How Wanderlust Can Enhance Your Wardrobe

Wanderlust is alive and well all around us. From Instagram feeds to Pinterest scrolls and any travel sites in between, the global community is more accessible than ever. When we travel boldly and encounter new cities, countries, and cultures it can be beautiful yet overwhelming. That period of adjustment back to our own world might feel welcome for some who love routine, but it may also carry with it a hint of sadness.

When we travel, we change; when we see new things, we grow. And instead of diminishing that, we should embrace it with zest.

As a fashion blogger bitten long ago by the travel bug, I’ve often wondered: When we wander the world, see new places, and meet new people, how can we translate even small parts of those experiences back into everyday life through fashion? After extensive travels abroad and significant coast-hopping, I’ve fostered three simple ways to incorporate those voyages into an evolving wardrobe.

Bought + Brought

Perhaps the simplest way of embracing travel is to acquire trinkets from local artisans. Whether that’s a dramatic scarf, gemstone earrings, or leather-soled loafers, each destination has its own staple items. Rather than donning full traditional garb (think Indian sari or African caftan), accenting an outfit with smaller, stand-out pieces creates a vibrant yet cohesive look. Furthermore, those adornments can serve as a conversation starter, giving that coveted opportunity to share stories from recent adventures.

When deciding which piece to purchase, think first about your current wardrobe: What accessories do you wear the most? Are you a scarf enthusiast or an earring fanatic? If that chunky statement necklace looks tempting, yet you don’t own or wear a single one back home, it might not be the wisest choice. Sticking to the categories where we feel most comfortable will make us more likely to wear and re-wear these new wardrobe additions.

How Wanderlust Can Enhance Your Wardrobe | DARLING

In Their Shoes

Oftentimes, when traveling, our suitcases consist of convenient items. They may not be our most fashionable or favorite pieces, but they pack well and barely wrinkle. That limited selection can lead to feeling as though we stick out like a sore thumb. Instead of assimilating into a culture, we’re all the more aware of our differences. But, this can be a lovely positive when returning home.

That sleek Italian damsel in her all-black-everything just became the model for a workday wardrobe; that charismatic Spaniard in bright colors and bold prints just outlined your next girls’ night outfit; that Nordic diva in oversized knits just offered a cozy revamp to weekend wear. Using pieces that we already own and recreating signature ensembles keeps recent travels close while playing off our individual style. Letting global fashion trends influence our wardrobe choices is a great way to walk a day in their shoes.

By using our wardrobe as a scrapbook of travels, we can dress each day with a unique memory.

Inspired By

The key to this third method of bringing travels back to life in your own world is subtlety. In essence, it’s just for you. Not everyone we talk with, work with, or even live with will fully grasp the impact of our globetrotting. What may feel like a disconnect from where we’ve been to where we stand now does not have to hinder our relationships or leave us muddled with emotions.

Each day is filled with an opportunity to reminisce, dream, and plan for future getaways. By using our wardrobe as a scrapbook of travels, we can dress each day with a unique memory. Perhaps, that’s a sweater worn on the train from Vienna to Prague, or maybe it’s a squeaky pair of corduroys while climbing Scottish ruins. Whatever serves as an internal reminder of your growth and experiences is a beautiful mode of embracing past journeys (and doing so with gusto).

Are there other ways you identify personal style with global excursions?

Images via Gillian Stevens

Based just outside of Boston, Leslie is the creator of one brass fox, a lifestyle blog exploring the dynamism of fashion, influence of beauty, and power of creativity. She adores brands focused on conscious consumerism, lives off hummus in all flavors, and makes a home with her husband, baby boy and two kittens.