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Capsule Wardrobe – FAQ

You can follow my daily capsule outfits here.

capsule wardrobe faqs

Okay, before we get to the most frequently asked questions, I want to share my biggest beef with capsule wardrobes (my current capsule is here), and it goes a little something like this…what about the other items of clothing you own and love? 

To me, I feel like I’m being a little wasteful by packing up and storing clothing that I love to wear. I mean, it’s already in my closet, paid for, and now I’m just not allowed to wear it? Is it just me or does that seem wasteful to you?

I haven’t strayed from my capsule wardrobe, but it is something I’ve been pondering…I’m not sure a specific number needs to be designated for everyone’s closet, and that the true concept is about finding your personal style while honing your practice of not purchasing on an impulse, which I love.

So, I’m a little torn. I love the idea of a small amount of clothing, not purchasing any items on a whim, and finding your signature style through the process, but, yes, I do miss some of my clothing.

Onto reader questions!

Are you sick of everything in your capsule already?

No, as most of the items in my capsule are the items I wore 75% of the time before starting this challenge. I still enjoy every item in my capsule, but like I mentioned before, I do miss pieces that are currently boxed up.

Also, the weather here has been so strange (unseasonably warm), and that has left me with a very, very small pool of clothing to pick from. (Hence one of the biggest problems with capsule wardrobes- dealing with weather.)

Do you think it’s possible to have a capsule wardrobe that will work for a professional setting and when you’re not in the office?

Yes. I am assuming you are wearing suits to work? I would just choose a few core suits for work, and then spend most of your time deciding on what shirts and blouses to wear underneath the suits. That way, those tops could work in a more casual setting as well.

Here are tons of career capsules to check out.

How do you choose pieces that are actually different? Example: I wear jeans and a tee or leggings and some kind of a sweater almost every day….I feel like I’d have to make a major investment into my wardrobe for a capsule wardrobe to actually to work for me.

I don’t really understand this question. It sounds to me like you already have a capsule wardrobe if you only have a few pieces that you wear frequently. You’re already ahead of the game!

I’d like you to start thinking about what you’re going to add for spring. I’d really like to try this, but need to bargain hunt prior to putting the spring wardrobe in place.

I am definitely already thinking and sourcing my spring capsule. I have a Pinterest board where I keep my ideas, and plan to shop for new items during the last two weeks of March. I already have lots of items that I miss and will pull out of storage for spring, though, but plan to add a few new pieces as well.

I didn’t see any dresses, I was curious if you kept anything for a special event?

Special events weren’t factored into my capsule. So if I need to wear something fancy, I will pull something out of my stored clothing.

What about your budget? How many pieces did you buy for this specific capsule, and how might this first capsule budget may change your next time around?

This is a great question. I’m not giving myself a set amount for my next capsule- I’ve mentioned before that I’m much more interested in quality over quantity (and things that I can keep for years and years) now that I’m in my forties. However, I know that isn’t a priority for many yet. (Listen, Forever 21 was my friend for my twenties AND thirties…)

For my winter capsule, I purchased 8 items out of the 37. The are marked with asterisks in the original post.

With that said, can I do a capsule wardrobe on a budget?

Absolutely! Anyone can create a capsule wardrobe, and price points will vary across the board.

However, I do want to mention that Whoorl is not really a frugal fashion website, and that some items I purchase will have higher price points. When a reader commented that she wanted to see less pricey shoes, this was my response.

Like I said in my post, I’ve started to focus on quantity over quality over the past few years, especially when it comes to shoes. Unfortunately, cheaper boots and shoes with heels are very uncomfortable on my feet and back, so when I find a brand that feels good and I know I can wear for years to come, I am going to purchase them. Luckily, there are tons of less expensive ankle booties options out there. I would check Piperlime, Zappos, and even Target.

That’s the beauty of a capsule wardrobe – price points can (and will) differ for every person, and remember, I’m just showing readers what’s in my capsule as an example, not trying to persuade you to buy exactly what I’m wearing.

What I’m trying to say is that yes, you can definitely find less expensive options and create a capsule to fit your budget, but I won’t be sourcing additional budget-friendly options as examples. (I just don’t have the time, unfortunately!) I hope my picks inspire you to find your own perfect capsule-worthy items, though!

Also, here are some great budget-friendly fashion blogs.

Does a capsule wardrobe challenge you mentally?

