I say nay. I say accessorize.
I once heard on Oprah that the difference between people and animals is our ability to accessorize. I couldn’t agree more. Enough of these chimpanzees in zip-off pants and Tevas. A proper display of one’s humanity obviously includes a few well-chosen statement pieces that take you from Backpacker Bum to Hobo Chic.
Take the belt. It is perhaps the most crucial travel fashion accessory—it is both practical and stylish. Kate Middleton recently made heads turn when she left the Buckingham Palace for a post-wedding getaway in a belted blue dress. There’s no reason one can’t have the same effect at tourist attractions in Laos.
The $2 plastic poncho purchased at the town market may not scream “Style Icon.” It may not be the most form-flattering and may make you feel like you’re wearing a sweaty trash bag with a too-small head hole. But don’t let that get you down.
Throw on that handy belt you’ve packed, and you suddenly have both a waistline and a powerful statement to make: “I will not be held back by weather conditions, budgetary restrictions nor poor local fashion standards.”
Yes, you can hold your head high, your pants up and your waistline in, all with one well-chosen and easily packable accessory. Oprah would be proud.