Travel Chic: Pack Light, Dress Well

Travel Chic: Pack Light, Dress Well

Chances are you have a trip of some kind planned for this season.  Whether you’re traveling for work or for play, packing can often seem overwhelming. This doesn’t mean you can’t travel light and still look chic. You need a strategy that comes in handy to save you time, money and room in your luggage!

Start with a Wardrobe Capsule

Before you throw in the towel and vow to wear only plain basics that are devoid of style, I want to offer you an alternative – wardrobe capsules.  Wardrobe capsules are defined as between 7-12 items of clothing that mix and match, giving you multiple outfits from just a few items.  Less really can be more, and travel capsules are a great example of just how you can pack light and dress well.

My client, Susan, was delighted when I showed her this concept.  She was heading to Paris for more than a week and couldn’t believe that she could dress stylishly (and even get compliments) with just a carry-on.  Hello, no more lost luggage or extra baggage fees!

Over the years I have had the pleasure of helping many clients put together a great travel wardrobe at a moment’s notice.  It’s quite common that we focus on 10 pieces of clothing that will yield upwards of 15 – 20 outfits.  A few weeks ago, I went to Atlanta for a buying trip and found that out of 10 pieces I could make at least 18 outfits, maybe even more.  Since I was only gone for 3 days I kind of overpacked, but the best part is that all 10 of these pieces fit into only HALF of my carry-on sized suitcase.  This kept me from feeling guilty and gave me the freedom to dress for the way I felt each day.  And I do like my freedom!

Not only will creating wardrobe capsules help to you to pack better, but they will also allow you to get dressed much more quickly and easily every day at home.  Being fashion savvy in terms of travel doesn’t have to be complicated.


My top three guidelines are below and can be game-changers not only when it comes to travel, but in how you think about your wardrobe.

 1/ Shoes First – You could easily pack an entire suitcase of nothing but shoes, but who wants to lug them around?  Instead, choose the shoes you want to take first (preferably something comfortable and chic) and build your outfits around them.  Skip the heels and opt for wedges, flats, sandals or loafers that can go from day to night.  Limit yourself to just 2-3 pairs.  You can do it!

 2/ Build Capsules – I teach my clients to build wardrobe capsules, which are between 7 -12 pieces of clothing that mix and match to create many outfits.  Don’t just think of 1 outfit, think of how many outfits you can create with each piece.  This way you get maximum versatility from everything you take, and you can even get away with a carry-on for even your longest trips.

On my recent trip I built my capsule around pieces that were compact, comfortable and took up very little space: Knit skirt from Tees by Tina, silk tunics that can be rolled up into nothing, a crinkled dress, a liquid leather jacket that offered warmth without bulk, a lace blouse, a knit tunic and 2 pairs of pants and cropped leggings.  To that I added a pashmina, some great jewelry that I could mix and match and 2 pairs of shoes that went with everything.  It made it so easy to get dressed that I had more time to sleep in, do morning yoga and relax.

3/ Wrinkle-Free – Ideally, everything you pack should be wrinkle-resistant and in a fabric that you can easily wash out in the sink if you need to.  Many of the fabrics in StyleFinder are just that, and you can roll them up into a small bag and pull them out to look gorgeous!  Lines such as Clara Sun Woo and Tees By Tina are perfect for travel. Who has time for ironing?  Typically to go wrinkle-free, you’ll want to look for a blend of nylon, polyester, spandex or microfiber.  These resist wrinkles best, where natural fibers will wrinkle faster than you can say spandex.  Finding items that are wrinkle-resistant will assure that you look polished and put-together with little to no effort.  What can be better than that?


Looking great while traveling, or getting dressed every day, can be easy when you follow these three guidelines.  A wardrobe capsule will assure that you have many great options with only a few pieces of clothing.  Wrinkle-free fabrics will assure that you look great even after a long day on safari or sightseeing.  And only taking 2-3 pairs of shoes can be more liberating than you can imagine!  From here, add in scarves that can double as wraps or swimsuit cover-ups, a few pieces of jewelry that coordinate with everything and a bag that can hold all your essentials, plus a clutch for evening, or to stash inside your bigger bag.  You’ll be surprised how many looks you can create using these methods, but the best surprise of all is that you can now get away with a carry-on!  Bon voyage!

Need help?  Our stylistas and style coaches can help you to create a wardrobe capsule that will take you through life with ease.  Call or come into the boutique and let us help you create a wardrobe capsule – or an entire wardrobe!  Email us at admin@shopstylefinder.com. Shop online ellieb.shopstylefinder.com


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