What I packed, what I wore: a recap of my London travel capsule wardrobe

Today I’m reviewing my travel capsule wardrobe from a recent 2-week trip, and sharing some of my travel outfits from London.

I’m home from London and unpacked, and maybe just a little bit jet-lagged. It was a fabulous trip, and I’ll share more soon. But in the meantime, I’ve always found it helpful to review and recap my travel capsule wardrobe while it’s still fresh in my mind. I often refer back to these reviews to help me refine and plan future packing lists.

What I packed for London

Here’s the 10-piece capsule wardrobe (not including accessories, outerwear, “underpinnings”) that I put together for this trip. For details and why I chose what I did, visit my post “What I’m packing for 2 weeks in London.

Susan B's 2-week travel capsule wardrobe for London.


This capsule wardrobe includes what I wore on the plane. The rest could have fit easily into a carry-on sized suitcase, but I used a medium-sized one that I checked, to have extra room because, well, Shopping Happens.

I usually add a Wild Card piece or two at the last minute, but this time only tossed in a couple of additional scarves.

Some budget-friendlier options:

What I wore: travel outfits from London

In the excitement of travel, I often forget to take photos of my travel outfits. As I was on my own for a good bit of the time (no photographer), I tried to take a quick mirror selfie of each day’s outfit before heading out the door. Not as exciting as “street style,” but at least you can see the various combinations.

What I wore in London: travel outfits from my 10-piece travel capsule wardrobe for 2 weeks.

Top left is what I wore on the plane in both directions.

Travel outfits from London: what I wore from my 10-piece travel wardrobe capsule. p 1

There were a couple of outfits I wore in the evenings and forgot to photograph. And I repeated one or two of outfits, or just switched accessories.

Final score

I was SO pleased with how this travel wardrobe worked out, and felt it was one of my best yet! I always felt comfortable, put-together, and appropriately dressed. Overall, I give this one a 9.5/10. 🎉 Here’s the breakdown:


  • The coated denim pants were the real Hero Piece of this capsule. They always made me feel a bit more polished, but weren’t too fussy to wear casually.
  • Those suede ankle boots really ARE very water-resistant. I was caught in a downpour one afternoon, and even though I had an umbrella, my boots got quite wet, but stayed completely dry inside. And I walked miles in them comfortably. (The one day I checked, I’d logged 16K steps…)
  • As boring as it is, that navy packable down coat (similar, Plus) just continues to earn its keep. I wore it most days. It was warm, but not too warm, and lightweight if I had to carry it.
  • The red Betty cardigan (sweater jacket) was one of my wear-on-repeat pieces. It satisfied my need for color and added some structure and polish to my outfits.

Supporting players


Nothing! I wore everything at least once (though I didn’t get a photo with the silk blouse, which I wore for an evening dinner party).

Wish I’d brought…

A different style of jeans, maybe something with a slightly wider leg. I only wore the jeans twice, sticking to one of the pairs of brown pants most days.

I think packing fewer pieces than I normally do actually helped make this travel capsule wardrobe more cohesive and workable!

For more travel outfit ideas and packing tips, be sure to visit my Travel Wardrobe Resource Hub.

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  1. Loved all your outfits for this trip. You mentioned about bringing a wider leg pair of jeans—just wondering what’s your reasoning? More comfortable, more trendier? I especially loved the jeans with the “Betty” cardigan and leopard scarf.
    I keep hearing that scarves are not trending? What were you seeing in London and what have you heard Susan?
    Have you come across any shorter (petite friendly) cashmere (or blend) hoodie for a winter palette? Although I’ve also read that hoodies are out. Go figure . . .

    1. Hi Rose, thanks! It was just a question of proportions; I found I was preferring the slightly wider legs of both the brown pants with the tops.

  2. Susan,
    Your travel wardrobe posts that include what you wore, what you packed but didn’t need or wear, and what you wish you had brought are some of my favorites, and this one was fantastic. I cannot believe how smart and succinct your selections were. Well done, and thank you!
    I love your waterproof Aquatalia booties, but require a wide toe box to accommodate bunions. Any suggestions?
    PS: looking forward to hearing all about your time in London and to your recommendations!

  3. Hi Susan: thanks for your review! Looks like a great travel capsule. Were your jeans not comfortable? I’m going to try the hoodie with the lantern pants—looks really good on you! I’m still trying to decide about the Betty cardigan—the coral red is pretty but sometimes I feel too shouty in that color. What did you wear with the brown silk blouse? The coated Paige jeans? Did you get size 28 in those jeans?

