packing your travel wardrobe

Packing Your Travel Wardrobe – The Traveler’s Blues…

Traveling at the holidays is already stressful enough. Figuring out what to pack shouldn’t add to that. Let me help with packing your travel wardrobe for that upcoming trip. Whether it’s a trip to family for the holidays, or an upcoming vacation, here are some tips to help you. With these, you can travel with only carry on and still look good every day. 

Here’s where to start: 

  • When planning your travel wardrobe, be sure to make a rule that every piece has to go with at least three other things. Create capsules around a medium to dark shade of your favorite neutral, for example, charcoal gray, navy blue, black, or khaki. Even burgundy or wine can act as a neutral. This will ensure you get the most mileage out of your wardrobe.

neutral colors - knit hats

  • With that chosen neutral color in mind, pack layers in shades of that color. For instance, you can pack a cardigan sweater in gray, a vest in a lighter shade of gray, and a thin long-sleeved top in another tone of gray. This will give you more options for temperature changes without having to change your whole outfit.

gray t-shirtgray vest

gray cardigan sweater


  • Add a few wild card items. You can’t survive on neutrals alone! Wild card items could include a narrow print scarf as a belt option that you can use through belt loops on jeans; an arty ring; a reversible wind/rain coat that has one color (red for instance) on one side and an animal print on the other; a leopard print skirt. One easy way to change up your outfits is with an array of scarves.  Depending on the weather of where you’re visiting, be sure to include the right weights so you have scarves in warmer fabrics for cold (cashmere, lightweight wool) and cooler ones for warm (cotton, linen). It’s ok to take the lighter ones with you to a colder temp, but don’t bother with the warmer ones to a warmer temp!

colorful scarves leopard skirt














  • Now, bring some color into your wardrobe. Think of colors you like to wear and pair them with your neutrals. For instance, combine black or charcoal with white, burnt orange, and turquoise. Navy blue combines well with hot pink, powder blue and white. These added color pieces could be in layering pieces (tanks, camisoles), a top, a bottom (skirt, pant), a piece of outerwear (poncho, long or short cardigan, embroidered jean jacket), or even jewelry. You don’t have to be dressed head-to-toe in a brighter color. Having smaller doses of it in your suitcase will surely bring flair to your outfits. Here’s a great color chart to help: 

Color Guide

  • If you like to add jewelry to your outfits, be sure to wear your heavier jewelry on the plane.  Pack jewelry pieces that are lighter in weight in your luggage. Remember, bulky costume jewelry can add excessive weight to your suitcase. 
  • For less stress once you’re there, pack clothes that won’t need ironing. Or if you do, check out a product that can solve the ironing dilemma for you.   

And finally, ten days before you leave, lay out what you think you’ll take and then edit, edit, edit. You want to be happy with your final selections. Remember, everything you pack should be pleasing on you and fit perfectly.

Planning a functional and fashionable trip wardrobe can be stressful. Let me help so that you’re not overwhelmed. Call, email or text me to set up an appointment today.


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  • Amy Korpi November 13, 2017   Reply →

    Good advice! I like to travel with just a carry on everywhere I go, but most people I know have a tough time doing it. It’s an art and a science. Now, instead of coaching them myself, I will share your article.

  • E.W. January 16, 2018   Reply →

    Thanks Anne, we decided to go from San Francisco to Italy last fall for two weeks–carry-on only.

    Your advice is right on: gray is not my best color but i coordinated my limited wardrobe with burgundy as my “neutral” and it was fun to buy a few scarves along the way–as a wardrobe pop as well as a fond reminder of a great trip!

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