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Dressing for the journey

These top performers will get travelers from Point A to Point Z

By Wendy Donahue, Tribune Newspapers

7:33 PM EDT, May 7, 2013

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A zip pocket is like a luxury hotel when you're traveling. If just one garment you're wearing has one, you can check in your ID, credit card and phone, then relax and enjoy the rest of the adventure.

What you pack beyond that can shoot in as many directions as flights out of Heathrow, depending on your destination and itinerary, not to mention body type and tastes.

But as fees climb and waits grow for checking baggage, packing efficiently counts more than ever. As a departure point, your packing list should check these three boxes (and we offer a few specifics below to do so):

Versatility: Establish a neutral base — black, gray, khaki.

Performance: Think wrinkle/stain resistance, moisture-wicking and lightweight.

Comfort: Reach for stretch fabrics, zip pockets and slip-on/off shoes.

If there's space to spare after that, dark jeans get great mileage on the road. Plus, guys might consider adding a sport coat with some stretch (Uniqlo.com for a $29.99 jersey option). And women might invest in a maxi dress (MarieFranceVanDamme.com for a luxurious animal-print option). Why? As Wanderlust Festival marketing director Karina Mackenzie puts it: "I don't mind looking like a schlub in the office, but I'd rather be overdressed when traveling, especially in Europe."

wdonahue@tribune.com