Traveling is already a daunting task on its own. To avoid extra stress from packing, we’ll show you how to create the perfect travel capsule wardrobe.
Heading on a holiday soon? Packing up for much-awaited travel can be a daunting task, especially if you’re planning to spend two weeks or more in your holiday destination. If you’re someone who fills up her luggage with tons of outfits, it’s time to ditch that attitude and start building your travel capsule wardrobe.
A travel capsule wardrobe consists of neutral-colored, versatile pieces of clothing that you can mix and match with other pieces, creating entirely different outfits with just enough clothes.
We love travel capsule wardrobes because this means you can stop stuffing your luggage with so many clothes that you’ll only wear once, and you can use that extra room for some souvenir shopping!
Note: The travel capsule wardrobe that we’ve created is best for city breaks and travel during the fall, winter and spring seasons. For summer travel and resort vacations, check out our Summer Capsule Wardrobe instead!
How To Build The Perfect Travel Capsule Wardrobe
When coming up with your packing list, it’s important to note that a capsule wardrobe should always consist of neutral colors, or at least colors of the same color family – this way, they’ll be easier to mix and style with other pieces.
Your travel wardrobes also depend on on the purpose of your travel: will this be a business trip? If so, it’s a good idea to mix in some formal outfits like blazers and dress shoes. If this is a personal trip or a family vacation, then it’s good to add some versatile items like blouses, a tank top, or a leather jacket (good for road trips!).
As for the color palette, we suggest you stick to basics and neutrals like white, beige, cream, black, and brown. If you like a little pop of color, blush or light blue will do fine! You can also add in 1-2 statement pieces in bold colors if you want, but we would recommend keeping this to a minimum as these are hard to style with other pieces.
To get you started on your minimalist travel wardrobe, we added great options of timeless pieces that are appropriate for most seasons. We included basic tees, jackets, cardigans, light dresses, coats, as well as bottoms, accessories, and pairs of shoes. All of these are in complementary colors to make things easier for you!
The Essential Pieces For Your Travel
Shirts, Tops & Layering Pieces
Cotton T-Shirt | The most basic, yet the most essential item to any capsule wardrobe is a white tee. This type of shirt is super versatile and can be worn with any pants, plus, you can also wear a cardigan or your favorite jacket over this.
If this sounds too bland, add more personality with your accessories, like statement necklaces and earrings.
Long-Sleeve Crew | If you’re going to a destination that’s pretty chilly, this long-sleeve crewneck shirt will be your best friend. Like a white tee, a white crewneck will pair well with any bottoms.
Black V-Neck Tee | Don’t underestimate the power of a v-neck tee. While a white tee is essential to any capsule wardrobe, so is a nicely fitting black tee.
This is especially perfect for travel since you probably don’t have the amenities (or the time) to do any washing. If your black tee gets dirty, it’s very unlikely that anyone will notice!
T-shirt Dress | If you’re going for a casual vibe, this t-shirt dress will be perfect. Match this with a pair of white sneakers and a baseball cap, or tie it up in a knot and wear it with leggings.
Sherpa Jacket | A nice, neutral-colored sherpa jacket like this will keep you warm enough, but still make you look stylish! If white is too rique for you and you’re afraid of staining it, opt for a light wash denim jacket instead.
Mohair Cardigan | We are head over heels with this beige cardigan. This is perfect for fall and springtime, and so easy to throw on with almost any outfit.
Sweatshirt | While we advise against getting clothing with loud patterns, simpler patterns like plaid, stripes or even houndstooth are perfectly fine since they still fall under the “minimalist” category. Plus, stripes never go out of style!
While striped shirts in black and white or navy and white are perfectly fine, we love this sweatshirt in white and beige, as it’s a color combination you don’t see that often in a striped shirt.
Sherpa Vest | This sherpa vest will be your next best friend on your winter getaway and keeps you extrawarm under your coat. In the springtime, you can even completely forgo an outerwear piece, and wear this with a white crewneck underneath.
Jeans & Bottoms
Joggers | When traveling to your destination, ditch the jeans and hard pants! You should prioritize comfort above all else especially if you’re going on a long-haul flight. Get these super comfy joggers so you can stretch your legs, relax, and be at your most “zen” self.
In addition to your days at the airport, it’s also nice to have a cozy pair of joggers to slip into when you’re just chilling in your hotel or Airbnb, so don’t forget to take a pair with you!
Light-Wash Jeans | Being on holiday means walking around a lot, so it’s important to choose a pair of high-quality jeans that will not easily chafe your thighs even after an entire day of walking.
Also, we recommend getting straight jeans as these will provide more room around your legs, as opposed to skinny jeans.
Black Pants | Your travel capsule wardrobe won’t be complete without a pair of black pants. These pants are great casual days as they have a “sweatpant feel”, but they also look sophisticated enough to wear for photos and dare we say, going out for casual drinks.
Faux Leather Leggings | These leather leggings are perfect for any activity, be it a casual day, drinks on a rooftop or a date in a fancy restaurant: it all depends on how you style them!
These wet-look leggings are great for creating simple outfits with a touch of something a little different. Spanx’s faux leather leggings also come with a moto motif, which is even better for creating interesting looks, while still staying minimalistic.
Although we’ve suggested a couple of different coats, if you want pack light, just choose a single coat to take with you!
Wool Coat | If you’re going somewhere with cold weather, a black wool coat should be a staple. It’s easy enough to mix and match, and won’t take too much room in your suitcase.
Trench Coat | Trench coats are perfect for city escapes in the fall and springtime. They look ever-so-stylish paired with almost anything, so make sure to add one into your suitcase.
Puffer Coat | Puffer coats are both stylish and warm. These are best for cold-weather destinations during the fall and winter, and if you choose a neutral color like black, you’ll be able to combine it with all your outfits.
As puffer coats are quite big, it’s best to wear this straight to the airport to avoid takig up too much space in your suitcase.
Sneakers | A capsule wardrobe is never complete without a pair of white sneakers. A simple pair like this from Veja is great for pairing with each and any one of your outfits, but you can also choose a pair with more personality.
For example, Golden Goose sneakers in various different color combinations are always a good idea.
Loafers | These loafers are perfect for anyone who loves dressing in business-casual fashion. They’re perfect for the city, and even work well for business travel.
Mules | If you are traveling in the warmer months, mules are a must-have addition to your travel capsule wardrobe. They elevate any outfit and are as comfortable as they are chic.
Tote bag | This tote bag will hold all of your essentials, including your favorite water bottle and many other things. It also folds up, making it super convenient to pack into your suitcase or backpack.
Backpack | If you don’t want to bring around a large tote bag around your shoulders all day, this cute backpack in cream should be on your radar. It’s durable and wide enough to fit your laptop!
Sunglasses | Don’t forget to include a pair of chic sunglasses in your wardrobe! We suggest bringing sunglasses even on a cold-weather holiday, as the sun can be strong around the year, not just in the summer months.
Lipstick | God forbid you take any selfies without a puckered pout! Be sure to bring your favorite lipstick with you on your trip, so you can take lots of Insta-worthy pics for the ‘gram.
Baseball Hat | Hats are stylish and practical at the same time, so make sure to include one in your packing list. Unless you’re going on a resort vacation that calls for a big straw hat, baseball caps are your best choice for keeping your hair out of the way.
We hope you found this guide on how to build the perfect travel capsule wardrobe helpful! Got any ideas? Share it with us in the comments section! If you’re still looking for more capsule wardrobe inspiration, check the posts down below.