February 11, 2014
What are you going to pack??
You need to know the answers to three questions:
(1) How long am I going to be away?
(2) What am I going to be doing? and
(3) What kind of weather can I expect?
Then you have to choose your colors. The easiest way to do this is determine what trousers you want to wear for travel, and build around that. Having the right travel outfit is the most important choice! In this case, it’s monochromatic khaki/tan, with accents of deep rose… Having a cardigan for travel helps you adjust to changing temperatures, gives you something to wrap around little peeps who need a cuddle, and helps cover up any unexpected spills…
Although you might have to wear your travel outfit for hours and hours, you will eventually be given a chance to change clothes. Here’s where I would add on two more solid pieces of clothing in your neutral – maybe shorts and a top, or a skirt and blouse. Here, I added a skirt and a dress – not all in perfectly matching colors, but in shades that all work together.
Now it’s time to work with your accent color. I think accents are easiest to introduce with tops – you always need lots of tops when you travel anyway!
At this point, you have only solid garments, but a tan and pink printed skirt, and a tan patterned shirt, will each work with the solid clothes you have, and give you some more versatility.
So for a long weekend: three bottoms, four tops, one cardigan, and a dress…
Now you have at least this many options:
Depending on what you’ll be doing, you might find a second cardigan is a great addition for a longer trip – air conditioning is everywhere, it seems… Your core neutral gets expanded a bit more by the addition of another bottom and another top – shorts and a tank top this time.
And you definitely need another bottom, so you might as well toss in something in your accent color. This could be shorts or a skirt – not necessarily capris. And finally, if you’re comfortable wearing dresses, this is a good time to toss in another dress, maybe in a print, pattern or texture that combines your neutral with your accent. This way, either cardigan will work well with the dress. If dresses aren’t your speed, instead of the dress consider another tee shirt and capris, or a shirt and shorts combination.
Two cardigans, 1 long pants, 1 pair of capris, 2 skirts, 2 dresses, 1 pair of shorts, two tee shirts, two tanks, and a button-front shirt.
Now you have all of these choices, at least. The object isn’t to wear a noticeably different outfit every day, but to have options that accommodate the weather, your activities, and your opportunities to do laundry.
I’m working on ideas to address your questions about being “fickle” with accent colors; when I have something to share you’ll be the first to know!
I love this, and I appreciate the fickle accent colour route, as I've been working on building a base wardrobe with 3 neutral colours… And like the idea of trying out a new accent colour, depending on the season. Maybe lighter versions of my wintery petrol greens and wine reds once spring rolls around.
Your travel capsule should be required reading for anyone about to pack a bag. As for being finicky about accents colors. All my bottoms, except one rogue orange Halogen pencil skirt are neutrals, so is the vast majority of my tanks, blouses an shirts. But I am fickle with my cardigans and scarves, that's what keeps me from looking the same every day.
Beautiful, beautiful choices (and packing travel advice to take to heart.) Thanks so much, Janice, for your tireless energy and inspiration.
cheryl :) says
I love the way you break it down and that pink is so fresh and springy.
Okay, perfect opportunity to ask for advice on one of my thorniest wardrobe issues. I love khaki for spring and summer. Most of my skirts, shorts, pants for warm weather are khaki. So, here's my problem, khaki or beige tops look terrible on me. I either fade into blergness or it washes me out to the point of illness. Any suggestions?
I have the same problem, and I recently discovered taupe. It's a "bluer" version of tan and looks much better on us cool, blue skin tones. Look for colors like "cement", "stone", "putty". It's very elegant too, when done in closely woven fabrics.
I agree with anonymous about trying other shades of khaki, but you could just stay away from tops in those colors. Not knowing your coloring, I'll throw out navy, red, and of course, white, as good summery options to go with khaki. Depending on the shade of khaki, I really like it with corals and some olive greens. You could put together a great capsule with navy and khaki as your neutrals.
I use black, white or red tops with my khaki bottoms. I don't look good in tan/khaki tops either.
I have found that adding stronger pink blush really helps with beige or khaki tops.
You might try a print as your "khaki" top- a print in which khaki is the accent color of the print & the background is a color that suits your complexion- i.e. khaki flower or polka-dots against a navy ground.
Thanks for all the great advice!!
I love this capsule! Not my best colors, but I'd buy the "In Transit" outfit in a minute! Looks polished AND comfortable – something I struggle with.
This set is really great, Janice. And I'm not a lover of pink. I think that I OD'd on it in college, during my regrettable Laura Ashley years. But, I truly love this set.
Great collection! have not been comfortable with khaki/beige except as pants with a black top. This is so much better and i love pinks. With tans so prevalent for summer this would be a great way to head for a core wardrobe. Excellent! thanks.
Gorgeous wardrobe – I love the pinks and that patterned skirt. Helpful, too as I'm about to take two weeks in Singapore and New Zealand.
Pam @ over50feeling40 says
I know I am not a pink-fan…but there are some selections here which might cause me to change my mind. It still has to be one to an outfit for me. Great job as always at finding the best out there!
Great travel capsule. The "in transit" outfit is divine!
Cat L says
I have a question: How would you change, what would you add to this collection in order to be able to attend a formal dinner or two? By formal I mean men in black tie/tuxedoes?
Charley Moore says
You've done it again! This is great.
THANK YOU!!!! This is just what I was looking for!! I will use this as my blueprint for my Barcelona trip next week. Hope it looks half as good as this one does.
Thanks again Janice! :)
Robert F. Crocker says
This is a truly good site post. Not too many people would actually, the way you just did. I am really impressed that there is so much information about this subject that have been uncovered and you’ve done your best, with so much class. If wanted to know more about green smoke reviews, than by all means come in and check our stuff.
Minibus Driver Manchester
Actually I was searching for red polka dot dress, so I don't have a clue why this was among search results, but I am so glad it did! Now I wear another shade of pink but it doesn't matter – I love this idea! XOXO
Sania from Zagreb