Fashion trends have been transforming over the years and play a significant role in the travel plans of people. Fashionistas take their trends to a different level when traveling; you will never find two same outfits colliding with each other.
Each girl carries a unique look that makes her stand out from the crowd.
Like fashion, traveling has revolutionized more than ever.
The ever so changing trends on social media make the minimalistic approach an in-thing. Travel capsule has been around for a while now and people are happy to save time and money using this technique.
This post is your Guide to Year-round travel capsule wardrobe.
But what is a Travel Capsule Wardrobe??
Travel Capsule wardrobe is a mix-n-match of clothes that creates endless ensembles from just a few pieces of clothing.
The number of ways in which you can dress your style with too little is astonishing.
Define yourself without saying anything and letting your fashion shout it out for you. In short, traveling light is a new aim.
Why travel light, you ask??
Convenience: First and foremost, it is convenient. Fewer clothes mean less packing and less stuff to carry on the go.
The travel capsule is best suitable for backpackers. It is equally good for people who make impromptu plans to add more places to their plans.
They don’t have to worry about packing every time they decide to alter their plans.
Time & Money: You’re saving time and money. Social media has changed the way people travel; particularly the way they carry themselves while travelling. This has led people to shop for every occasion.
People spend more on shopping before they travel. With a travel capsule, you save a lot of money.
No shopping also saves a lot of time; which also mean you use very little time packing
Flexibility: It makes your travel plans a lot flexible. You don’t have to worry about carrying a lot of luggage and moving around. Sometimes while traveling to different countries, you need to store your luggage at the airport which cuts a deep hole in your pocket.
You can avoid that by using the travel capsule wardrobe.
Smart Choices: Once you have mastered the use of the travel capsule wardrobe, you will make smarter buying choices.
You will learn to pick up clothes that match well with many other layers.
The more you save on shopping can be used in traveling to more places.
Less is More:
Hard to believe??
It is not.
If you apply the concept of repeating your clothes without any hesitation, you will be amazed by the options you have with your outfits.
Say, for example, a wine color mock-neck top can go well with denim, shorts, and skirts.
So, one day you wear it with shorts and just add a light jacket to it for a casual look.
Wear the same top on denim and just add a big belt to it for a girl-next-door look.
Or pair it with a skirt and boots for an evening party.
With these options, throw in some long necklaces, danglers, and scarves and make a style statement of your own.
Let’s explore the many ways you can build a wardrobe with few items for different seasons, places and occasions.
The first thing to keep in mind when packing light is the place you’d be visiting.
Explore on the internet all the places you want to visit, what would be the weather like, are there any places with restricted clothing (mosques in the Middle East or holy places in India) and more.
There are possibilities that the weather changes every day in some places, so make a note of that.
Next, decide on the clothes you are most comfortable wearing. For me, it’s always wearing shorts in summers and a pair of denim in winter.
If you are packing for summer, try to add more colors, florals, and graphics or prints that accentuate your look.
For winter, emphasize more on jackets, boots, and scarves. A lightweight rain-jacket should always be carried no matter where you are traveling.
Then, plan on the duration of the trip as well as the type of trip it will be (leisure/business/budget).
How to Build a Travel Capsule:
Choose your favorite 10-12 items to mix, match and layer.
Choose the most comfortable pair of shoes and 3 pairs of socks.
You can add accessories, stockings, and scarves to your capsule.
Limit the number to 3 each. A cap and belt will also add to your look.
Invest in an International travel adapter and converter. This will help you plug
A pair of slippers, a pair of PJs and a pair of activewear are enough for indoors/gym.
Decide your luggage type i.e. backpack or a cabin bag.
Using packing cubes can be the best way to organize your stuff and everything becomes so handy. Similarly, use a toiletry pouch for your grooming products.
This is a general travel capsule wardrobe and can be used in any season. However, let’s get into the details on what to carry and how much to carry according to seasons.
Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe
Spring capsule wardrobe will be mostly like the summer capsule wardrobe.
However, you can add more prints and colors to it. Spring is the end of winter, which means the weather will be still unpredictable.
It could be blazing or it could be windy/chilly.
- i) 3 tops (florals, prints, graphics)
- ii) 3 dresses (co-ords)
- iii) 2 bottoms (shorts/skirts)
- iv) 2 jackets – light jackets to wear on dresses as well as tops.
- v) 1 light sweater
- vi) Scarves, stockings, belts
- vii) 1 pair boots, 1 pair sandals
A lot can be done by blending the above wardrobe.
Wear a jacket on a flowy dress and pair it with ankle boots. Try wearing a top over a dress and add a hat to your style.
Layer a top with a sweater and wear it over jeans and boots. The motto is to get creative.
Summer Travel Capsule Wardrobe:
Summer brings in a lot of colors and so should your wardrobe.
The only thing you need to consider is that all your clothes should be comfortable. Picking up a combination of neutral (earthy shades) and accent colors (contrasting tones) should be done before packing.
Try out the different ways in which you can wear your clothes.
