Travel in Style: Adding Color to a Navy Capsule Wardrobe

Whether you’re traveling overseas or closer to home, a well-planned travel wardrobe that balances practicality and style will make your trip more enjoyable. In an earlier post, I shared some navy basics to use as a foundation to build from. But for most of us, navy alone would get boring pretty quickly. So I’ll be sharing some ideas to add color to your navy capsule wardrobe, starting today with pink and lilac.

A navy-based travel capsule wardrobe

I started with navy, as it’s a more forgiving color than black, yet can look just as sophisticated. And it’s easy to combine with other neutrals and colors from any seasonal palette. To review, here’s the 6-piece navy “starter kit” capsule wardrobe:

Even with just these few pieces, you could create several outfits. But let’s add some color and see what happens…

Color add-ons: grey, pink, and lilac

For this set, I chose to add a second neutral (grey), and pink and lilac color accents. This palette would work well for Summers, or anyone who prefers soft, cool colors. All of these pieces should pack and travel well, and can be layered.

(If you’re headed to a warmer destination, you can always sub out short-sleeve or sleeveless tees for the long-sleeve ones. And replace 1 or 2 of the sweaters with shirts or blouses.)

Even with just these few add-ons, you could probably create dozens of outfits. Here are just a few ideas…

Travel outfits

I’ve included both sneakers and loafers in this capsule, but whatever shoes are most comfortable for you will work here. ICYMI, here are my top picks for spring and summer travel shoes.

I love cardigans for layering, as they can be worn multiple ways, or even tied over the shoulders when the day warms up.

A bag that can be carried in-hand or worn cross-body will go from day to evening with ease. Look for styles that are lightweight, and close securely.

I always pack a few scarves in varying sizes, weights and patterns. They take up almost no space in my luggage, and really help add color, variety, and interest to travel outfits.

As you can see, even just these few pieces can provide lots of outfit options. I didn’t include outerwear in this grouping, but will in a future post. And I’ll be sharing a travel wardrobe of my own soon…be sure you’ve subscribed so you don’t miss it. 🧳 ✈️

In the meantime, do visit my Travel Wardrobe Hub for more packing tips and travel outfit ideas.

What colors would you pack with a navy capsule wardrobe?

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  1. I’m heading to the UK for three weeks at the end of May and planned to include both navy and black but after reading your post, I’m going to ditch the black! Navy and white with soft pinks and grays should do it so thanks for helping a girl out.

  2. I love this wardrobe! I’m a summer and these are my colors. I might want to add a dark pair of shoes. Walking through cities, vineyards, ancient ruins your shoes can get quite dirty. A navy raincoat or jacket that you can layer over everything and I’d be all set.

  3. The best post! I have a tendency to wear too much navy and black. I love ideas on how to make navy less boring. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, Susan, for including Summer colors! I’ve been looking forward to this post ever since you showed the first installment of the navy basics. These are some great ideas, and will give me so much more variety in looks over the course of a long trip — I get bored easily But why oh why are there so many “perfect travel pants” made without pockets?? I won’t buy them.

  5. Love this capsule wardrobe! Much of my closet is filled with variations of navy and purple so I love these suggestions. I would wear almost all of them! I wish I was buying the guidebooks to all of these wonderful destinations too, but travel is not in my near future. It’s fun to dream, though!

  6. Navy with green like you’re wearing in your profile photo below is my jam. So many possibilities with navy.

  7. Because I love a flash of color dissonance, and I tread the line between Summer and Autumn, I’d go with olive green, mustard, white and pale blue;) Maybe a pair of pink earrings.

  8. I think the new spring greens in scarves and sweaters would be perfect with navy blue. I love the basic navy combo you put together. Now I need to find the perfect sneakers for these older feet! Comfy and stylish always!

  9. Please give me ideas for summer wedding attire. I just don’t dress up any more and prefer pants, but I do want to look nice. Please help!

      1. A bit of a hiccup — the 3PCvZ9h link goes to the MURPHY
        Billion Dollar Pant instead of silk wide leg pants when I click on it.

        Thanks!! for all you do.

  10. I am hopeless with these capsules. For me, in theory they work. But I have no idea if they still do when I put them on. My body(shape) requires certain styles.

    1. Yes, they’re meant to be more of an idea and framework. Your preferred silhouettes might be different.

  11. What a timely post. Just spent morning trying on navy trousers to take on upcoming trip and was mulling over colours to pair with them. Probably will take white shirts, pale blue/white striped and if cool, wear my pale blue trench coat. Shoes will be silver lace ups (good for walking). Wasn’t sure about my pink linen cropped jacket, but might include it now. Your travel wardrobes are a great inspiration. Thank you

  12. You always include a skirt. Do you personally take one when you travel?

    Theses are especially pretty outfits. Love them!

    1. Hi McKlem, thanks! I don’t wear skirts so don’t pack them when I travel. But many of my readers do, and always ask for them, so I’ve included here.

  13. Hi! Sorry to be so late in commenting. I LOVE navy and it’s definitely one of my base colors. I love adding coral/salmon, lime green, nutmeg, red, light blue. The color combinations are endless. Thank you for all the great ideas, Susan!

  14. Love your capsule wardrobe. Lately, I have been traveling with a lot of navy and a brighter pink, this gives me some more ideas for my upcoming Fall UK and Amsterdam trip.