Many Outfits, Minimal Packing

creating travel outfits

I've done a lot of travelling in the last few years.
See all my travel posts here

That's not a #humblebrag, it's more of a statement to say that I've done this a lot. Trips overseas, overnight stays and everything in between. After all those travels and making so many packing mistakes along the way, I am happy to say that last week's road trip was my crowing achievement in packing.

I had a few requirements - I wanted to pack light since it was only a 4 day getaway, I would be moving around a lot (Ontario to Michigan to Ohio to Pennsylvania to New York and back to Ontario) and the weather was projected to be all over the place in each location (sun & rain mostly), and each day of our trip had site-seeing during the day and evening activities which would mean a change in wardrobe.

The day of our trip I began to piece together items in my existing wardrobe that could be mixed, matched and re-worn over the trip. I figured my best bet was to stick to only a few colours, I choose pink/coral, white and navy. I also decided to only pack one of each different type of item. That meant only one skirt, one pair of shorts, one dress, one pair of jeans, you get the idea.

Now all the pieces I have here are old and most likely not available for sale (I'll include links to similar items where I can) but more what I am hoping to share here is a way to look at your core items and image the different ways you can wear them. I don't exactly live a minimalist lifestyle (I always say more is better!) but I do try and keep my wardrobe to some key basics and a few fun items thrown in to add a little pizzaz.

I do have a colourful wardrobe but when you stand back you start to see a theme emerge. Lots of blue, then white, followed by pink. These core colours make up my summer wardrobe and because the colours match so well, it makes for easy mixing and matching. If you're looking to start or just improve your own summer wardrobe my suggestion is to pick three colours that look great together, and look great on you, and take your wardrobe in that direction (a few suggestions for summer: red, white and navy, pink, turquoise and white, lilac and yellow, orange, blue and off-whites)

What I packed in my weekender bag (Bought mine here, they have a great selection):

Pink/coral coloured jeans
Light sweater with fun design (a sailboat)
Navy and white dot cardigan
Blue and green shift dress
White tank top
Ripped denim shorts
L.L.Bean navy sweater
Striped blue skirt
Underwear, bras
Green statement earrings and my everyday pearl studs

What I packed in a large tote (I swear by this large size, short handle tote in red)
White flip flops
White converse
White walking shoes
Yellow rain coat
Ball cap
Crossbody purse
Small pocket wallet - Little blurb about the pocket wallet. The lines for security checking bags at baseball games, concerts, etc. are always so long. Now I leave my purse and only carry some ID and cash in a pocket and I get to walk right through the lines!

And here is how I mixed all those items:

packing list


packing list

That gave me eight full outfits over our four day adventure and it all fit into a bag I could easily carry!

There were two evening activities, a baseball game and we saw a Sam Smith concert in Detroit. We also had one evening out at a nice restaurant. We got really lucky with the weather in that it only rained once while while driving through Ohio and on our final day. I started the day in the "sunny day" outfit and ended up in the "rainy day" one because the more it rained, the colder it seemed to get. We stopped at a rest station for hot cups of coffee and I changed my pants, shoes and ended up wearing my yellow rain coat the rest of the day. Let's give a big round of applause for nice, clean rest station bathrooms 👏

About my rain coat, it was my favourite thing that I brought back from my trip to Scotland last fall. I get so many compliments on this jacket and I'm always having people tell me that they really need a rain coat. I have to agree! It's been a little over half a year and I can tell you that I have worn this coat so many times, now in three different seasons! I think we forget that we have oddball weather here in North America just like in Europe. We always talk about how it rains so much over in the UK, but has anyone counted how many rainy days we've had the last few months? In the last two weeks alone the entire Northeast has been rained out on a number of occasions. Please friends, find a cute rain coat and umbrella and use them! (I suggest this coat and this umbrella)

What I love about preplanning your travel outfits is that it really takes out the guess work of having to get dressed in the morning. I developed this habit totally out of necessity when my boys were young. We were travelling to California and the kids were old enough to carry their own backpack but not their own luggage. I wanted to keep our two large family suitcases as light as I possibly could so I developed daily "packages". I pre-planned look's for each day and wrapped the kids outfits into bundles. I used thin ribbon and added a label with their monogram and the day they were to wear it. While I'll admit it was a bit of work, it made the mornings of our vacation incredibly easy. Less time spending getting dressed means more time to explore!

Even in doing that I had to bring a lot of clothes with us, which is why I'm just so excited about this packing list! I ended up packing half of what I usually would and I think I got much more use out of my clothing this way!

I'm going to like to some similar items below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on packing and re-wearing clothes while on vacation! Are you in the camp of wearing your shorts and jeans a few times before they need a wash, or will you only wear fresh clothing each day of your trip? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Linking to similar items:

Pink/coral coloured jeans - These are my faves! These are a bit of a splurge, these are only $15!

Light sweater with fun design - Share your love of ice cream, anchors (on major sale!), or bicycles

Navy and white dot cardigan - On sale for less than $20! White with navy dots

Blue and green shift dress - Same brand as mine with slightly different colours, a pretty pink and blue shift

White tank top - This is the exact tank I have, bonus is they are always on sale!

Ripped denim shorts - I swear by these in the boyfriend cut

L.L.Bean navy sweater - I wear this soft, light sweater in all four seasons!

Striped blue skirt - Exact skirt I have. My fave summer purchase!

White flip flops - Love these ones and they're only $20! These have better support for walkingI'm looking to upgrade to these

White converse - Never goes out of style

White walking shoes - I swear by these in the ortholite for walking. These would really show off my love of baseball!

Yellow rain coat - The one and only rain coat I'll need for the rest of my life

Ball cap - Such a fun hat. I wear ball caps for everything from gardening to hiding bad hair days!

Sun hat - Love the sun hats from this brand. I own three different styles from them!

Green statement earrings - Love this brand. They're cheap and light on the ears!

Everyday pearl studs - My exact pair. I've had them for 5 years. I wear them daily and they still look brand new!

Crossbody purse - Mine is Kate Spade and old, here is this year's version. This one is very summery and cute (and under $100!)

Small pocket wallet - I bought mine at Cracker Barrel in-store. You can shop this one online!