Retreats are about letting go of life’s day-to-day pressures, connecting to one’s spirituality, and grounding oneself. Depending on your retreat’s nature, there is more often than not exercise, meditation, and relaxation involved. Retreats allow you to detox from deadlines, expectations, and stress, so there is a strong emphasis on how you feel rather than how you look.
Regardless, fashion is an extension of human expression, and it is important to wear clothes that make you feel empowered (AND comfortable). What are the most beautiful yet practical clothes that retreat-goers can wear between nature walks, sauna sessions, and restorative yoga classes?
There is a good chance the retreat your planning will involve some form of movement, whether it be yoga, pilates, or hiking, to name a few. Activewear is a suitcase essential for any retreat. One of the best things to come out of the past decade was the lifestyle trend of women wearing activewear all day. Pack your favourite Athleisure pieces that will allow for both comfort and flexibility so you can meditate, lounge around and lean into a downward-facing dog without the hassle of changing.
I’ve narrowed down my top 3 favourite activewear brands that are affordable, ethically made, eco-friendly, and of course, stylish!
- DharmaBums – If you’re drawn to the bright and colourful, DharmaBums is the brand for your next Activewear spree. Their prints range from Bohemian to Leopard and are centred around the idea of self-expression. Have confidence that what you’re wearing is gentle on Earth; they use an eco-friendly printing process and dyes that use less water and electricity and produce less waste during manufacturing.
- P.E. Nation – One brand that is paving the way for activewear fashion is the Australian company P.E. Nation. P.E. Nation has a range of sweat-wicking, figure-hugging amazingness that uses ethically sourced, high-quality material. P.E. Nation is a front-runner in modern Athleisure designs and emphasises sustainability with many collections incorporating recycled material.
- Nimble – Since the brand was founded in 2015, Nimble has recycled over 1 million plastic water bottles by custom engineering fabric made from post-consumer use plastics. Nimble’s collections are minimalist, timeless, and elegant. Their material allows for ultimate flexibility, and according to testimonials, they will last the test of constant gym bag rotations.
A big part of any retreat is downtime. After all, you’re there to relax. My biggest packing recommendation for this part of your retreat is FLOW. Make sure your suitcase is filled with an item of clothing that will give your body space and freedom to move freely and comfortably. This could be a loose summer dress, a maxi skirt or maxi dress, baggy linen shorts, or your favourite jumper. This will depend on the climate of your retreat, but the main idea behind it is comfort. Something you can throw on while you’re curled up on a lounge chair with a herbal tea in one hand and a good book in the other. Channel your inner Louise from ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.
Less is more. It’s time to give your face a break. When stuffing your toiletry bag, I encourage you to embrace your natural beauty and give your skin a rest from pore-clogging foundation and lash-breaking mascara. Pack only what is essential for your beauty routine; cleanser, exfoliator, moisturiser, and serum. You know your skin better than anyone else so assess which of your products are the most natural, gentle, and vitality-boosting for your skin. Be bold and leave your makeup tucked safely away in the bathroom drawer. More likely than not, retreats are a judgement-free zone. Of course, you’ll need the essentials for basic hygiene, such as a toothbrush and hairbrush, but that goes without saying, I hope!