HOW TO CREATE A MINI-CAPSULE WARDROBE COLLECTION FOR TRAVEL
One of biggest problems most travelers face is packing the right amount clothing items for a trip. Most of us overpack and then end up regretting it as there is always an item that is never used and taking up space that could’ve been used for something else (like souvenirs to take back home!)
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of items of clothing coordinated in different ways to create a variety of styles using the same items.
This is very important to do when traveling, as you’re essentially doing just that when you sort out what to bring on a trip, you’re just not conscious about it that might make you regret your decision once there!
By packing consciously you’ll have a lot less headache and save time since you already know what to wear to what and where.
Packing will be a lot easier if you’re traveling to a warm place rather than a cold place as sweaters & knits take up much more room than bikinis & sundresses, so this is why I don’t tell you that there is a specific amount of items you can take on your trip – because there isn’t.
STEP 1: RESEARCH: DRESS FOR THE WEATHER & LOCATION
Check what the weather is going to be like while you’re at your destination. Then select your favorite or newest items that go with that sort of weather.
Check if there are cultural traditions or limitations you need to be aware of.
STEP 2: FIND INSPIRATION
You already have your own style of dressing; you just need to be more conscious of it to make it work for you.
Creating inspiration boards on Pinterest and Instagram help tremendously to find a better look for your style with items you might already have!
When searching for inspiration for your next trip wardrobe you need to write down a couple of things:
- What is your style?
- It’s easier if you stick to one or two styles instead of trying out different ones.
- What do you want to convey to your appearance?
- What do you want people to think of you when they look at how you’re dressed? Are you dressing for the occasion/location? Do some research when traveling as in some places you’ll attract unwanted attention if you dress a certain way.
- What color theme?
- The best capsule wardrobes have more neutral colored basics that are easy to mix with a couple of statement pieces. It’s best to choose just one bold color for your trip and leave the rest neutral. This way, not only will your Instagram feed look hot, you’ll have an easier time choosing what to wear if for some reason you don’t like what you had planned for that day.
- What will you be doing?
- What activities will you be taking a part of while traveling? Are you going hiking? Snowboarding? Partying? Going to the beach? Or simply just walking around town?
- You have to be conscious of what your plans are or could be so you can dress appropriately. One of the worst feelings while traveling is feeling underdressed for a spontaneous special moment, so bringing one item that is a bit formal is always a good idea.
STEP 3: SORT THROUGH YOUR FAVORITE ITEMS
Now that you have an idea of what you want to wear we can you’ve selected your favorite items for the right weather and season, it’s time to think of what will we be actually doing over there!
Maybe you love those 5 cocktail dresses, but are you going to wear them when visiting monuments and walking around town?
This is where you analyze what you’re going to be doing on your trip and select your favorite items that you would like to wear for that occasion.
No need to have two or three “just in case”, if you’re not feeling like wearing that for some reason that day then you have other clothing that you bought for some other occasion that will surely save the day, just switch out an item or two and voila! It’s a new outfit!
STEP 3: TRY IT ON
Try on your outfit, just as if you would wear it that day, maybe you spot another top that would go better, or maybe you realize those pants look dated or that shirt has a missing button… and you want to be sure it still fits and looks great on you, of course!
During this process is where most of my creativity kicks in to mix and match other pieces that I would have normally never put together. You’ll never know if you can pull it off unless you try it on…and with the right attitude, you’ll probably pull it off if you want.
Try on your favorite sweater with all the different types of bottoms possible, same with your favorite skirt and trousers. There are hundreds of different ways to dress the same item with things you already have, you just haven’t thought about them yet.
When you get a winning outfit, take a picture of it immediately! You’ll be making a lot of different outfits and opening your mind up to creating these matches takes time and after seeing so many outfit combinations we might forget about some of them so always take a picture.
There are a couple of useful apps that can help you keep track of your wardrobe, click here to see some from another blogger: https://insideoutstyleblog.com/2016/03/readers-favourite-style-and-wardrobe-apps.html.
STEP 4: SELECT THE WINNING ITEMS
Now that we have a couple of outfits picked out, leave out that item that you aren’t sure if you’re going to use but you want to bring anyways. Why? Seriously? Why do you want to bring that?! Unless it is important and you’re going to actually use then DON’T!
Go through each item again, and maybe you’ll find more outfits to make with it. Each item should have at least three different combinations for it to be worth space in your luggage.
WEATHER DEPENDANT ITEMS
These items all work well together and can be combined with another item to make it look like a different outfit. The amount of clothing you choose depends on the length of travels so think about where are you going to wash your clothes if you’re going to be using the same items more than once or twice.
I don’t count underwear and sleepwear as this varies per person, but a good rule of thumb is two undergarments per day and reuse your sleepwear as much as possible –up to three days without washing (remember you spend about 8 hours sleeping and even though you don’t feel like your sweating, bacteria is still accumulating in your clothing).
AN IDEAL CAPSULE WARDROBE FOR A COLD TRIP
- Coat – parka, bomber, anything for really cold weather
- Jacket – a blazer, a nice leather jacket, something to wear underneath the coat or when indoors
- A Dress
- Casual shirt
- Dressier shirt
- A sweater
- Yoga or sweatpants
- Heels or boots with high heels
AN IDEAL CAPSULE WARDROBE FOR A HOT TRIP
- Jacket – a blazer, a nice leather jacket, something to wear on cooler nights
- Jeans and/or shorts
- A cocktail dress
- A sundress
- Casual shirt
- Dressier shirt
- Bikinis – I like to bring one bikini for each body of water I’ll be visiting and I try to match it to that specific place. E.i. a white bikini for a beach club, a red or blue monokini for the pool.
- Yoga or sweatpants
- Heels or boots with high heels
I won’t get into the details of Jewelry, hats, sunglasses and other accessories as that all depends on each person’s preference and style. I don’t use much jewelry but I do love to wear many different sunglasses. Some people love to wear hats, I don’t think my hair could fit in them. So it all depends on these types of items.
Just remember that it has to match at least two different outfits in your collection for you to bring them, otherwise, save them for a later occasion.
WHEN IN DOUBT, JUST LEAVE IT
Sometimes its even more fun to buy some items at your destination, as long as it is nothing urgent which will make you feel desperate to get it and you’ll probably end up spending more for something you don’t even like.
ITEMS I SUGGEST TO LEAVE AT HOME AND BUY OVER THERE
- Additional shoes
- Hats, bags, and other accessories
- Jackets – if going to a warm place. If you’re traveling to a cold place then bring one and buy additional there if needed
STEP 5 – PACKING
Now that we have the outfits all together we can start packing. If you didn’t do it before, now is the time to pack everything into the suitcase your taking. And I mean E V E R Y T H I N G !
This means shoes, toiletries, chargers, etc. This way you know exactly how much space you need. If it is not easy to zip close your luggage then get a bigger one. If you’re traveling with a carry on then keep in mind the size and weight restrictions.
It is ALWAYS better to have some empty space that we can use to fill up with stuff from our destination than to have to buy another luggage or leave stuff behind.
YOU’RE ALL SET!
Do you have any travel capsule wardrobe tips that I missed out on? Let me know in the comments!
Visit these links for more inspiration on building a capsule wardrobe: