Traveling during the holiday season can be hectic. Learning how to create a travel wardrobe effectively and efficiently can remove one thing off of your to-do list and give you peace of mind. Most people overpack, having that “just in case” mentality when packing for their trip only to realize at the end they only needed half of what they packed. I want you to be that person that uses everything you brought because you spent quality time thinking it through. Will you accept the challenge? Then let’s begin! Here are a few guidelines on how to create a travel wardrobe.
Ask yourself how many settings do you need outfits for? If you’re in warm weather, you might want street wear for shopping the outdoor markets, something fancier for dinner in a nice restaurant and of course, attire for the beach or poolside. If you’re in cold weather, you may be hitting the slopes for some winter sports activities, visiting friends or family, taking in museums or historical sites. Picture yourself in those places then go to your closet and start building your travel wardrobe with only these functions in mind. Lay out some choices on your bed and see if some pieces could work in more than one setting. If something works in only one way, substitute it for other items. You want to get maximum wear about of what you bring. These wardrobe puzzle pieces will start fitting together. Taking the time to do this exercise will make traveling with just a carry-on possible.
2. Variety Matters
Ok, this is not about your creating a dull, limited travel wardrobe. You can definitely have variety without the extra baggage. Variety is easy to manage when you pack things that are either small or can be rolled up. Some easy pieces to add for variety are print scarves, costume jewelry (leave the expensive stuff at home for peace of mind), and tops or blouses. Curb your enthusiasm for shoes and keep choices to a minimum. I suggest trying to keep it to three pairs of shoes. Chances are you’ll need a great walking shoe, a going-out shoe, and a casual shoe. If it’s comfy enough, sometimes your casual shoe can double as your walking shoe but know the comfort of your shoe before relying on it to play both roles. A way to really hone in on your shoe limit is to work backward and build your outfits around the shoes you’ve decided to bring.
3. Color Cooperation
Many people find it easy to travel light by focusing on one color: black. This can be done well if your accessories add variety or there’s textural variety in the clothing pieces. As long as black is the background color, you can bring tops that mix black and other colors together. Think stripes, florals, plaid, or checks. If black is not in your wardrobe, keep the idea of working around a core color or two. Choose from what’s flattering on you and what’s most available in separates. Include solids and prints. You might choose a duet of colors like burgundy and navy blue, khaki and coral, or magenta and gray. Depending upon you and your local, add a denim piece or two (jeans or a jean jacket) and you’ve really rounded out your travel wardrobe.
4. Added Value
What are those essentials that you don’t want to leave behind? Make sure you leave room for them in your carry-on or add them to your second carry-on (your tote or handbag). They could include your cozy slippers, earbuds, journal, or favorite moisturizer in a three-ounce container. Is there an item or items that give you instant comfort? Having something with you that’s part of your normal home routine can make the chaos of traveling easier to bear. If you’re traveling internationally, and will be on a flight for 7+ hours you may want to add socks, ibuprofen, lotion, earplugs, disposable toothbrush, facial wipes or hydrating mist, lip balm, hand sanitizer, favorite snacks, and a few packs of Emergen-C.
Here’s An Example
These tips will work for your holiday travel or any extended travel you’re planning. I followed these steps when I packed for my trip to Paris and London this past September. Not knowing exactly what I was going to do while I was there I focused on the weather and comfort because I knew I’d be doing a lot of walking. I chose my color palette and then built variety into my selections. Here’s a look at items similar to what I packed and how I wore my outfits (I was gone for about 14 days so a few of these outfits were repeated, but I’m only sharing one of the looks). And YES, it all fit into one suitcase.
I’m here to help. I’ve had lots of experience helping clients plan their wardrobes for all sorts of trips. This is one of the hardest things to do on your own so don’t hesitate in asking for my assistance. I’ll help you with those wardrobe puzzle pieces and teach you how to create a travel wardrobe. You’ll start your trip with peace of mind and the assurance that you have everything you need. Here’s to safe and happy travels!
Live, laugh, shine!