Pack Light by Creating a Capsule Wardrobe Made for Travel

A travel capsule wardrobe is a way to travel to your destination with only a carry-on. The idea of a travel capsule wardrobe is to make your bag light and versatile enough for it works wherever you are going. The pieces that are in your travel wardrobe are ones that are easy to mix and match so they can be used for many different outfits.

If you’ve never packed a travel capsule wardrobe before, it can seem overwhelming to cut down the items to take with you. If you are stuck on where to start, the tips below will help you sort out the steps into creating a successful travel capsule wardrobe ideas.


How to Create a Carry-On Capsule Wardrobe 

Packing light for a trip is no easy venture. It is something that takes time and practice, and once you get the hang of it, you can carry it with you on your future trips. Pun intended. Take creating a travel capsule wardrobe as an opportunity to have fun with planning your trip. Not only will it make your trip a bit lighter, literally, but it can also give you the skill of paring down items you may not necessarily need.

The first thing that needs to be considered are all the items that you question “will I need this?” The answer is probably no, and knowing that right off the bat will make this process easier. When starting your capsule wardrobe, plan for a normal number of clothing items based on where you are going.

Research Your Destination to Help You Create Your Capsule Wardrobe

Consider the weather and activities you will be participating in whilst you are away. Do your research ahead of time on how the weather may be where you are traveling. Knowing the weather can help you slim down the items you will be carrying.

Lightweight clothing items are something to highly consider. They can be layered if the weather changes, and are also light enough that you won’t be too warm. Since you are traveling, make sure these items are washable and can hang dry without wrinkling.  

Pack Items that You Can Wear With a Variety of Different Outfits

When thinking about items to bring, some of the firsts are items that can work in many different situations. This can be light weight long sleeve shirts where the sleeves can be rolled up if it gets warm. Long pants to where you can cuff them if the weather changes or the activity requires it. And even a black top that can be dressed up or down. These items that can be used in many ways can give you a base to the other items you bring.

Begin with a Basic Wardrobe and Leave Extra Clothing Items Behind

When starting to pack, restrain yourself from thinking you need to bring something “just in case.” Once you start that trend, your bag will get heavier and make it harder to carry around. If you need to go lighter, take out items you may have a few too many or already. This can be pants or shirts that you may not need as many of. The overall idea of the travel capsule wardrobe is to have around a week or less worth of clothing to take with you.

What Clothing Items to Pack for Your Travel Capsule Wardrobe

When you start picking items, think about starting with basic items that can be used with different outfits. Here are a few suggested basic items for wardrobe packing:

  • Around 3 tops with different sleeve lengths. Each can be used alone or can have a jacket thrown over it and still work.
  • Around 2 to 3 pairs of bottoms. One should be casual and one should be dressy. Another can be a pair of shorts or a skirt if the weather allows it.
  • A pair of good walking shoes.
  • A jacket or sweater.

When picking these basic items, make sure they are clothing that you feel comfortable in and enjoy wearing.

When picking the basic items, make sure the colors of the clothing are versatile depending on the formality of your trip. If you know you are going on a more casual trip, pick lighter neutral colors for what you bring. And the opposite, if you are expecting a more formal trip, pick darker colors to be mixed. Not each piece has to be neutral, allow for some fun and throw in a few colors that match the neutrals you will be bringing.


Packing Extra Clothing Items in Your Travel Capsule

Extras are okay, but of course not too many! Some extras you can throw in may include:

  • Extra sweater
  • A dress
  • A dress top
  • Dress shoes

Since you are traveling, it is expected that you may be spending a few nights on the town. These extras can help you make the sidewalks of the town your runway!

Knowing that you have packed basics in different neutrals, bringing a few pieces of jewelry or accessories can help change an outfit. A few other accessories that you can bring include:

  • A bag that works in many situations
  • A belt or two
  • A pair or two of bracelets or earrings

These items can help give your outfits some spunk, and aren’t too heavy so you can continue to keep your load light!

Reviewing Your Travel Capsule Wardrobe

There we have it, you have gone through the hardest part of packing a travel wardrobe! Give yourself a round of applause and get ready for the fun part. Now that you know what exactly you are bringing, it’s time to make your bedroom look like a Pinterest board.

Since you know the items you are bringing, it is important to review everything to make sure that they can be used in many ways. Set out each item that you plan on packing so you can see everything. Once you’ve done that, make sure that everything you have can be used with other things that you have packed. Remember, you are only bringing about a week or less worth of clothing, so it is necessary for items to be mixed and matched. The easiest way to do this is to just go through one piece at a time and place it with other items.

If there is an item that doesn’t work, switch it out with something else. Planning can ensure that you feel comfortable with what you are bringing and not have to worry about it when you should be enjoying your travel. The cool part of mixing and matching can give you outfit ideas you didn’t know existed before!

List of Clothing Items to Include in Your Travel Capsule Wardrobe

When looking for each outfit, make sure that you ask yourself if you will wear them and be comfortable based on the activities you will be doing. A few examples, make sure one is comfortable enough for a plane ride, and another for a dinner night out. Don’t set yourself too short with what you are packing. Being comfortable in the items you are packing is important.

Overall, your travel capsule wardrobe should look something like this:

  • One jacket or sweater based on the weather.
  • Around 4 tops, keeping light tops and different sleeve lengths in mind. One of these tops can be dressy.
  • 2 or 3 pairs of bottoms. Casual and dressy, and one can be shorts or a skirt of the weather allows.
  • 2 pairs of shoes. One walking and one dressy.
  • 1 or more extra items, like a dress or an extra sweater.
  • 2 tanks tops or camisoles for layering
  • A week’s worth of underwear and socks
  • One pair of pajamas
  • Extra accessories if needed

Keep in mind, this is just a ballpark range of items to bring when wardrobe packing.  You can take away or add anything you like, but remember not to pack too much!

Final Thoughts on Packing a Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Packing a travel wardrobe is a learning experience that can help you with future trips. If you have the chance, once your trip is done, take the time to think about how your capsule worked out for you. Taking note of what worked or what to bring in the future can make the next experience a bit easier! And before you travel off, if there is an item that you forgot, you can always go shopping once you get there!

Overall, have fun with this experience. Packing a travel capsule wardrobe is something that isn’t easy, but it is possible. Packing light and fun will make the stress of getting around be slim to none. Remember don’t over pack, have fun with mixing and matching. Enjoy your trip and your successful travel capsule wardrobe!

Mardi Elwood

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