Skip to main content
Original Issue

YOU SHOULD KNOW: if you're going to Melbourne

How to pack for the 8,000-mile flight and what to wear as a spectator-tourist in the sometime summertime down under

The journey
You'll be traveling one-third the circumference of the globe, from the always fall-like, tweed-suit climate of San Francisco to the unpredictable June-like climate of Melbourne in November, with a stopover in semitropical Hawaii. As a visiting spectator, you will have the problem of packing 66 pounds of luggage (44 if you go tourist) with clothing that will take you through the varying climates and a busy round of sporting and social events.

The climate
In Melbourne, during November and December, conditions, though changeable, are pleasant. Very hot days are rare, the temperature rarely reaching 90°. It can be cool, with daytime temperatures sometimes averaging 60°, though seldom falling below 40° at night. Both November and December have many days of sunshine but also a high incidence of drizzling, rainy ones, and winds with gusts of over 60 mph have been recorded for every month of the year.

Although seasoned world travelers claim to be able to circle the globe with one kit bag, Olympic visitors will find themselves better equipped with two bags, in addition to a carry-on bag. One should be a sturdy, leather-bound canvas garment bag for men's suits or women's dresses; the other a soft-sided canvas case with a strong metal frame—the 40-inch size is the most useful. The carry-on should, by airline regulations, not measure more than 12 by 6 by 7 inches; in it you should pack everything you'll need for 36 hours in the air—slippers, for instance, and a bathing suit, for you'll have time for a swim at Waikiki during your 5½-hour stopover in Hawaii.

Men's clothes
William F. Talbert's position as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team has taken him to Australia five times at the same time of year that the Olympics are being held. Bill thinks the most useful garment a man could have at Melbourne would be a lightweight navy-blue blazer, like the one blended of Acrilan and wool he designed for his tennis teammates. Worn with lightweight gray Dacron and worsted slacks, it's cool enough for a hot day, neat enough for wear in downtown Melbourne. He also takes a tweed sport jacket to wear while traveling and on cooler days, a dark tropical-weight suit and lightweight black dinner clothes. Bill wears the tuxedo to official tennis functions in the evening, or for dinner at the Menzies Hotel, but, unless a man expects invitations to formal affairs connected with the Games, dinner clothes are not necessary. A raincoat is a must, as is some form of head covering in the glare of the sun. Bill wears a white duck hat with a brim while watching tennis. Walking shorts are not worn in town, but more adventuresome spectators will find them comfortable.

Women's clothes
Women at the Games will be best off with easy-to-wear sheaths and shirtwaist dresses in silks, cottons or blends of natural and synthetic fibers that have their own jackets or sweaters to be added as the temperature requires. Since rain is more of a problem than the chill of the evenings, the one coat you should take is a raincoat of a handsome fabric suitable for day or evening. Your need for dinner clothes will be minimal—a short dinner skirt of chiffon, for instance, that packs without crushing and can be worn with chiffon blouses or cashmere or Orion sweaters. There's every opportunity for participating in sport as well as watching it in Melbourne—the yacht clubs will declare open house, and there are 100 golf courses and hundreds of tennis courts about the city—so visitors should take their active sports clothes as well. A coordinated group of Dacron-and-cotton cord tennis shorts, Bermuda shorts, sleeveless shirt, flared sport skirt and slacks should meet any active sport need. For traveling, the wise girl will pack a knitted cotton dress in her overnight bag and change into it from a tweed traveling suit after she leaves San Francisco.