Simplify Your Style
Build a Capsule Wardrobe for Easy Travel

Dressing for travel can be overwhelming. There are always so many what-ifs and factors to consider such as the weather, cultural ideals, different activities and more! 

During my study abroad in Europe this last fall, I had to learn how to pack four months’ worth of clothes into one suitcase! I learned what is best for traveling to Europe and how to maximize your travel wardrobe. 

Building a capsule wardrobe, or investing in good-quality basics that you can mix and match, is key to not overpacking and to elevating your wardrobe while traveling! Ideally, your clothing pieces should all be able to match together to make tons of outfit combinations. 

Generally, people in Europe tend to dress a little nicer while going out, even if it is just a quick trip to the grocery store. From my experience, it is best to not wear items like sweatshirts, ripped jeans or gym clothes while out and about; otherwise, you will stick out. Keep those items for your long travel days if that is what’s most comfortable for you. 

Here are items and tips that I used while abroad or wish I had packed during my time in Europe. Add or get rid of items depending on the length and season of your trip. The biggest thing to remember is that basics are best!

• Choose a color palette and stick to it. Your three best friends will be the colors blue, white and black. These are easiest to mix and match with each other, but feel free to add a pop of color. Two of my favorites to add are olive green and burnt orange! Choose what works best with your style. 

• Bring lots of layers. Weather in Europe can be unpredictable. I like to bring light button-ups or sweaters to put over my T-shirts and tops. 

• One or two pairs of nice jeans will get you far. I like to bring one dark wash and one light wash to mix into all my outfits. 

• Bring another pair of pants besides jeans. A nice pair of trousers in a tan or cream would be perfect for a capsule wardrobe!

• A nice pair of comfortable tennis shoes. Chances are you will be walking A LOT while traveling. I like a nice pair of comfortable walking shoes in white or black–that way they match all of your outfits. 

• Bring at least one dress. Preferably your perfect little black dress (or favorite summer dress). You never know when you’ll need it. 

• A nice pair of loafers or shoes you can wear to a nice restaurant while still being comfortable walking is a must. 

• Don’t be afraid of mixing in some patterns! I lean toward stripes, as I find them to be the most “neutral” of all the patterns. 

• One jacket. If traveling to a country with frequent rain (like I did in Ireland) a rain jacket is a necessity. If traveling in the fall or spring, a trench coat would be very chic.

• One neutral-colored purse. Preferably a small cross-body bag. It can be common in some European countries to be pick-pocketed. Keeping a small zippered purse close to you is key to avoiding theft! ::

About Author

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Sophia is interning this summer for RWM. She is studying journalism and English at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she will graduate in December.

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