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Describe your capsule wardrobe!


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For all of us who aim to pack light (or at least 'lighter'!) and are planning a capsule wardrobe, describe it!!

 

Let us know where you are travelling, the season and weather you expect, and then how many pieces you are taking, colour scheme, accessories and how it will all work together. I really find visuals of capsule wardrobes on pinterest helpful in planning my own clothes, and love to hear what other people find worked and didn't work.

 

For me, the last time we went to Europe we travelled for a month, including a 12 night cruise on NCL from Venice to Barcelona. I packed one carry on suitcase and even then, with the little I packed, there were some items I wore A LOT and others I thought "why did I bring this!?" and they remained in my suitcase or were only worn once. I am trying to use this experience to refine my wardrobe for our upcoming trip in July.

 

I'll start us off in another post, but please join in and give details (colour, brand, patterns, etc etc) :cool:

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We are a family of four, travelling to Europe in July for 30 days. Our trip includes 4 nights in Rome, an 11 night cruise through the Adriatic, a week in the south of France and a week in Paris. Based on my last experience travelling to Europe in the summer, I plan on HOT HOT HOT weather, little to no rain, and lots of walking. I plan to wash my clothes (utilizing the ship's laundry special, and then myself post-cruise as our apartment rentals include washers). My suitcase is around 21 inches and I will be taking a large'ish tote bag and a smaller purse as well.

 

I find I get really, really warm in hot weather (and last time the temps were in the 90s most of the time) so I tend to feel better in dresses and skirts, so these will make up the base of the majority of my outfits. Here is what I have planned so far (this likely WILL change!!)...my thoughts on base colours are black, white, gray and then an accent colour (haven't decided yet).

 

3-4 dresses, generally solid colours either black, grey or a colour. I tend to stick to dresses that are comfy and cute, knee length, with a sleeve if possible. Like a wrap dress or travel dress (I bought a cute grey one from Toad & Co, I have a shift dress in light black cotton that can be rinsed and hung to quickly dry, anything light, easy and cute to wear.

 

2 - 3 skirts - 2 knee length, 1 maxi

 

5 tops - black tee, white tee, white button up, 2 patterned shirts

 

2 tank tops - solid colour

 

1 pair jeans - stretchy, can dress up or down, dark colour

 

1 cardigan - can wear over dresses to dinner etc.

 

1 pair joggers - not sure if khaki or black, will wear on the plane

 

1 pair capris - light, narrow leg, easy to wash and wear for sightseeing. I *might* add in or swap this with a pair of linen pants that are light and comfy but still look dressy.

 

3 pairs shoes - sneakers for the plane, croc flip flops (super comfy, black) and good/cute walking sandals.

 

Sun hat, cover up (I have a maxi dress that will work), bathing suit, scarf/pashmina and of course underclothes and nighties (2)

 

Basically I plan to wear dresses as my complete outfit most days, with skirts/pants and the tops to mix and match.

 

I will stick to solid colours and small patterns. Last time I took a couple of tops that were trendy at the time but when I pulled them out to wear them in Europe I felt they were just too busy and didn't wear them.

 

I also plan to use packing cubes to (hopefully) compress things and have enough room.

 

Wish me luck!!

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Good luck to everyone!

Please check out the size & weight restrictions of your airline. Lufthansa allows only 17.5 pounds for a carry-on. They DO go around with a scale & weigh the carry-ons as the passengers wait to board the plane!

Also, remember that suitcases are measured from FLOOR TO HANDLE by the airlines, but from BOTTOM OF THE CASE TO TOP OF THE CASE by the manufacturers who do NOT include wheels & handles in their measurements. Especially with 360 wheels which protrude from the bottom of the case for a couple of inches, this can make a difference at the airport!

 

I travel with my grown daughter. We bring one carry-on & a large Pacsafe purse each. Here is our packing list:

 

Our Generic Packing List

 

 

Length: __ Days (__ Travel)

Weather: °- ° (___inches rain)

Locations: City, Country, etc

Activities: Expected Activities

Colors: -

Travel Outfit:- Wrinkle-proof: can be lighter weight. Black knit pants, jacket. Black or color tee shirt. Black cashmere sweater (airports are always cold). Waterproof hooded jacket (summer) or coat with zip liner. Black shoes & socks. Black pashmina.

