Summer is officially here! (although we can never really tell in England…I had to wear a coat yesterday *sigh*) and it’s now time for many on this Sun-forsaken island, to jet off for some real sunshine.
When this happens what the first thing we think about??
The Holiday Wardrobe!
Oh, what to wear??!
Oh, what to pack??!
Oh, how am I going to fit it all in my suitcase???!!!
Does your suitcase usually resemble this?
or is it more like this?
Well if like me it’s the first, no more worries – help is on its way!
I usually find that I pack way too much and end up not wearing half the things I take with me. The last straw was when I went on a two month trip to Portugal early last year. Packing was a real challenge – I went with a budget airline so had very limited space but as usual, I over packed and spent the flights there and back wearing 9 tops, two pairs of trousers, 3 cardigans and all of my heavy jewellery (I’m so not kidding), just to stay within my baggage weight allowance. I was boiling on the flight and I felt so sorry for the people I sat next to, who had to watch me remove my layers whilst mid flight. After that experience I said “No more!” I had to find another way.
This time I’m going away for a weekend getaway and reunion with some friends I made on that trip and as it’s been a year, we’ve got so much to catch up on! This trip will be a city break (we’re going to Prague!) so I won’t be packing any bikinis or short shorts, but as usual, the main challenge for a girl who loves her clothes, is to not over pack. In fact, I have taken my challenge to the next level and have decided to try to travel WITHOUT taking a standard suitcase. Only hand luggage.
How will I do this?
After various attempts, research and discoveries I found (what I think is) a great solution.
Drum roll please….
The Capsule Wardrobe!!
Well, if you’ve never heard of it before, a capsule wardrobe is the concept of creating a seasonal or signature collection of clothes using staple items that can be worn interchangeably. The great thing about it is that although you’re using the basics you can get a lot out of it.
A basic capsule wardrobe includes:
- 1 Pair of Trousers
- 1 Skirt
- 1 Dress
- Three tops
In addition I would include:
- 1 blazer
- 1 pair flats (comfy for long walks)
- 1 pair heels
- 1 scarf
- 1 medium bag – a cross-body is the best as you can use it anywhere and not worry about misplacing it.
- 1 cardigan (if it’s cold)
- A good smart casual coat (if it’s cold)
- All necessary jewellery and accessories.
and this is all you need.
Now, if you do the math, you’ll find that you can get 7 outfits from that collection right there (each top with each bottom + the dress), and voila! You have an outfit for each day of the week!
Didn’t think you could do that did you?
This idea can actually be applied to everyday dressing.
Create a capsule wardrobe for the week and wear it out that week, then create one for the next week etc. Or you can create one for the season incorporating the new trends. It’s a great tool to use to de-clutter your wardrobe as you’ll start to see what goes and what doesn’t quite fit. Also, if you use it when shopping, it helps you to whittle your purchases down to only the necessary items.
Now I know that some people are serious fashionistas, so a mere 7 outfits for a trip will just not do. The beauty of this concept is that you can adjust it. If you’re a girl who loves to change outfits during the day, a good thing to do is create two capsule wardrobes (or even three) and immediately you have 7, 14, or 21 outfits in a flash. You could make a day capsule and a night capsule if you’re going to a party destination, and the capsule can be scaled down for shorter trips. So, if you are going for a weekender like me, you may want to bring less and can remove a bottom and a top, or just the dress, giving you 5-6 outfits instead. It all depends on you, but this method helps to lighten your load and should bring peace of mind!
Capsules can be created using themes such as a colour (pink as above), prints or trends (Sports Luxe for example) and just like that you have your own mini fashion collection!
When choosing what to wear on holiday, first start with the base and consider it carefully:
- 1 Pair of Trousers – I would usually go with a good pair of Jeans as a lot of trips involve walking.
- 1 Skirt – I would suggest A-line because you can do a lot of walking in it also but if you won’t, any style is a go!
- 1 Dress – I would suggest picking a dress that can go from day to night so that you can get more wear out of it.
- The three tops – I would include a casual one, a smart causal one and a dressy one so that you can wear at least one at night or to somewhere posh.
If you’re doubling up (creating a second capsule for more outfits) and/or going somewhere hot , you could also add:
- 1 or 2 shorts instead of a second pair of trousers
- 1 mini/midi skirt
- 1 maxi dress
- 3 more tops
- 2nd pair of heels/wedges (or another pair of sandals)
- Swimwear/ Beach wear
- Beach bag
- Sun hat
There is no hard and fast rule, so if you wear dresses more than trousers you can take one or two in place of trousers and a top and vice versa or if you really just need that extra pair of shoes you can take it along, but using this as your basis will reduce the amount of unnecessary clothes you have to carry and hopefully the stress of not knowing what to pack.
So… Check the weather. Pack light. Have fun!
You can even write down how you’ve paired up your clothes so you remember for future. Check out my sample capsule here. So go on, try it! Your suitcase (and arms) will thank you for it.
How do you usually pack? Will you try this method? What usually works for you?