Yes, we have some travel planned for later this year, more on that soon. 😉
5 Style Lessons From My Travel Wardrobes
Planning and analyzing my travel wardrobes has taught me to pack smarter and travel lighter, but it’s also had some spillover effect at home when shopping or planning my day-to-day wardrobe, and has made getting dressed easier on those rushed mornings. Here are five lessons I’ve applied to my “at home” wardrobe:
1. Lighten up: more lightweight layers* almost always trump fewer heavy layers. Except in the most frigid conditions, a few well-chosen layers will keep you as warm as a heavy, bulky piece, and you’ll be better able to deal with fluctuating temperatures (such as overheated buildings in winter). Extra points for pieces that can be worn multiple ways, such as a buttoned cardigan that can step in as a top under a jacket, or as outerwear over a tee or blouse.
2. Teamwork: cohesion makes or breaks a wardrobe. The best pieces are those that “play well with others,” and can be combined easily with other items in a wardrobe. When I pack for travel, I make sure that all of my tops go with all of my bottoms, and that most of the tops can layer with most others (see #1). This premise also applies at home (though less strictly than for travel) and more than anything else has simplified getting dressed on rushed mornings. I’m wary now of pieces that will only work in one particular outfit or require another specific piece in order to work.
3. Rinse, repeat: limit the number of items in your wardrobe that require special care. Being able to machine or hand wash items not only saves money, but means that favorite sweater is more likely to be ready to wear when you’re ready to wear it. And often a steaming is all that’s needed to restore a rumpled but otherwise clean “dry clean only” jacket or blouse. Spot cleaning can often eliminate the need for a trip to the cleaners too. (My favorites are Janie Stick for greasy spots, Tide-to-Go pen for coffee, red wine, and other non-greasy stains, and a garment brush for lint, dust and surface dirt.)
4. Solid foundations: invest in quality simple pieces. These are your wardrobe chameleons that go from day to night or casual to dressy. My “chameleons” are a pair of black lightweight wool trousers, silk jersey tanks and tees, and depending upon the season, linen or merino sweaters. Here’s the thing about those simple pieces: repeat wearings will go unnoticed, because you’ll…
5. Expand horizons: think of accessories as your “outfit makers.” The beauty of those simple pieces is that you can change up a look entirely by adding a scarf, swapping out shoes and/or bag, mixing up the jewelry.
I know this doesn’t sound like the blueprint for a glamorous, show-stopping wardrobe. My own wardrobe has to be 80% casual-office-appropriate, which has informed and influenced how I dress for a few decades now. Most of us have some constraints, either situational or financial or both, and this has been my way of finding my style and building a wardrobe within my current parameters. But I do think that if your style is more splashy and exuberant, these concepts can still apply when it comes to having a cohesive wardrobe that works for your life (and is travel-friendly too).
*More great layering pieces:
- Adea – wide selection of tops, tanks and camisoles in a silky soft fabric that breathes, doesn’t pill, is washable and dries quickly. Most styles are available in several colors. The fit of these is “second skin” so if you prefer a bit less “body-con,” size up. I use as a base layer underneath other tops.
- Covered Perfectly – flattering tops with sleeves as well as jackets and vests in a super-soft micro-modal fabric. These are very lightweight, washable and dry quickly and available in many styles and colors. Lightweight and don’t wrinkle, so perfect travel companions too.
- Eileen Fisher – in addition to the silk jersey pieces, the stretch crepe pants accommodate a wide range of temperatures, are washable and available in dark and light neutrals. The ponte knit pants are great during the cooler months, and can easily dress up.
- Stella Carakasi – tops, sweaters, dresses, pants, coats in soft, breathable fabrics and interesting shapes.
Has travel influenced how you shop for and maintain your day-to-day wardrobe?
TRAVEL FAVORITES THAT YOU’LL WEAR AT HOME:
Affiliate links in this post may generate commissions for unefemme.net. See complete disclosure policy here.