Knitwear made its debut in popular fashion when Coco Chanel introduced her striped cashmere knitwear collection in the early 20th century. Since then numerous designers have incorporated knits into their clothing lines. Primarily used for winter clothes till now, knitwear is emerging from that typecast through new technology and machines that are creating fabrics that can be worn comfortably through the summer as well.
Knits are often favored by travelers for its many impressive qualities. Frequent travelers will tell you about these 5 benefits of wearing knitwear while traveling:
1. IT'S COMFORTABLE
The softness of knits makes them perfect for traveling. With athleisure (athletic+leisure) becoming ever more popular, the comfort of knits has been brought back in style. We think it should have never left. Be it an oversized sweater that will keep you warm in the excessively air conditioned interior of a plane/bus or a fitted dress on the long commute to work, knits provide ultimate comfort.
People who travel know the discomfort of sitting for long stretches of time. If what you're wearing doesn't move with your body, it's going to be extremely annoying. The elasticity in knits come from the freedom of movement and open spaces that the interconnected loops have. This makes knitwear mold and move with the body, letting you travel comfortably. The stretch also provides for a good fit.
2. IT'S LOW MAINTENANCE
Gone are the days that you need to take extra care in washing your knit clothes. With newer fabrics that are machine washable, your travel wardrobe is going to be stress free and low maintenance. Whether you have the time or willingness to dry clean your clothes, having the option to just throw them in the washer is great. Contrary to what most of you think, you can actually pretty much machine-wash all of your sweater knits. All you need to do is just make sure to put the sweaters in a mesh bag and wash them with gentle cycle in cold water and then lay flat dry. I'm working on using machine washable cashmere knits that will feel like a million bucks but cost next to nothing to clean.
I also came across Dolfi, a incredible hand-size device that cleans your clothes with the power of ultrasonic technology. Put your clothes in a waterproof container, add water, detergent and Dolfi. Switch the device on and in an hour your clothes will be clean! You can sign up here to be informed when it's available for purchase. I think it's the perfect travel accessory. Especially when you have reversible clothes than you can wash, flip and wear the next day.
Machine washable Cashmere slip dress (image courtesy Purewow)
(image courtesy Indiegogo)
3. IT'S WRINKLE-RESISTENT
For the same reasons that knits stretch, they also resist wrinkling. Wrinkles are caused by heat or moisture which causes the fibers to move and reset into new uneven or bent positions. The interconnected loops of knit fabric and their elasticity make it easier for knit fabric to bounce back to their original shape instead of getting stuck in the new wrinkled shape (source). While this doesn't make knits wrinkle-free it does mean it takes a LOT to wrinkle it. This is ideal for people who commute or travel for business because they can show up at work or at meetings looking put together.
4. IT PACKS WELL
You can also pack as many knitwear garments as you want without having to worry about ironing them later. They're also so easy to twist into shapes that can be efficiently packed into a suitcase. Their elasticity lets them compress so you can pack more with little space. Rolling T-shirts, dress or pants keeps them from wrinkling and also takes up little space. See how to Pack Light without Sacrificing Style and Options in this article.
5. IT'S VERSATILE AND EASY CHIC
This one might sound surprising because knitwear has got a bad rap for being too casual for so long. But even casual can be stylish and even knitwear can be formal. Whether it's slacks mades with soft woolen knits or cashmere sweaters, knitwear can be your comfortable option when dressing up for travel. All the women who have worn knit wrap dress, skater dress or body con dresses to work know how well knits drape. The fabric's weight lets it hang well and fit well. While this can be achieved with woven fabrics, what you can duplicate is the comfort. It's perfect for women who travel to wear a knit dress because it gives them range of movement without compromising on style. Knits are also easy to style, to dress up or dress down with just a few accessories.
Read this article in Business Insider about why you should always dress up on a plane. Teri Agins of the wall street journal gives as few quick tips on how you can wear upscale knitwear when you travel in this article.
"Knitwear—from traditional sweaters to dresses, pants, skirts and jackets made of jersey or other stretch materials—has emerged to become my preferred apparel for every day of the year. It is no wonder that knits have exploded in fashion, as more people of all ages demand clothes that are comfortable, durable and wrinkle-free."- Teri Agins
People always thought that comfort had to be sacrificed in order to look good but see how stylishly these celebrities are pulling off knits:
Emma Watson rocks the athleisure trend in a striped sweater and joggers. Get this look and with the reversible Edith pullover.
(image courtesy Whowhatwear)
Amy Schumer is keeping warm with a knit cape layered over a top. Get this look and more with the reversible Marcella Cape.
(image courtesy Popsugar)
Kendall Jenner's personal style is undeniable as she wears this casual sweater with capris and metal tip loafers. Get this look and more with the reversible Claudette sweater.
(image courtesy Harpersbazaar)
I love the lace detail on Jessica Alba's sweater. Get this look and more with convertible Cara sweater.
(image courtesy Becauseimaddicted)
I hope you've realized the value in packing knits for your next trip!