Lots of you have asked for tips on travel wardrobes. Whether you are squeezing a quick family trip into the waning days of summer, planning an extended big city weekend this fall or have a business conference in your future, packing for travel gives many women stress-induced heartburn. Here are some tips to make it easier to plan your travel wardrobe.
I’ll use my 10-day September Scandanavian trip with a variety of activities to illustrate the key concepts of travel wardrobing. Even if your trip is more business focused or strictly family-fun casual, the principles are the same – just applied with different garment styling.
Some experts advise planning out what you’ll wear for each day or each activity. I prefer to give myself more options so I can flex my daily choices to fit the weather, the dressiness of the culture (which you never really know in advance) and my mood. You can do that by building in lots of mix and match. Here’s the formula:
Start with 2-5 solid-color bottom garments, depending on the length of your trip. These base pieces are less eye-catching, so you can wear them in multiple combinations without feeling repetitive. Mix pants and skirts as you prefer, and keep the colors related. I chose (L to R) berry skirt, heather gray skirt, dark wash skinny jeans, heather gray pants and berry cords:
Next choose the shoes – coordinate the color to the bottoms you’ve selected. I picked navy mules (my idea of a comfort shoe for walking) and gray suede booties. I own berry booties too, but showing off to that degree isn’t worth the extra bulk in my suitcase.
Third category is over-layer tops – jackets, cardigans, etc – both for style and for weather. Making outfits with over/under top combos multiplies the number of looks you can create from a limited number of pieces. Solids or near-solids (textures, subtle patterns) provide the greatest versatility. Consider assorting them over the range of dressy-to-casual events in your itinerary. Ideally each of these over-layers should work with each of the bottoms. My example comes close, but doesn’t quite hit that target. My plaid wool jacket only works with the berry bottoms; the heather gray cascade-front unlined jacket, rose soft cardigan and navy long cardigan can each work with every bottom.
Now add under-layer tops. Because take less space in a suitcase, they are your opportunity to build in variety. I chose solid shells and camis for layering – pale blue, heather gray, turquise, kelly green tanks, blush and rose. Patterned scarves and fashion jewelry pieces will link them into multi-color outfits.
Last I added patterned tops that include colors from my solid garments:
Accessories – scarves and necklaces – finish off the various combinations. Here are just some of the outfit options:
How many more combos can you find? HINT: Every top shown with gray pants also works with the gray skirt and vice versa. Same for the berry pant and skirt outfits. We’re up to 27 – can you find 3 more to make an even 30?
Eighteen garments fit easily into a single carry-on bag! The garments are simply folded and layered; scarves and camis are stacked and rolled to fill the gaps around the edges.
Love to hear about the coordinated wardrobes you put together for your own travel adventures.