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Tips for Packing a Capsule Wardrobe


You might’ve heard of a “capsule wardrobe” in passing online, especially if you’re interested in minimalism or simply traveling on the lighter side. A capsule wardrobe is essentially a wardrobe that sticks to a small number of clothing items that pair well together.

Capsule wardrobes found notable popularity back in the 1970s, used for traveling as well as life at home. As a concept, they date all the way back to publications of the 1940s, where the term was used to describe small collections of clothing items that were purposefully chosen to suit each other, whether through color, style, or what have you. So, with that in mind, Fresh Clean Tees has a few tips on how to pack your own capsule wardrobe!

Featured: Heather Grey V-Neck Tee

Getting Started

Packing a capsule wardrobe is simpler and more straightforward than you might imagine. As you look through your larger collection of clothing, consider the colors of items you’d likely wear on your trip. For capsule wardrobes, you’re going to have a limited number of items with you, so sticking to neutral and/or subdued colors is a great call.

Neutral and/or subdued colors will allow you to easily match your clothes together for any occasion or destination. Neutral and/or subdued colors can still be colorful, as you don’t have to stick to just black, white, or tan.

Additional offerings include:

- Greys

- Light browns

- Light or dark greens

- Light pinks

- Blue

- Dark oranges

Featured: Garnet Long Sleeve Henley

The Packing List

Once you have an idea of the color scheme you’ll be heading out in, next up is the packing list. The typical rule of thumb for a travel capsule wardrobe is around 10 items.

For that count, here’s a handy list to help get you started:

- 2-3 shirts - The Bold 3-Pack is perfect if you want some stand-out neutrals.

- 1 long-sleeve shirt - The long sleeve henley comes in four neutral colors.

- 2 pairs of bottoms - Make your call of pants, shorts, or both.

- 1 jacket - The vintage black loma Hooded long sleeve goes with everything.

- 2 pairs of shoes - Try sneakers and something varied like boots or sandals.

This list is excellent for both summer and spring travel, with an emphasis on cooler clothes. It can, however, be easily adjusted for colder weather, such as trading out shorts for another pair of pants. If you know you’ll be attending something on the more formal side, be sure to trade out a casual piece for an appropriate alternative that’ll nail the special occasion.

If the 10-item limit is a little daunting for your first attempt at a capsule wardrobe, adjust that number as you need to in order to feel comfortable. It’s the general rule of thumb for a capsule wardrobe, but no one’s going to police your packing session if you try out a higher tally of clothing items. The goal is to pack lighter and a bit on the minimalist side, but you can still pack to your comfort level.

Featured: Heather Grey Cali Pullover, Military Loma Hooded Long Sleeve

Let’s Get Layering

With a capsule wardrobe, layering is going to be a good friend to you as you travel. With a limited number of clothing items, layering will allow you to easily change up your outfits for the day according to everything from the weather to your activities to your own comfort level.

Here’s an example. Say you’ve traveled to a more mountainous region, where it’s pretty hot during the day but temperatures drop in the evening. You can easily add a lighter outer layer, such as the Loma hooded long sleeve, for that little extra warmth you need.

Another perk of layering is that you’re able to dress up or down for whatever you’re doing on your trip. If you’re going out with friends, take off your jacket and switch up your shoes for a more casual look or, if it’s something like a business dinner, dress up a bit by trading your sneakers for more occasion-appropriate shoes.

A capsule wardrobe is a great option for you as a traveler. It’ll normally fit into one bag and it even helps to cut back on the general stress that can go into packing and preparing for a trip. If you’re like me, avoiding stress when I’m traveling is a big priority!

Lastly, don’t forget to pack essentials like comfy socks and plentiful underwear. While they weren’t included in the main list, you definitely don’t want to wind up shopping for basics on your travels!

— Paige Lyman

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