Tuesday, March 11, 2014

one suitcase: spring capsule wardrobe

Post 1/8 -
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.

This philosophy of looking at a limited number of clothing items and seeing beyond the obvious combinations can be applied to a normal wardrobe. I have learned through trial and error that by picking 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!

Here's how I put together my spring capsule wardrobe-

The method:
  1. Basics - First I pick some basics pieces to lay the foundation for the capsule wardrobe. 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 favorite pair of jeans and favorite white blouse.

    The basics in this capsule wardrobe I have chosen are a chambray shirt, jean jacket, grey cardigan, navy sleeveless blouse, white-t, skinny jeans and a simple white dress.

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 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 this capsule I tried to stick to whites, yellows & minty greens in what I felt were fun spring prints.

For this set of interest pieces I picked a cognac jacket, mint cardigan, mustard yellow pencil skirt, printed pant, striped skirt, striped shirt, printed maxi dress and floral blouse.

Accessories & Shoes - Finally, I add some accessories to complete the outfits. Jewelry, belts and scarves 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 four necklaces, one gold bracelet, scarf and two belts.  For shoes I added two pairs of pumps, a bright pair of flats and leopard sandals.

Over the next six days I'm going to show you 30 outfits that I put together with these 15 pieces. I will share five outfits each day listing what pieces they are made from. And then on the last day I will post a big downloadable image that includes the all the individual 15 pieces and all the 30 put together outfits for easy reference. I'll also put together a printable guide with the same info for easy reference.

Hope you enjoy!! 

You can check out my other One Suitcase features:
  • Business Casual clothes here  
  • Summer Vacation clothes here 
  • Winter Vacation clothes here
  • Spring Business Casual clothes here
  • Mini Getaway clothes here
  • Neutral Colored Business Casual here
  • Europe Vacation clothes here 
  • Paris Vacation clothes here


  1. I need to build a new spring/summer wardrobe, but am on a serious budget. This series cannot have come at a better time. I can't wait to see the outfits!

  2. Yeah! I've been secretly hoping that you would do another One Suitcase post. Thanks for the loads of inspiration. I will definitely be using your guides again to pack for my upcoming vacations.
    Can't wait to see the rest!

    1. Glad to answer your secret hope! :) Thanks so much!

  3. Yay one suitcase!! Looking at your pieces, this would mostly work for a business casual work trip as well.

    1. I think because I wear work clothes so much - I always end up in that ballpark. :)

  4. What an interesting post. Looking forward to see the outfits. Could you please also share some ideas concerning the beauty products that you take with you on a trip? For exemple: how do you pack your bottles of shampoo etc?

    1. Just saw a great post on the topic over at Road Warriorette! http://boardingarea.com/roadwarriorette/2014/03/12/how-to-pack-toiletries/

  5. Yay for One Suitcase Posts!!! I'm so excited for a new one and I want to thank you for all the effort you put into them!! These are lifesavers!!

  6. LOVE these series. These are helpful not only for a preparing-for-travel situation, but just generally seeing how things can go together in a wardrobe.

  7. wow! what an amazing post! bookmarking..loving all your ideas, thansk for sharing!




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