Oh, definitely. When you are looking at the same items day after day after day, it becomes your personal mission to change it up however you possibly can – my accessories have never gotten so much play in their life! My creativity is constantly being challenged, but I also have to say that it is so refreshing to eradicate the uncertainty involved with choosing clothing from a crammed-full, uninspired closet. It’s the best. Getting dressed in the morning has never been easier. A capsule wardrobe is a timesaver, for certain.

Also, I strongly believe that utilizing a capsule wardrobe helps you to really discover your personal style. Impulse buying has been an issue for me, and I can’t even count the times I’ve worn items that aren’t true to my style. The beauty about a capsule wardrobe is that the impulse buys are no longer. You have to really spend time thinking about each item, and how it helps to define your personal style. It might seem redundant to wear the same thing over and over, but looking back, that item will be a better reflection of my style, opposed to some crazy piece that I bought on a whim and disliked after a month of wear.

Show us your outfits! Will you please show us your outfits? Pretty please? (x 1,000)

This was by far the most asked question, and yes! I will post outfits. I am shooting tons of outfit combinations next week and will hopefully have them up in early March. So sorry for the delay, and I promise to get photos up in a more timely fashion for the next capsule. Still learning the ropes over here.

The State of The Capsule Wardrobe – Month One

You can follow my daily capsule outfits here.

The first month of my capsule wardrobe just wrapped up, and boy, do I have lots to say on the matter. Let’s dive in.

1. MVP pieces – Of my 37 items, there were a handful of workhorses that, indeed, worked it overtime. Conversely, several items weren’t worn at all. Let’s take a look at the MVPs for the month of January.

capsule wardrobe winter most worn

 

clothing sources here 

Pretty basic, folks. I mean, HELLO CASUAL PERSON. Or boring person. Actually, kidding aside, this (very) accurately conveys my day-to-day style. It’s simple, stream-lined, classic, and no frills. It’s also kind of male-inspired, wouldn’t you say? I think my core pieces tend to skirt an slightly androgynous look…I’m definitely not one to wear dresses or romantic pieces because I like my accessories to bring the feminine into the mix. (More on that in just a sec.)

Items that weren’t (or barely) worn? The fancier ones. The fur jacket, the silk tops, the leather heels…despite feeling like I “need” those options, I’m not sure I do. I still go for the MVP options when meeting friends for a drink or date night. We’ll see if that changes over the next few months. (I also think winter lends itself to less feminine items. I foresee a little more girly come Spring capsule.)

2. Accessories are key – People, my accessories are keeping me sane. Scarves, bracelets, chunky rings, hats, bags, glasses…these are the essentials that make my outfits stand out and feel original, despite pulling from the same small pool of core pieces. I wear a scarf (from my collection of about 10 faves) almost every day, which keeps me from feeling like I’m wearing the same ol’ outfit.

Accessories are what keep me in this thing, to be honest. If I wasn’t able to wear unlimited accessories, I’d be crying in my gluten-free beer right now. (My fellow GFers, have you tried Omission Lager? Damn fine stuff.) Oh, and don’t even get me started on lipstick as an accessory. I’m wearing lots of different colors right now. Hang tight for a post on what accessories I’m loving.

3. Weather changes – Okay, Oklahoma sure threw me for a loop this month. We had a week of 70-degree+ temps, and that left me in a bit of bind, considering so many of my capsule tops are wool sweaters and warm sweatshirts. The buttoned shirts were in major rotation during the warmer days, which leads me to my next point…

4. Laundry – When you are wearing such a small collection of items, you have to stay on top of your laundry. There were days when all of my go-to buttoned shirts were dirty. Total buzzkill, especially when it was sunny and 75. Yikes.

5. Travel – I traveled to Dallas and Newport Beach in January and had no problem sticking to the capsule. Warmer winter climates called for boyfriend jeans, buttoned shirts, and oxfords without socks. Also, OMG, people, packing is So. Much. Easier. No more standing around your closet, staring at choice after choice after choice. You get in and get it done. Love that aspect.

Now, I am approaching my first major (and hopefully only) capsule issue. I’m traveling to Lima, Peru in two weeks, and as most of you know, it’s summer there. Barely any of these options will work for the trip, so I am creating a miniature travel capsule for the duration of the trip. I’d be happy to post that mini-capsule if you are interested in checking it out.

6. Strategy – I’ve realized strategic outfit planning is important, especially with weather fluctuations. I make sure to pay attention to the forecast – if it’s going to be cold, it’s imperative that I wear my sweaters and knee-high boots, otherwise they will never be worn. I’m actually hoping for cold weather in February so my wool sweaters get some love!

