Before packing for any trip, I sit down and plan out a capsule wardrobe. With a capsule wardrobe, built around a color palette, I know I’ll have clothes that work together so I can mix and match throughout my trip. It also keeps me from overpacking, which is definitely my tendency!
To plan a capsule wardrobe, start by choosing a core neutral color. My preferences are black, grey, or navy. (Brown/tan also works, but it’s not flattering on my skin tone!) The majority of my items will be in this neutral color and often include my “anchors:” pieces that I’ll re-wear, like pants, a blazer, shoes, and my handbag. Then, I’ll pick two to three seasonal accent colors to coordinate with my designated neutral. I might also mix in a color-coordinating print with a dress or a top.
Next I’ll think about the activities I need to dress for and identify pieces in my closet accordingly. Will I be going to any cultural events that might require dressing up? Will I be doing a lot of walking? Will I need active clothes for hiking?
Above is a sample capsule wardrobe I might put together for a long weekend over the summer. A blazer serves as outerwear for places with aggressive air conditioning, including an airplane. My three tops can be worn under my blazer or alone and with either the skirt or the pair of slim trousers (loving this pair that I recently bought!). The printed dress adds some visual interest and works well for a special dinner or a cultural performance.
I’d also pack a limited number of accessories that work with this color palette. I try to only take two pairs of shoes on any given trip so I like these nude sandals and navy espadrille wedges for this capsule wardrobe. I’d also take one crossbody bag, either in navy or cognac, that works for day or evening activities. And I’d pack a lightweight scarf that I can use on the airplane or against the AC.
Depending on how I mix and match, these 7 items in my capsule wardrobe can be used to create over a dozen unique outfits!