Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Travel Capsule Wardrobe - What to pack for Paris in grey & black

This is pretty close to what I pack when I go to Paris (or most other major cities that I visit).  I always take a pair of jeans, because we try to go to a rugby match when we're there!  My suitcase would probably have even more jewelry in it, and quite a few scarves; I find that I don't mind wearing monochromatic outfits day after day if I have my favorite accessories with me.

If I had to augment this assortment for a slightly longer trip, I would add a grey cotton twinset, and another pair of capris - maybe in a black and grey paisley print.  

If you ever see someone in an airport dressed like this, come up and say hello - it will almost certainly be me!

  • A Simple Black and Grey Travel Outfit

A simple travel outfit: black trousers, grey tee, argyle cardigan, and pearl jewelry
Argyle cardigan – Lands’ End, tee shirt – J. Crew, pants – Eddie Bauer, earrings – Majorica, loafers – Stuart Weitzman,
 scarf – Diwali, jacket – Barbour, tote - Tumi

  • Travel Capsule Wardrobe in Black, White and Grey, for a week in Paris

A Simple 12-Pack for Paris in Black, White and Grey, with flat shoes, Hermes scarves, and pearl jewelry
Square scarves – Hermès, black cardigan – Paul Smith, stud earrings – Emilie Morris, 
grey, black and white short sleeved tees – Splendid, black and white striped tee – J. Crew,  
pearl bracelet – John Lewis, grey long sleeved tee – Alexander Wang, black dress – 
Diane von Furstenberg, black capris – Donna Karan, black skirt – Alexander Wang, 
clutch – Magid 6696, silver drop earrings – Lewis Henry Nicholas, Mary 
Jane flats – Repettojeans – Old Navy, back and grey tee – Marimekko, ballet flats – 
Marc Jacobs, grey dress – Calvin Klein

  • A Dozen Outfits from the Travel Capsule Wardrobe in Black, White and Grey

3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!
3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!
3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!
3 classic travel outfits to wear in Paris, or any other city!



  1. I'm finding I completely agree with just about everything you say, especially the scarves. Long ago I used to pack masses but those days are gone.
    Coming to you via Tish (who I LOVE) and cannot wait to know you better.

  2. Since you have become my role model (a big responsibility!): with a black wardrobe, do you generally wear blk/white scarves with at most a teeny bit of color (as in this post) or do you wear brighter ones?

  3. Have totally loved all these "packing posts". The above would have been my choice for travel almost anywhere and since I am off to NYC in three weeks was my general plan for that. However, your pink and gray selection a couple of days ago has totally won me over. It means a bit of shopping - never a bad thing - but I am really excited at the prospect.

    Have never approached packing - or planning a season - this way. have always just gotten what I liked and hoped for the best. this is going to work way better. Thanks for the help!!

  4. With an all-black outfit, I'll wear any scarf that has at least a touch of black in it (and it can be a pretty small touch, like outlines of objects on the scarf!). I also own some pretty monochromatic scarves, and I just plain liked the way they looked in this wardrobe, so I included them. With muted clothes, you have a LOT of latitude for your scarves.
    Thanks for being here - I always love reading your comments,

  5. I have only recently found your site and how wonderful it is! Your packing posts break everything down so beautifully and make shopping for a season so much easier. I, too, used to just buy what I liked and then hoped for the best. Thank you for your inspiration and your help!

  6. That's what i would pack this time of year for any urban destination! In love with those loafers!!!

  7. I love these outfits. In fact, my wardrobe for London and Paris last spring was eerily similar to these.

  8. Greetings,
    Happy that I found your blog at long last...
    love these Paris packing posts :)

  9. Can't believe how you can make all those monochromatic pieces look so great together. I love the way you think!

  10. I'd come up and say hello but would be talking to myself ;) The difference b/t us is that I pack several matte jersey skirts and jersey pants instead of jeans, but if attending a sporting event I will not be sitting on the ground, these days. A mariniere makes the jersey pants sporty. When in Paris I will pile on the jewelry, always a focal necklace, double cuffs, my chunkiest rings (but not a big necklace and big earring) as that elevates my basics and beside, it's what women do there.

  11. It seems that there are a number of us who would choose the same wardrobe for travel. We could have a secret sign and communicate in the airport that we're all Vivienne fans!

  12. I'm on alert to travel for a funeral (a friend's mother is currently in hospice with a malignant brain tumor), and this particular post is very helpful for me. Since we will be called with little planning notice, I need a wardrobe plan that can last from 3 - 7 days, fit in one carry-on, and satisfy the following events: attend to the service, being on my own (my husband will be guiding estate considerations and divestments), and possible meeting up with other friends who live in the area for who-knows-what. My plan is to center everything around two core outfits: what I'll wear on the plane, and what I'll wear to the service.

    As always, your plan creates efficiencies by keeping basics minimal and maximizing variety by packing those accessories! I wrote out a list last night, and it closely follows what you detail above. My only exception is a mushroom-colored trench and black knee-boots (funeral will be outside) that I will wear on the plane so they don't consume precious packing space.

  13. These posts are an education in themselves! I admit to always shying away from grey because it reminds me of Winnie the Pooh singing "I'm Just a Little Black Rain Cloud." But I can see with the addition of different textures, the spark of pure white, and the contrast of black....grey is downright snazzy!


  14. Okay, I totally love this wardrobe and even bought a cashmere argyle sweater to emulate it! But due to bad back, I have to wear Merrells or other comfortable shoes.
    I am going to Paris soon and I have a lot of Chicos Zenery black clothing and Chicos Travellers clothes (mostly black). Any chance you could accessorize those?
    Which Eddie Bauer pants are used in this wardrobe?

  15. Lovely. Would this work for Paris in end of May?