Planning Your Travel Capsule Wardrobe

One of the main reasons people struggle to build a travel capsule wardrobe is that they do not plan it in any way and end up packing way more than they need. There are several things you should consider before you even start packing;

  • How long are you away?
  • Are there washing facilities?
  • What is the climate like? This is an important one. It is easy to forget how cold or warm another climate can be. Research this and pack accordingly.
  • How much can you carry?
  • Are you planning on days out?
  • Are there any activities that require particular clothes?

Consider all of these things before you start packing, write a list based on these elements. 

How To Pack For Your Vacation

Once you have a clear idea of what you need regarding the climate, length of stay, activities and facilities, you must choose the most appropriate clothes. It is very easy at this stage to pack too much or ‘in the event’ items based on your experience at home. For example, it is often tough to imagine a climate so different to your own and take extra warm clothes ‘just in case’

The problem with dressing inappropriately is not only do you feel uncomfortable, but you also stand out as a tourist. Living in London, I constantly saw American tourists roasting in waterproof raincoats in the summer. I am not saying it does not rain here, but check the weather for the period you are travelling to your destination. In some places, you could be taken advantage of if, as a result, unscrupulous individuals can see you are a tourist.

Start by pulling out clothes you might need and pile them somewhere about a week before your trip. Try to look at each item and how you will wear it in an outfit. Ordinarily, you will need more tops than bottoms. Try to limit the colours you take so you can mix and match items easily.

Woman on vacation

Travel Capsule Wardrobe Essentials

I have based this list on a two-week trip to a warm destination with washing facilities. Your capsule should be based on the climate at your destination and the time you intend to stay there. 

  • Three bottoms, skirts or trousers
  • Six sleeveless or short-sleeved tops
  • A lightweight jacket
  • A lightweight cardigan or jacket.
  • Swimwear
  • Two pairs of shorts
  • Two dresses (one can be more appropriate for the evening)
  • A travel bag with room on the way to your destination to accommodate any purchases
  • A day bag for day trip essentials
  • Flat walking shoes
  • Beach shoes or sandals
  • Shoes or heels appropriate for the evening

This collection of clothes will cover a couple of evenings out, seven daytime outfits, and a trip to the beach before any need for wash facilities. 

vacation suitcase
travel capsule wardrobe suitcase

What To Avoid Packing For A Vacation

Avoid the classic pitfalls when packing for a holiday. So many people have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear. Many more pack a suitcase full of clothes they never wear despite paying a premium to put it in the luggage hold.

The trick is to start planning a week before, as mentioned above. Most people will pull out too many options initially. Look at that pile a few days later and remove apparent repeats. Analyse what you have and be honest with yourself; if you have not worn that bright pink dress at home, are you likely to wear it on vacation? If not, remove it.

What Next?

The information given in the post is the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. If you are embarking on anything new get professional advice if required.

If you enjoyed this post and wish to create a capsule wardrobe, I can help you create one quickly and easily. Get started immediately with one of my personal styling services or book in for a complimentary consultation

  • Personal Styling Gift Vouchers – Save up, ask for them for gifts or put towards any of my services. This is the ideal way to afford a personal stylist whatever your budget!
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  • Premium Personal Styling – A personalised colour analysis and body shape style guide, a live wardrobe edit, a personal shopping and a curated Lookbook
  • Personal Styling – 
  • A personalised Colour Analysis, a Body Shape Analysis And Style Guide, a Live Wardrobe Edit
  • A wardrobe Edit – A 20-minute zoom call to discuss your needs and to highlight any particular problems you want to address in the wardrobe edit. A private Pinterest board to pin styles and colours you love. A 60 minutes live video wardrobe edit
  • Colour Analysis And Body Shape Styling –
  • The Capsule Closet Stylist Colour Analysis looks at the natural colouring in your hair, eyes and skin tone and shows how you can complement your natural colouring in your clothes. The Body Shape Style Guide teaches you how to make the most of your best assets, hide what you do not like, find clothes that complement your shape, and choose the perfect fit.

Still Not Sure?

Book a discovery call with me where we can discuss colour, style, decluttering, body shapes and much, much more.  I can identify where you most need help and point you in the right direction. 

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Capsule Closet Success testimonials

'When you join the membership it isn't generic it is tailored to your needs. Michelle considers each individual person and provides advice and guidance based on their needs. I have learnt so much since I joined I feel like I could sit an exam on it now! Honestly, without a doubt if you feel like you are lost with what to wear, you don't know what suits your body shape or your shape has changed, you've lost confidence, you're starting a new job, or you want to minimise your wardrobe, Michelle's membership is without a doubt for you. You can not get better for the price, I have looked!'
I joined Michelle's facebook "capsule wardrobe challenge" in June 2020. I loved her approach of starting off with a concept of what colours and styles you were attracted to, followed by what your lifestyle required functionally. It helped me assess my existing wardrobe with a checklist in mind instead of feeling overwhelmed and indecisive. I found the video format and weekly check-ins easy to follow and explained each stage of building a capsule well. She has been quick to answer any queries I have and to offer her professional stylist's opinion with a gentle manner. I am most grateful for Michelle's overarching aim to help her clients "find their happy place". This membership is about being comfortable in your own skin, not about being super fashionable, and that is exactly what I needed. Thank you for helping me find my confidence again. 😊
There is no doubt in my mind that having a personal stylist online is worth the investment. In fact, at the end of the day I will spend considerably less while looking and feeling so much better. Why? Because I will never again mindlessly spend and spend and spend on clothes that just aren’t right for me and that don’t make me happy. I think we all dream of that wardrobe that makes us happy and confident, but it is so easy to just give up and just wear something. I know I did. And that is just plain crazy because I love clothes! I have always been attracted to styles that I lacked the confidence to try out. Now, with the help and guidance of Michelle, I can finally explore those styles with confidence knowing that whenever I run an item by Michelle, she will give me her honest feedback on whether or not it will fit with my colors and with how I want to look and feel. In short: Michelle’s advice really is priceless. I feel an A-lister in the garments I have purchased since becoming a member! Pssst: One secret, you don’t have to become a minimalist if you don’t want to. Michelle is not about legalistic minalism, she is all about you finding out what works for you and that – along with her very deep knowledge of style – is why I think her membership works for me when in the past nothing else has.

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