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Since I met my husband five years ago I’ve slowly adopted his sense of minimalism. Now, I realize that minimalism has become 2017s buzzword, but it doesn’t really require someone to sell all of their belongings and live in a tiny home foraging for food and using a compost toilet. However, I can say that living this way over time has made me realize where I’m spending my money, how I’m spending it, and whether or not those things bring joy to me.
When it comes to clothing I can easily stock up without really realizing how much I’m spending on items that I barely wear or that aren’t of good quality. Thankfully over the last year or so I’ve been able to transfer this sense of minimalism into my closet and spend more time donating, selling or pitching clothes every season to make room for pieces that I can truly invest in. Now that we have our European trip approaching I’ve been in a, “how do I pack an entire months worth of clothes in a carry-on?!”, mode. Actually, it wasn’t as difficult as I once thought. Here is a peek at how I am incorporating a capsule wardrobe for an entire month in Europe in just a carry-on.
Start with the basics.
For any capsule wardrobe you want to look at your entire closet and determine which are the basics you’d like to pack. For me, that includes 3 jeans (black, light wash, and dark wash) -one of which I’ll wear on the plane – and basic tees in white, black, and striped. I obviously have my delicates which include these awesome quick dry panties and bras (perfect for traveling and cleaning on-the-go) as well as a pair of socks or two. I am also packing my shape wear, which I can’t live without- my favorite being from Target! Plus I can never leave the house without my favorite bar necklace from Stella & Dot!
After that, I’ve decided to pack three different tops for the cooler cities and three types of dresses for the warmer cities we’ll be visiting. This way I have all of my bases covered and an outerwear jacket that goes with them all. I love this blue cargo jacket from Stitch Fix – fingers crossed I receive it in my next fix! A scarf of some kind is a must for me and I’m excited to have the opportunity to wear them while in Europe. The Airplane Outfit To save space in my luggage, I am wearing one of my more lounge outfits to make the 11+ hour flight comfortable. This allows me to wear some of the bulkier items, like my sneakers, and keep the precious space in my bag open for other things. My travel outfit typically includes leggings, sneakers, loose fitting basic tee, jacket or scarf, and my backpack or purse. For more info, you can read about my handy dandy tips for packing a carry-on.
A capsule wardrobe is awesome, even if you aren’t traveling, because they allow for me to create instant outfits without much thought or time. Finding neutral tops or pants that lend themselves to other outfits is the core of a capsule wardrobe. Since we’re traveling all over where temperatures and weather will differ, I need clothes that I can easily wear no matter the condition. Accessories like hats, scarves, jewelry, and purses allow for me to add a pop of color, texture, or detail that makes each look unique. I can easily create 15+ looks with these simple staples.
- 2-3 pairs of jeans
- 1-2 basic tees
- 1-2 pattern tops/blouses/sweaters
- 1 outerwear jacket
- 1 scarf or other accessory
- 2-3 pairs of shoes (sneaker, slip on, sandal, etc.)
Then it’s narrowing down your shoes to about 2-3 pairs. In Europe we’ll be walking a lot so those days will either be sneakers or slip ons. Mealtimes can be sandals or my booties depending on the temperatures. Having a couple of options really helps me in cutting down on my getting ready time, leaving more time for exploring!
Packing with purpose.
Anything from your clothes and accessories to the bags you put them in, packing with a purpose should be your number one priority. You only want to bring things that will either serve a purpose or lend itself to other uses. It’s easy to stock up on shoes or accessories due to the whole, I want options! dilemma. But, it’s more worthwhile to only include items that can be worn with other outfits.
Have fun with it.
Personal style is always evolving for me, but nevertheless I choose to have fun with it. The right outfit can really boost my confidence and I feel good when I know I look good. To build my capsule wardrobe I enlist the help from a few different places. Stitch Fix and Dia & Co have been so helpful in finding pieces here and there, like jeans, tops and outerwear, that are affordable and will be staples in my closet for seasons to come. Also, I am always scooping up Target’s basics at $5-$8 a piece, which you can’t beat that price, as well as their shapewear. And lastly, investing in the right shoes have been easy thanks to our local outlet mall and even Stitch Fix. You don’t need to be rich to create a capsule wardrobe, you just need the inspiration! I know a lot of people who thrift and consign to find their personal styles and they always have the cutest looks. Happy capsuling! As I embark on this epic journey through Europe you can keep up with me and my adventures on Instagram! I’d love for us to stay in touch!