- i) 4 tops (try to carry a variety of neck styles and sleeve styles)
- ii) 3 bottoms (pants/overalls/shorts/skirts)
- iii) 1 dress
- iv) 2 cardigans – one long & one short – you can substitute one cardigan for a suit or blazer jacket.
- v) 1 jacket – for unpredictable weather like rain or winds.
- vi) 1 pair shoes, 1 pair sandals (preferably black or brown)
Accessorizing tips: Accentuate your style with the right type of necklaces and earrings. For example, for a V-neck or halter top/dress, wear an angular necklace with one stone pendant. Or wear large stud earrings.
Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobe
After a long summer comes Autumn or the Fall season.
This transition is all about adding layers and being prepared for unexpected weather. For fall, I prefer wearing a lot of skirts and dresses with stockings and boots.
The tops I pick for fall are mostly with a high neck or mock neck, animal prints, and polka dots.
- 3 tops (fall florals, a square neck, laced tops)
- 2 bottoms (skinny jeans)
- 3 dresses (high neck, shirt dress, striped dress, LBD)
- 2 jackets (1 weather jacket, 1 oversized cardigan)
- 1 pair shoes, 1 pair heels or boots
- 1 Hat, 1 pair of black fancy stockings, 1 cross-body black purse
Quick Tip: A pair of white shoes will complement the whole wardrobe. However, if you plan to go out clubbing or for an evening party, heels would be good. You can skip the heels altogether if you don’t plan to do so.
Winter Travel Capsule Wardrobe
After the fall season, wait for winter comes to the near end and all the layers, scarves, boots spring out of your suitcases to make a way in your closet.
I love the winter season. Even when on-the-go, I like to carry a lot of scarves. My typical winter travel capsule will have these things
- 3 bottoms (1 denim, 1 skirt, 1 stretchy legging)
- 2 tops – (preferable as base layers)
- 2 sweaters
- 1 sweater maxi dress – optional
- 2 jackets (1 short, 1 long)
- 4 scarves – they don’t have to be the thick ones, I get the soft Cashmere fabric. (tassel plaid, solid colors, patterned)
- 1 pair high boots, 1 pair ankle length boots (running shoes are good too)
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Winter travel capsule wardrobe will take a lot of space.
And using packing cubes will only add to space. What I mostly do is spread the thickest or biggest item at the bottom and then pack the rest.
Next, wear the high boots and jacket with a base layer as an-airport look; this way most of the space-consuming items are taken care of.
Traveling light is not as difficult as one might think.
With the above sample capsules, you can give it a try. However, you need to give thought to the places you’d be visiting.
For example, when you visit Blue Mosque in Istanbul, a robe and head-scarves will be provided at the entrance if you enter wearing anything above the knee.
Similarly, in India, you are obliged to wear appropriate clothing while visiting temples and other holy places.
Wondering what to pack for a vacation in India? Here’s how to plan and what to wear in India.
What to pack for a trip to India??
The weather in India is relatively hot all year round.
Picking up the right fabric is the first thing to keep in mind.
You won’t necessarily have to pick all conservative layers.
Researching about the place well will help build your travel capsule.
Most metro cities and tourist destinations have a casual dress code.
It’s only the holy places where you need to cover yourself up completely.
Let’s see what to pack for a trip to India:
5 Tops: Carry a combination of t-shirts and tops.
Use a light fabric like cotton or linen. Linen shirts look good on pants, jeans as well as shorts.
Collared t-shirts can be used for a semi-formal look or evening dining. For tops, play around with striped, wrap-top, laced tops, florals and more.
3 Bottoms: 1 pant, 1 short, 1 jeans.
With these bottoms, you will have a lot to wear. Jeans are a passé but keep one pair for the airport or any colder place you might be visiting.
Pants are thin and airy, making it easier to pack light. Shorts are an essential part of any wardrobe when traveling to hot places or beaches.
2 Dresses: A flowy maxi dress works for all places. Team it with strappy sandals and oversized sunglasses for a chic look.
A mini dress or LBD can be packed for partying at night.
Sundresses are in vogue and serve as a good option for hot weather. Mix and match according to your preference.
2 shoes: 1 pair of comfortable sneakers and 1 pair of sandals. A pair of sneakers is perfect for any outfit and a casual occasion.
There would be no need to waste luggage capacity to fit shoes that take uneven space.
A pair of sandals can be teamed with dresses, shorts as well as pants. Pick up unique designs like strappy, peep-toe or laced up sandals.
Extras: 2 scarves, 1 legging or stretch pants, camisoles. Scarves can be worn to cover up shoulders when traveling to temples and shrines.
They can also be worn with tops and dresses to guard yourself against dust or sun.
An extra pair of legging can be worn when indoors or for the gym. They can also be worn under tops and t-shirts.
Camisoles come in handy when you want to layer a see-through top. It can also be used when you just want to stay indoors.
Optional: If your itinerary includes visiting the shrines, you can carry kurtas.
They are used in day-to-day life in India and are a perfect wear for temple visits. Kurtas can be bought online from anywhere in the world.
