Travel Gear Tuesday – The Pashmina

Travel Gear - The Pashmina

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It wasn’t until I started traveling to Europe and Asia on my own that I figured out the unique versatility of the pashmina (or sarong or scarf). I learned this via quiet observation of French women. Not only on the street or in cafes, but in the airport as well. One item of clothing that was consistently present no matter what their outfit, was a scarf.

At first, I thought it was just part of the style, but then I came to understand there was a purpose as well. There are so many uses for this beautiful piece of cloth that it makes it an essential travel tool. It can be worn to warm you up. It can be used as a blanket. Or as a cushion for an uncomfortable seat. Depending on the material you can use it as a towel. It can become a shirt or a skirt. And definitely an eyeglass or camera lens cleaner!

Also, if you tend to pack light like I do, meaning monochrome colors that can be worn in layers, a pashmina is a way to add color or to dress up an outfit for an evening out.

I have them in a ton of colors, styles, and weights and wear one nearly every day. There is my favorite, a light gray cashmere one that I bring with me on every trip I make. I got it during one of the bi-annual sales when I was working in Switzerland. I paid a rock-bottom price for 100% cashmere and would be heartbroken if I ever lost it!

How about you? Do you travel with a pashmina (or sarong or scarf)? Do you have a favorite one? Or a unique use?

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15 Comments

  1. san
    July 27, 2010

    Yes! I have two pashminas (in different colors) and I always take them with me when I travel. They’re so convenient!!

    Reply
    1. Andi
      July 27, 2010

      @San, hey nice to see you again, I lost track of you and your blog, but you are back in my feeder now! Regarding the pashmina…I know, I can’t believe I lived half my life without one!

      Reply
  2. Walker
    July 27, 2010

    I’ve started using scarves more often and have a number of them.. but not enough of the Pashmina’s. I get frequent hot flashes now, so if I dress more lightly the scarf allows me to ‘lighten’ up immediately. Now that you’ve mentioned the grey one, I want that color. I have a lovely periwinkle pashmina, and a hot pink cotton scarf and a black one.

    Reply
    1. Andi
      July 27, 2010

      @Walker, a pashmina/scarf is perfect for quick temperature changes, I am constantly pulling my on and off!

      Reply
  3. Sharon
    July 27, 2010

    I always travel with my Pashmina scarf. And I always put a small spritz of my favorite perfume on it before I leave as well. It’s lightweight to carry and I can stuff in it in purse if I need to. I can use it as a blanket if I’m cold, as a deterrent to not have to talk to my plane neighbor, or as I have in many cases when traveling to Europe, as a way to avoid that stinky European who hadn’t showered in a couple of days. And it’s a great accessory for my trip…especially if I’m traveling somewhere colder than here so I really do need a scarf!

    Reply
  4. cathi
    July 27, 2010

    I have several pashmina’s that I wear often too…We will be leaving for London then Paris in a few weeks and I will be wearing one for sure on the plane!! Have a great week, Andi! xxoo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  5. Andi
    July 27, 2010

    I travel with all 3 haha. It’s my favorite accessory for sure! I always try to buy a new one whenever I’m traveling, so I have a collection from all over the world. I think my favorite though is from Tibet. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Andi
      July 27, 2010

      @AndiP, my second favorite is one from Tibet also. An old boss gave it to me as a gift.

      Reply
  6. Ruth
    July 27, 2010

    I really hate to be so clueless, but where do you get a “pashmina”? Is there more than one brand? If so, which do you prefer? I feel I really owe it to myself to at least see/touch one after all the brouhaha. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Andi
      July 28, 2010

      @Ruth, hi there. You can find them almost anywhere these days. Department stores (http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=473486), clothing stores (http://www.target.com/Merona-Solid-Wrap-Red/dp/B001P4KZV4). At art fairs, etc. Some are better quality than others and will last longer and of course cost more. Wikipedia has some nice information here as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pashmina

      Reply
  7. Ruth
    July 28, 2010

    thanks so much for the links, Andi! i will check them out. i am in SF too so local is good.
    btw, i’m a francophile too but have not been able to travel for quite a few years so really enjoy hearing about your adventures!

    ruth
    (une femme d’un certain age)

    Reply
    1. Andi
      July 29, 2010

      @Ruth, I hope they help. You can find them on the weekends at the artist market in front of the Ferry Building. I didn’t realize you were in SF, I am going to email you about another post I am working on!

      Reply
  8. Amy75
    August 3, 2010

    I read your post before my trip to Rome this weekend and thought: “yes, I always travel with one too” (but also only started doing so after moving to Paris and seeing all the French women). I forgot to bring it because it’s been so hot – on the way there I thought no big deal. Then in the airport, I was freezing because of the air conditioning, and even though it was super hot in Rome, one night it was chilly and I really wanted one (luckily a fake one could be had for 5 euros). On the flight home, I was cold and pulled out my new pashmina/blanket. I couldn’t stop thinking of just how right you were πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Andi
      August 4, 2010

      @Amy75, I am so glad that you thought of me!

      Reply
  9. Harry Graham
    August 12, 2010

    I like your post. yes, I have three pashmina in different colors and i take them when i am going to outside its really good in every time.

    Thanks………..

    Reply

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