How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Traveling

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Traveling

Some might say that looking fashionable while on vacation is worth the price, but in my mind, nothing is worse than being hit with an overweight baggage fee. So how do you make sure you’ve packed enough for your vacation while still staying under the baggage weight limit? Enter the capsule wardrobe.

Capsule wardrobes are wardrobes composed of minimal items that can be mixed and matched to create hundreds of outfit combinations. While achieving a capsule wardrobe for your entire closet may be slightly unrealistic, capsule wardrobes are perfect for traveling. Whether you’re going away for three days or three weeks, a capsule wardrobe can help you pack as little as possible while still having cute outfits to wear. Here’s how to do it:

1—Research your destination. Obviously, it’s important to know what kind of weather you will be encountering on your trip, but the weather isn’t the only factor you should be thinking of when packing for a trip. It is also important to research what type of dress is considered appropriate where you’ll be traveling. For example, certain tourist attractions like religious sites will not let you enter if your shoulders are showing. So do your research before you even lay a hand on your suitcase!

2—Choose your bottoms. Bottoms tend to be more basic, so they can be re-worn multiple times with different tops. Start by choosing a few basic bottoms for the foundation of your wardrobe. For my capsule wardrobe, I’ve chosen three bottoms: a pink corduroy skirt from Forever 21, distressed girlfriend jeans from Garage, and denim shorts from J.Crew.

3—Choose your tops. Next, choose a few cute tops to bring on your trip. Each top should match each bottom. I chose two tops for my wardrobe: a graphic crop top from Brandy Melville and a white off-the-shoulder top from Forever 21.

4—Choose your shoes. Next, pick your shoes. My suggestion is to bring only three pairs of shoes: sneakers, comfortable sandals, and a fancier pair of shoes. Make sure each pair of shoes matches each top and bottom combination! I’ve chosen a pair of white low-top Converse, black strappy sandals from Forever 21, and brown wedges from Nordstrom.

5—Choose your accessories. Last, you can choose which accessories you want to pair with your outfits. For things like jewelry, feel free to choose as many pieces as you’d like because they won’t take up much space in a suitcase. However, try to limit yourself to one or two bags and hats, as those tend to be larger and heavier.

Final Tip

Choosing a color scheme can make matching multiple pieces much easier. When in doubt, neutrals are always a good choice.

There you have it—a functional and stylish capsule wardrobe, perfect for your upcoming summer vacation. From only two tops, three bottoms, and three pairs of shoes I have created six different outfits!


Do you have any tips for making the most out of your suitcase space? Let me know in the comments below!