Travel Light, Pack Smart Part 2

A travel wardrobe is a condensed version of a capsule wardrobe. In this post you'll find a simple method for putting together a practical travel wardrobe that is easy to fit in a small bag.

It's easy to put together varied and practical outfits if you use this method, and you don't ever have to stand anxiously waiting for your bag at the arrival hall conveyor belt, looking for a suitcase that may or may not arrive.

"There are two kinds of luggage: Hand luggage, and lost luggage"

Part 1 was about the equipment.

Now it's all about the clothes.

Travel wardrobe = condensed capsule wardrobe

Some simple guidelines:

Everything you bring shall match all the other items. If there is something you pick that doen't match the shoes you are thinking of bringing, choose something else instead. This is much easier if you have a colour analysis done and already are building a wardrobe that fits your colour tone. Then everything will automatically blend. But be patient. The longer you live with your colour tone, the more consistent your wardrobe will become. It takes time.

Packing list:

2 pairs of shoes. One super comfy pair for walking, and one pair nicer shoes. You'll travel in the one pair, and pack the other pair. No heels. Speaking from experience, we spend a lot of time on our feet when traveling, and heels are usually not comfortable enough. Choose wisely. Traveling is no time to test out a new pair of shoes. It's best to bring shoes that you already know are comfortable.

Choose shoes that are comfortable without being trainers. Then you can go to nicer restaurant or wear them with your skirt without feeling underdressed. Unless trainers with skirt is totally your style.

3 bottoms: two trousers and one skirt, ot three pairs of trousers. If you don't bring a skirt, make sure one of the trousers is a nice pair that you'll feel comfortable wearing to a show or at the restaurant of your choice.

5 tops, two of these should be cardigan/light jacket. In addition one outer garment according to season, for instance a trench or reincoat (this you'll wear while traveling, not to be packed).

Then choose one or two scarves, ideally in colours that match and bridge the colours of the garments you are packing, but differently. Scarves are wonderful for transforming an outfit, and is super easy to fit in a travel bag.

Of course you'll also pack a suitable amount of underwear, socks and pantyhose. The photo shows a sample travel wardrobe of 8 garments, v2 pairs of shoes and 2 scarves.

Travel wardrobe in red white and blue

Travel wardrobe for a city week-end in spring or summer

This is a travel wardrobe for a week-end trip to a European city, in spring. This woman will be going to museums, drink wine and have lunch at sidewalk cafés, and saunter in the streets. In the evenings she is going to eat at nicer restaurants, and wants to dress up a little. The weather forecast is good. Here is the travel wardrobe I picked for her:

Walking shoes, sandals, jeans, nicer trousers, patterned skirt, sleeveless top, long sleeved top, long sleeved shirt, a light cardigan and a fleece jacket. And two scarves that match the chosen colour palette. If the weather was a little more uncertain I might have chosen a pair of flat pumps in addition to or instead of the sandals.

I have chosen only items that can be layered. Every one of the tops can be used over or under other tops.

The heaviest shoes and the thickest, heaviest garments is what you travel in.

In transit you wear: jeans, walking shoes, comfortable shirt, fleece jacket and a scarf.

How many different outfits can we create out of this travel wardrobe?

jeans and blue shirt with fleece jacket and trainers

Travel outfit (in addition you will wear a coat or rain coat)

blue top and blue pants with white sandals

Going to a museum

red jacket and blue shirt and blue pants

Wine tasting

red jacket and blue shirt and skirt with floral pattern

Window shopping

Travel outfit with blue fleece jacket red top and scarf

Crashing at a sidewalk café

red jacket and scarf and skirt with floral pattern

Fine dining

Travel outfit with blue fleece jacket red top and scarf

Sauntering along the river

Travel outfit with blue fleece jacket red top and scarf

Sightseeing bus

We could have made even more outfits by layering the garments, wearing the shirt open like a jacket etc.

Make it a fun game to bring few, sensible items that can be combined in many ways, and create new outfits by layering.

Now it's your turn. Practice in your own closet, it's fun! I'm sure you'll be able to put together a similar travel wardrobe with what you already own, without buying anything new. And remember: It's not religion. If you wear an outfit that doesn't quite match, it's not the end of the world.

If in doubt, sit at a sidewalk café for a while and look at the people walking by. I am sure you will notice that most of the people have put more thought into what they are about to experience than how they are dressed.

So relax, and have a lovely trip!

About the author, Jorunn Hernes

Jorunn is a Certified Personal Colour Analyst, founder of Nordic Simplicity and Scandinavian Style Academy™, the fresh, simple, Scandinavian approach to getting dressed. Jorunn will avoid social settings with more than three people but can be lured out with snacks and the promise to talk about books.

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