 

 

Pants: #1 Jeans or other pants.

 

 

Capris and/or Skirts: #3 We wear Macabi Skirts which can be made into "pants" by hitching them up. We usually skip the purses on cruises because they have big pockets including a zip pocket. They dry so fast! Vendors don't bother us on shore days because we aren't toting purses! Black for evening & day. Blue or beige or grey (pick 2) for day.

 

Long Sleeve shirts: #3-5 Cool weather only. Black, beige, grey. 1 or 2 other colors/prints. Tees and/or travel shirts

 

 

ShortSleeve Tops: #3-5 Black, beige, grey. 1 or 2 colors/ prints. Tees.

 

 

Tank Tops: #3-5 Same as above. Tees or sleeveless travel shirts. Summer only. Cold weather, 1 black tank with lace to wear as layer or as dressy top with black skirt.

Evening Gowns: #2 LOVE to dress up! One long evening gown & one cocktail dress each. They roll up small! Cruises only!

Shoes: #2 In addition to the comfy loafers worn on the plane, 1 pair walking sandals; 1 pair dressy shoes/sandals. Black.

 

 

PJ: 1 set -- style & weight depending on weather.

 

 

Undies: Of course! Longies in the winter!

 

 

Also:1 one-piece swimsuit. 1 tankini set to be worn with skirt on shore days when there's a tour with beach at the end.

 

 

Accessories: 1 cheap but cute necklace or earrings for dress up nights. 1 or 2 scarves. Folding sun hat. Folding fan.

 

 

Grooming: Toothbrush & paste, hair brush, etc etc

 

 

Other:

Glasses

Watch

Sunglasses, etc.

Also charcoal pills for food poisoning, essential oils, OTC meds

Make-up

I also write up what to wear on a daily basis for tours (not as necessary for a cruise), but if you're interested, here's what I took for a tour of Russia a couple of years ago.

Day by Day Russia (Packing)

Length: 10 Days (4+ Travel)

Weather: 50°- 75° (3.5 inches rain - 40% chance)

Locations: City

Activities: Museums, Palaces, River, Train

Colors: S:Black & blue V:Black & brights

 

DAY 1, Thursday - Flight

Travel clothes

 

DAY 2, Friday - Moscow. Go to hotel. On your own. PM briefing by Tour Manager then Welcome Dinner w/champagne toast. Meals: D

Travel clothes -- Change after LONG flights. Hotel looks rather grand. Great pool=swimsuit. Something nice for dinner..

 

DAY 3, Saturday - Kremlin, Armory Museum, Arbat Center

Go in cathedral. Go in Armory Museum. Walk Alexander Gardens -Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Go to Red Square. GUM.Shop & eat on your own. Arbat Street, artisans. PM on your own. Meals: B

Layers.

 

DAY 4, Sunday - In AM, Tretyakovsky State Gallery. Lunch included.

Optional: Metro & Moscow by Night (PM) Departs at 8:30 pm. 3 hours. Meals: B,L

Layers bright top

 

DAY 5, Monday - High Speed Day Train to St. Petersburg. Dormition of Theotokos.

Welcome Dinner.Borscht, fresh-baked cakes,Chicken Kiev & vodka. Meals: B,D

Travel clothes. Red top for Borscht en route to hotel from train station!

 

DAY 6, Tuesday - Tour of St. Petersburg, Drive. Visit Peter Paul Fortress.

PM: Optional: Russian Folklore. Departs at 8:15 pm. 2 hours. Meals: B

Layers

 

DAY 7, Wednesday - Tour Hermitage Museum, Winter Palace. On your own.

Optional: Catherine's Palace at Pushkin (PM)*Departs at 1:00 pm. 5 hours.

Optional: Cruise on the Rivers and Canals (PM)* Departs at 8:30 pm. 2.5 hours.

Meals: B

LONG day! Little time between opts. Layers. Waterproof layers for cruise.