7. Workout clothing – Not counting my yoga clothes has been so helpful, because they truly are part of my everyday wardrobe. Most mornings I’m in leggings and a tank with my puffer coat on top. (I also wear Uggs to yoga on cold mornings, although I didn’t count them as a capsule shoe.) But I also am pretty adamant about not wearing workout clothing throughout the day.

8. Temptation to shop – Obviously I’m only one month into this, so the temptation hasn’t been too bad, although, this post is timely considering every brand known to man is debuting Spring right now. The past few days have become way more challenging, for sure. The way I’m dealing with temptation is pinning everything I love to a private board that I created for my upcoming capsule. It’s perfect, actually, because I have everything in one place, and it will allow me to stew on what few items I will actually purchase come late March. It’s always so interesting to see what “I have to have this NOW” items turn into “meh” ones in the short span of a couple of months.

Also, in carefully observing my behavior this month, it has become crystal clear that sourcing and shopping online is a complete method of distraction for me. When I’m not feeling well, having a crappy day or just plain bored, I always open up the laptop and visit my favorite retailers. Every. Time. It’s my personal addiction. My escape from feeling the feelings. So, now, I’m trying to incorporate healthier choices – going for a walk (why is it so hard for me to do this?!), reaching out to friends, journaling, reading a book, or making a new recipe. I’m hoping these will become new habits.

9. Outfit photos – This was, by far, the most common request from you guys. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take any outfit photos in January, but a slew of outfit combos will be up on the blog by mid-to-late February. It took a little time for me to figure out how I was going to approach outfit photos, but it’s all good. (My biggest dilemma was not wanting crappy mirror shots like the days of yore residing on this blog. I mean, will you look at those photos? That I took with an actual point-and-shoot camera? Good lord, I’ve been on the internet too long. WHAT ARE THOSE OUTFITS I AM CRINGING.)

10. Reader questions – You guys have posted great questions about capsule wardrobes and my answers will be up next week. Feel free to leave more in the comments, and I’ll try answer to the best of my knowledge.

Viva la capsule!

My First Capsule Wardrobe

Whoorl Winter Capsule 2015

Happy New Year! My resolution for 2015 is to continue to simplify, simplify, simplify.

Speaking of simplifying, the capsule wardrobe train is pulling out of the station, and I’m officially on it. I’m excited, especially now that the hard part of editing my closet is over, and I’m here to explain this phenomenon in hopes that it might inspire you to simplify your closet too. Last year, I kept on noticing the term “capsule wardrobe” floating around, and all I could think was, “why are people willingly burying their clothes?” (Right? Am I the only one who drew that conclusion?) I never really probed any further because this chick was not interested in digging a hole in her backyard.

Turns out, a capsule wardrobe has nothing to do with shallow holes behind your residence. Nope, but it IS about seriously editing your wearable wardrobe. The entire concept is perfectly explained by Anushchka at Into Mind. Let me just say, if you are interested in living a simpler, more deliberate life, Anushcka is your girl. First off, her website just epitomizes simplicity and style. Secondly, checklists and templates and workbooks, people. A WOMAN AFTER MY OWN HEART.  Start with reading her post, A Beginner’s Guide to Minimalism, and then you can dive into her posts on wardrobe.

Why did I decide to build a capsule wardrobe? Well, it’s pretty simple. After cleaning up my makeup and skincare routine, and getting rid of tons and tons of bottles and creams and potions and blushes and crap that I never used, that aspect of my life became so much easier and less stressful. Instead of staring into a drawer full of god-knows-what (as well as frequently buying more stuff to cram in the drawer) in an attempt to satiate myself, that time was now being allocated for more delightful pursuits. (Like sitting in a warm, comfy chair by my south-facing window and reading a good book. Not a tough choice to make.) I now only possess what I use on a daily/weekly basis, and that feels really good, if you are wondering. Really good.

Here’s the thing. Somewhere along the way, we’ve been programmed to think that the more options we have available to us, the happier we will be. Trust me, I struggle with it on an almost daily basis, and I’m watching my children begin to exhibit the same behaviors. (Scary.) The joy of playing, wearing, and experiencing things is being replaced with the adrenaline rush of acquiring things. (And let’s not even get started on the whole objects and things vs. moments and experiences issue.) For me, I love the hunt. The perfect bag. The best juice cleanse. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve felt that little adrenaline rush when clicking “buy now” after doing all the research necessary, and then waiting for the item to arrive. But when the package finally arrives? And I open it? It has already, almost instantaneously, lost all its magic. It’s just another thing that will take up space in my home.

