How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Travel

Traveling necessitates a minimalist approach to packing.  The unfortunate IMG_5930truth is that we are all going to have to carry whatever we plan to bring.  The more we pack, the more we have to personally haul around.  The idea of minimalist packing brought me to discover the capsule wardrobe.

I have been attempting to embrace a minimalist lifestyle at home with the KonMari method of decluttering.  I have tried to lessen the amount of kidstuff at home by emphasizing experiences > stuff for them.  And I have come across articles like this, shared by other minimalist moms.

So it got me thinking, if people are living like this in their big homes in the suburbs, I can surely embrace a less-is-more attitude when I have to select what to carry while we travel.

Disclaimer:  I am NOT a fashionista.  In fact, I don’t know what the opposite of fashionista is, but that’s more like me.  I don’t really know how to pair my clothes very well.  I always opt for practical and comfortable instead of fashionable or cute.  I barely know how to wear heels and I’m in my 34th year of life.  I have 3 pairs of shoes that I wear regularly.  That’s it.  Just 3.  I love accessories and I always think, “wow that looks cute” when I see someone who knows how to properly accessorize.  I’m going to need more practice at that.  So, with that in mind…here’s my attempt at creating a Capsule Wardrobe for travel out of items that already exist in my closet.

Here I have 12 items of clothing:

  • A long skirtIMG_5920
  • 3 tank tops (black, navy, burgundy)
  • a halter dress
  • 3 tops: a coral sleeveless top, a navy slouch blouse (I am not actually sure what that blouse is called), a navy shirt
  • black leggings
  • 2 shawls (navy and white)
  • grey sweater top

With these items, I was able to create 17 different outfits.  In hindsight, I see that I have even more combinations than what I tried.  I am sure I could come up with 10 more outfits with just a dozen items.

The halter dress is probably the most versatile item.  I can wear it as a beach cover up.  I can wear it as a dress or I can add a top to turn it into a skirt.  I can even pull it down to my waist and convert it into a long skirt.  Start with the most versatile piece when you are beginning to build your capsule wardrobe. Because that was the most versatile piece, I used it as the centerpiece to create this capsule.  I matched all of the different tops to the dress to come up with combinations for the halter dress first.  Then I chose the long skirt that matched the color scheme that was born from the halter dress pairings.  Last, I added the cardigan cover-up for my shoulders and the two shawls.

The only thing missing are shoes and accessories.  (Hmm, will my existing 3 pairs of shoes work?)  I am happy that all of the outfits are comfortable and that the mix-and-match ratio is high.  I’m hoping to shop for easy accessories so that I don’t get bored living in the same clothes for 6 months.  Look at me!  I can FASHION!



Here’s a Pinterest board I made to inspire me to mix and match

Some great packing list ideas from Travel Fashion Girl 

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