Why You Need A Travel Capsule Wardrobe 

Summer travel capsule wardrobe in white and light blue

If you feel stressed every time you have to prepare for a trip, a travel capsule wardrobe can make packing relatively easy and hassle-free. 

This approach will also make you a happier camper once you reach your destination: You’ll have brought all the garments you need to look good and feel good—without the burden of carrying a suitcase crammed with clothes that you’ll never wear or use.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

It is always better to be slightly underdressed…Coco Chanel

Although the idea of a capsule wardrobe has gone in and out of fashion, the term has been around since the 40s.

According to Wikipedia, it is defined as a small collection of clothes that can be put together in different ways to include everything you would normally need to wear.

The aim is to create a wardrobe with outfits suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing that aren’t really necessary

Characteristics of a capsule wardrobe

Some of the “rules” typically associated with capsule wardrobes include:

1-  Minimalism

Limiting the number of items to wardrobe staples helps avoid overpacking and reduces costs.

2-  Color coordination

Choosing a neutral color scheme allows for the mixing and matching of items to assemble different-looking outfits. If you aren’t a black, white, and gray person (like me), choose a color scheme that complements your own complexion and style, and makes you feel happy.

3-  Classicism

Including timeless (rather than trendy) styles that don’t go out of fashion

4-  Quality

Purchasing the best items you can afford in durable and long-lasting fabrics 

5-  Sustainability

The concept of a capsule wardrobe is a perfect “fit” for current times when an eco-conscious generation wants to pare down possessions and eliminate unnecessary waste.

6-  Individuality

Just as one size may not fit all, there isn’t a standard template for a capsule wardrobe. Selecting the items in yours will be personal.

Benefits of a capsule wardrobe for travelers

Easy packing: one of the benefits of a travel capsule wardrobe
Easy packing: one of the benefits of a travel capsule wardrobe

Having a travel capsule wardrobe makes eminent good sense for a variety of reasons:

1-  Reducing stress

Once you initially select the items for your capsule wardrobe, you won’t have to worry as much each time you pack for an upcoming trip. You may have to tinker with the contents after you see what worked and didn’t on your last trip, but you won’t have to start from scratch.

2-  Packing lighter

Large and heavy suitcases can be a blight for a number of reasons. The heavier the suitcase, the harder it is to maneuver in the airport and at a hotel. Moreover, if it exceeds the maximum baggage limit, you’ll have to pay an extra baggage fee. Lastly, if you bring too much stuff, you may have a hard time finding what you want at your destination.

3-  Saving money

Instead of purchasing new clothes each time you travel, you’ll have a ready-made wardrobe that you can keep for years. Of course, you may have to make some modifications based on season and destination, but these should be minimal. 

Essential elements of a travel capsule wardrobe

A travel capsule wardrobe is designed specifically for travel. 

It’s likely that you already have many of these garments in your closet. If you identify something that is missing or needs to be replaced, you can easily supplement your collection.

Assembling a travel capsule wardrobe does take some time, both initially and before each trip, but it gets easier and easier as you master the approach.

To guide your choices, you need to think about where you are going and what you will be doing before each trip. This includes doing research about the predicted weather at your destination.

The items I’ve listed below are some of the elements of my own travel capsule wardrobe. In addition, I’m always careful to choose lightweight fabrics that pack well. 

One of my go-to favorite outfits is my Cozy Earth Coastal Comfort top with pants. The set checks off all the criteria above.

The fabric is breathable, airy and lightweight, perfect for warm-weather travel. The short-sleeve button-down shirt can be worn alone or paired with a tee. Made of a blend of tencel and linen, it feels soft and looks crisp.

The top can be paired with shorts or comfy pull-on pants. Both come in neutral shades of white, sand, or sun-kissed gingham. The pants are generously sized with a lovely drape and the outfit is machine-washable.

Cozy Earth Coastal Comfort
Cozy Earth Coastal Comfort



I hope this post and the list below will inspire you to create your own travel capsule wardrobe.

1-  Three or four tops

One tank top, one short sleeve polo, one long sleeve shirt or top, and one dressy top 

Saks Fifth Avenue Basic V-Neck Tee
Saks Fifth Avenue Basic V-Neck Tee


NYDJ Pintuck Blouse
NYDJ Pintuck blouse


2-  Three or four bottoms

A pair of dressy black slacks, a pair of smart jeans, a pair of leggings, and a pair of shorts or capri pants

NYDJ Marilyn Straight Pants
NYDJ Marilyn Straight Pants


NYDJ Sheri Slim Jeans
NYDJ Sheri Slim Jeans


Hue High-Rise Capri Legging
Hue High-Rise Capri Legging 


3-  Two dresses

A midi dress for day or evening wear, a sundress for warm weather

Vineyard Vines Dress Up
Vineyard Vines Dress Up Midi


Vineyard Vines Sun Dress
Vineyard Vines Sun. Dress


4-  Outerwear

A lightweight packable down jacket, a sweatshirt, and a sweater or casual blazer

Amazon Long Sleeve Packable Puffer with Hood
Amazon Long Sleeve Packable Puffer with Hood


Eco-"cashmere" wrap
Eco-“cashmere” wrap


5-  Shoes

A pair of sneakers, a pair of comfortable walking shoes, a pair of ballet flats for evening, and a pair of sandals or flip-flops (which can also serve as slippers)

Vionic Minna Ballet Flats
Vionic Minna Ballet Flats


Vionic Jada Active Sneaker
Vionic Jada Active Sneaker


6-  Accessories

Think about the special-purpose items and travel accessories you may want to bring. Handbag (a tote and a small purse), travel jewelry, a shawl and scarves, sunglasses, a bathing suit

And don’t forget

Underwear and sleepwear!

Save to Pinterest!!

Travel Capsule Wardrobe Pin

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  1. Such a great idea. I “sort-of” do this. Then, at the last minute, I throw a lot of unnecessary stuff in.
    You think I’d learn….
    Next time (tomorrow, actually), I’ll stick with the plan. AND…only do carry on.
    Thanks for the inspiration

  2. I guess I should have added that as a last step before closing the suitcase, it’s a good idea to “prune” what you’re taking. That makes room to come home with a souvenir of your travels.:-)

  3. I always go all carry-on so agree with these tips! I color coordinate and continue to seek out ways to pack lighter. I use packing cubes and find I can get more than three or four tops and three or four bottoms in my suitcase! I am preparing now for a longer than usual European cruise trip, so we’ll see how I do in packing all that I want to take! One thing that helps is my husband’s suitcase sometimes has enough room for another item or two of mine! 🙂

  4. Fantastic advice! As full time traveler, I try to buy color coordinates for my entire wardrobe – it’s not as hard as you might think!

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