An Ode to the Cashmere Travel Wrap
Want to know the secret to looking effortlessly chic on the go? JS Style + Travel Editor Jackie Homan believes the answer lies in one simple accessory.
The first time I remember seeing one, I was a teenager. It was my first long-haul flight, from my hometown of Cincinnati to Paris, and I was wearing black yoga stretch pants and a bright green school spirit sweatshirt, focused on comfort in the only way my 17-year-old self knew how.
It may not have seemed like it from my PJ-like garb, but I was super interested in fashion at the time—my suitcase was full of silky patterned shirts and bedazzled ballet flats I couldn’t wait to strut around the city in. However, my proclivity toward style was ultimately trumped by my desire to stay as snug as possible in my small economy seat for the nine-hour journey ahead. Little did I know, there would be a cozy compromise sitting right beside me.
To my right sat another teenager—a French girl decidedly more glamorous than me. This was the prime age of comparison and self-consciousness, and so naturally, I studied her outfit with intent. Several years later, while I don’t remember what my seatmate looked like, I can vividly recall the object of my bewilderment: her cashmere travel wrap. It functioned as a scarf, a shawl, a blanket—an ensemble-completing accessory that looked chicer than I could ever imagine looking. With that one piece in her possession, she seemed to know the secret to style.
While most trends have changed drastically since that time—I parted ways with my glitzy flats long ago—the cashmere travel wrap has remained a classic, especially for travelers. For one brand, White + Warren, the Cashmere Travel Wrap has been a bestseller for over 20 years.
It’s easy to see why the piece has withstood the test of time. The fabric is about as soft and luxurious as it gets; the versatility makes sense for those who wish to pack lightly; and the silhouette is simple enough that I don’t foresee it ever being viewed unfavorably. With a cashmere travel wrap on board, you never have to worry about the cabin temperature being too chilly, and it’s thick enough to rest your head on as a pillow in a pinch. If you’re traveling in chillier months or to a colder climate, it’s a key accessory throughout the whole trip. And if you’re visiting a more conservative city or religious site, it’s simple to throw on and then stash in your tote.
While I may never totally embody that timeless French je ne sais quoi in my everyday style (I’m a sucker for trends that I’ll inevitably look back on with horror), I can now say, cashmere travel wrap in hand, that I’ll at least look the part on the plane.
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