July 31, 2019
She loves to travel alone….
She carries her own luggage, thank you! And she can lift her bag into the overhead bin, too. It’s a point of personal satisfaction that she’s strong enough to be self-sufficient… (it’s an accomplishment to hold onto as long as possible, isn’t it?)
In the course of planning what to pack, she grew to see that working in clusters of 5 garments would be easy to sort out in her head, and also gives her plenty of outfit possibilities! The right 5 garments can translate into 8 outfits…
It’s not that she plans to travel forever, and must never EVER repeat an outfit; that’s kind of silly…
But what if something is stranded at the laundry? What if the weather gets warmer (or cooler)? What if she wants to do something very casual, or rather dressy? THESE are the reasons that having options in your travel wardrobe is a good idea…
Of course, she’ll dine out. She will go to museums and galleries, and LOTS of bookstores…
But she also wants to hike a bit. Maybe lay on the grass in a park and look at the clouds? She’s ready for that, too!
If she’s traveling near a pub, or the shore, or a forest, or a sporting event, she will be in good shape!
Her clusters are in 2 different moods, but they have enough “overlap” to make a pretty practical travel wardrobe!
Things from the 2 clusters can be worn together!
Yes, she will need to do a couple of pieces of laundry, but she might be able to go for quite a while with only 10 garments….
So what if you’re going away for 3 months – a guest lecturing position? a sabbatical? a professional training course? Imagine building onto this wardrobe with 2 MORE clusters…
This could be your entire seasonal wardrobe, if you plan carefully!
Should I expand this, and should I show accessories?
p.s. Back in 2015, our heroine and her love went away to the spa…
Yes! Please expand this and show some accessories too /Anna
Yes! Expand and show accessories! I love both this pallet and concept.
Off to breakdown my own wardrobe into these kinds of clusters.
Linda M says
Yes, clusters are great. My absolute favourite idea from TVF.
Linda M says
I’m organising packing for a 2 month trip, mid August to mid October, with several weeks spent in Scotland, and including cities, beaches, countryside, stately homes and castles, meals out…I thought I’d done well to get down to the low 30s, including 3 coats/jackets, and all accessories, so will look forward to any expanded posts on this subject. My last trip was over 50 items, and a lot came back unworn, though that was due to the weather. Some things were worn more than expected!
While I would perish without more colour in my wardrobe, I do love how cohesive these clothes are. The dressy top with jeans is really nice. I need to think about getting a bit more use out of some of my dressier things and maybe dressing down some of my skirts. You never fail to inspire!
Wonderful concept. Very functional plan and perhaps the only one that has actually given me a workable template for a seasonal (or even year round) capsule wardrobe. I struggled for ages trying to come up with color palette because I loved so many colors. Most templates call for 2 base colors and 3 accent. But with this I could explore 5 (or more) colors completely as long as I find ways to tie all the colors together. Love it!
Yes, please! Love this particular cluster concept, though I most assuredly need more color.
Love this (even in monochrome.) I’ll use the template for a long beach weekend next month, and hopefully a longer jaunt to Austria after Christmas sometime. Yes, please, accessories; also, the artist is excellent—where did you find him?
*her*, sorry. Need much more coffee.
This is the “one” that speaks to me the most since I don’t wear a lot of color but mostly black, grey and denim. I could see adding one cluster with color to be able to mix in. And Add some accessories and shoes and I’m done.
Oh my gosh you are a mind reader ! Just yesterday and last night I was reviewing wardrobe clusters for an upcoming week long trip, and how many pieces create a given cluster. Then, of course, how to mix with a second cluster or two for a week’s travel !
Would you please add a third cluster that includes an accent color or two, maybe even a twin set ( I count a twin set as one addition, not two ) ?
I cannot tell you how much I adore and appreciate how you break it down into a simple template and then clearly illustrate the possible outfit combinations !
On a given trip, I still struggle with how many times in a week that I wish to be seen in a given accent color . Two for sure as a repeat wearing of a color , but sometimes I think that three times is visual overload ! Perhaps by varying the amount of the color, such as in a minor amount in a print, and then as a tank under a neutral topper, and finally, as an accent topper , each wear interspersed throughout the week with lots of other neutral outfits ? It then strikes me as packing more by outfit rather than repeat wearings . What do you and the other readers here think ?
Yes!! Please expand and add accessories.
Lisa Ham says
Like a few other commenters, I need more color in my wardrobe – that said, I love this post! What a useful way to think about wardrobe choices! I love the variety and practicality of the clothes, the moody elegance of the painting, and even the unusual form of your color chart! Splendid post. Thank you, Janice.
Sara K says
I have a personal rule to always make my travel wardrobe include 12 items of out and about-clothing or less (not including outerwear, underwear, accessories, sports- and loungewear). If it’s a longer trip, all I need is an opportunity to do laundry.
12 items sounds little, but in truth it seems that there are always items that have gone unworn. Plus, when I add to this number outerwear etc., I usually end up with as much clothing as I can carry relatively comfortably.
A travel wardrobe plan is IMO successful when it hits the sweet spot between “versatile enough” and “compact enough”. For me, that seems to be around 10-12 items. And yes, I think that technically I could survive with a 12-item seasonal wardrobe at home too, I just choose not to because I like variety (as long as I don’t have to haul that variety around).
Yay! Your clusters are my favorite. I’d love to see you expand this one.
I love these outfits and the background story. Travelling near a pub, or the shore, or a forest, or a sporting event sounds delightful! Definitely yes on the accessories. I struggle with how to pick accessories to go with casual outfits.
