I hate wardrobe rules! You won't see me keeping some arbitrary number of garments in my closet. 10x10 challenges, while a great way to raise awareness of slow fashion and minimalism (and also get to know your style better), are not for me. The way I figure, my closet is filled with clothes I love, so I should wear all those clothes as I see fit.
But travel is another story. You have to choose in advance what you are going to wear before you even arrive. I don't know what I'm going to wear tomorrow, let alone next week! So packing for a trip can be fraught.
Earlier this year I went to Chicago and was so pleased with myself for fitting everything I needed in a backpack... until I got to Chicago and found out it was waaay colder than I expected. I had to have my sister bring me a sweater!
Last month on our trip to Colorado and Ohio, I swore I wouldn't make this mistake again, so I filled a giant suitcase with every item I could possibly imagine wanting for the next 10 days.
For this weekend's trip to northern Michigan, I decided to see if I could crack the travel capsule code. There's no way to know for sure until we arrive, but I've got a good feeling about this trip and the clothes I chose to bring.
The concept of treating your what you pack for a trip as a sort of mini-capsule wardrobe is not a new idea, but this time around I really tried to take the idea to heart. I'd need enough things that I'd be covered for every possible situation - hot, cold; casual... less casual.
On this trip we'll be relaxing on Lake Michigan and taking it easy, nothing formal. I began by picking one killer outfit around which I could build a fluid wardrobe.
I knew what I would definitely want to wear to live out my lazy summer resortwear dreams: my me-made windowpane shorts and crop top. Adorable together, but also they work as separates. After making this decision, everything else fell into place.
Long pants for the airplane or for cooler evenings: Elizabeth Suzanne flax linen clydes.
White/black striped Amour Vert short sleeve tee. It works great with the clydes. It's a little riskier with the windowpane shorts, but also kind of cool to mix patterns.
To play it safe, I added in a long sleeve black v neck tee that would work with either the shorts or pants.
And because I always want the option of layering I included a long sleeve black cropped cardigan.
For PJs, I chose two items that could also work as real clothes in a pinch - black Black Crane linen carpenter pants and a black camisole.
Now for a wild card... my Black Crane long linen dress, because it's flowy and light and lovely for summer. I actually wore this on the airplane with my clyde pants! Very lagenlook, but also very smart because packing the dress in a suitcase gives it nasty creases and wrinkles. This way I can bring it with me and it doesn't get all crumpled up (I don't own my own travel steamer yet). It still gets wrinkles because it's linen, but it's much more organic.
Rounding everything out with a swimsuit and workout leggings, just in case.
In the shoe department, I wore my pale honey Nisolo sandals and packed my beige sneakers and a pair of flip flops (not pictured).
That's it! Four tops, four bottoms, a dress, and a swimsuit. Two (sort of three) pairs of shoes to choose from. Everything can go with everything! It goes without saying that the color palette is flawless - all black, flax, and white. If you wanted to add some color, you could throw in a little silk scarf or something.
Similar to how the 10x10 challenges get you thinking about new outfit combinations, this travel capsule opened me up to some new ways to mix up tried and true items, like the pants/dress combo. I'd have never put those two together like this had I not wanted to travel with the dress. My husband looked at me kind of funny when I tried it on last night but I felt really good about it so here we are.
I'm kind of excited about dressing on this trip because I don't actually know what I'm going to wear each day. I don't normally plan my outfits in advance, relying instead on how I feel each morning, the weather, what's clean... So why should dressing on vacation be any different? Because each item I brought could theoretically work with any other item, I can approach my suitcase each day like it's a mini-closet and pick what feels right. There is still room for improvisation.
Stay tuned as I find out whether this travel capsule is a success! 🤞🏻