Keep your travel wardrobe simple and varied through the art of coordination. Just throw in a few accessories for a look that’s individual yet stylish

Picture: Tim Walker via Pinterest

DOES this picture look familiar? Do you feel like this before you head off overseas or for a weekend away? Not sure what to pack? Struggling to keep under those weight restrictions? Or just want to keep your luggage to a bare minimum? If you answered yes to all these questions, then you need a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is a small, considered collection of clothes that provides a minimum number of garments to meet your daily needs. It is also the solid foundation on which to build the rest of your wardrobe. Limiting your choices will help you focus. 

However, just one capsule wardrobe won’t deliver what every woman needs for every occasion. What you need for work obviously wont be suitable for the weekend; nor a week in the sun in Tahiti or a week skiing in Aspen; shopping in New York in January compared with  shopping in Singapore in July. Despite the obvious need for different items, underpinning every capsule wardrobe are key essentials.  Classic basics.

When packing for any trip overseas – for work or pleasure – the three most important  things to consider are the weather, reason for travelling and the places youll be visiting. 

But even I struggle to pack the basic essentials. My excuse – I like to be prepared for everything!

You really dont need hundreds of pieces 
The trick is to pack a well-edited, coordinating wardrobe where all the pieces work together. 

You really don’t need hundreds of different of pieces to look good. With some careful thought and planning, all you need are eight to 10 key pieces to create 30 looks or more.  In my former life as a fashion editor, one of the most popular stories I did was “Eight garments, 50 looks. No, thats not a mistake! Eight garments, 50 looks. Every season, I would re-work or update the same story idea, incorporating the latest trends, colours and prints. 

But the key is colour. A truly successful wardrobe is one based around dark-coloured basics (one that works with your skin tone, hair and eye colour) such as black, navy, grey or brown. Then add a neutral such as white, ivory, beige or stone. Once you’ve got that sorted, choose a highlight colour, one that works back with the other two. Maybe red, coral, turquoise, green or blue – whatever works for you. This is also a great way to introduce some print pieces, preferably in colours that will work back with the other two. But EVERYTHING you pack has to work back with three other things in your suitcase. (Look here to get an idea of mix and match pieces in blue. Maybe substitute the blue trousers for black ones ... you get the idea.)

Next thing to consider is to invest in clothes that travel well. For example, fabrics that are lightweight and don’t crush – think microfibres, jerseys, cashmere and those with added stretch for comfort. Also choose fabrics that can be hand-washed and dried quickly. You really dont want to be bothered with dry-cleaning while on the road or using the hotel laundry facilities – they’re expensive!

Also remember, if travelling in economy, you’ll generally be restricted to check in 20kg and carry-on 7kg only. However if youre travelling in business or first class, you can check in up to 40kg, so you probably won’t feel the need to be too streamlined. But it is still wise to pack smart. That way it leaves you some space if you wish to do some shopping!

So let’s start packing

So, what have I forgotten? Is there one wardrobe essential you cant travel without? 
Or an accessory that changed the way you travel? Do you have any travel advice?
Would love to hear from you.

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