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When it comes to packing for travel, my friends, family, and travel companions are endlessly surprised by how light I travel. How do I do it? I’m always on the lookout for travel clothing that helps me pack less. Among the convertible travel clothing available, the Versalette is almost always at the top of the list people recommend.

In May 2017, I purchased the redesigned Versalette in navy. “Test it. Prove it’s good enough, and then tell everyone what you think,” I told myself. So I did!

Here’s my Versalette review, and everything you need to know to add this convertible travel dress to your travel wardrobe.

Note: At this point, the Versalette isn’t available for purchase. The company that makes the Versalette, Seamly, recently changed ownership. I’ll update this post with more info, including new links, as it becomes available.

My Overall Versalette Review

When I first bought mine, I wasn’t sure the Versalette was actually versatile. I wore it a few ways but found it didn’t really fit my personal style. I’m a jeans-and-tee kinda gal, no matter the occasion or destination.

After wearing it for seven days in a row, I have changed my mind. The Versalette is definitely versatile. You can find a number of ways to wear it, no matter your body size, shape, or preferred style. I’ve detailed 7 styles of how to wear the Versalette below, but there are over 20 ways to wear it. You can find one that works for you, I promise.

I was easily able to create a short packing list (also below) that includes the Versalette. Any woman traveler could pack the Versalette for a 5-7 day trip and it would be a useful, good addition to their travel wardrobe. You can also easily hand-wash the Versalette in a hotel sink and air-dry it overnight to get more days out of it.

How to Pack for a Week with the Versalette

I love a good packing list challenge – I’ve got a solid weekend packing list that is trimmed to the bare minimum, and I’ve done some minimalist packing challenges over the years. When I decided to do this Versalette review, I didn’t have any trips coming up, so I decided to pretend I had to pack for a week and wear the Versalette every day. Here’s what I wore over the course of my week-long Versalette review:

Versalette Packing List

The Versalette is the navy rectangle near the middle, and here are the other items in the photo:

Clothing:

  • Pants: Shorts, Tights, Black jeggings
  • Tops: Black ruched top, Grey ruffle sweater
  • Tanks: White tank, Blue tank
  • Jackets: Black hoodie, Grey blazer, Leather jacket
  • Shoes: Tieks, White sneakers, Black boots

Accessories:

  • Earrings: Green glass panes, Olive orbs
  • Necklaces: Leaf necklace, Silver loops necklace
  • Bracelets: Alex & Ani bangles
  • Other: Black belt

Most of these items are ones I’ve had in my wardrobe for years; I didn’t buy anything extra for any styles you see later in this post. You can easily fit these items in a carry-on bag, too:

From the office to the streets of San Francisco, I wore the Versalette to figure out how to style it and wear it comfortably. Read on to see each of the styles, how to create them, and how much I liked them.

Note: I am 5’7″ and 150lbs. I am generally a ‘medium’ size. Hopefully, this helps you see which styles I love (and hate) might work for your body.

Style #1: Cap-Sleeve Bubble Top

How to Wear the Versalette - Cap Sleeve Top
Versalette worn with: White tank, Shorts, Tieks, Leaf necklace

For the first day of my seven-day Versalette review, Mr. V and I had to go to San Francisco to do some shopping and sightseeing, and this was a fun, casual outfit. I wore the Versalette as a bubble top with cap sleeves. This is by far my favorite way to wear the Versalette, but I didn’t know that at the time!

How to create this style:

  1. Put the Versalette over your head and your arms through the sleeve slits.
  2. Cinch the upper opening closed around your neck to create a neckline for the top. This can be as loose or tight as you prefer.
  3. Cinch the lower opening closed around your midsection, and then pull the material out over top of it. This will create the bubble effect.
  4. Make sure the cap sleeves are out over your shoulders.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable!
  • Good coverage – I didn’t feel like anything was going to fall out  ?
  • Feminine but not too girly, which is an important criterion for me!

Cons:

  • You can’t see it, but the “under” cinch is up around my waist. I had to wear a tank top to make that comfortable all day.
  • Seams lay right down the front of your body, which sorta looks odd.
  • Takes a bit of work to make the neckline look good.

Score for this style: 10/10 – My favorite, could wear it every day.

Style #2: Double Infinity Scarf

How to Wear the Versalette as a scarf
Versalette worn with: White tank, Shorts, Black hoodie, White sneakers, Green glass pane earrings

For Day 2 of my Versalette review, Mr. Valise and I had a trip to Muir Beach planned with some friends from work. I needed to style the Versalette so that I could easily play in the water or sit on the beach without exposing anything to anyone. I went very low-key and easy by wearing it as a scarf – this was also a good choice because the Pacific winds are quite chilly as the sun sets!

How to create this style:

  1. Take the Versalette and make it into a big loop.
  2. Wrap it once around your neck.
  3. Wrap it a second time around your neck. It may be a bit tight.
  4. Twist and tuck the Versalette in so that no golden pulls or sleeve pieces are falling out.

Pros:

  • Super “conservative” and easy to wear; no risk of the Versalette moving or falling off.
  • Cozy – I really like to wear scarves tight around my neck like this.
  • You can pull one of the loops up as a hood if you get cold (bonus!).

Cons:

  • Can feel too tight around your neck if you don’t like that feeling.
  • Hard to keep everything tucked in and fashionable, since the scarf moves and rotates around your neck as you wear it.

Score for this style: 8/10

Style #3: Bubble Tank Top

How to Wear the Versalette as a tank top
Versalette worn with: Grey blazer, Blue tank, Black jeggings, White sneakers, Silver loops necklace

Day 3 of my 7-day review was a Monday, and I had an important meeting. In San Francisco, sneakers are acceptable for meetings, so I styled up with a necklace and blazer but was still pretty casual for work.