The more options we have available to us, the happier we will be. You all, I declare that false. False, false, false. The more options we have available to us, the more needless anxiety we create for ourselves. The more options we have available to us, the more limits we put on our ability to create and be imaginative. And your closet is just a teeny tiny part of the big picture, but we all need to start somewhere. Possessions are a great first step.

So! For me, this is a natural progression. It started with my diet, then my self-care habits, then my makeup drawer, followed with my closet, and who knows what will be next. I might be living in a teepee in the near future.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

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Spring Capsule 2015

It’s Spring Capsule Time! *cue trumpet fanfare*

whoorl spring capsule 2015

This capsule took me a lot longer to piece together than last season’s…mainly due to the factors I listed in my capsule round-up post, but also because my day-to-day life has really changed since leaving California. Hmm, maybe I should say my day-to-night life? Let me explain. In California, my evenings out were fairly limited…maybe once or twice a month for a date night or drinks with friends, but in Oklahoma, things are very different. I usually have a few nights out a week for various reasons, and I really needed to add some day-to-night pieces to the mix. So, as you will see, additions to my capsule this season were all about tops, tops, tops. Let’s take a look.
whoorl spring capsule 2015

Ink Blot Camisole* ::: Pink Silk Camisole* ::: Black Camisole ::: Deep Purple Tank (similar)

My go-to evening ensemble is usually a blazer or leather jacket with a silk top underneath, however, I didn’t own any nicer tops that were appropriate for really warm weather. I spent a lot of time sourcing tops that I could wear day and night, though, and I found some great ones that fit the bill. (The asterisks denote new purchases.)

Next up, casual tees.

whoorl spring capsule 2015

White V-Neck Tee ::: Pink V-Neck Tee ::: Indigo V-Neck Tee ::: Grey Scoopneck Tee (similar)

I didn’t need to purchase any casual tops for my capsule – my current ones were in very good condition. And as you can see above, my go-to tee is a v-neck workhorse that I own in six colors. Those tees are THE BEST. Wears well, washes well, and I just love the fit. Roomy, but still feminine. I chose three colors for this season’s capsule.

whoorl spring capsule 2015

Watercolor Top* ::: Red Linen Tee* ::: Black Linen Tee* ::: White/Navy Cotton Blouse*

The two linen tees featured above are perfect for day and night, which is why I ponied up and and purchased them on a great promotion. ($27 each!) These two tops were the last purchase during my buying time period, and I felt a bit guilty because they took me above my 5-6 allotted additions for the season. However, I pulled the trigger anyway, so go ahead, JUDGE ME. I found the last blouse in Dallas, and it was absolutely love at first sight for spring and summer. Okay, enough with the buying. As you will see, I am pretty much set in every other category.

whoorl spring caspule 2015

Striped Boatneck Tee (similar) ::: White Button-Up ::: Chambray Button-Up ::: Indigo Tunic (similar)

These casual tops have all been in my closet for quite some time, and I still love them all.

whoorl spring capsule 2015

Black Silk Blouse ::: Red Silk Blouse ::: White Sweatshirt ::: Grey Open-Front Cardigan

Same with these tops – most were in my winter capsule, and I still wear the heck out of them.

whoorl spring capsule 2015

Black Blazer ::: Denim Jacket ::: Cargo Jacket (similar) ::: Trench Coat (similar)*

My existing outerwear options are all solid – didn’t need to add anything, but I did purchase a new trench coat after retiring my decade-old one that was in a sad, sad state. (I bought the new APC trench at Shopbop with credit, so that was pretty fantastic.)

springcapsule6

Distressed Skinny Jean ::: Distressed Boyfriend Jean ::: High-Waisted Grey Skinny* ::: Slim Cropped Pant ::: Black Woven Pant

One thing I learned about myself that will save so much time in the dressing room in the future is that I don’t need to look anywhere but Citizens of Humanity for jeans. When I look through my denim collection, the ones I love and wear constantly are all COH. The quality is fantastic, and the back pocket placement is perfect for my bubble butt. I highly encourage fellow bubble butts to check them out.