 

DAY 8, Thursday - AM Optional. Peterhof Tour Departs at 8:30 am. 4 hours.

PM. Yusupov Palace, Farewell Dinner Meals: B, D

Layers. Two really grand palaces. Dress a bit nicer?

 

DAY 9, Friday - Fly to NYC. Meals: B

Travel clothes

Day 10, Sat. - Fly home

Travel clothes

 

General rules: Weather changes & rain possible always.

Scarf & covered for churches.

 

MOST IMPORTANT: BRING ONE THING HEAVIER & ONE THING LIGHTER THAN YOU THINK YOU'LL NEED! It may be the only thing you wear the whole trip!

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Here's what I packed for New Zealand/Australia, for almost 4 weeks. We hit weather from freezing to really hot. It's pretty much the same things I pack for Europe, with a few modifications

 

-2 pairs black leggings that hit above the ankle, I can wear them with boots on cold days, & birks on warmer days.

-1 pair skinny jeans

-1 pair black linen shorts

-1 pair khaki linen shorts

-1 longish skirt

 

-2 black tank tops (trapeze style, lululemon)

-1 white tank top

-3 long tab sleeved sheer cotton/linen blend blouses, usually with sleeves rolled up, 1 pale pink, 1 blue, 1 white

-2 black short sleeved tee shirts (sol angeles)

-1 black long sleeved tee

-1 khaki cargo type jacket

-1 beige loose long sweater

-1 cream short trench raincoat

-1 grey cashmere poncho (i think they call it a ballerina poncho)

-1 linen short dress (brought for dinner on board, didn't need it)

 

-6 or 7 undies & bras, 2 plus sized tank tops for night gowns

-1 swimsuit, 1 coverup, 1 pr rubber flip flops (actually bought the flip flops in NZ, threw them away in Australia before we flew home)

-1 yoga/gym tank & running shorts

-1 pair tall brown boots

-1pair birkenstocks

-1 pair tennis shoes

-1 brown leather backpack

-1 black small cross body bag (bagallini)

-2 hats

-4 pairs of socks (I ended up buying 3 more pair in NZ))

-2 infinity scarves, 2 square silk scarves

-1 pair black gloves

-2 pairs of ray bans (plus I bought another pair in Australia, the exchange rate was great at the time)

-1 necklace (also bought 2 more necklaces & a pair of jade earrings in NZ)

 

I also bought (but did not wear) another cashmere poncho in New Zealand (blue) & a black tech/wool vest in New Zealand, I'll wear those on our trip next year.

 

I can pack everything in a carry on, but on this trip we each checked a 24" bag & a small over the handle bag (kipling) we flew non stop from Lax to AKL so I felt pretty comfortable about our bags arriving, & my little bag of toiletries was packed inside my suitcase (blowdryer, hairbrush, curling iron, little usb travel fan, a little baggie of makeup.) My black over the handle duffle has my pillow, meds, kindle & charger, iPhone charger, travel books & maps, & one change of clothes & my bras & undies, just in case....

 

This is how i dress at home too, I actually don't own anything that's not black, grey, ivory, khaki, beige or blue, just makes life easier, for me at least.

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This is roughly what I packed for 10 days in Italy last fall, and will pack again for the same trip this year. 7 nights in a Tuscan villa plus 2 nights pre-villa and 1 night post-villa in Rome. Our sightseeing does not involve extensive walking as we've done the trip multiple times, and spend a lot of time just visiting wineries or strolling around small villages for lunch.

