On Today's blog, I have invited Luisa Kearney from The Online Personal Stylist to share some of her fashion expertise on building a capsule wardrobe especially for the modestly dressed traveller. Her tips will help you pack smarter, lighter and with fashion in mind! Luisa will take it from here:
Deciding what to pack for your travels can be very difficult. Quite often you end up packing too much or you don’t pack the right items for the destination. There’s nothing worse than getting caught out and not having what you need when you’re far away from home. We’ve all been there – forced to suffer for the duration of our travels feeling uncomfortable because our clothing and footwear aren’t suitable for the climate we’ve visited. This is why building a capsule wardrobe for travel is an excellent solution to your packing problems.
What is a Travel Capsule Wardrobe?
It is a small collection of comfortable pieces that you can pack in your suitcase each time you travel to make everything so much easier.
We’re going to look at the basics of forming a capsule wardrobe and more importantly, how to create a modest capsule wardrobe. If you don’t like to show off too much skin or you plan to travel to countries where it is deemed disrespectful if you don’t cover up, this article will provide you with a valuable insight into what to wear for those situations.
Step 1: Decide What You Need and Why
The phrase “a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear” is proof that you don’t need an endless choice of clothing items. You just need items that you will actually wear. The great thing about building a capsule wardrobe is that you can personalise it to suit your needs. Some people even decide to create several micro capsule collections – one for each different occasion. If your life is very varied and requires you to have appropriate outfits for different events then curating a specific collection of coordinating pieces can make it easier to look well put together at all times. You may choose to create a capsule collection for office wear, travel, summer fashion, winter, and for special occasions. The choice is endless but this method makes shopping and organising your clothing much easier and more cost-effective. So, if you were to put together a conservative-fashion capsule wardrobe for travelling, you must first decide on what you will need to include. If you don’t travel at all in the winter months then there is no point adding winter wear to your collection. If you travel all through the year then try to maintain a balanced number of items for each season. Ideally, you don’t want to have lots of clothing items just for the summer and then nothing to wear during the cooler months. Personally, I’d recommend trying to build 2-3 outfits for each season. A couple of pairs of trousers/bottoms, a couple of tops, 1-2 cardigans/jumpers and 1-2 pairs of shoes. Don’t forget that you can always mix and match garments from each season! Creating a really streamlined capsule wardrobe for all four seasons can only be done properly if you stick to a strict colour palette.
Step 2: Choose Your Preferred Colour Palette for Your Capsule Wardrobe
Putting together a collection of clothing, footwear and accessories especially for your travels will make packing and shopping for future travel clothes much simpler. The first and most important thing about putting together most types of capsule wardrobe is to decide on a colour palette. What colour theme are you going for? The biggest mistake that a lot of people make when trying to pack for their travels is mixing colours and patterns. Adding in the bright coloured, statement piece that you have just bought for your summer holidays can cause a bit of a headache if it doesn’t suit anything else you intent to pack. Adding “structure” to your travel packing sounds boring but it is the only to guarantee that your travel wardrobe is practical, comfortable and functional.
To start building your colour palette for your capsule wardrobe, you must take into account these 3 things:
1) Your natural skin tone type (this will determine which colours, patterns and tones will suit your skin tone).
2) Which seasons are you packing for? This may be a contributing factor in deciding which colours are best to pack.
3) How easy and stress-free do you want your capsule wardrobe to be? If the idea of colour coordinating your clothing makes you feel uneasy then stick to a minimalist colour palette.
As a professional stylist, I encourage my clients to explore different colours and tones that suit their natural complexions. However, if I was to put together a simple capsule wardrobe list to suit the majority, it would mainly consist of items in black, white, grey and beige – but mostly black and white. Yes, this is a very basic colour palette and if you were to work one-to-one with a professional or if you have a good idea of what colours suit you already, I am sure you would be able to come up with a much more complex blend of tones. Personally I’d recommend building a conservative capsule wardrobe using these tones:
These tones suit the majority of people and are the easiest to mix and match. Plus, these shades can be worn all through the year!
Step 3: Build Your Capsule Wardrobe
Finally, what do you add to your capsule wardrobe? What items should it contain? Well, for the conservative dresser here is a list of stylish but elegant options to include:
Bottoms: Black jeans, White jeans, Indigo jeans, Harem pants, Dungarees & Silk pyjama trousers
Tops: Long sleeve top, Vest top, T-shirt, Cardigan, Hooded jumper
Body Covers: Maxi dress, Kaftan, Jumpsuit
Accessories: Large shawl, Cross-body bag, Tote bag, Jewellery (your choice).
Footwear: Sandals, Trainers/pumps and Ankle boots.
ONLINE PERSONAL STYLIST was founded by Luisa Kearney, a professional fashion stylist and editor who is passionate about providing women with an education in fashion, style and the ability to curate luxury fashion (ethical and sustainable) whatever your budget. Through Online Personal Stylist’s fashion blog and paid online personal styling services, your perfectly styled wardrobe is just a click away! Online Personal Stylist supports cruelty-free fashion and cosmetics, as well as encouraging its audience to upcycle and reuse clothing they already own.