I didn’t need to purchase anything new in regards to pants, except for the grey skinny jeans from Madewell. As you might have noticed, there are no white jeans in my capsule, despite trying on every pair known to man. Another lesson learned from capsule shopping – if something doesn’t make you feel fantastic, don’t do it. Before wearing a capsule wardrobe, I would have bought a pair anyway – just to have a pair, even if they didn’t look and feel exactly the way I wanted. But, when you realize that you have a limited amount of clothing to wear for the next 3 months, you see things very differently. The grey jeans were a random try-on, but I love them, and they fill that lighter denim spot for me. Win win.

whoorl spring capsule 2015

Black Skinny Jean ::: Dark Denim Skinny Jean ::: Trench Midi Skirt* ::: Sleeveless Dress (Similiar) ::: Black Silk Dress

The two skinnies are, surprise, Citizens of Humanity, and the dresses are great staples that I love to wear. Very happy to add some dresses and skirts to the mix after the last capsule’s blatant lack of femininity. The trench skirt was a new purchase, and can’t wait to start wearing it.

Things that are changing with this capsule:

1. For now, I am considering this my spring capsule, although it might just carry on through summer as well. I don’t see myself needing to make many additions once summer comes around (probably just switching out jeans for shorts, and replacing outerwear with more dresses I already own), but of course that might change. We’ll see how it goes.

2. You might have noticed the lack of shoes in my capsule. Well, I’m not including shoes in the overall number – I’m not buying any new shoes, but I’m allowing myself to wear all the shoes I already own. Like I stated in an earlier post, it felt kind of ridiculous not to be able to wear shoes that were already in my closet. I dropped the overall number of my capsule from 37 to 33 this season, and I’m feeling good about that number.

Things that are staying the same:

Pretty much everything else. Rules are the same (minus the shoe part.) Taking daily outfit photos on the Whoorl’s Closet Instagram account. Wearing the heck out of my accessories as to not die from boredom. Not shopping until my allotted purchasing time at the end of the capsule season. Answering any questions you might have about the process. (Although many might already be answered here, here and here.) Most importantly, not spending all morning staring at my closet overwhelmed with mediocre choices. Let’s get this party started.

Has anyone decided to jump on board? Or jump ship?

Winter Capsule Wrap-Up (And Spring Preview!)

sp2

Hi ho, here we go. I am officially transitioning into my Spring capsule (full capsule will be on the blog next week!), but, in the meantime, I’d like to share my official thoughts on my first capsule wardrobe go-around.

Let’s start with some of the issues.

When Weather Rules Your Life

You guys, Oklahoma weather is insane. Completely unpredictable and a real pain in the ass when it comes to choosing from a limited amount of clothing picked for a particular season. If I were still living in Southern California, wearing a capsule would be a total breeze, so you ladies out there, I don’t want to hear any complaints, you hear? Take a gander for yourself.

weather

Depicted here is a random week of weather in March. In Newport Beach, it’s basically sunny and 70 every day. Multiply that by 49 and you have the entire year of weather in Southern California. (I subtracted 3 weeks for those random times when it rains for 5 minutes or the Santa Ana winds blow, which by the way, have nothing on the winds sweeping down the plain, believe you me.)

Now, let’s take a gander at Oklahoma City’s weather. As you can see here, it was freezing and snowing and gusting wind, however, never fear, the weather quickly warmed up to 64 and sunny within a few days. The problem? Well, next week was freezing again. And then it was hot. And then it was cold. Followed by some more hot and cold and rain and wind. You see, Oklahoma has four seasons WITHIN EACH SEASON. I, without a doubt, experienced Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall during the last three months.

This poses a bit of a problem when it comes to wearing a capsule, as you can imagine, and from what I’ve heard, Spring is just as tricky here. (It’s 75 and sunny right now, with wind gusting so hard my trash can just flew down the street.) I somehow will need to prepare myself for every kind of weather imaginable for the next 3 months. It’s gonna be fun.

When Rule-Following Becomes Generalized Stupidity

I had a moment a few weeks ago. I was standing in my closet, getting ready for an event in one of my very few evening/night out options, and remembered I had the Perfect Pair of Shoes for the ensemble I was wearing. That Perfect Pair was sitting in the very back of my closet with the other shoes not deemed worthy of my winter capsule, and I knew they were exactly what I needed to wear.

I owned them. They were within 5 feet of my person. They were the perfect choice. Yet I couldn’t wear them.

At that moment, I believe I said (with great force), “THIS IS SUCH BULLSHIT.”

Because, you guys, it kind of is. I am down with so much of the capsule mentality, but come on now, if you already own a pair of shoes that you really want to wear, then by all means, WEAR THEM.

(I didn’t wear them for I am a Rule Follower. In fact, I never broke the the rules, except for snow and rain boots.)

When Two Weeks Is Simply Not Enough Time To Plan/Purchase For The Next Capsule

Another geography-related issue, living in a city that doesn’t have, how do I phrase this, the best shopping, when I wanted to find a couple of new items for my capsule, I had to do all my shopping online.

