Imagine if there was a way to make the packing process easier. A way to save you time, money and stress. And a way to preserve your suitcase space so that you can travel lighter without sacrificing your style.
Well, now there is. Step forward, the travel capsule wardrobe.
What Is a Travel Capsule Wardrobe?
First things first, let’s discuss what exactly a “capsule wardrobe” is. You’ve probably seen the term all over your social media feeds at the moment.
Simply put, the capsule wardrobe is an idea that originated in the 1970s from London boutique owner Susie Faux. It involves re-focusing your wardrobe and utilising limited pieces during a set amount of time to get the most wear out of them.
An average capsule wardrobe generally consists of 25 to 50 pieces that serve as your entire wardrobe for a certain period of time. It includes clothing, shoes and big accessories like bags and belts.
(Note that if you start counting jewellery and hair accessories then the number adds up pretty quickly!)
Do underwear, loungewear and activewear count towards the total amount, you ask? Good news – they don’t! But swimwear and outerwear do.
The travel capsule wardrobe, then, is exactly the same premise but for travel purposes. It’s all about packing smarter so that you can enjoy different types of trips without having to worry about your outfits.
How Many Pieces in a Travel Capsule Wardrobe?
When curating your own travel capsule wardrobe, the idea is to select a small number of clothing pieces from your existing wardrobe that you can mix and match to get the highest number of different travel outfits possible.
The number of pieces you select will depend on where you’re travelling to and how long you’re going away for. Generally speaking, this tends to be between 3 and 15.
For example, with a 5 item capsule wardrobe (3 tops and 2 bottoms), you can create 6 different travel outfits for a week away. Likewise, with a 10 item capsule wardrobe (7 tops and 3 bottoms), you can create 21 travel outfits for three weeks away!
Travel Capsule Wardrobe Benefits
There are so many benefits to curating a travel capsule wardrobe for your next trip. Allow me to break them down for you now.
1. It Saves You Time
Creating a travel capsule wardrobe will save you valuable packing time that you can spend doing other (more exciting) things. Why? Well, because you’ll have fewer items to pack, of course!
Plus, every morning that you’re away, you won’t have to waste precious minutes staring at your wardrobe (or suitcase if you prefer to live out of your bag) and wondering what on earth to wear. You can say goodbye to decision overwhelm and hello to picking out your outfit quicker and starting your day sooner.
After all, you’ll likely have lots to see and do and want to get out of the room as fast as possible!
Speaking of decision overwhelm, did you know that the average adult has to make over 35,000 decisions each day? Opting for a travel capsule wardrobe means that you’ll have one less decision to make on any given day (thank me later).
2. It Eliminates Stress
Having more time each morning that you’re away will also reduce the likelihood of you feeling stressed or overwhelmed before you’ve even left your accommodation.
In essence, a travel capsule wardrobe makes the whole “getting ready” process so much easier. After all, you’ll have done all the hard thinking beforehand. You’ll already know which clothing pieces work together and how to style each outfit with footwear and accessories.
There will be no outfit anxiety or tearing your hair out because you forgot to pack the perfect top to go with those bottoms. This means more exploring time + less hassle = a happy traveller. Right?
3. It Saves You Money
Additionally, having a travel capsule wardrobe is a lot cheaper than a regular wardrobe. There are less items involved, for one. And this gives you the ability to identify what your travel wardrobe really needs.
Plus, you don’t have to spend unnecessary money on things that are just “okay” or you might forget to wear on your trip. Instead, every piece that you pick out for your travel wardrobe will have been carefully curated for a specific occasion. They’ll be high in quality, much-loved and much-needed, which means you’ll get more wear out of them.
Basically, it’s time to say goodbye to excess, poor purchasing decisions and buyer’s guilt. For good.
4. It’s Environmentally Friendly
By creating capsule wardrobes and choosing to consume and own less, you can help reduce harmful effects on the environment. Sustainable fashion has never been more significant than it is today. After all, over 31kg of clothes are sent to the landfill every year and currently account for 8.1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
This means that curating travel capsule wardrobes ultimately has the feel-good factor, knowing that you’re being kind to your bank balance and the planet.
5. It Requires Less Packing Space
Creating a travel capsule wardrobe means that you have more packing space to play with.
Whether you’re taking a backpack with you on your trip or two suitcases for a working holiday, you’ll feel liberated because you’ll have less clutter. It’s easier to keep your items tidy and organised — and also less laundry.
(Cue the Hallelujah music.)
And there’s going to be more room for souvenirs or any special purchases you want to make on your trip (which can sometimes be once in a lifetime meaning you’ll never get to buy them again).
6. Your Travel Bag Will Be Lighter
If you’re putting together the maximum number of outfits with the minimal number of pieces, you won’t be packing as much. This means that your travel bag won’t be as full, like I just mentioned, but it also means that your travel bag will be lighter.
And do you even realise how much of a relief this is when you’re running through a busy bus station trying to catch your ride to the airport that’s just about to leave and you have a heavy load on your shoulder as well as a suitcase load that you’re dragging along?
Add bad weather or high humidity to the mix and this can leave you feeling stressed and flustered before you’ve even started your journey. Phew. Let’s try and avoid that, shall we?
I want you to arrive at your final destination without a sore back from an overflowing backpack or feeling embarrassed because it took you four attempts in front of a crowd of people to pull your luggage off the baggage claim belt. I want you to arrive calm. I want your travel bag to feel like it’s not weighing you down, physically and mentally.
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Final Thoughts on Travel Capsule Wardrobe Benefits
A travel or holiday capsule wardrobe is worth having for any kind of trip. It’s a complete game-changer when it comes to saving time, stress, money and space. My favourite thing about it is how it takes the hard thinking out of getting dressed every morning of your trip, reducing decision overwhelm and meaning you can start your day sooner.
Want to know how to curate your own travel capsule wardrobe? My new eBook Pack Less, Style More is coming! Sign up below to get on the waitlist and receive a 20% early-bird discount when it launches.