Confession: I am not a pretty traveller.
As much as I admire those photoshoot type photos that so many female travellers seem to be able to take and post on Instagram, that’s not my real travel life. I bring minimal makeup, zero hair products, and my clothes are usually yoga pants and cotton shirts that will wash and wear easily.
However, as great as those clothes are for exploring, they kind of suck when it comes to going out. Not that I need a ballgown and high heels, but sometimes it would be nice to have a dressier option. But when travelling for months at a time battling with weight restrictions, adding a few more shirts or dresses into the mix is often just not a realistic or smart option. Especially since I’m not the best packer to start with; even while keeping ‘minimal’ my bag always ends up heavier than I want.
So for the past couple years I have settled on having one, maybe two, tops that could possibly pass for a little dressier when going out, but they usually still make me feel like a backpacker. However, knowing that this trip I was going to a conference, working with a couple luxury brands, and probably hitting some clubs and bars at some point, I hoped to find something a little more stylish than usual.
Queue Canadian designer Diane Kroe’s Origami Top: shirt, halter, and dress all in one lightweight piece of fabric.
It sounded magical, and I was immediately intrigued, but also skeptical. Could one piece of fabric really look good in multiple ways? And, more importantly to me, would they look good on my curves? Or was it another piece of clothing for stick figures only?
Only one way to find out.
I brought the origami top with me to Bali, bringing it out for the first time in stylish Seminyak for my girls’ getaway. While it was too hot out to wear as the long sleeve top (although it was a look I loved), I did wear it as a halter during the day.
And as dress one evening.
I liked it as a dress best, probably because I only had one other dress with me and plenty of tops.
The looks, as provided by a informative pamphlet included in the package, were easy to mimic and put together. While I definitely had my favourites, all styles worked on my body type which definitely impressed me. I did find it a little short when I wore it as a halter, but no skin showed and it was totally appropriate; I just tend to prefer longer tops.
The top itself was lightweight and easy to pack. It also washed and dried really quickly in the warm sun, and looked as good as new after being hand washed. The only complaint I had was the material wasn’t the most breathable. I got really hot really quickly walking around wearing it in the middle of the day in the high heat and humidity, so ended up saving it for evenings when the sun was down and it was a little cooler. Definitely a better choice, which was fine by me because evenings out were what I really needed it for anyway.
**note: The designer has since informed me that the origami top comes in different materials. I have the heavier material (Brazil Knit- the least see through & no undie lines). There is also a lighter weight Venezia material, and coming soon, the Spa Jersey material.
So would I recommend the origami top? Absolutely. The flexibility of having multiple outfits in one piece is pure gold to travellers such as myself. The fact that it is actually stylish (cough, cough zip pants) only ups the value. And being adaptable to all body types only seals the deal on this travel piece.
Want one of your own? Shop for your favourite colour, and check out the rest of the Diane Kroe travel clothing line. Use promo code HANNAH10 to save $10 on your purchase!
The Origami Top was provided for me for review by Diane Kroe brand. However all opinions are, as always, my own.
Photos by the talented Robyn Hartzell