They add oomph to your wardrobe. To dress like a local, pair them with long scarves and sandals.
How to pack a travel capsule wardrobe?
So, we have now seen how to build a travel capsule wardrobe, what to wear in different seasons, why you should have a travel capsule wardrobe and how to pack. Let’s now see how to travel light in style and be an absolute fashionista.
Packing cubes are the best way to travel no matter where you go. I use them for every purpose.
Varying in sizes, they can not only hold all your clothes but save a lot of space in your backpack or suitcase.
The capsule wardrobe makes it easier to divide your items. You can separate your pants, tops, accessories, and toiletries. It saves a lot of time when you need to find a certain item because you know where exactly it would be.
Compression bags are the next best thing.
It’s a known fact to roll your clothes to save up a lot of space, especially when you are packing light.
Compression bags suck all the air from your clothes, leaving a lot of space to stuff more items. These are favorable when you are using a backpack.
Travel Packing tips for Backpackers
The travel capsule wardrobe should be compartmentalized according to the size of the backpack or suitcase.
Backpackers can take advantage of all the compartments.
They can pack a lot more than a suitcase. After packing bottoms and jackets in separate packing cubes, they should go in the last compartment (laptop compartment).
The tops, dresses, scarves go in separate packing cubes in the front compartment. The accessories and toiletries in the small compartments.
There would still be space to put your travel adapters and chargers.
Packing in Suitcases made easy
For suitcases, just put everything in the cubes or compression bags, (tag it if you’d like it) and arrange accordingly.
Make sure to have your passport and travel documents in your carry-on bag. Your carry-on bag should also have one outfit to change.
This is necessary sometimes because baggage gets lost all the time at airports. It can also help when you have a long layover in a country and you intend to travel around.
Top Packing Tips Every Fashionista Needs to Know
I have always been a person who did not repeat her clothes. But this did not work for a long time because I was traveling more and it only made sense to spend more while travelling than spending on new clothes.
So, I decided to make the most out of what I had to travel with style and I came up with some great outfit ideas.
If fashion is your priority, then adopt the following looks:
The Bold and the Beautiful:
Try wearing bold colors with a peculiar element. The element can be your bracelet or your bag. Highlight the element.
Bold colors like black, poppy red, dark beige and similar primary colors with extra attention will give you a bold look.
Trying out this fashion style will mean that you can match a dark color with another dark color and look good.
Having bold colors will mean, you can easily pair them with black pants, a denim jacket, leather skirts and more.
- Carry 5 tops. One has red color, the other one is dark beige and has a Peter Pan collar, another top is off-shoulder or one-shoulder.
- The highlight is the style of the top. Pair them with 3 bottoms.
- Since you’re highlighting the top, go easy on bottoms. Black leather pants, plaid skirt or washed-out jeans.
- 2 dresses, a black dress or a geometric pattern dress.
- 1 jacket, preferably a denim jacket or a leather jacket.
- 1 long cardigan. 2 shoes, 1 pair dress boots, and 1 pair sneakers.
The Femme Fatale:
The femme fatale talks about your feminine side. A mid-calf dress, overcoat, heels, hat or scarf would be a basic illustration of this trend. You can opt for colors like peach, white, blue or turquoise.
The femme fatale look will emphasize more on your accessories than your outfits. Like, you wear a mini shift dress and pair it with a hat.
The dress can be solid color or print, but choose a hat that will highlight your look.
- Carry 3 tops – a crop top, a bell-sleeve top, a lace top. Pair them with 3 bottoms – a pair of jeans, shorts, long skirt.
- Pair the crop top with jeans and blazer.
- Carry a doctor purse or clutch.
- 3 dresses – sundress, sheath dress, maxi dress.
- 1 Jacket 1 Blazer – wear them or carry over the shoulder, just make it look cool and feminine.
- Pack a hat, reflective sunglasses or oversized sunglasses, metal waist belt, leather belt, bangles and bracelets, danglers, necklaces to make them the focal point of your look.
The All-Dress Look:
As the name suggests, this look is about wearing only dresses. It’s easier than you think.
Carrying 7 dresses for a 10-day tour can be possible.
Pick the right type of dresses and you can still pair them with many things to survive 10 days.
Packing a jean, top and a coat while traveling in the plane and using the same outfit while coming back helps.
- Carry 5 dresses – a mini dress, co-ords, long-sleeve dress, a cocktail dress, a denim dress, a t-shirt dress.
- 1 pair of jeans or pants, 2 tops, if you don’t wish to repeat your airport look.
- 1 denim jacket, 1 overcoat/long cardigan – according to weather,
- 1 blazer/suit. Wear a long cardigan on a mini dress or denim jacket on a t-shirt dress.
- Blend in as many styles as you can. Pair the co-ords top with jeans.
- 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of boots.
The tip here is don’t overdo any look. Keep it clean and charming. If you let your imagination run riots, you will never carry your whole wardrobe again. Traveling light is not rocket science; just a blend of few ideas.
So, whenever you plan your next trip, use the travel capsule wardrobe technique and be surprised.