Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cast Your Underwear to the Wind

When is it time to throw away those old clothes? For some people it appears to be never, for others as soon as they're perceived to be out of style or too worn or damaged. My policy for a number of years has been to take my ready-to-be-discarded clothes on vacation, for one final wear. That way I can discard clothes along the way and return with a lighter suitcase or one filled with new things purchased while away.

Now when I think an article of clothing is on its last legs, I save it in a special travel drawer. Then, when I'm ready to pack, I take as many items as befit the weather at my intended destination.

Underwear is a no-brainer, and you can quote me on that. Let's say your briefs are getting a bit threadbare, or the waistband has lost some elasticity, or there's a hole or two. Save them for your next trip and after you've worn them one last time leave them in your hotel room's trash can.

I do the same with shirts and polos, and occasionally pants. I dumped a whole mess of old clothes in Korea and Cambodia this past winter.

While there are some travelers who like to be extra-fashionable while on vacation, my theory is that where nobody knows me it doesn't much matter what I wear. And it's so nice to have a lighter bag on the way back, or one filled with custom-tailored Madras shirts purchased in Chennai for a song.

My one exception to the rule is socks. I do a lot of walking, and good padded socks and comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are essential.

On my recent cross-country train trip I could have opened the window and literally cast my underwear to the wind. But, not wanting to sully the majestic American landscape with Cherchesian jockey shorts, I ended up doing so only figuratively.


Blogger Steph said...

Catching up on your blog after having had a baby in August, I'm intrigued and inspired by this post!
It will become one of my new travel policies for sure.
Once in Tuscany, my husband discarded his pants, only because they split as he bent over. Too much meat and wine.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Peter Cherches said...

Nice to hear from you again. Congrats on the kid. Disposable diapers, that's the ticket!

10:03 AM  

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