one suitcase: winter vacation capsule wardrobe

I'm excited for this week!! I've been trying on lots and lots of outfits & snapping photos like crazy to put together this upcoming week's (much requested) series of posts for... One Suitcase: Winter Vacation Capsule!

This set of outfits was a little more of a challenge for me to figure out because I live in Florida and don't see or wear cold weather outfits as frequently as all of you in true winter climates. Also cold weather clothes take up more space in a suitcase so I had to think a little harder about how to narrow down the number of items to fit everything. But hopefully you like what I came up with and enjoy this next week of cold weather wear!!

Post 1/10 -
Between my job & my love of seeing new places around the world I spend a fair amount of time living out of a suitcase. From all the experience I have gained from hauling myself & my stuff all over the place I have learned just how valuable packing smart & packing light is to your sanity. And I think I have gotten pretty good at selecting just my few favorite pieces of clothing to bring and stretching their use though multiple outfits for multiple activities as I travel. So for this third installment of the one suitcase feature I'm going to try out a winter vacation capsule wardrobe. Above are the 16 pieces I will use to create 40 outfit options for this trip!!

The purpose of the "One Suitcase" feature is to try to show you how you can pare down your packing list when you travel without sacrificing the number or variety of outfits you have for the range of activities your trip may entail. I have learned through trial and error (and the pain of lugging wayyy too big a suitcase) that by packing a few favorite & versatile pieces of clothing I can mix and match the items into a surprising number of outfit options. You just have to do a little planning up front. Hopefully the posts this week will show you my method and help you find the potential of the clothes you already have in your closet!

The method:
  1. Basics - First I pick some basics pieces to lay the foundation for the trip. I try to pick my favorite go-to clothes. Clothes I know I wear over and over. The ones that go with almost everything. For me, this usually involves  laying out my favorite jeans, warm sweaters and a pair of super comfy boots.

    For the basics in this capsule wardrobe I have chosen white, cream & blue as the base colors. I packed my favorite black & denim skinny jeans, black mini skirt, white button down shirt, chambray button down shirt, black long sleeve shirt, cream knit sweater and wool coat.
  2. Black long sleeved shirt - Target
    White button down blouse - Banana Republic
    Chambray shirt - Old Navy
    Cream cable knit sweater - H&M
    Black mini skirt - Gap
    Cream lady day coat - J.Crew
    Denim skinny jeans - Target
    Black skinny jeans - Target

  3. Interest - Second, I add a few interesting pieces to compliment the subtle basics. I look for pops of color or fun patterns or even texture (puffer vest!) that will make the basic pieces more exciting. I try to grab items that will compliment each other or at least be somewhat in the same color scheme. For me, I'd usually go for a striped top, a dress, patterned button up, colored sweaters/cardigans, interesting jacket and some type of fun bottom which in this case is a colored pencil skirt.

    For this capsule wardrobe I chose a fair isle sweater dress, striped long sleeve shirt, red plaid button down, green sweater, grey boyfriend cardigan, mustard pencil skirt, white puffer vest and leather jacket.
  4. Fair isle sweater dress - H&M 
    Green sweater - Polo Outlet
    Grey boyfriend cardigan - Target
    Red plaid shirt - Gap
    Black and white striped shirt - H&M 
    Faux leather jacket - Forever 21
    White puffer vest - Northface
    Mustard pencil skirt - J.Crew

  5. Accessories & Shoes - Finally, I add some accessories to complete the outfits. Jewelry, belts and scarves take up very little room and can dramatically alter how an outfit looks. Unfortunately, shoes is the area I still struggle with. I always want to bring just one more pair. But I've learned to limit myself to only either blacks or browns (depending on my clothes) and then nude/beige shoes go with everything.

    For this capsule wardrobe I chose two necklaces, one gold watch, three scarves and one pair of black tights (not pictured).  For shoes I packed riding boots, hunter wellies and black high heeled booties.
    Gold scarf - Target
    Black scarf - Target
    Mustard scarf - Target 
    Black ankle boot - Aldo
    Green "wellies" rain boots - Hunter 
    Brown riding boots - Macys 

    Gold link watch - Michael Kors
    Red bubble necklace - eBay
    Gold stone necklace - Target
Over the next eight days I'm going to show you 40 outfits that I put together with these 16 pieces. I will share five outfits each day listing what pieces they are built from and where I would wear them. And then on the last day I will post a big downloadable image that includes the all the individual 16 pieces and all the 40 put together outfits for easy reference.

Hope you enjoy!
You can check out my first two One Suitcase features with Business Casual clothes here and Summer Vacation clothes here:


  1. Oh my gosh, I am SO excited for this series!! Mostly because I have items that are VERY similar to the ones you picked, so recreating the outfits you make wont be too difficult :) I can't wait!

    -Jenna Brianne

  2. Love these posts, you are so clever!! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  3. I LOVE these posts! Can't wait!!

  4. I love all of your ideas, my husband said that you should do a series of one suitcase ideas for men. He has a hard time with packing.

  5. Gah! I love this! This is a great idea you have, and I love seeing the posts! Can't wait for the new outfits!



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