Travel goods for today:
That’s a wrap
by Kathy Witt
One of the most versatile travel accessories is the wrap. It can create wardrobe drama (in a good way), keep travelers warm on planes and trains, cover up a chaise – or swimsuit – at the beach or pool and even twisted into a head covering. Wraps are lightweight and made for tossing into a beach bag or carry-on for quick comfort and accessibility.
More than just a pretty fouta
From the historic tradition of the hammam towels (flat-woven, cotton cloths used in Turkish Hammams, or public baths), the fouta from Fouta Harissa is a gorgeous, hand-loomed textile that celebrates the soul of Brazilian beach culture while also preserving intricate, artisanal weaving. Stylishly serving multiple purposes, it can be used it as a wrap for fending off the chill of an airplane cabin, lounging by the pool or taking an outfit from drab to pizzazz.
“Harissa” – like the Arabic word for spicy flavorful chili paste or sauce – adds sass and zest to the color and design profile of each piece. Made of 100 percent cotton, these statement makers, in fun patterns including Miami Vice, Coral Queen and Friends with Boats, are the epitome of fashion and function in a luxe fabric that is machine-washable. Ranging from $79 to $120, each comes with its own pouch.
Ultimate travel accessory
Tap into traditional Scottish dress mode with Royal Robbins’ Highlands Travel Scarf ($60), a versatile, functional and feminine scarf that doubles as a cozy wrap. Made from a super-soft Merino wool blend for lightweight warmth, the scarf is trimmed with five small buttons and buttonholes positioned on opposite corners to create six different styles. It can be worn as a wrap, either buttoned down the front or buttoned across the arm, or as a scarf with multiple tying options, including the simple loop and oblong and celebrity knot, to add a dash of style and color to an outfit.
Available in one size and measuring 62 inches long, the scarf comes in charcoal/multi and sand dollar heather/multi. It is also naturally odor-resistant and temperature regulating as well as machine-washable.
Hand-designed/handmade in Bali
Vibrant, versatile batik sarongs from Bali, designed by a local artist and made by that artist’s family, are an ideal accessory for travelers. Batiks can be pulled from a carry-on and draped over shoulders or tucked around legs like a blanket on the airplane, folded away on arrival, then pressed into stylish service as a dress, skirt, scarf or swimsuit cover-up. Elaborately patterned, richly colorful batiks are large and fit most sizes.
Penny Pinching Globetrotter and adventurer Melissa Nance sells batik sarongs through her website for $44.99 each. Nance fell in love with batiks while on her honeymoon in Indonesia; in fact, she took a class to learn about the ancient art of batik, one that has been practiced for 2,000 years in southeast Asia.
“This complex dyeing process creates beautiful, intricate designs that are unique to the region,” said Nance. “In fact, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”
Buy a sweater, save the ocean
Here is soft and snuggly with an environmental payoff: The Recycled Knit Twist Poncho ($68), a women’s sweater wrap from Save the Ocean Apparel Company, is something everyone can feel good about wearing, anytime, anywhere. The company makes eco-friendly collections of men’s and women’s apparel and accessories made entirely of fabrics from recycled plastic bottles collected from around the world. Not only that, but a portion of the proceeds – 10 percent of sales – benefits The Ocean Foundation.
Just pull it over your head and cuddle into the warmth of this wrap, given detailing with a chic twist in the front. It is easy to pack, perfect for layering and comes in a variety of colors, including light gray, coral and ivory. Designed with a modern classic aesthetic, the wrap is so versatile it can go wherever you go, from the beach to the mountains, a cruise ship to a ski trip, the office to dinner and drinks afterward. Find the wrap at Macy’s.
Beautiful and versatile, foutas absorb moisture really well and dry quickly after use.
Photo: Fouta Harissa
Royal Robbins’ Highlands Travel Scarf in naturally odor-fighting Merino wool offers warmth and versatility as a fashion accessory.
Photo: Royal Robbins
Never mass-produced, the batik sarongs sold by Penny Pinching Globetrotter are designed by a local artist and made by his family in Bali in Indonesia.
Photo: Penny Pinching Globetrotter
Save The Ocean apparel and accessories, like the women’s sweater wrap, are sustainable, eco-friendly and most importantly, comfortable.
Photo: Save the Ocean Apparel Company