In the past, I’ve often built my own travel wardrobes around black because it’s easy. Easy to find pieces that pack and travel well, and easy to mix and match. But many of you have requested travel wardrobes that aren’t based on black, so I’ve created one* with navy as the primary neutral.
Top row: Sweater | Blazer | Cardigan | Scarf
2nd row: Shirt | Tee | Top | Trench
3rd row: Jeans | Jeans | Skirt | Pants
Bottom row: Sneakers | Loafers | Boots
This Fall travel wardrobe capsule is based on navy with forest green and burgundy color accents.** All of the tops work with all of the bottoms, and most of the tops can be layered. Most of the time, we’ve found that “smart casual” is as dressed up as we need to be, so this capsule reflects that. If you have events on your itinerary that may require more formality, you can always add more pieces.
Travel Wardrobe Capsule 101
- Shoes: choose styles with support and plenty of cushioning for walking. 3 pairs should cover you for most venues. Here I’ve gone with sneakers, a pair of black patent loafers, and navy suede weatherproof boots.
- Bottoms: I usually travel with a couple pairs of jeans, because I find them versatile and easy to style. Plus, they usually can be worn several times without laundering. Here I’ve include one slim-leg, dark-wash style that looks more polished, and a more relaxed style for casual days. If you don’t wear jeans, you can alway substitute different pants or an additional skirt. The skirt is a midi style in ponte-knit. The navy trousers are more structured but have a good bit of stretch, and are the same fabric as the blazer, so you can wear together.
- Tops: I’ve shown a variety of styles here that can be layered and worn in different combinations, depending on the climate and venue. The idea is to create wardrobe cohesion; when all of the tops work with all of the bottoms (and with each other), you’ll need fewer pieces. A lightweight jacket or blazer can work as outerwear on mild days, or elevate a simple outfit to Smart Casual.
- Outerwear: You may need to be prepared for some rain. I’ve shown a water-resistant trench here because it’s a classic, versatile style. But depending on your personal style, destination, and climate, a mackintosh or parka could work just as well.
Because “Fall” weather can vary widely depending on location and month, I’ve tried to create a capsule that will accommodate a broad range of temperatures and conditions. Depending upon your destination and weather, you may want to adjust the weight of some of the pieces, but simple styles that layer easily will be most versatile. Leave the heavy, bulky pieces at home. Lightweight layers will better adjust to temperature fluctuations and take up less room in your suitcase.
You can always add more pieces, as well as using accessories to add more color, pattern and texture. For example…
What neutrals do you usually pack for travel?
*Except for one of the pairs of jeans, these are not pieces in my wardrobe. I selected items for this collage based on style, cut and color to provide ideas and inspiration.
**If you don’t like these colors, you can always swap out. Hint: use a favorite patterned top or scarf as a reference point to create complementary combos.