Sourcing items + Shipping times + My Newfound Appreciation For Making Sure The Item I Buy Is EXACTLY What I Need = A Lot Of Receiving And Returning

For example, when I finally retired my decade-old trench coat, I wanted to make sure my new one would last another decade. This involved a lot of back-and-forth with retailers, and two weeks just didn’t hack it. (I’m still waiting on a few transactions to go through…anyway, I don’t know how to remedy that exactly but wanted to put it out there. I guess the remedy is to never buy anything again, which, ahem, will not be the path I take.)

When The Laundry Never Seems to Stop

Ladies, you have to stay ON TOP of your laundry. When I had 100+ items of clothing, it was easy to find something to wear, but when you wear the same white button-up and chambray button-up for what seems to be eternity, those puppies are constantly needing to be laundered. Just a thought.

When You Really Think You’ll Wear An Item But Never Do

This is understandable – I mean, one of the best reasons to start a capsule wardrobe is to hone your own unique style, and it obviously takes some time, but it sucks when one of your 37 items gathers dust. My item was a plaid dress. Poor lonely dress. Listen, I like dresses in certain seasons, but I’m not really a dress or skirt wearer in the winter. Yet, I thought it would be downright ridiculous not to include a dress or skirt of some sort for an entire season. Come on. Would I really wear pants every day of the winter season? Why, yes, I did.

Moral of the story – don’t think you need to include an item just to include it. If your capsule seems like it doesn’t have everything it should based on other capsules, don’t fret. Stick with what feels right.

So, yes, there were some issues. Enough to make me bid adieu to the capsule wardrobe concept?

Hell to the no! And here’s why.

1. I still love everything in my closet. (Well, except for the dress.) Am I ready to retire some pieces? Hell yes. But I’ll definitely wear them again when the appropriate season rolls back around.

2. While I definitely struggled with wanting to wear something new once in awhile, I still felt completely put-together and stylish while wearing my capsule outfits. Every day.

3. Getting ready for the morning has become the easiest part of my day. SO simple.

4. Wearing a capsule wardrobe is a great conversation piece. I have had so many discussions about capsule wardrobes with friends and new acquaintances over the past three months.

5. Impulse buying is completely eliminated. First off, you can’t shop for the majority of the challenge, and when time comes to purchase a few items (if need be), you get mega critical about what items deserve your moolah. What a difference, you guys.

6. Like any challenge, seeing it through feels great. Hooray!

So, are you planning a capsule wardrobe or have you been wearing one? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and if you are wearing a capsule and blogging/Instagramming it, leave me a link so I can check it out!

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How To Pack Stylishly For 7 Days in a Carry-On

one-week-pack-carryon

2017 is shaping up to be a year of travel for me. Although I really didn’t plan for it to be, it’s March and I’ve already visited London, Paris, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Kansas City, and Dallas this year. Not to mention the 5 trips planned for the next few months.

Needless to say? It was time to get my packing skills refined to an artform. I’ll never forget driving to the Palm Springs airport earlier in the year with Kristen and Luvvie while they gently mocked me for my large piece of luggage crammed to the max for, ahem, a 4-day trip. (What can I say? This is how my brain works while packing. Maybe yours does too?)

However, I spent quite some time devoted to capsule wardrobes. How could there be such a discrepancy between my day-to-day and my packing practices? I decided I would challenge myself to pack in one carry-on for my recent 7-day trip to London and Paris, and you guys, it was so great. I don’t think I’ll ever check a bag again.

Here’s the thing about packing for London and Paris in the early Spring. You’re essentially going to be outside with a coat on the entire time. So I focused less on my under layers, and more on my outerwear and accessories. This really made packing so much easier. Also, I had access to laundry mid-week, which made it easier to cut down on my tees, pajamas, panties, etc.

First things first. My carry-on itself. I use the Bigger Carry-On by Away Travel. Oh my goodness, I can’t say enough about this suitcase. It has a hard case, a charging port for my devices, looks so stylish, and most importantly fits SO MUCH stuff in it. For real, you guys. Take a look.

This particular size fits all the sizers of major US airlines – I had no problem fitting it in the overhead bins of Delta, Virgin Airlines, and Air France during my trip. However, if you travel budget airlines in other countries or smaller jets, this particular size will probably not work, and you should consider the regular carry-on size from Away. I very rarely fly in those situations, so the bigger size works for me.

As for my packing breakdown, here you go.

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