What would you pack if you were on The Amazing Race?
I'm a fan of the CBS show and followed multiple seasons, including the current one that's nearing the finish line.
In the reality TV competition, contestants race around the world while tackling challenges. For one month, their only personal belongings are what they can fit in a backpack. Previous winners Rachel and Dave revealed that racers do not get packing lists.
Functional clothing for a variety of climates is a given. However, with the exception of my friends the Goths, teams generally aren't very stylish.
From my perspective as a fashion blogger, racers can do better. I put together a list of female wardrobe essentials. You can be a fierce competitor while looking like a million dollars -- and hopefully, take home that grand prize!
Numbered items in this photo are detailed below.
When you're on camera at all times, touch-ups are in order. Laura Mercier's makeup brushes (1) come in a hard case and are double-tipped to save space. Lancôme's Absolu Voyage makeup palette (2) is a marvel of compact design: 20 essentials (for eyes, lips, skin) in a double-decker mirrored box. "Road Blocks" are often outdoors, so I'd remove shine with Dior compact pressed powder and slather on Sisley Paris SPF-30 sunscreen.
Racers need shoes to brave the rain, snow, sleet and hail. I love the sleek look of Adidas Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto. The elegant Ava (3) has a leather sole, and the funky Shizuka II (4) has padding and rubber detail.
Stella McCartney's Adidas collection balances fashion and performance. Her stretch pants (5) have a compelling shape, and her fleece hoodie jacket (6) has a zippered pocket so your passport and money won't fall out (as it did for the Rocker duo this year).
In winter weather, I'd cover my ears with a Rag & Bone Farah beanie (7). On sunny days, I'd put on an Eric Javits Squishee (8), it has an all-around brim and packs away easily. As a bonus, a hat hides bad hair. (Here are more tips for maintaining good hair when traveling.)
As the Goth team demonstrates in this video, scarves are handy. Steal their style with a silk Alexander McQueen skull scarf (9). If the clue says "fly to Iceland," you'll be glad to have a warm wrap like this Yves St Laurent cashmere leopard print (10).
There's a lot of dirty work on the Amazing Race, like collecting dead rats and lifting bamboo. The Burton Mix Master glove would be a life-saver, with a thin but protective leather palm and weatherproof membrane. For more nimble tasks, I love these Gucci fingerless gloves (11).
My favorite packs are by Japanese designers. Kolor x Yoshida Technical backpack (12) has a breathable waterproof shell and padded waist straps. The Master-Piece Rumble backpack is similarly chic, with a fold-over flap and durable fabric.