A while back, I went into a shop here and was looking at bamboo clothing. The shop woman told me that once you wear bamboo, you'll never go back. She was not wrong. I'm totally hooked and am in the process of replacing my entire wardrobe with bamboo. Well, the under layers anyway.
What's so great about bamboo?
Well for starters, it's got a low environmental impact compared to a lot of other fabrics.
It's body temperature regulating so it keeps you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. I've had no chance to test the hot weather part of that but I can vouch for it keeping you warm.
It also doesn't get stinky fast -- perfect for travel.
Durable -- also important for travel.
And it feels lovely. I know a lot of travellers rave about merino wool but a lot of wool clothing irritates my skin. Bamboo doesn't. It's soft and luxurious feeling.
Probably the only downside is that you are paying a lot more for a pair of knickers or some leggings than if you were buying cheapo stuff at K-Mart. But then, especially for long-term travel, you want stuff that lasts. You can bet your buttocks that the elastic will go in all those cheap knickers at the same time! And who wants to be trawling around the stores, hunting for knickers instead of doing fun stuff.
So, what do I recommend for travellers? Or just everyday life?
One of the issues I've had is finding bamboo knickers that are high waisted. I love me some grannie pants. I've tried a few brands and haven't been in love with any of them. My sister has the Boody pants (in the centre picture) and she said they are small fitting but fantastic.
I'd really like some period knickers for travel. An extra layer of protection, especially at night, would be fantastic but I'm still on the hunt for the right pair. I've tried Modibodies, an Australian company but -- this is probably way TMI but the period parts of their knickers don't align with my period parts.
Bamboo leggings are fantastic. I have the Boody ones and wear them during the day, obviously, then, after a few wears, use them at night as a bottom layer with sleep shorts over the top especially when it's a bit colder. That's a lot of wear for one item of clothing -- more bang for your buck and less luggage space.
I always buy 3/4 length leggings because I have exceptionally small ankles. I've never found a pair of leggings that are fitted in my ankle area. Because I'm apple shaped, if I go down too small a size then they strangle my waist. Other people may not have that issue. Other people might have more regular body shapes.
When I tried on the size L in the Boody tights, I figured they'd be way too small but they are actually very generously sized. I could actually go down a size in them to get a better fit in the legs without them being too tight in the waist.
I have one singlet in my bamboo collection at the moment. It's lovely to wear and definitely keeps me warm. I never go sleeveless but, if you did, it'd be perfect in the hot weather on it's own.
I have the crop bra on order. I don't normally wear crop bras outside the house because they don't have enough support for me but do wear them when flying. Who wants to sit on a plane for hours with underwire and other annoying bra parts sticking in them? Not me, that's for sure.
I also wear them when I'm working at home so that my boobs don't get sore. And, okay, to the shops because I'm not putting a real bra on just to get a carton of milk. And, maybe other times when I'm just too lazy.
Pretty much everyone should own a crop bra. Except guys (well maybe some guys should too).
I haven't tried the long sleeved top because I have a few Heat Tech ones but, once they wear out (they seem to get a bit thin and patchy after about a year or so), I'll definitely replace them with bamboo.
A thin yet warm long sleeved top is one of my travel must-haves. You know all those times when the weather is fantastic when you leave the house/hotel but you know it'll get cold later? A cardigan or sweater is so bulky to carry around but a you can chuck a thin top in your bag and not even realise it's there until you need it. Then run into the bathroom and put it on under what you're wearing, and voila.
If I wasn't travelling so much, I'd so be buying bamboo bed linen too. My sister and I stayed in an Airbnb with all bamboo linen and it was sublime.
Disclaimer: the links in this post are affiliate links to Amazon. I might get a small payback if you buy using them, if one magical day I actually hit their payout figure.
I've mainly included Boody products because I own them and know they are good. If you're in Australia then it'd definitely be much cheaper, postage wise, to find a stockist near you. I ordered my crop bra from Bella Bodies because they have multiple size options rather than a 'one size fits all' bra.