Wrinkle-free travel clothing has been around for a while. This is how Banana Republic started out, way back in the wilds of the 1980s, with sober "safari" fashion that provided some a respite from bold fluorescent hues and geometric shape prints. Today, you've also have catalogs focused on "travel" clothing. Admittedly, most of the items featured have a decidedly "middle-aged" vibe to them. As my 40 is not my mother's 40, what's a girl to do?
Quenchwear, based in Long Beach and created by designer Wendy Manasse, provides a wonderful solution. The collection is made up of flattering basics (29 pieces and counting) that address travelers and busy women in the age range of 35-65. Manasse, however, totally gets that our generation looks younger and dress younger! She also understands less has to be more, with the way post- 9/11 air travel puts a crimp in our style by how much we can stuff into a carry on.
While the tanks and pants can work OK for yoga and pilates sessions, my friend Rachel and I put their basic blacks to the test on a recent trip to Puglia, Italy that involved a mix of winery visits, upscale restaurants and a lot of walking. For starters, we loved the fact they could be easily mixed and matched with our age-defying (not defining) wardrobe pieces as well as our tight travel schedule (not allowing for a pass with the iron). The UPF of 50+ was also an asset, given the powerful sun of Southern Italy in June. Of course, we also found that the silhouettes and fabrics were so forgiving after some of those huge three-hour meals Italy is famed for.
The fabrics are made up of 88% microfiber polyester and 12% Lycra spandex, and pieces are offered in a size range from XS (0-2) to XL (16-18). Shop and stock up at www.quenchwear.com.
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