How to create this style:

  1. Put the Versalette on over your head and your arms through the sleeve slits.
  2. Cinch the two openings the same as you did for the cap-sleeve bubble top in Day 1.
  3. Tuck in the ‘sleeves’ so they are not over your shoulders.

Pros:

  • Comfortable, similar to the cap-sleeve version.
  • Good ventilation with a blazer over top – I wasn’t too hot.
  • Looks professional enough for Bay Area standards

Cons:

  • Similar to Day 1, it can take some adjusting to get this fitting right. I often had a weird bubble of fabric over the top of my chest.
  • Not professional enough for formal work settings.

Score for this style: 8/10

Style #4: Skirt

Versalette Review
Versalette worn with: Black ruched top, Black belt, Tights, Black boots, Olive orb earrings

I rarely wear skirts or dresses in real life, so this was the first day that anyone noticed I was actually trying something new in my wardrobe. Surprisingly, this is my second favorite way to wear the Versalette: the skirt is fun and playful but still provides good coverage.

How to create this style:

  1. Take your Versalette and hold it open. Reach down inside the Versalette to pull the bottom opening up inside the upper one (aka fold the Versalette in half inside itself) so that you have a loop of Versalette.
  2. Step into the loop. Cinch the inner opening closed, then cinch the outer opening closed.
  3. Adjust so that the ties are in the back.
  4. Stick your hands into the shoulder slits, which now serve as pockets.

Pros:

  • Playful and feminine.
  • Pockets on a skirt!
  • Super easy to wear, but still long enough to be comfortable.

Cons: 

  • Could be too short on long legged girls
  • The ties in the back can get uncomfortable being pressed into your back when sitting at a desk all day.

Score for this style: 9/10

Style #5: Single Infinity Scarf

How to Wear the Versalette as a scarf
Versalette worn with: Grey ruffle sweater, Blue tank, Black jeggings, Tieks, Green glass pane earrings

This is a perfect outfit for me: super casual and comfortable, and with the Versalette used as a scarf to keep me cozy. I don’t love how the Versalette looks when it’s just an open loop like this, though, since the golden ties and shoulder fabric can look weird. Maybe I didn’t put the Versalette on correctly for this one.

How to create this style:

  1. Take the Versalette and make it into a big loop.
  2. Wrap it once around your neck, similar to Day 2.
  3. Twist and tuck the Versalette in so that no golden pulls or sleeve pieces are falling out.

Pros:

  • Casual and comfortable – a great airplane outfit option

Cons:

  • Didn’t look great, sorta just looked like I threw a big loop of fabric around my neck.

Score for this style: 6/10

Style #6: Cap-Sleeve Dress

How to Wear the Versalette as a dress
Versalette worn with: Leather jacket, Black belt, Tieks 

Similar to skirts, I basically never wear dresses unless it’s a special occasion. In fact, I don’t really own any casual dresses for that reason! The Versalette is great for filling that gap in a travel wardrobe, especially if you need to pack a dress for possible evening activities but don’t want to put something that might wrinkle or take up too much space.

How to create this style:

  1. Put the Versalette over your head and your arms through the shoulder slits.
  2. Cinch the upper opening closed to create your desired neckline.
  3. Arrange the cap sleeves so they are over your shoulders.

Pros: 

  • Super easy way to wear a dress.
  • Long enough for most body types.
  • Comfortable material, comfortable enough to wear all day.

Cons:

  • Can be too short on long-torsoed women.
  • Sitting on the gold pulls at the bottom opening is not comfortable!

Score for this style: 7/10

Style #7: Over-Shoulder Shrug

How to Wear the Versalette as a shrug
Versalette worn with: White tank, Shorts, White sneakers, Silver loops necklace

For the final day of my week-long Versalette review, I decided to take a style risk. Despite my smile in this picture, this was by far my least favorite way to wear the Versalette. It just didn’t fit right on my body, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the loops and cinches, and the fabric seemed to be in all the wrong places. Proof that even the most versatile convertible travel clothing does not look great on everyone.

How to create this style:

  1. Take your arms, and feed them through the lower opening of the Versalette (the one farther from the shoulder slits).
  2. Put your arms through the shoulder slits.
  3. Try and make it fit so that your back is fully covered. This may require cinching the “upper” opening.

Pros/Cons:

  • Honestly, I don’t have any. On my body, this looked weird and wasn’t comfortable.

Score for this style: 1/10

Do you have questions about the Versalette? Ask in the comments below!

10 comments

Reply

Versatile pieces like this are SO great for traveling! Love that this one can be worn so many different ways.

Reply

Right? It’s so handy when you can pack one thing that has many uses! Thanks for reading!

Reply

I have never heard of a versalette but now I’m absolutely convinced I NEED one. They are MAGIC.

Reply

It really is! I hope you grab one – you won’t regret it!

Reply

Wow! I had never heard of a versalette before, but now I REALLY want one! Fantastic!

Reply

Thanks, Tiffany! I hope you snag one and you love it as much as I love mine 🙂

Reply

How cool! I loved your saying, “Life is too short to wait at baggage claim!” Ain’t that the truth 🙂 This is a great piece to add to travel packing!

Reply

That’s been my motto so long I forget it sometimes and dream of buying a nice suitcase with wheels and a pretty luggage tag 😉 Thanks for reading, Patricia!

Reply

Are they out of business already??

Reply

I know seamly (https://www.seamly.co/collections/all) is still in business, but it doesn’t look like the Versalette is currently for sale.

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