How to Pack a Capsule Wardrobe

When my husband, Chris, and I were planning our New Zealand/Australian adventure, we decided if we were traveling THAT far we should stay awhile. Chris wanted to do four weeks and I wanted to do three. Four weeks just seemed like SO long to be away from reality.

All these logistical thoughts started going through my mind. The main question I had was – how on earth does someone pack for FOUR weeks in ONE suitcase? I can barely stay under the 50 lb. limit for a 7 day vacation. Haha. (For real though.) We ended up settling on three and a half weeks because of how the flights worked out.

I knew there had to be a more efficient way of packing on the web, so I did a bit of research on Pinterest (find my page here). I came across several posts on how to pack a capsule wardrobe. Let me tell you guys, it WORKS.

My suitcase was UNDER 50 lbs and it wasn’t expanded. I never felt like I was running out of clothes.

My husband, on the other hand, is a TERRIBLE packer. His extra large suitcase was overweight, difficult to fit into some taxis, and took up a ton of space in our hotel rooms. You would think he packed enough clothes to last a year, but yet he had SO much dirty laundry. Perplexing.

My point is pack efficiently!

Pro Tip! Luggage allowances vary per airline.

Make sure you look up every single airline you are flying during your trip and make sure your luggage is under the lowest weight limit. Business Class and First Class typically allow more weight, but always double check!

What to Pack

You should stick to a basic color theme and add in pops of color. The key is to keep it simple and make sure you can mix and match every single piece. My underlying theme was black, white, gray, and blue. The weather was transitioning between summer and fall.

Pants

  • Blue jeans (preferably not distressed so they can be dressed up or down)
  • Black jeans or nice leggings
  • White pants
  • Patterned pants (mine are gray and white)

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Tops

  • Chambray button down (most important and versatile item you can pack!)
  • White tank
  • Solid pink tank (Express used to sell reversible Barcelona Cami’s and I scooped up a few. Reversible shirts give you double the wear!)
  • Solid teal tank (Also, reversible to light blue)
  • Black tank
  • Gray tank
  • White sweater
  • Black sweater

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Dresses

  • Long black maxi (could be dressed up or down)
  • Short black dress (could be dressed up or down)
  • Short blue and white striped dress (casual)
  • Short blue dress (dressy)

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Shoes

  • Black wedges
  • Tan wedges
  • Black sandals
  • Tan sandals
  • Sneakers
  • Nice closed toe flats

This list right here provides you with at least 36 outfits. When I realized how much extra space I had in my suitcase, I was SHOCKED. My suitcase looked empty. I wound up throwing in a few extra pieces just because!

Our trip ended on the Great Barrier Reef, which required active and swimwear. Depending on your trip and lifestyle, will depend on if you would need to include the following items.

Active/Swimwear

  • Long black leggings (best for hiking and long flights!)
  • 2 pairs capri leggings
  • 3 workout tops
  • 3 sports bras
  • 1-2 cute swimsuits
  • 1 athletic swimsuit
  • 1 cover-up

Don’t Forget!

  • 2 sets of PJ’s
  • Dark bra
  • Tan bra
  • Strapless bra (if other bras don’t convert to strapless)
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Denim jacket
  • Light rain jacket

Pro Tip! Do not pack ANYTHING the hotels provide.

Leave your favorite shampoo/conditioner at home. Use the crappy hotel hair dryer. Pair down make-up to just the essentials. Buy travel size of products you can’t live without. If they don’t make travel size, buy travel containers and transfer the product.

Pro Tip! Do not do your laundry at the hotel.

Laundry service at hotels is typically very overpriced. We had to do laundry because my husband had “nothing to wear”. LOL! We walked our laundry down the street to a dry cleaner who conveniently delivered our items back to our hotel for a $7 fee! Not too bad! 🙂

If I can successfully pack for a 25 day trip, YOU can do it too. With a little forethought, packing can be a breeze! Happy packing!

XO, Lauren

How to Pack like a Pro

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