 

Travel outfit: black leggings, black cap-sleeved tunic tee, black wrap cardigan

Bottoms: 1 pr. dark skinny jeans, 1 pr. black cropped pants, 1 black skort

Tops: grey cap-sleeved tunic tee, B&W striped sleeveless, black tank, charcoal long-sleeved tee, lightweight 3/4 sleeve light grey crew-necked sweater

Misc: 1 black t-shirt dress, jean jacket, 1 bathing suit (villa has a hot tub), 1 extra bra, underwear, loose fitting yoga pants for lounging around the villa, 1 scarf that had some bright colors for a pop of color, villa and hotels provided robes

Shoes: 1 pr. flat sandals (wore on travel day) and 1 pair black wedges (could have left at home, only wore 1 night to dinner in Rome and the 1 day to a winery, might just take a 2nd pair of sandals this year)

 

Although this was only a 10 day trip, it's roughly what I'd pack for a trip of several weeks or a month as well; I don't have an issue with doing some laundry on a long trip. It wasn't a cruise, so no worries about dressing for dinner, although with what I packed, I had plenty of options for casual dinners if we HAD been on a cruise, or combined the trip with a cruise. If including a cruise, I'd probably add 1 maxi dress, and maybe 1 or 2 dressier tops to pair with the jeans/black pants here and there, and would definitely keep the wedges instead of a 2nd pair of sandals.

Days were typically cool in the morning but warm later on, evenings again a little cooler and largely spent relaxing on villa patio around fire pit.

With 2 sleeveless tops, 2 short sleeved tops 1 long sleeved tee and 1 3/4 sleeve light sweater I had plenty of layering options to pair with either the jean jacket or wrap cardigan. I took my all-weather jacket but never wore it and will skip it this year. We've rarely encountered rain and if I have to buy an umbrella on the spot I'll do so. If it was a longer trip with more questionable weather I'd keep the jacket in the mix and eliminate the jean jacket if necessary.

Everything was black/white/gray so mixed and matched easily.

 

For warmer days, I had the option of the t-shirt dress, or the skort or cropped pants with sleeveless or short-sleeved tops. Sweater or jean jacket if needed in early morning.

For cooler days I had the jeans or cropped pants with long sleeved tee or light sweater, or could wear leggings with the t-shirt dress or a tunic top, and add a sweater or jacket.

 

All of this fit into a 20" suitcase, and I also took a tote bag styled purse, and packed a small cross body purse for sightseeing. The suitcase was nowhere near the weight limit, and has expansion zippers, so if I added a few things I could just expand the suitcase a little and would still have been under the weight limit. 1 20" suitcase and a tote made it very easy to get through airports and on and off trains, which we did several times going to/from Rome/villa.

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Thanks everyone -- this is really helpful. :) I've been mostly packed for a TA to Barcelona this Sunday and we will be in Spain and France for a week post disembarkation. I've been toying with actually removing some items from the suitcase. After reading here, I will definately do so. My capsule is mostly black and white with some color pops. I will be taking 6 scarves and wraps to change things up and add variety. Also lots of costume jewelry. Taking two pairs of shoes in addition to those I am wearing and they are all very comfy and made for walking. I know from experience that I will not wear a few items so working to eliminate now to make train travel from Barcelona as easy as possible. ;)

 

This is roughly what I packed for 10 days in Italy last fall, and will pack again for the same trip this year. 7 nights in a Tuscan villa plus 2 nights pre-villa and 1 night post-villa in Rome. Our sightseeing does not involve extensive walking as we've done the trip multiple times, and spend a lot of time just visiting wineries or strolling around small villages for lunch.

 

Travel outfit: black leggings, black cap-sleeved tunic tee, black wrap cardigan

Bottoms: 1 pr. dark skinny jeans, 1 pr. black cropped pants, 1 black skort

Tops: grey cap-sleeved tunic tee, B&W striped sleeveless, black tank, charcoal long-sleeved tee, lightweight 3/4 sleeve light grey crew-necked sweater

Misc: 1 black t-shirt dress, jean jacket, 1 bathing suit (villa has a hot tub), 1 extra bra, underwear, loose fitting yoga pants for lounging around the villa, 1 scarf that had some bright colors for a pop of color, villa and hotels provided robes

Shoes: 1 pr. flat sandals (wore on travel day) and 1 pair black wedges (could have left at home, only wore 1 night to dinner in Rome and the 1 day to a winery, might just take a 2nd pair of sandals this year)

 

Although this was only a 10 day trip, it's roughly what I'd pack for a trip of several weeks or a month as well; I don't have an issue with doing some laundry on a long trip. It wasn't a cruise, so no worries about dressing for dinner, although with what I packed, I had plenty of options for casual dinners if we HAD been on a cruise, or combined the trip with a cruise. If including a cruise, I'd probably add 1 maxi dress, and maybe 1 or 2 dressier tops to pair with the jeans/black pants here and there, and would definitely keep the wedges instead of a 2nd pair of sandals.

