For years I’ve been searching for a versatile travel garment that can be worn many ways and translated into casual and professional outfits. I thought I’d found it in the Patagonia Kamala skirt dress, but I preferred one look over the other. I tried again with the American Apparel Bandeau dress, but I could only wear a few dress styles for my body type. So when Brooke mentioned the Encircled Chrysalis Cardi as one of her picks for a great gift for the female traveler, I had to immediately look it up.
Kristi, the designer behind the Chrysalis Cardi, was inspired by a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. Her love of both her circle scarf and cardigan led to the creation of the garment, made with eco-conscious fabrics and handmade in Canada.
Caroline showing off the Chrysalis Cardi in 8 different ways! Please note: Caroline is about 5’6″ as an FYI.
The Chrysalis Cardi can be worn in dozens of ways, but eight specific looks are showcased by Encircled. This includes a dress, a tunic, a scarf three ways, a cardigan, cape and halter. It folds down for easy packing, making it ideal for the fashionable traveler. It also keeps you from needing to bring quite as much.
As with all multi-wear products, you may like one look over others and for me, the scarf and dress looks suit me best. I love the Grecian inspired dress for nights out as well as bundling up in the scarf to keep warm in winter. It’s also easy to accessorize and comes in a handful of colors.
I found that I am more likely to wear this product as a dress and scarf instead of the cardigan, cape and halter, as it seemed to be too much draping for my frame. The Chrysalis Cardi look, pictured above in photo 1, is their signature style, but I found the one shoulder dress and tunic styles to be much more flattering. I even came up with a few of my own looks, like the longer tunic and one shouldered dress, as well as a head scarf for those days at religious sites!
Wondering how to make the magic happen? Check this video out:
Is it difficult to figure out the different looks?
Krisi, encircled founder, says, “Our Cardi comes with a full look book (with diagrams) and additional videos in our Members Only section on Encircled.ca . I’ve heard from customers that it takes about 10 minutes to sit down and play with the Cardi to figure out all the looks.”
The product may cost $138, but with 8 looks, your cost to wear once per month in six months is only $3. If you’re going to be traveling to a place where you’ll need to dress up but also be comfortable, the Chrysalis Cardi is great for you. Encircled also sells the Evolve Top, which is made of the same materials and can be styled into different necklines. I love my Encircled Chrysalis Cardi and am already planning to bring it on my next big trip!
Updated Oct 2015
We’ve decided to update the post since our first review with images of Caroline using her Cardi in her travels since! Check out these awesome ways she is putting the Chrysalis Cardi to use:
Join the Her Packing List email community!
Subscribe to get our latest packing lists, gear deals, and travel news by email.