Dressing Affordably & Stylish For My Two-Week Trip to Bali

When a girl goes on vacation — to Bali, no less — there’s a lot she has to plan for such as flights, hotel stays, and what she’s going to do and see. But there was one important aspect of planning my trip that freaked me out the most — what was I going to wear?

The last two international destinations I visited were Spain and Ireland during March, and they both had fairly chilly (okay, cold) weather. I was pretty limited in style and mostly just concerned about being warm as I hate being cold. But with Bali, I wanted things to be different. I wanted to dress up and look amazing and simply put together in cute, chic, and tropical ways. And why not? This was my birthday vacation and I deserved to spend it looking and feeling my best. But my wishes, well, they were a little easier said than done.

Bali is notoriously hot. It’s been in the 90s my entire trip, plus it’s humid since March is the end of Bali’s “rainy” season. I knew all of this before I arrived, and that worried me because I didn’t have many clothes that were light weight. I’m from Texas, so I can take the heat, and I lived in Louisiana so I’m no stranger to humidity — but I knew what was in my closest and the items that I did have were going to push me into having a heat stroke.  I also needed lightweight clothes because it’s easier to fit more lightweight clothing items in a carry-on which is the only way I travel. Unfortunately, my fashion concerns didn’t end there.

In my studies about the country, I discovered that Bali has cultural standards when it comes to women’s fashion, especially for women who visit their most prized attractions. As a history nerd, I was obsessed with visiting many of Bali’s temples, but like what occurs when visiting some churches around the world, the temples in Bali ask women to dress a little conservatively by covering their shoulders and knees. I have no problem with following cultural standards of a country that I am visiting, but it put me in an even more difficult conundrum. Not only did I not have many lightweight and breezy clothes, but the ones that I did have weren’t ideal for Bali as they would be too heavy or revealing.

Take the heat and the cultural standards, and add it to the fact that I needed enough clothes to last me for a two-week trip and I could just see the price tag rising. This was going to be a very expensive shopping spree! But I was determined not to spend too much money that would be better used toward my vacation so I went to my favorite gently-used store — Thredup.

If you haven’t heard of Thredup, they’re an online store that sells secondhand clothing for women and children. I heard about them a few years ago when I lived in Los Angeles. I wanted to get rid of my clothes then but I didn’t want to run around to different secondhand stores and try to sell them so I did a little googling and found Thredup. They sent me a bag which I filled up with clothes and shoes, and shipped off for free. They offered me money in exchange for my clothes and the ones they didn’t take were recycled. It was all too convenient and easy not to do.

So before my trip to Bali, I hopped on Thredup’s store and started looking around for the items I needed. I had never shopped on Thredup and I’m not a big fan of online shopping to begin with, but I have to say, it was the easiest and perfect way to buy a great selection of clothes for Bali.

I found such cute clothes that were lightweight and breezy but also conservative enough to fit in with the cultural standards. The order was seamless and because I spent over $75, shipping was free! The real test, though, was when the clothes arrived. I am a very good secondhand shopper and have spent many a-days in a Goodwill, so I know what good secondhand clothing looks like and let me just say that Thredup exceeded my expectations.

Many of the clothing items still had their original tags on them! Not one clothing item had a stain on them. I only really found two problems with the pile of clothing I ordered. One pair of capris wouldn’t go over my thighs… but that’s on me as I can never really guess what size I am at H&M. So I sent them back (for free) and ordered something else! The second problem was with a romper that I bought from Forever 21. The listing for the romper told me it was a little worn, but I didn’t care so I ordered it anyways — once again, this is on me. The day I was leaving the seam came undone around the elastic. Not a big deal and definitely something I can fix when I return.

To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the brands of the items that I ordered until they arrived.

My favorite pants that I ordered were these super chic red culottes from Zara — which still had its tags! Not only are they super fashionable, but they are are airy and breezy and can be dressed up and down.

I discovered that I had bought quite a few pieces from H&M, as well as a Tahari dress, a cover up from Romeo + Juliet couture, and a brand new, never-worn top from Carmen Marc Valvo. Let’s just say I totally won in all areas.

When I arrived in Bali, I found it to be extremely humid and I was so glad that I had found breezy fabrics at Thredup and brought them along for my trip. I used the small shawls all the time — at the beach, at the temple, and to keep a little warm at night. I stayed cool (or as cool as you can in Bali) and stylish throughout my entire trip and received tons of compliments. I can’t express how amazing this was!

I bought fashionable clothing that had all of the qualities that I needed for this trip at affordable prices. If it wasn’t for Thredup, I don’t think I would have looked this cute or have been able to bring so many amazing clothing items on my vacation to Bali as everything fit in my carry-on bag. Lightweight clothing — that’s the key.

If I got anything out of this entire experience, it’s that there’s always a way to save money and travel and you don’t have to sacrifice your fashionable sense of style to do so. I didn’t.

Click here and use the code H&M50 to get 50% off first-time orders with a discount up to $50.

You don't have to break the bank for a cute new vacation wardrobe. This travel writer explains how she bought two weeks worth of clothes for her vacation to Bali from Thredup.

Alex Temblador
Alex Temblador is the founder and editor-in-chief of Fempotential.com. She’s a full-time freelancer with dreams of being a full-time novelist and blogger.
Alex Temblador

Alex Temblador

Alex Temblador is the founder and editor-in-chief of Fempotential.com. She's a full-time freelancer with dreams of being a full-time novelist and blogger.