Days were typically cool in the morning but warm later on, evenings again a little cooler and largely spent relaxing on villa patio around fire pit.

With 2 sleeveless tops, 2 short sleeved tops 1 long sleeved tee and 1 3/4 sleeve light sweater I had plenty of layering options to pair with either the jean jacket or wrap cardigan. I took my all-weather jacket but never wore it and will skip it this year. We've rarely encountered rain and if I have to buy an umbrella on the spot I'll do so. If it was a longer trip with more questionable weather I'd keep the jacket in the mix and eliminate the jean jacket if necessary.

Everything was black/white/gray so mixed and matched easily.

 

For warmer days, I had the option of the t-shirt dress, or the skort or cropped pants with sleeveless or short-sleeved tops. Sweater or jean jacket if needed in early morning.

For cooler days I had the jeans or cropped pants with long sleeved tee or light sweater, or could wear leggings with the t-shirt dress or a tunic top, and add a sweater or jacket.

 

All of this fit into a 20" suitcase, and I also took a tote bag styled purse, and packed a small cross body purse for sightseeing. The suitcase was nowhere near the weight limit, and has expansion zippers, so if I added a few things I could just expand the suitcase a little and would still have been under the weight limit. 1 20" suitcase and a tote made it very easy to get through airports and on and off trains, which we did several times going to/from Rome/villa.

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Thanks for all the detailed replies! You've given me some really helpful ideas of how I might change things up a bit.

We are taking the train in Europe between cities so don't have to worry about suitcase size/weight like we did last time we flew EasyJet. I think the most helpful thing to me will be laying everything out and seeing how it all looks together, and then visualizing all of the ways I can mix and match.

 

I find the most perplexing part to be my shoes honestly. Finding the perfect sandals that would be comfortable, sturdy enough for lots of walking and also look cute with skirts and dresses......I cannot wear socks and sneakers in hot summer weather. I'd be miserable. So sandals it is, just have to find the right ones!

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Thanks for all the detailed replies! You've given me some really helpful ideas of how I might change things up a bit.

We are taking the train in Europe between cities so don't have to worry about suitcase size/weight like we did last time we flew EasyJet. I think the most helpful thing to me will be laying everything out and seeing how it all looks together, and then visualizing all of the ways I can mix and match.

 

I find the most perplexing part to be my shoes honestly. Finding the perfect sandals that would be comfortable, sturdy enough for lots of walking and also look cute with skirts and dresses......I cannot wear socks and sneakers in hot summer weather. I'd be miserable. So sandals it is, just have to find the right ones!

I wear Tevas year round --great for walking. Cute enough for me.

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My girlfriend had a super cute pair of Tevas that she bought a few years ago at Costco, but I can't seem to find anything similar! What particular pair do you wear?

 

Found these ones that I like the style of and I think they would work well with dresses and skirts

ref=cts_sh_2_vtp?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2897711222&pf_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&pd_rd_wg=GTXk6&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B01JTRLXLY&pd_rd_w=7GNdk&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&_encoding=UTF8&th=1

https://www.amazon.com/Teva-Womens-Ysidro-Stitch-Sandal/dp/B01JIPID9W/ref=cts_sh_2_vtp?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2897711222&pf_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&pd_rd_wg=GTXk6&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B01JTRLXLY&pd_rd_w=7GNdk&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&_encoding=UTF8&th=1

Edited by sweetpea222
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These are my casual walking sandal.

 

https://www.sofftshoe.com/Womens/All-Styles/Mirabelle/Luggage/1288705&refURL=GoogleBase?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=190135151903&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhJzgo_XI1QIVAw5pCh2xegT8EAQYASABEgJkOPD_BwE

 

I bought these because we live downtown and I wanted something that could hold up to a lot of walking but still look nice.

