We stayed in mostly tourist areas, so I did not witness much local fashion other than the women on motorbikes covered head to toe with face coverings, and colorful printed aprons to shield from sun/dust. I thought it was interesting though that workers like waitresses and hostesses had uniforms with really short mini skirts. Young adults who hung out at popular coffee shops were into pastel over-sized tee's and sweatshirts.
No one walks casually around town in style except for tourists. Therefore, whatever fashion I saw came more from tourists (not locals). When I was on the VietJet Air flight from Vietnam to Thailand, I saw this photograph on the plane magazine that inspired me!
Two key items here stood out for me: wide-leg palazzo pants and rattan bag.
The Good: this is all about comfort when traveling. Breezy pants keeps one cool in hot humid weather while keeping dust/bugs away from skin. Also for the paranoid person who carries money in hidden waist bags during travels, these pants can hide that pouch. Choosing a thin synthetic material like 100% polyester also packs very light and washes/dries quickly.
The Bad: the restrooms in Vietnam can be very gross, especially in older areas or in people's homes, where the floors are always wet. It can be challenging or time-consuming to keep these wide legged pants from touching the wet floor when sitting on the toilet. By time-consuming, I mean trying to roll up the pant legs before getting down on it.
The Good: I've been seeing this style of bag on fashion bloggers for a year or two already, but never have been provoked to purchase until this trip. Probably because in Vietnam and Thailand they sell these everywhere in every street market stalls and you can try to haggle for cheap. I've seen these bags in the US retail stores for around $20-40 (on sale). I'm not very good with haggling prices, but I found the exact one that the model wears in the magazine at a random stall at the An Dong Market, in which I paid about $15 US dollars, not much cheaper, but I know they tend to hike up prices for tourists.
The Bad: although this circular bag is super cute and editorial worthy, it doesn't fit the things I normally carry in a purse like my iPhone 11, but my old iPhone 6 would fit. Therefore, this rattan bag is more a souvenir that will probably collect dust in the back of my closet.
Come to think of it, this bag was the only fashionable thing I bought during my Asia trip. I actually found shopping in Asia very difficult since the shopkeepers follow you around very close and comment on everything you look/touch, which turned me off to wanting to buy anything as I like to internally evaluate items before buying. With the shopkeeper standing next to you at every move was quite distracting.
As for the modern shopping malls in Asia, all the items I can get in the U.S. with similar prices, so I didn't bother since our goal was to travel light with small luggage wherever we go. The malls were only a treat for the air conditioner and sparkling clean restrooms.
So here's me trying to recreate the look that inspired me on the trip:
-Relaxed Cami (Forever 21 size S old, loose fit is great for hot weather, although I wish I had a white one instead of black, similar here)
-Tropical Print Wide Leg Pants (ASOS old, cannot remember the size, but had $20 worth of hemming alterations to fit my short legs, similar here)
-Sandals (Teva Verra sandals size 6)