Encircled’s Chrysalis Cardi: The Traveler’s Scarf, Dress and Top in One

The Chrysalis Cardi by encircled

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.

The Chrysalis Cardi - worn 8 different ways

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:

Chrysalis Cardi as a dress at a wedding in Thailand
Chrysalis Cardi as a dress at a wedding in Thailand
Chrysalis Cardi worn as a cardi Worn as a cardi at the Tokyo airport
Chrysalis Cardi worn as a cardi Worn as a cardi at the Tokyo airport
Chrysalis Cardi as one-shoulder dress
Chrysalis Cardi as one-shoulder dress at a wedding in North Carolina
Chrysalis Cardi as a scarf on the way to the airport
Chrysalis Cardi as a scarf on the way to the airport
Chrysalis Cardi as a dress, while hanging with blogger friends in London
Chrysalis Cardi as a dress, while hanging with blogger friends in London

>> Head over to encircled to learn more, or check out our review of their Evolve Top or Dressy Sweatpants!

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Flora says

    I think the cardigan style really suits you! This looks like such an awesome garment – I’m getting more and more into the idea of multifunctional pieces for travelling with but I can never seem to find anything that both feels comfortable AND looks good on me in at least a few of the possible styles! Think you might have found a winner here though Caroline 🙂

    • Kristi says

      Hi Flora!

      I totally agree. I think the Cardi looks awesome on Caroline 🙂

      It’s supposed to be super drapey and cozy for those chilly plane rides!

      I designed it with the purpose of being a beautiful travel piece that can be dressed up or dressed down very easily.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Kristi, Chief Fashionpreneur

    • Kristi says

      Hi Charlie!

      I see that Caroline wrote back regarding the fabric. 🙂

      If you want to read more on the fabric (Modal blend), you can click here (http://www.encircled.ca/pages/modal). Modal is also eco-conscious as it’s derived from a renewable resource (Beechwood cellulose) and processed with no chemicals, and no toxic discharge into the environment.

      Thanks for your question!

    • Brooke says

      Definitely! Don’t forget we have a discount on offer to our readers – just use code HPLCARDI to save $10 off a Chrysalis Cardi before Saturday April 12th, 2014 🙂

  2. Caroline says

    Hey all! Yes, fabric is so soft. It’s jersey stretch, so basically the best fabric ever for travel, as it doesn’t really wrinkle. Highly recommended!

  3. Holly says

    Excellent review! I’ve not heard of this before and you convinced me that I needed to pick one up tonight so I ordered it in black. I travel all the time for work and when the opportunity arises also personally, therefore I’m always looking for these versatile, multi-use pieces. I’m on the short side (5’3″), so I’m curious how it’s going to fit on me. The website said they’re working on a petite version, but I couldn’t wait! 🙂

    • Brooke says

      Keep us updated when you get your new Cardi 🙂 Just an FYI, I checked with Caroline and she is just about 5’6″. While being short will make the outfits a little longer, the tunic can be shortened. Best of luck!

    • Kristi says


      Thanks for your order! I hope you love the cardi 🙂

      We have lots of more petit women wearing the cardi. I recommend using the belt (it comes with one made out of the same fabric) or your own belt when doing the cardi and cape looks. It will help cinch the fabric in to make it more fitted!

      The dress looks will be fabulous, just a bit longer!
      Tag us in some pictures when you try it on!

      With gratitude,

    • Kristi says

      Hi Jennifer!

      The Chrysalis Cardi is “one size fits most”…. I can tell you it generally suits size 2-16 however some looks will fit certain body types better. For example, the dress looks on someone 5’0” and under are more maxi-dress style.

      As the Cardi is made from a lot of fabric, it can be as drapey or fitted as needed.

      Hope that helps, if you have further questions feel free to email us directly on our website

      With gratitude,

  4. Jena says

    I was also wondering. I have been eyeing this for a couple of weeks and read this review but don’t know how it would work on someone who is 5’6 and about a size 16? I am also nursing a 3 month old and wanted more options for a cover up and thought this would be a great transition piece. TIA – thanks for the review of it. It is swaying me more to purchase this, especially with a discount 🙂

  5. Elena says

    What color is in the photos? Is it raspberry? The photos on the encircled site look much lighter. I just can’t decide between versatile black or a pop of color like raspberry!

    • Kristi {Encircled.ca} says

      Hi Elena!

      The colour in the photos is the Raspberry. On our website, it appears much lighter. It’s a lot darker (more like the photos here) in person. It’s a beautiful colour though that is versatile and easily worn all year ’round!

      Black is our best seller though. Tough choice 🙂

      With gratitude,

  6. Nic says

    THANKYOU for showing this on a real person.
    Everything looks fabulous on a gorgeous 6ft stick. You look great btw, just more like the rest of us! I love your grecian dress, and am much more likely to purchase having seen it on someone who looks more like me.
    Plus some plus size models wearing them on their website wouldn’t hurt either.

    • Kristi says

      Hi Nic,

      Thanks for your comments!

      We love showcasing our designs on real womens bodies… because our customers are REAL people, and that is exactly who we design for. I’m actually our fit model, and I have curves!

      We are looking to shoot a size guide for our Chrysalis Cardi this fall which will show the garment on a variety of sizes + shapes of women.

      Stay tuned for that. Appreciate your positivity!

  7. Jennifer B says

    I am very interested in this chrysalis cardi, as seen on Her Packing List.
    Any chance of seeing it modelled on a plus size lady, 5’11 and size 16? Really need assurance…
    It is a big investment for me, plus postage to Australia!

    • Kristi says

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for your comment! We do have plus sized customers wearing our Cardi, generally we’ve found up to size 14-16 works for most of the looks.

      Please send us a note at contact(at)encircled.ca and I can connect you with a few of our customers who can share their sizing experiences!


  8. Sarah Betterton says

    I am thinking of purchasing the chrsalyis cardi for my upcoming trip. Does anyone have know of a new discount code? thanks!

  9. Marie says


    I liked the idea behind the infinity dress, but not so how much how it ends up looking when you wear it and tie it etc so this piece looks fantastic! I was just wondering, how warm is it when worn as a cardy? Enough for proper cold nights or just for slightly cool afternoons? Or in hotter weather, does it keep you cool and covered or sticky and sweaty? Not sure if that will make any sense to anyone but if anyone could enlighten me, it would be gretly appreciated!

    • Brittany says

      Hello Marie,

      Brittany from Encircled, here.

      Thanks for your interest in our Chrysalis Cardi!

      Our Cardi does offer a nice layering piece for cooler evenings etc, but it wouldn’t replace an item such as a sweater/jacket. I actually find that it’s warmer when worn as a cape as it offers more coverage for cooler nights.

      Our Cardi does well in warm weather as Modal is quick breathable. I wouldn’t however recommend it for somewhere really hot (ie, India) though as you may find the fabric too heavy.

      Feel free to read some reviews on our website! There is lots of helpful information to access there.

      I hope you found this helpful.

      Have a great day!

      Marketing Assistant

  10. Tyler says

    Do you folks know of any cheaper or DIY versions? This seems like a wild price for something (that looks) so simple! I’m sure it’s a wonderful investment but it’s simply not in my budget right now.

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