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3 different sandals I have walked miles in, and have worn with skirts; (my feet are long, narrow, and flat)

 

https://www.zappos.com/p/naot-dorith-gold-grecian-leather/product/7614938/color/212431

 

https://www.zappos.com/p/taos-footwear-gift-2-pewter/product/8831230/color/552

 

https://www.zappos.com/p/chaco-rowan-rust/product/8982611/color/607

 

None of these have been a perfect match for all of my summer clothes. But they are all neutral enough that it doesn't matter. I just take one pair of these when I travel, not all three.

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We are taking the train in Europe between cities so don't have to worry about suitcase size/weight l

 

I find the most perplexing part to be my shoes honestly. Finding the perfect sandals that would be comfortable, sturdy enough for lots of walking and also look cute with skirts and dresses.

 

Just remember that when you take the train, you don't check luggage like you do on airlines....you carry your own luggage on and off the train, which usually includes going up 3 or so steps to board and vice versa. It can be difficult to do so if you have A) more than 1 bag or B) a huge suitcase. You'll thank yourself for limiting bags to 1 that you can easily lift and carry up some steps, plus maybe a shoulder tote.

 

As for comfortable sandals, I have both plantar fasciitis and fallen arches. I have fallen in love with the Vionic shoe brand. I have 2 different pair of Vionic flat sandals that are super comfy for walking. They have good cushioning under the entire foot and good arch support. One is a thong style. I can wear them for hours but know some people dislike that style. The other pair has a full strap around the ankle. They have neutral colored cork straps and decorative metallic medallions. i.e. they are really comfy for walking all day but also look very cute with skirts, dresses etc. so I can wear them to dinner as well. They have lots of other cute styles as well.

 

 

https://www.shoes.com/vionic-with-orthaheel-technology-miami-thong-sandal/826121/1804068

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My girlfriend had a super cute pair of Tevas that she bought a few years ago at Costco, but I can't seem to find anything similar! What particular pair do you wear?

 

Found these ones that I like the style of and I think they would work well with dresses and skirts

ref=cts_sh_2_vtp?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2897711222&pf_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&pd_rd_wg=GTXk6&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B01JTRLXLY&pd_rd_w=7GNdk&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&_encoding=UTF8&th=1

https://www.amazon.com/Teva-Womens-Ysidro-Stitch-Sandal/dp/B01JIPID9W/ref=cts_sh_2_vtp?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2897711222&pf_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&pd_rd_wg=GTXk6&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B01JTRLXLY&pd_rd_w=7GNdk&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=3ac8fac1-459a-11e8-a9b5-27c4b5d39a36&_encoding=UTF8&th=1

Remember you are looking for a walking sandal. My favorite for that is the Neota but I'm not sure if it is still produced. The other is the Vera or Tira.

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All cute sandals and look great for walking. Funny thing, those Taos sandals are the exact ones I took last time I went to Europe in 2013 and my daughter (who also wore them on the trip) forgot to pack them in Barcelona so that is where they stayed :( I loved those shoes for walking.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions. Gives me a good place to start.

 

We will be taking one bag, mine is a 21" extremely light carry on. When I was reading reviews on luggage this one was recommended as one of the lightest bags. I will also be trying to pare down my capsule wardrobe so that it isn't too full. Last trip we bought a bag in Paris and filled it with our dirty clothes, and then put the purchases/souvenirs in my carry on to bring home. It worked well for us.

 

Now to find also a tote bag that can double as a beach bag while we're there and isn't just a big gaping pit for all of my things to disappear into while travelling...

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A few years ago, my wife started buying new clothes only in black, white grey and red, now her whole wardrobe are in these colours, so everything goes with everything else. She also buys new things for holiday BUT keeps them for post holiday[new little treats], then takes the old things, like t shirts and undies, with her and leaves them behind. Less washing when returning and more room for purchases!!

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  • 2 months later...

