One of the most stressful parts of travel is trying to pack a bag for all the contingencies of weather and activities in a TSA approved bag for a trip. For many, the instinct is to go through a daily itinerary and pack for each day. However to save space (and sanity) try packing creating a capsule wardrobe.
This minimalist style of dressing is perfect for travel as it consists of a few essential items of clothing that can be mixed and matched to create multiple looks. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Consider your destination, season of travel and planned activities. Write down any special events that will require specific dress needs (i.e. a bridesmaid dress for the wedding or a bathing suit for a day at the beach etc).
Step 2: Create a base color pallet. Instead of packing for a variety of looks and coordinating colors, pick your base neutrals first – grey and black, blue and white, brown and tan etc.
Step 3: Choose your shoes. You won’t enjoy any part of your trip if you feet hurt. Pack no more than 3 sets of shoes (-1 casual, 1 specialty, 1 comfy) for more than a week long trip and no more than two pairs for a weekender trip up to a week. Pick shoes that match the base color pallet. Don’t pack a shoe that will only match one outfit (unless it is event specific, like bride-required shoes to match the bridesmaid dress).
Casual shoe – day runners, ballet flats or loafers
Specialty – wedding shoes, snow boots, fashion boots, wedges or dress shoe
Comfy – tennis shoes, flip flops
Step 4: The outfits. The name of the game is to create ensembles that can be mixed or matched for different looks befitting a variety of activities and weather. Remember: if you can’t make at least 2 outfits with any particular item, it doesn’t get packed. Depending on the length of your trip, a good rule of thumb is to pack the following:
Spring/Summer – 3 Shorts/capris, 1 pant, 1 skirt or dress
Fall/Winter – 3 pants, 1 skirt or dress
Spring/Summer – 4 shirts, 2 layering pieces, 1 lightweight sweater or jacket
Fall/Winter – 3 shirts, 2 layering pieces, 2 lightweight sweaters or jackets
Step 5: Accessories. Keep the accessories to a minimum – like 5 things. Sunglasses and purses are a must, so pack ones that coordinate with your color pallet.
Scarf (can be tied and used to create multiple looks)
Earrings – go for a classic look that will compliment any outfit
Long necklace chain – (long necklaces can be worn long, doubled to create a short look or wrapped multiple times around your wrist to create a bracelet).
Step 6: Add in what you need from the specialty events you wrote down at the beginning and you are done!
And there you have it. The perfect travel wardrobe in just…..wait for it…..25 items or less!