Every week or so, I decide that I’m going to go through all my clothes, donate everything I never wear and be left with a perfect capsule wardrobe. Due to my inability to part with clothes I rarely way, it never happens, but the idea behind this obsession has inspired me to pack capsule wardrobes for each of my last few trips. The point of a travel capsule wardrobe is to streamline your packing and allow you to mix and match staple items for multiple outfits while you’re abroad. I used this method for a few of my longer trips and it worked like a dream. Not only was my luggage much lighter, but I had different outfits for every day I was away.
Here are the 12 pieces you can pack to make for 10 days of outfits; aka, the perfect travel capsule wardrobe:
- White Button Up
- Tank Top
Day 1: Jeans, White Button Up, Flats
Day 2: Leggings, T-Shirt, Sneakers
Day 3: Skirt, Blouse, Booties
Day 4: Dress, Cardigan, Flats
Day 5: Jeans, T-Shirt, Flats
Day 6: Leggings, White Button Up, Booties
Day 7: Skirt, Tank Top, Cardigan, Sneakers
Day 8: Jeans, Blouse, Booties
Day 9: Skirt, T-Shirt, Flats
Day 10: Dress, Booties
The key is to bring mostly neutral colors so everything can mix and match easily. Add in a seasonally appropriate jacket, some jewelry and a purse and you’ll be good to go. What is the best way to accumulate these items for a travel capsule wardrobe, you ask? Well, with the right resources it’s pretty easy and not as expensive as you’d expect. Here are my favorite shopping hacks for buying clothes on a budget:
- Raise: Raise is a brilliant way to spend less on your everyday items by buying discounted gift cards through their online marketplace. I’ve used them to buy gift cards for my favorite clothing stores (Gap, Madewell & Nordstrom), and it’s super simple to buy the gift cards, print them out (or download them into the Raise mobile wallet app to keep them handy with all your other gift cards) and use them instantly. If you’ve never used Raise before, use the code WANDER20 for $20 off your next purchase of $40 or more.
- Stitch Fix: This online stylist has changed the way I shop for most of my clothes, especially the basics that would comprise a capsule wardrobe. It’s basically a subscription box customized to your shape and style that can come once a month or as often as you’d like. My coworker talked me into trying this service and I have been hooked ever since.
- Outlet Malls: So obvious that it has they have to do the trick, outlet malls are my go to when I feel the need to supplement my wardrobe without spending too much. The outlet mall closest to us is the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont, IL which feature two levels of stores. Outlet malls can be a free for all of bargain hunters elbowing their way to the deals, but sometimes you can find pieces so good it’s worth the fight.
What are the key pieces in your travel capsule wardrobe? What are your best tips for building a wardrobe on a budget?