Yes, yes, and yes again! I would be very grateful if one or two of the Clusters focused on the corporate/leadership look for executives (and those on the way) who must give presentations. And accessories would be very much appreciated.
I love clusters! I immediately think, how can I duplicate this in my own closet? I am greedy….please expand with accessories but i am certain you knew we would leap for that. Thank you for all your research it is truly appreciated.
It’s interesting how the combined capsules seem to contain a range of colours because of the variety in pattern, texture, and shade/tint. And the canny combination of dressier items with casual ones adds variety too. I think this is another good way of capsule planning for our repertoires. So many possible procedures!
Janice Collins Coyle says
I LOVE this post and will bookmark it or maybe even print it. As usual I translate your templates into my own neutrals (light grey and navy). I agree with others as to expanding this and adding an a accent color and accessories. We are planning a 9-day trip in September and I want to fit everything into a carry-on and tote. This template is perfect! And,I can see that I already have similar clothing in my colors. I love your thoughtful and practical thinking – so beautiful, flexible and organized. Really looks my forward to your expansion of this with, hopefully, some accessories.
Yes, accessories would be lovely. I still pack way, wat too much. Your capsules are grand!
becky johns says
Please do more! I love the number of 5 items per capsule. Easy to keep in your head as you pack. Would love to see accessories. Your choice of shoes is especially helpful for me. I am enjoying the new pair of Rothys I recently bought in red. They are a becoming style in the pointed toe, comfortable, and washable. …made from recycled water bottles! They add instant style to any outfit, whether it is a skirt or pants!
Oh, Janice! I feel almost as though this post was made for me. Romaine Brooks is a favorite artist of mine, and the color scheme of this outfit cluster is oh so close to my own personal color scheme. This will be such a useful post for my own packing.
I’d love to see this expanded, and to see accessories shown.
Brilliant as usual Janice! The cluster idea makes a lot of sense for packing. I tend to count so many bottoms and so many tops but they don’t necessarily work together. I can carry this forward to shopping as well, and make sure any new purchases work into a cluster of casual, or a cluster of dressier outfits.
Labadorite would be beautiful for this. But don’t add accent colors, she painted in grey tones. But Ivory would be beautiful. She had a specific color scheme in grey that she used through all of her paintings in her lifetime using almost no accent colors. Denim would be good to use for her paintings. Research her on WIKI.
Carol S says
I agree about keeping the palette simple. I looked up Romaine on Wiki as suggested. Denim, chambray or ivory come to mind.
Mary Katherine says
I’m not sure who put me on to you, but I love your posts SO much. They are beautifully planned, written, laid out, and USEFUL! I had your voice in my head as I packed for a recent 10-day trip to Italy – and I took ALL the right clothes, and not too much! I enjoy imagining myself as each of the heroines in your stories, and always perfectly dressed!
Keep up the great work,
Your newest fan Mary Katherine
Wow! Thank you…
Yes please expand with accessories. I would love some inspiration.
I absolutely LOVE THIS CAPSULE!!! This is so soothing and relaxing. I’m basing my fall & winter around this as my jumping off point. I adore these tones.
I love seeing the possibilities.
I’m planning a 20 trip with a 15 day cruise off of the Mexico west coast & some city visiting at both ends in LA & Vancouver in October.
I had already started around a grey core with black & white. I’m putting in some soft pink & aqua accents to keep my husband happy but the basic core is grey, white & black.
My initial layout is a lot like this one already.
A grey open front cardigan & a loose white linen shirt as my 2 jacket layers.2 black and 2 grey pants. 4 tops: A grey merino top in case of chilly sea days plus a pure white cotton V neck T-shirt. Black & white fine dot print T-shirt & black rayon rib knit sleeveless top.
I’m including colour in 4 tank tops. Lime, aqua, pink and soft blush. I could live in my core neutrals but dh likes colours to break it up.
I have a hot pink abstract chiffon rectangle scarf & a lime with aqua one both of which can double as light shawls in the chilly dining room.
I’d happily take 4 more tops in black, white & grey & scarves to match but great marriages include strategic compromises.
I have a long crinkle rayon dress in mostly black with a tiny bit of a floral print on one side and a matching pareo.
The dress does double duty for dinner and a terrific cover up between the pool & our cabin.
2 colourful print bathing suits. Hat in white straw with grey buttons. Big black sunglasses.
Flat leather flip flops for poolside and black low heel strappy sandals as my second pair of shoes. Black leather loafers especially for travel days.
A black nylon folding tote purse for on board ship.
A chalk white leather tote purse for traveling. White & silver watch. White pearl studs. So far.
I’m resisting my white jeans because then I might need my white sneakers and I want to keep it light. But I still might. I’d drop 1 of the grey jeans in favour of the white jeans. And my white shoes are super light. Maybe. Hmmmmm.
Meanwhile looking at your beautiful capsule here is helping me decide.
And helping me stay in my limits! We are allowed a check bag each but I prefer to keep it all into the carry on size for ease of traveling. Less really is more.
Under the influence of this perfect capsule which has 3 bottoms I’ve substituted white jeans for the second pair of grey jeans and tossed one of the black pants to allow room for the white sneakers. Now I have only 3 pants one of which is white but the ships laundry is excellent.
Sue G says
So much yes — please do add shoes and accessories to this capsule. I’m not traveling much these days, but this is a perfect season-spanning group for my new life with toddlers.
Play in the park? Check.
Community fundraiser? Check.
Play on the floor? Check.
Visit the inlaws? Check.
Date night? Check.
Ticks all the right boxes for me. Thanks for your continued awesomeness. : )