I have to travel pretty frequently for my job. Sometimes the work requires a quick during the week and home by the weekend trip. Other times, on larger projects, I have had to travel internationally for multiple weeks at a time away from home. From all the experience I have gained from hauling myself & my stuff all over the place I have learned just how valuable packing smart & packing light is to your sanity. And I think I have gotten pretty good at selecting just my few favorite pieces of clothing to bring and stretching their use though multiple outfits for multiple activities as I travel.
Soooo… I’ve been toying around with the idea of creating an Outfit Post recurring feature called, “One Suitcase.” I will pick out a small capsule wardrobe for a particular trip and then put together a set of outfits that can be created from those pieces. And of course all the clothes, shoes & jewelry that I use will all be able to fit reasonably into a single a carry-on bag! Without further ado here is the first installment of Outfit Post’s “One Suitcase” series – the Business Casual Capsule Wardrobe!
Post 1/8 – The purpose of the “One Suitcase” feature is to try to show you how you can pare down your packing list when you travel without sacrificing the number or variety of outfits you have for the range of activities your trip may entail. I have learned through trial and error (and the pain of lugging wayyy too big a suitcase) that by packing a few favorite & versatile pieces of clothing I can mix and match the items into a surprising number of outfit options. You just have to do a little planning up front. Hopefully the posts this week will show you my method and help you find the potential of the clothes you already have in your closet!
- Basics – First I pick some basics pieces to lay the foundation for the trip. I try to pick my favorite go-to clothes. Clothes I know I wear over and over. The ones that go with almost everything. For me, this usually involves laying out my black work pants, my favorite jeans and a pair of super comfy flats.
For this capsule wardrobe I have chosen my black three piece suit (skirt, pants & jacket), grey sheath dress, favorite dark jeans, white button down shirt and a black ruffled tank top.
- Interest – Second, I add a few interesting pieces to compliment the subtle basics. I look for pops of color or fun patterns that will make the basic pieces more exciting. I try to grab items that will compliment each other or at least be somewhat in the same color scheme. For me, I’d usually go for a striped top, a dress, few colored cardigans and an interesting blouse that would go with both cardigans.
For this capsule wardrobe I chose a print wrap dress, polka-dot pencil skirt, tie-neck blouse, pink t-shirt, striped shirt and two colored cardigans.
- Accessories & Shoes – Finally, I add some accessories to complete the outfits. Jewelry, belts and scarves take up very little room and can dramatically alter how an outfit looks. Unfortunately, shoes is the area I still struggle with. I always want to bring just one more pair. But I’ve learned to limit myself to only either blacks or browns (depending on my clothes) and then nude/beige shoes go with everything.
For this capsule wardrobe I chose three necklaces, one gold watch, black belt, black pumps and nude flats.
Over the next six days I’m going to show you 30 outfits that I put together with these 14 pieces. I will share five outfits each day listing what pieces they are built from and where I would wear them. And then on the last day I will post a big downloadable image that includes the all the individual 14 pieces and all the 30 put together outfits for easy reference.
Fingers crossed that you guys enjoy this!!
All the posts in this series:
- Introduction to One Suitcase & 14 Clothing Pieces
- Outfits 1-5
- Outfits 6-10
- Outfits 11-15
- Outfits 16-20
- Outfits 21-25
- Outfits 26-30
- Summary (all outfit in one image)