I am getting us ready for our upcoming Alaska cruise in September, and reading this thread and then looking over my last several trips I realized that I have developed a core packing list that I always take with me. I don't always take the same items every trip, but I take something that fits each category. The categories/items are: 1) A black-and-white skirt. 2) A striped T-shirt. 3) A heathered-gray linen long-sleeved button-down shirt. 4)A white top. 5) A patterned top that has black and white in it somewhere. 6) Blue denim bottom--usually jeans, but sometimes shorts or skirt 7) Black pants. 8) A black dressy top. 9) A cardigan sweater. 10) A swimsuit. 11) A sporty top. 12)A coat or jacket.

 

For any trip that is 4 nights or longer, I usually choose a color for the trip, and the rest of the items are in that color theme; the patterned top, the athletic top and the cardigan sweater may fit into the color theme as well. I chose shades of coral for last year's trip to Europe; this past spring I took purple tones, and for Alaska I am packing aqua tones. These colored items usually number about 4-5 pieces, mostly tops but sometimes skirts or dresses, depending on what the trip activities and/or weather will be. The tops might be T-shirts, sweaters, cardigans, etc. If it's going to be very hot

 

Everything goes with everything else. I mix and match as needed for whatever activities are on the the docket.

 

I am plus-sized so I cannot depend on being able to find an emergency replacement if I forget something. I think that's partly why I always pack so that I have options no matter what activity or plan develops, even if it's a short trip.

 

I usually also throw in one piece that is not part of the color scheme at all, to break up the monotony; for Europe it was a baby-blue v-neck pullover sweater; for New York it was a bronze metallic skirt. I haven't decided what the piece will be for Alaska; I usually decide at the last minute depending on my mood.

 

I take 4 pairs of shoes. I keep trying to cut back to three but have yet to succeed. I always take walking shoes, black flats, and flip flops. The fourth pair has been water shoes (protection again sea urchins in Croatia), Toms, sandals, heels...it really varies. But I don't permit myself more than 4 pairs. Shoes take up so much space and weight that I always resent them when they sneak into my suitcase, but somehow I am always glad to have them at destination. So. Yeah. 4 pairs come with me.

But everything fits into the carry-on, or it doesn't come along.

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My feet swell so I do bring more shoes. Summer trips, white Birks &/or Black Birks, water shoes, multicolored Sketcher flats, black wedges for evening & flip flops for pool/cabin.

 

If anyone is looking for Birks, Kohl’s just started carrying a few styles (online only) that are made for Kohls & you can use couponsea84842af3340449381370874d89e4fa.jpg. I got these in black & white (also come in denim blue & bright gold & bright silver)

 

 

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I'm not great at putting together detailed lists, but here are the general categories/number of things I usually pack for cruise travel (my travel is mainly the Mediterranean). My travel usually is usually around two weeks, sometimes a few days more.

 

Warning, I am NOT a dress person. I'm often climbing over rocks and ruins at archaeological sites, so skirts/dresses are not ideal for me.

 

I pack light and when necessary I launder or hand wash items:

 

Warmer weather:

-- 4 pair of lightweight, quick drying capris (2 pair black, 1 navy, 1 taupe). I really like these: https://www.chicos.com/store/product/zenergy+neema+grace+crops/570198056 ; Columbia also has some but they tend to wrinkle more.

 

-- 8 shirts to go with the capris; mostly Pima cotton t-shirts in shirt or 3/4 sleeve lengths. I look for subtle prints (as I have a bad habit of spilling food on myself) but things that will go with more than one color.

 

-- About 4 days' worth of underwear and socks; handwash as needed.

 

-- Two pairs of walking shoes -- it's good to vary your shoes and also I am perpetually afraid that if I only bring one pair something will happen to them. Good shoes are probably THE most important thing on an itinerary that has intensive sightseeing, e.g., Europe. One pair will be a true walking shoe (for ruins), the other will have a bit more of a 'city shoe' look. I don't wear sandals when sightseeing. Have seen too many banged-up feet.

 

-- Two pair of dressy black pants in slightly different styles for evening; one pair will be silk in case I want to get more dressy; the other will probably be Eileen Fisher stretch crepe which travel well and can be dressed up or down.

