If you have travel planned to Paris or elsewhere this fall…I envy you!! 🙂 It’s a lovely time of year to travel. The weather is cooler and the crowds thinner.
I’ve received a few requests for fall travel wardrobe suggestions. The wardrobe I’ve put together above would work for fall or spring, or for travel to cities with mild winters. I’ve based this wardrobe on a 12-piece capsule, but you can always add more pieces if your luggage permits. Though I still stand by my strategy of dark pants and skirts, I’ve tried to incorporate a few lighter tops. I’ve selected simple pieces that can dress up or down, and for most venues “smart casual” will be as dressed up as you’ll need to be.
In my experience, weather in Paris in early to mid-autumn can still be quite warm some days, alternating with chilly and wet (sometimes within a few hours). The later in the season, of course, the cooler and wetter it’s likely to be.
The top eleven pieces are the core of the wardrobe. All of the tops should go with all of the bottoms, and be able to layer if needed. I’d suggest avoiding anything heavy or bulky, and pile on more layers if needed for warmth. Starting at the top:
Sweaters: I’ve included one lightweight merino sweater and one cashmere cardigan. While I love my longer no-close cardigans at home, I find the best sweaters to travel with are pullovers or cardigans that button or zip closed.
Jacket: I prefer lightweight softer or knit jackets for travel, but something in a tropical weight wool should also be workable. I find that black or navy will dress up best, but something in a seasonal color can work too if you prefer.
Tops and Tees: While I’ve included one cotton striped tee in this collection, I generally stick to silk and linen and modal for my travel tops, as these fabrics are easier to layer and will line dry faster if hand washed. The set includes a silk tee, linen tee (similar), and silk blouse (similar).
Shown: striped (similar) | silk (similar) | linen (similar) | blouse (similar)
Options: 3/4 sleeve tee (available in women’s) | mandarin color silk blouse (several colors) | long-sleeved silk tee (similar) |
linen striped tee (similar) | navy silk blouse (similar-wear with black for a sophisticated evening look)
Pants and Skirts: comfort is imperative, and washability is a plus. Were I traveling in early fall, I’d definitely bring a pair of slim knit ankle pants (women’s here). On warmer days, even that little bit of exposed skin at the ankle helps keep me cooler. Some prefer to leave their jeans at home, but except for very warm conditions, I always pack a pair (slim leg, dark wash) as I find them easy to style, comfortable and appropriate. If denim feels too casual for you, a jean style in navy stretch twill is another option. Even though retailers are pushing flares and bootcuts like crazy this season, I don’t find them the best travel option, both because the hem length is footwear-specific and because those wider legs can get heavy when wet. I usually pack a full length slim knit pant that can be dressed up for evening. If you bring a skirt, a style that’s easy to walk in helps take it from day to evening.
The Wild Card(s): I include one or two “wild card” tops to incorporate some color and pattern. I stick to pieces that will coordinate with my core items, but that are also lightweight and layer-able.
Scarves and Bag(s): The great thing about traveling in cooler months is that scarves also become a viable choice to add color and/or pattern to your travel wardrobe. If you’re going to add a pop of color, this is one of the best ways to do it. For fall you can still get by with lighter weight scarves; I like silk/cashmere blends for weight, drape and softness. As far as bags go, I prefer a simple mid-sized style that closes securely and can either be carried or worn cross-body. Black or brown will maximize the day-to-evening potential. You’ll want to be mindful of the bag’s weight too…even a cross-body bag can cause neck and shoulder pain after a few hours if too heavy. If you have a more formal occasion on the agenda, you may want to pack a small evening bag with a strap.
Outerwear: depending on how early or late in the season you’ll be traveling, you may want to leave the heavy overcoat at home, and instead bring a lighter water-resistant trench or other shell, and layer up underneath for warmth. Whatever you choose, don’t forget an umbrella!
Footwear: without a doubt, this is the most important part of your travel wardrobe, and should be chosen carefully. Ankle boots with a low heel have become my #1 pick for cooler weather travel. Weatherproof a plus. For fall or spring, I’d also pack a pair of lighter walking shoes. Ballet flats are a classic, but you’ll want to find a style with some support and padding. In Paris especially, you may spend several hours on your feet and log several miles daily, so a comfortable and sturdy shoe is your best friend. I’ve included a fancier shoe above (similar), but unless you have a dressy event on the schedule, ankle boots and flats should be fine. For more ideas, check out my travel footwear suggestions from earlier this year.
Secret Weapons: I always pack a couple of silk tanks or camisoles to wear as a base layer underneath my tops on warmer days. For cooler days when I want bulk-free warmth, I go with an Adea long-sleeved top as a base layer (I size up one or two sizes).
Do you have travel planned this fall? Where are you going?
TRAVEL IN STYLE
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