the 15 piece travel wardrobe

3 week Europe travel wardrobe

Putting together this 3 week, 15 piece travel wardrobe has been a real challenge, not so much for the length of the trip (our longest yet), but for the variety of both weather and activities on the slate. Our first stop, Amsterdam, is likely to be cool and wet, at least for the first few days. Bordeaux has good odds of being sunny and warm. London and Paris are anyone’s guess at this point. I’ve gone back and forth, but ultimately I decided to Go With What Works™ based on past travel wardrobes. Yes, that means lots of black (and some navy).

I am changing a couple of things up, though.

  • Luggage: I still recommend the Lipault spinner bag, but I’m trying out a new carry-on spinner suitcase, one with firmer sides and a bit more capacity. Last year when I compared and chose the Lipault over the Briggs & Riley spinner, the B&R was decidedly a heavier bag, though I loved the design and features. B&R has re-designed the bag (mostly exterior details from what I can determine); it’s now about 1 lb. lighter than the one I wrote about, and only about 1 lb. difference from the Lipault, a reasonable tradeoff for the extra space. Which I may need because…
  • Usually I don’t plan to purchase clothing while traveling to wear on the trip, but rather than pack sandals (a 4th pair of shoes) that I may or may not need once there, I’ll purchase along the way if needed. (I love European footwear, and sandals will always be used back home.)
  • I’m allowing myself to pack a few more pieces than usual.
  • Shopping happens. 😉

As with past wardrobes, I’ve selected mostly simple and lightweight pieces that can dress up or down, and will layer easily as needed. I’ve used scarves for color.

So let’s get to it…here’s the core. I gave myself an allotment of 15 pieces, not including accessories, shoes, underpinnings and outerwear. You can click on each item listed below for links. Some of the pieces here are from past years, so are not currently available; in those instances I’ve tried to link to something similar.

15 piece travel wardrobe







*Decided this one was redundant, will look for something along the way in a different color.

I know some don’t like to travel with jeans, but they are my go-to’s at home and I’ve never regretted bringing them. In addition to being easy to style, they can be worn several times in between laundering. Nothing I’ve packed needs to be ironed. Most of the tops can be hand washed and hung to dry. All of these pieces fit into the framework of a “long over lean” silhouette which makes it easy to put outfits together.


travel outerwear and bags
That leather jacket looks teal in this photo, but is actually a soft navy.



What didn’t make the cut:

  • Short sleeved tees. I always pack them, almost never wear them. The lightweight collared shirts are just as comfortable and more versatile, as well as looking just a bit more polished.
  • Skirts or dresses. I’ve found they complicate the equation. Using the concept of “Tabletop Dressing” I can utilize the black pants with one of the dressier tops and jacket if needed.
  • Lots of sweaters. I tend to overpack sweaters, which can be bulky and heavy. Both of these selections can be hand washed if needed.
  • Lots of jewelry. I’ve packed a few earrings, a couple of necklaces and bracelets. I’ve found that a few pieces are all I need.

You can see more of my travel wardrobe suggestions on my SHOP page. I’ll do my best to post outfits daily during our trip. Tomorrow I’ll show you how I pack toiletries, medications and makeup.

When you pack for long trips, do you have a strategy for maximizing your options?

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casual vendredi: Paris, 1er mai

people watching in Paris
jacket | earrings | scarf | shirt | bracelet | pants | bag | shoes

A year ago today we were in Paris, having a wonderful time. Just a few more weeks until we return!

lilies of the valley for May Day
Louvre on May Day
Josephine of Chic At Any Age

Tuilleries, Paris

Happy May Day! Bon weekend!

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going to lengths…

long linen cardigan
earrings | scarf (similar) | tank | cardigan | bracelet | jeans | boots

So I’ve given up on the lightweight jackets…for now. The Theory jacket I tried last week, after some deliberation, has gone back. There was nothing inherently wrong with it, but it ultimately just didn’t feel right and I think the proportions were slightly off for me. Or maybe I’m just moving away from tailored looks; my style mood now is leaning toward softer pieces, and long layers with movement. This long cardigan hits that sweet spot between drama and practicality. Though I’ve styled casually here, it’s polished enough to go to the office. The linen gives it a nice bit of drape and swing, and I love that the pockets are just a little bit slouchy.

French Kande bracelet

I prefer it worn open, but it can also be buttoned. I’ve been wearing the heck out of both this scarf and bracelet lately.

long linen cardigan
Oui, still need a haircut.


Do you find you tend to wear things in cycles, favoring certain pieces for a period of time, then moving on to others?

Linked up: Throwback ThursdayVisible Monday


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