draping around the neck makes it a little more fashionable. Its odor-resistant and sweat-wicking, yet still cozy and soft.
I’ve gotten tons of compliments on this one – its a cozy coat that has breathable lining so you don’t get sweaty armpits. It has a hood and high collar if its very cold, and the snaps are biased towards the top of the coat so you have easy access to pants pockets. It has 2 large pockets (though full disclosure, I did lose a lip-gloss as the shape is a little shallow). It is perfect on freezing airplanes, and it means I can get away with mainly short-sleeved clothing since I can just throw this over any of my other outfits if its chilly. Plus, it was designed by a Project Runway competitor.
No special features on this one – I just find it cute and comfortable. Its made from scraps of fabric, so each one is different.
And while I didn’t bring them with me as they are too bulky, I’m also a huge fan of their Vajamas, which are pajama pants that are fuzzy on both the inside and outside!