  4. I’ll be going to London next September. Just wondering what you wore undernthe cardigans, and didnyou turn the red one around or was that aseparate piece?

    1. Hi Susan, I mostly wore the cardigans buttoned, with a silk tank underneath. I packed both the red cardigan and a red crewneck pullover. It’s the latter I’m wearing underneath the plaid blazer.

  5. It appears you are an Autumn but I am sure I could translate your travel wardrobe for a winter color palette.

    1. Hi Barbara, I’m actually a Spring, but many of the colors I’ve worn here would also work for an Autumn. And yes, you could easily do this in a Winter palette. (Just FYI, the Betty cardigan comes in LOTS of great winter colors!)

  6. I love when you review your traveling wardrobes – it really inspires me. What did you wear under your cardigan and the hoodie? Did you bring a lightweight t-shirt? I ask because I don’t think I would have felt comfortable wearing a sweater under each of those options and I would want to pack a lightweight t-shirt.

    1. Hi Jenn, thanks! I wore a silk tank or shell (Eileen Fisher) underneath the cardigans. I did pack some silk long underwear and a couple of long sleeve “base layer” tees, but didn’t need either.

      1. Ok this probably won’t go over well. I cannot get use to a wide leg at 5’1″, which is my height.
        Unless I am perhaps wearing a high shoe, I feel I look wide and stump like.
        …in other words fat and I am not fat.
        I see wide legs on others and they look Ok but I can’t get beyond it for myself and some wide flairs, Im aftaid I will trip on them.
        When I travel I wear dresses. During winter, I wear sweater dresses and tights with boots. or straight jeans and sweaters. My legs are thin and I’m all about showing them. I’m in France right now. Tights or leggings with dresses/skirts and boots are everywhere. I feel I fit right in.
        I’m off to southern Spain from here for 6 more weeks, which is a dressing/packing challenge as it will be warmer.

    2. May I offer a suggestion? ADAY sells T shirts in a fabric they call “technical silk”. It’s thin but opaque, packs away to nothing, has a silky texture that allows for easy layering, can be washed and dries very quickly. I wear them all the time.

  7. I absolutely love this capsule wardrobe! I usually pack a similar wardrobe and only travel with carry on. But you’ve inspired me to be even more thoughtful about a 3-week late winter trip to Paris/Spain.

  8. Thanks for posting this…just what I needed. Heading to Paris in one month, several days in the city and then a river cruise of the Christmas markets. I always overpack and you have inspired me to travel light and wear everything I take. Thanks again!

  9. These posts are my favorite as well. As a packing obsessive, I do the same after a trip and grade myself. It looks like you have got it all right on this trip. My go-to is classic, straight leg black jeans. They can go anywhere.

  10. The coated denim pants look very cropped on the store website, and on you they appear more full length. I’m 5’8” and I wonder how they would hit on me?

    1. I watched the short video at the Nordstrom link and at the very end the saleswoman held them up to herself (she is 5’4″) and they definitely hit above the ankle, even though she is holding them a bit high. It is frustrating that there are no actual inseam lengths listed on so many sites.

  11. I bought that packable down jacket after you posted about it the first time — maybe 2017?– and it remains a perpetual MVP for me across many years and many travels. I like to say that there are few things that if I lost or ruined them, I would buy them again immediately, and this is one of them.

    Your whole travel wardrobe looks terrific!

  12. Which of your travel capsules do you suggest I follow for a month long stay in Palm Springs this winter? (I’m a soft fall colour palette wise is that matters). I’ll have laundry available…thanks.

  13. I think this wardrobe was a smashing success! I love the combination of the red and brown, and the scarves were perfect!

  14. So helpful and great options for colorful clothes while traveling. Would love it if you would post about wider leg jeans in the newer silhouette (bootcut, flares or straight leg). These styles can be challenging for those of us who don’t wear heels.

  15. Totally agree that this travel wardrobe is fabulous. Perfect for the activities you had planned. You are very lucky to be 5’1” with a longer leg to torso body type. I am the opposite, same height but longer torso shorter leg. Lantern or any wide legged pant especially when worn with a boxy, shorter top make me look a bit stumpy and do nothing to flatter me.. I am also not an XS…or even an M! I tried a modified lantern pant in a jersey type material which was ok with sandals but when I tried them with sneakers, hard no for me:( They’ll head to the ‘warm weather’ wardrobe. The same for the ‘barrel’ shape currently trending. Straight leg pants/jeans with a same colour boot or shoe give me a longer line…proportion is so important especially for petites. That being said the wider leg pants here could all easily be switched out for a straight leg version.