 

-- One black skirt, not too dressy that can be used for evening casual or if needed for a shore excursion (I'm thinking of the monasteries in Greece where a skirt is required....) I have one from Eileen Fisher in viscose jersey that travels wonderfully and has a foldover waist that lets you adjust the length from below to above knee for versatility.

 

-- 5-6 dressy tops that can be varied by jewelry, scarves, etc. A black shell that is reversible (v neck on one side and rounded on the other) is useful, with a few light gauze toppers or wraps.

 

-- One pair of dressy but comfortable black flats for evening, like these: https://www.colehaan.com/studiogrand-packable-ballet-flat-black-leather-black/W08323.html?dwvar_W08323_color=Black%20Leather-black&dwvar_W08323_width=#cgid=womens_shoes_balletswedges&start=14

 

-- A lightweight and truly packable rain jacket with a functional hood -- not a fan of umbrellas. I've gotten mine from LL Bean for years -- I think I'm on my third one.

 

-- Lightweight sleep shirt or shirt/shorts set, I really like the Soma "Cool Nights" line: https://www.soma.com/store/category/pajama+sets/cat7899277/

 

-- Minimal jewelry; one small black clutch for onboard evenings

 

-- Toss ins: 1 bathing suit, flip-flops, quick drying shorts.

 

 

For colder weather I bring full length pants or maybe 1 pair of ankle length instead of capris; the shirts will be 3/4 and long sleeve.

 

I'll add a cardigan and a lightweight fleece jacket (that can layer under the rain jacket) for warmth

 

I eliminate the bathing suit and shorts and toss in a pair of silk underwear

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Ok, you got me. What is a capsule wardrobe?

I might be able to be of a little help here ReneeFLL.

 

Several years ago I did a dressmaking course during which we had to design a capsule wardrobe. It had to be 7 pieces of clothng that were interchangeable. I chose a print as my main fabric and then used the colours of that print to make items that mixed and matched or blended with it.

 

I chose a sort of aboriginal print and used the various "earth" colours in the print to make a dress, a pair of pants, pair of shorts, 2 tops and also made a shirt and a skirt from the actual print. All of the garments (except the dress) could be interchanged to make about 9 different outfits.

 

 

LOL I wore this wardrobe for 2 summer seasons and always felt well co-ordinated. I now try to do this with my cruising clothes and find I don't overpack - ever. I choose fabrics that can be laundered easily with just a quick schwish over with an iron to keep crisp. Gosh, I'm on holiday - not on display at a fashion parade.

 

 

Remember that you'll probably never see these people again and they certainly won't remember you either so to keep it simple and above all, be comfortable.

 

Happy trails and keep cruising. :)

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I wore the Keen Rose sandal on a western Med cruise with six days precruise in Rome. A sandal but with a covered toe. Very comfy and was great on cobblestones, etc. Looked fine with a skirt.

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I might be able to be of a little help here ReneeFLL.

 

Several years ago I did a dressmaking course during which we had to design a capsule wardrobe. It had to be 7 pieces of clothng that were interchangeable. I chose a print as my main fabric and then used the colours of that print to make items that mixed and matched or blended with it.

 

I chose a sort of aboriginal print and used the various "earth" colours in the print to make a dress, a pair of pants, pair of shorts, 2 tops and also made a shirt and a skirt from the actual print. All of the garments (except the dress) could be interchanged to make about 9 different outfits.

 

 

LOL I wore this wardrobe for 2 summer seasons and always felt well co-ordinated. I now try to do this with my cruising clothes and find I don't overpack - ever. I choose fabrics that can be laundered easily with just a quick schwish over with an iron to keep crisp. Gosh, I'm on holiday - not on display at a fashion parade.

 

 

Remember that you'll probably never see these people again and they certainly won't remember you either so to keep it simple and above all, be comfortable.

 

Happy trails and keep cruising. :)

 

Please come over to share your knowledge of sewing with us on this thread. We would love to hear about what you are making, or have made for your cruise clothes.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=56700810#post56700810

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This is a great thread! Thanks to all who are sharing.

 

I’m a miserable overpacker and when we came home from a cruise just last month, I made myself a promise to pack smarter and lighter for our November cruise.

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