Being a World Traveler: Pashminas


I bought my first pashmina in England 3 years ago for 5₤ (roughly $10). It is durable, multi-colored, a bit loud, but beautiful. I only started wearing it this past year. It seems people wearing pashminas both as scarves and as accessories are popping up everywhere. This observation inspired me to buy another pashmina here in the US, at Macy’s.

My Macy’s pashmina lacks the exact style of the trendy pashminas we are seeing on stars like Lindsay Lohan, but it is pretty nonetheless. It is that pretty dark turquoise color we have been seeing all winter.  It is also falling apart. It cost me $40. Everytime I look at my frayed pashmina, I regret only buying one while overseas since they are so much cheaper and durable outside the US.

Before I went to England a few years ago, I had never been outside the US.  Right before this trip I was offered an opportunity to live in China to teach English for a year. The idea thrilled me.  But it was also a year commitment.

As a humanities major, there is a lot of emphasis on seeing and experiencing other cultures.  So around the time of the China opportunity, I had already planned a trip to Cambridge England for a two week summer school class. I was going alone and I figured this trip would be a good time to test whether being away from everything and everyone familiar for a year was what I really wanted.

Could I stand not being part of my family’s life for a year, leaving my dog, having a long distance relationship with my boyfriend? Did I want to change without the people around me I love?

While in Cambridge, I picked up my pashmina at an outdoor market. I only bought the one because I had known pashminas to be expensive, and since these were so cheap, I figured those had to be some kind of imitation or low quality item.  I was pretty naïve at the time, and have since realized I missed an opportunity to get a deal on a bunch of affordable pashminas. 

 Then I made a discovery.  This past week I flew out of O’Hare to Las Vegas to visit a friend. I was in a drug store type of shop in the airport, picking out the magazines I always treat myself to when I fly, when I stumbled across a pile of pashminas. I looked at the price tag – $12! In the US nonetheless!

I didn’t buy one then because I didn’t want to have to shove it into my carry-on. I forgot when I returned, but remembered the next day when I saw a picture of Lindsay Lohan in an $80 pashimina in the Style edition of People magazine. I figured I could stop by O’Hare, and then remembered that you can’t get into those shops unless you have a plane ticket.

So you can buy affordable pashminas here in the US, but only if you are traveling.

It seems to me that if the only place you can get a pashmina in the US that is durable, trendy, beautiful, and (most importantly) cheap, is in the airport, maybe it’s more than pashminas that are trendy. They seem to symbolize travel itself.

A pashmina wearer is not just trendy, but worldly.

A co-worker recently went on a week vacation to India. What did she wear when she got back?  A dress with a pashmina wrapped around her neck.  She’s obviously worldly.

I still love the pashmina I got in England more than any of the ones I’ve bought in the US since.  This is partly because it makes me remember my trip.  As far as the China decision went, a memorable trip is one thing, living somewhere else is another.  I decided I couldn’t be away from my family, dog, and boyfriend for a year in China. I am either not that person, or it was timing.

But I did get a pashmina out of my experience. I’m worldly.

P.S.  Since I wrote this post a couple of year ago, pashmina’s are still trendy, but easier to come by much more affordable. 


3 responses to “Being a World Traveler: Pashminas

  1. Great post, we love pashminas!

  2. Pingback: Sarah Palin’s “Secret” Style Team « Conservative in the City

  3. Pingback: » Tipos de pashminas para el otoo/invierno | Web de la Moda

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