When it comes to traveling, the most timeless advice is to pack light. Packing only what you need makes it easier to move while you’re in transit, as well as to account for your belongings. We’ve assembled some advice and 8 wardrobe essentials for travelling light.
Packing light applies to the clothes you bring on your trip most importantly. Clothes often take up a large chunk of your luggage space, but they don’t need to. The fewer items you pack, the more space you can save for other things. Additionally, you’ll want to buy leggings, shirts, pants, and other clothing items from reliable brands offering high-quality products. That way, you’ll be sure to bring along durable garments that won’t immediately rip or tear while you go sightseeing.
There’s a growing subset of travelers who swear by “capsule” wardrobes, which are often described as full wardrobes consisting of only a few reusable pieces. These travelers have the following advice for those who want to travel light:
- A capsule wardrobe should consist of no more than ten pieces. You don’t have to follow this exact number if you don’t want to, but it’s a great benchmark for how much clothing you can survive on.
- The clothing pieces you pack should follow what’s called the “rule of three.” That means you should be able to wear each piece at least three times during your trip.
- Alternatively, you can think of the “rule of three” as being able to adapt each clothing item for at least three occasions. Take, for example, a pair of sneakers. You should be able to use them for three events during your trip. These events could be an outdoor walk, a quick trip to the local convenience store, or a casual meetup.
If these tips already sound helpful for cutting down on your baggage allowance, you’ll want to keep reading for the 8 Wardrobe Essentials for Traveling Light and how to assemble a capsule wardrobe perfect for traveling. Beyond absolute essentials, like pajamas and underwear, these are what you should have in your suitcase. This wardrobe guarantees all-around and adaptable style, without the additional “baggage”!
A Set of Tops
Travel aficionados say three is the perfect number of tops to bring. But perhaps you can include at least one extra top, especially if the weather at your destination is especially warm or cold. This shirt can go in your carry-on, along with a set of underwear, in case you need an emergency change of clothes. Plain- colored, short-sleeved cotton shirts are ideal for travel because of their versatility. You can easily dress them up or down and create an outfit for every situation. Pack a few sets of plain-colored T-shits in white, black, pastels, neutrals, and other colors to have plenty of style options for your trip.
The tops you choose to pack for your trip should be of versatile styles and materials. Depending on where you’re going, they should be enough to keep you warm or cool enough. They should also be easy to dress up or dress down. Aside from regular T-shirts, you can bring a button-down shirt or a classy turtleneck.
A Classic Mini Dress
It’s also good to have a classic mini dress packed away in your wardrobe. It can be worn on casual occasions or in settings where you need to look a little more formal, such as a business gathering.
You can wear the dress on its own, or you can layer it with classy accessories. For best results, bring one in a classic and adaptable color, like black, gray, beige, or navy blue. Simply throw it on, pair it with your desired shoes, and you’re ready to go!
A Jacket or Cardigan
Your wardrobe should also include one piece of outerwear. Again, this is something you should choose according to the weather and temperature.
You can bring either a jacket with a hood or a simple cardigan. Bring along something that will take up minimal space in your luggage and will look good with multiple items in your wardrobe.
A Pair of Jeans
Every traveler should also pack one pair of sturdy, comfortable jeans or even denim leggings. Denim pieces are good to wear at least three times, and they’re good protection against the elements.
Plain blue jeans work fine, but if you want to be able to dress your outfit up a little with them, opt for dark jeans. These will have you looking ready for a night out.
A Pair of Tights
If you’ve packed the mini dress as recommended above, you’ll want to combine it with a pair of tights. Tights will add an extra layer of protection around your legs without taking away from your outfit.
Before you leave, shop for a pair of tights for traveling. You can get an adaptable pair of black opaque tights, or sheer nude tights to rock a bare-leg look.
Two Pairs of Adaptable Shoes
Next on the list is two—and only two—pairs of shoes. It’s impractical to bring more than one pair along for your trip when two will work just fine. Think of how much walking, hiking, or running you’ll need to do on your trip, and choose your pairs accordingly.
Some recommendations for good travel shoes are sneakers, sandals, or boots. Bring any two of the three types and that will likely be enough for your wardrobe.
Some Sturdy Socks
Don’t forget to bring an appropriate pairs of socks to go with your shoes. Your socks will keep your feet dry, prevent them from smelling overly cheesy, and shield your feet from cuts and blisters.
Pack a set of travel socks you can use for your trip. Most fashion experts recommend bringing at least two pairs for regular use and one more pair as an extra.
An Article of Protective Clothing
People are now becoming more careful of contracting an illness while traveling, and with good reason. It’s easy to catch harmful germs in public spaces, by means of another traveler coughing or sneezing and releasing contaminated respiratory droplets in the air.
Simple personal protective equipment, like a face mask, will offer you one layer of extra protection while you’re in an airport, airplane, or transport terminal. Many already practice regular mask-wearing while traveling, as they consider it a courtesy to fellow travelers. Face masks are also lightweight, easy to pack, and easy to wear. They’ll be a welcome addition (and may even be required in some place) to your minimalist but functional wardrobe.
Include these items in your packing list for easy, no-nonsense travel preparations. Shop for your clothing essentials ahead of your departure, so dressing up and packing up will be a breeze!
We hope you enjoyed this piece written in collaboration with one of our partners. Check out some of our other collaborations for your next trip: Tips to Make Your Flight More Comfortable and Time-Saving Tips to Help You Look Great Every Day.