Creating a Summer Travel Capsule Wardrobe

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By Jeanine Byers

Summer’s here and you’re probably planning to take a trip somewhere. If you’re like me, you have the tendency to pack far more than you need and are ever-determined to nip that habit in the bud before it gets any worse.

Here are some tips for creating a workable travel capsule…

The most important thing you can do is choose colors for your capsule that support your coloring, that make you glow and come alive. Choose two neutrals and one or two accent colors. Ideally, you would start with at least one color you already have and then add only what you need.

For example, if you are planning a weekend trip, try to spend as little money as possible on clothes, and instead, buy some inexpensive colorful accessories to wear with the ones you already have. For a quick weekend trip, choose one neutral pair of pants of jeans, a couple of colorful tops that coordinate well, and a cardigan or jacket in case the nights are chilly.

Here’s an example of what you might pack for a weekend trip.

Weekend Travel: 5 pieces
• Two tops
• One pair of pants or jeans
• One cardi (in case the nights are chilly)
• One dress

For a longer vacation, say a week or two, you may feel like you need a lot more, but I would add only a couple more pieces: another pair of pants, another cardigan and some more fabulous accessories. If each piece can mix and match with every other one, you can create about 14 different outfits and with different accessories, create even more looks.

Here’s an example of seven pieces that you could use for a week-long or two-week trip.

Summer Vacation Week: 7 pieces
• Two tops
• Two bottoms
• Two cardis
• One dress

Naturally, you will want to tailor this list to your trip. You might need shorts instead of pants, or prefer short skirts instead of dresses. And if your trip is a romantic getaway for two, dinner out and what to wear while hanging out at the bed & breakfast might be your only considerations.

Wherever the sun takes you, I hope your travel experience is smooth and your trip is full of family fun and memories you’ll treasure.

Jeanine Byers is a certified color analyst, personal style blogger and author of The Capsule Wardrobe Book: Signature Style Essentials for Plus-Size Fashionistas.

Jeanine Byers Hoag is a personal style blogger and a passionate advocate for the Dressing Your Truth system. She has created a free eCourse called Discover Your Style: A Signature Style Starter Kit for Women Who Don't Feel Beautiful in Their Clothes, which you can register for at her blog.


  1. misscalli

    July 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Nice, but a too capsulish 🙂 Here is my try at a summer capsule wardrobe that fits my needs:

  2. Charlotte

    January 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Help! Need help planning for my first cruise that includes 4 days in Hawaii. Can I choose black as a basic1

    • Jeanine Byers

      January 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      Only choose black as a basic if that is a color that looks fantastic on you! If it isn’t, choose another neutral and build around it. Have fun!


    May 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you for your time to send on my colors. I am a autumn tonings, not sure if warm or cool as yet. I wanted to E. Mail you, alas couldnt find how. I know you are also spiritual, as I am. But wandered if you could help me with a reading for my future. I am at a stale miserable time at present, and wandered if you could assist.

    thank you sharon lorraine drury.

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