Capsulizing Your Travel Wardrobe


I think I’ve done most of the traveling in our marriage, it’s just wound up that way. When I think back to how I used to travel and pack when I was first married, I just laugh. I still over-pack slightly, but gosh it’s nothing like how it used to be. Once I became a wardrobe stylist, I really began to embrace and love the idea of capsulizing wardrobes, especially when packing. Now when I travel, I rarely check bags if I can help it!

The basic philosophy for capsulizing your travel wardrobe, is so that you can double or even triple your outfit options without increasing the luggage. By packing thoughtfully, and being sure your pieces coordinate, it’s super easy to create a lot of looks with just a few key pieces. For such a short trip, each top should be able to be worn with any and all pants, skirts, etc.

Here’s how I get started:

1.) I map out my trip and what I’ll be doing.

So for this trip, most of my time will be spent cuddling or running around with my 2 year old nephew and holding my new little niece. My sister said she may want to sneak away for an evening with me while Daddy holds down the fort, so I’ll need to also pack something cute, but not fancy to wear to get out of the house. Also, at this point, I take weather into consideration. It is going to be highs in the mid-seventies and lows in the high 40’s, low 50’s. Cold by Arizona standards, so a jacket will be an absolute must. If it’s colder than that, I’ll just borrow a coat from my sister.

2.) Figure out the ratios

Because most of my time will be spent around the house, playing at the park, driving to doctor appointments etc., my travel wardrobe needs to reflect that. We generally tend to focus most of our packing attention and energy onto the events we are most excited about, and forget that those events don’t usually occupy our entire trip. You have to make sure you have enough options for the rest of your trip as well.

Total Pieces:

1 Button Up Shirt

3 T-shirts (normally, I’d pack two, but baby spit-up…)

1 pair of jeans

1 pair of yoga pants

1 dress

1 pair of pjs

Underwear for all the days

1 pair of comfy tennis shoes

1 pair of wedge heels

1 Jacket

3.) Capsulize

This is the fun part. I’ll be gone from Saturday to Tuesday, so excluding the first travel day, I have to make sure I’ve got outfits for 3 days.

Day 1: I like to travel comfy, yet chic, so for traveling there, I’ll be wearing a pair of black yoga pants leggings, a comfy button-up shirt, my “leather” jacket, and some cute wedge heels. I want to conserve space in my luggage since it will be all carry-on, so by wearing the bulkiest shoes, I’ll have those for when we go out, but I don’t need to pack them. Once I get there, it sounds like we will be going out into some desert area nearby so I can take some family photos of them, so I’ll simply change out of my shoes into some comfy tennis shoes that will be packed.

Day 2: Just a lazy day around the house, playing, and doing some cooking. I’ll re-wear the yoga pants and throw on a cute graphic t-shirt, suitable for lounging around the house. Because I’m running the risk of being spit-up on, I’m going to pack an extra t-shirt, just in case.

Day 3: Today, I’ll be taking my sister and the kids around town to a few doctor appointments, so I want to be a tiny step above yoga pants and a t-shirt, while still being comfortable enough to help her wrangle some kids! Jeans and that button-up from Day 1 would be super cute with this, paired with those comfy tennis shoes. And if we wind up going out that night, I can just change shoes to the wedge heels and instantly dress up the outfit. If I have extra room in my bag, maybe I’ll pack a maxi dress.

Day 4: Today I’ll be heading home, so again, comfy and chic, I’ll throw on a t-shirt and jeans and leather jacket with those wedge heels and get ready to jump into Tim’s arms, as no doubt, I’ll be a touch homesick and ready to be back in the swing of things with him.

Total packed pieces:

3 t-shirts

1 pair of jeans

1 dress

1 pair of pjs


1 pair of comfy tennis shoes

My tip for maximizing packing space, is rolling your clothing into tight little logs you can stack and squeeze in there. I have loads more packing tips to share in a future blog, and guess what?? I’ll be traveling again in just a couple weeks to Charleston for my cousin’s wedding where I’ll be there a whole week! And guess what? Only carry-ons for me. In that blog, I’ll be sharing some of my extreme space saving tricks I’ve learned over the years of packing 4 kids’ worth of clothes into as little space as possible!