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Encircled’s Multi-Way Chrysalis Cardi: A Traveler’s Review

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If you ever catch me in the last few minutes before leaving for a trip, you’ll know it’s a mad dash. My bags are packed and ready to go, but I’m still running around like a maniac, adding clothes, shoes, and random “what if” items to the mix. You could say I’m an impulsive packer, and you’d be right.

One way I’ve sought to alleviate this is by investing in items that have multiple purposes. Shoe bags that double as laundry bags? Check. Scarves I can use as cover-ups? Got it. A tote bag that turns into a backpack? Always. So when I learned about Encircled, a Toronto-based sustainable clothing company that specializes in multiway travel clothing, I was kind of obsessed.

The clothing piece that piqued my interest the most was the Chrysalis Cardi, a travel garment especially designed to be worn in over 8 different ways. I knew that having such a garment would greatly alleviate the amount of clothing I’d need to carry on my travels. To see if the Chrysalis Cardi lived up to its reputation, I decided to give the Cardi a travel test run to see if it met my expectations as a (somewhat) rugged, international traveler.


We’re currently partnering with Encircled to give away a Chrysalis Cardi to one lucky winner! Head over to their Instagram and click on the photo of me (the photo embedded below) for more details. Contest ends Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 12 AM EST, so be sure to get your entry in before then!

GIVEAWAY ALERT! ✈️ Traveling light and going carry-on only is the best feeling, so we’re giving away one of our most versatile, 8 ways to wear Chrysalis Cardi. In collaboration with world traveler Kay from @jetfarer, read on to find out how to win one in your choice of size and colour. How to Enter:⠀ 1. Follow @encircled_ and @jetfarer⠀ ⠀ 2. Comment with your favourite weekend travel destination⠀ ⠀ For extra entries, tag your favourite travel friend(s) in a separate comment. Each comment is an extra entry.⠀ ⠀ Giveaway is open to all residents of Canada (Except Quebec) and the U.S. You must be 18+ years of age to participate. Giveaway is open for a week, and ends Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 at 12AM EST.⠀

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Encircled’s Chrysalis Cardi: A Complete Review

What is the Chrysalis Cardi?

You might think that an 8-way garment would be complicated to put together, but the Cardi is really quite simple. Essentially, the Cardi is a long, circular piece of fabric with buttons lining the inside. The buttons can be connected in different ways to create different garments. It also comes with a long waist-tie that you can use to cinch the dress version, or on its own as a headband. It’s literally the most versatile travel garment I’ve ever worn.

The Chrysalis Cardi as a hiking sweater

How can you wear the Chrysalis Cardi?

Encircled’s website advertises 8 different ways you can wear the Cardi. I’ve tried out all of them, but here are the ones I found the most useful as a female traveler.

…As a Cardigan

This is probably the way I use my Cardi the most. The Cardi Cardigan (see what I did there?!) is a nice cover-up for tank tops or t-shirts, especially in cool evenings or in the mountains. It can also be used to dress up jeans and a blouse for a night out. This version of the Cardi is cozy and stylish. I’ve used it for a variety of things ranging from nice dinners out to hikes in the hills.

…As a Circle Scarf

A no-brainer, the scarf is probably the most obvious way to wear the Cardi. Why? Because it’s basically a giant circle scarf. The Cardi Scarf style is perfect for long plane rides or chilly mornings. You can also tuck it into an overcoat or wear it over a sweater for extra coziness and warmth.

A cozy drape top, perfect for those hygge moments in life…

…As a Drape Top

For lounging by the pool or by the fireside, there’s no better way to wear your Cardi than by using it as a drape top. It’s breezy, it’s loose-fitting, and very stylish. You can even dress it up with a pair of jeans or nice leggings for dinner or drinks on the town.

…As a Dress

Sometimes travel warrants dressing up a little. Whether you’re headed to high tea or to a local’s home, it sure does pay to dress nicely. The Cardi can evolve into several different dress styles, cinched with its waist belt, for the perfect polished look. Personally, I like the “Greek goddess” style of dress, and I wear my Cardi like this all the time.

A dress fit for work or play? You decide!

…As a Hoodie/Head Covering

This is a Kay/Jetfarer original. Because I’ve been traveling so much in Muslim countries this year, I’ve needed some good ways to keep my head covered in mosques and religious sites. The Cardi is perfect for this. I just drape it over my head and shoulders, fold it up in the front, and I’m ready to go into any conservative area, head and arms covered completely.

…And Many More Ways!

I’ve only been playing around with the Cardi for a few months, but I’ve already found some new ways to use it (like my makeshift hoodie/head covering above). Once you’ve figured out the snaps and the format of the Cardi, you, too, can play around with it and see if you can make a new garment to fit your needs.

Getting creative with my Cardi in Turkestan, Kazakhstan

Overall Impressions of the Chrysalis Cardi

The Cardi has definitely already made its mark as one of my staple travel items. I use it very often and love how the fabric feels – light and breezy, but also fairly durable. Whether I’m heading on a long trip or a short weekend excursion, the Cardi will definitely be tagging along with me. It’s truly one of the best travel garments out there for female travelers, especially since it is so flexible and innovative.

While the Cardi has a high price tag, I’d pay it over and over again for the value I get from this garment. I know I’ll be able to use my Cardi for a long time, and it saves me a lot of hassle in packing and choosing my wardrobe.

It would cost even more to buy 8 different garments, so despite the high price tag, I think the Cardi really does deliver great value and use. Additionally, given that Encircled’s products are sustainably sourced and manufactured, I feel really good about the business and people that my money is supporting.

If you’re interested in checking out some of the other available Cardi colors and sizes, head to Encircled’s website to purchase one or browse their other products. Encircled has a lot of other multi-way and travel friendly clothing items, and I kind of want to buy one of everything…

The Bottom Line

Packing and traveling in a more minimalistic way doesn’t have to be difficult. As I’ve learned throughout my misadventures, each item I throw into my bag needs to be very intentional. With the Chrysalis Cardi, I know that I have a small, compact travel garment that can serve a LOT of purposes. This helps me save space in my bags and in my mind. Traveling with my Chrysalis Cardi has been a no-brainer for me, and I’m positive this garment will make its way into all of my suitcases, whether I’m taking a weekend trip or a round-the-world jaunt.

I partnered with Encircled to try out their Cardi and create this review, but all opinions expressed here are my own.

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Kay is a full-time media professional located in Washington DC who takes every spare day of time to travel the world. In the last year alone, she's visited over 10 different countries and taken a dozen short trips in between. You can typically find her wandering the streets of a city, taking ridiculous self portraits, or hiking a mountain somewhere. Connect with Kay: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

1 Comment

  1. I definitely want this!! My only concern would be it being too big for me. Since I’m so short and generally small I’d be worried it would dwarf me haha

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