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a Buildable Travel Capsule Wardrobe for the Frequent Tourist

Building a Wardrobe
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June 29, 2022

Welcome to a rare Wednesday blog post! In today’s YouTube video I shared a buildable travel capsule wardrobe that is perfect for the frequent tourist. Since I shared so many combinations of the approximately 20 pieces I shared, I thought you might enjoy being able to pin each of those outfits to your Pinterest boards or save them to your phone. So, voila! But first let’s check out the components of our travel capsule. And let me explain a few things I neglected to mention in the video.

Buildable Travel Capsule Wardrobe for the Frequent Tourist Cover

The travel capsule wardrobe I shared today is decidedly casual but includes the necessary elements for elevating your looks quite easily. As glamorous as I may dream of my travels being, the truth is I’m a rather casual tourist. I like to feel very comfortable while I participate in a walking tour, amble through a museum or hop on and off a tour bus. But I also want to look pulled together and a little stylish. That’s why I suggest the following when putting together your own capsule wardrobe for travel:

  • Include a cohesive collection of neutrals. These will automatically make you look more elevated than colors will. You absolutely do not have to go with neutrals, but in today’s fashion climate neutrals translate more elevated. It’s just a fact.
  • Ninety-five percent of your wardrobe should be solids. If you love prints, add one or two in a dress or top. But they’re much more limiting and less chic generally.
  • Pack footwear and clothing that is comfortable but also in the best quality you can budget for. Quality shows, and it translates as more chic.
  • Choose your accessories wisely and intentionally. Use accessories such as a handbag, scarf, wrap, hat, sunglasses and/or jewelry to change the overall vibe of your outfits. Don’t pack many, but make them impactful.
  • Look for comfortable garments like the ones I’ve shown here that feel like athleisure but do not necessarily look like workout clothing. So no leggings or tights as pants. (Europeans especially are not wearing activewear as street clothes.)
Buildable Travel Capsule Wardrobe for the Frequent Tourist
ribbed polo // boxy henley (mine is white) // Destinations layer tank (not shown in video) // avenue tee // levitate poplin tank // on the go polo // Urbanite textured dress (also in other colors here) // sundown sweatshirt II // seasoft v-neck sweatshirt // run with it jacket // oversized cashmere wrap // organic cotton open weave scarf (another nice option & a more economical option) // the wristlet // excursion waistbag // New Balance shoes // Rothy’s Sneakers (more economical options) // reNew sport sandal // Tory Burch Miller Cloud sandals (more economical option) // Destinations fit & flare dress (or L.L.Bean dress) // Ally pumps (Use code KAYHEELS for $40 off first pair of heels) // seasoft straight pant in abalone grey // seasoft straight pant in black // Brooklyn ankle pant // Talbots travel pant (40% off today!)

I’ve been wearing the pieces shown above on repeat for the past few weeks. I wanted to test them out and make sure they really feel great and look chic. And I am truly in love with these clothes. If you’ve been around Dressed for My Day long, you know I love wearing neutrals anyhow. And this travel capsule wardrobe gave me such a great excuse to live in them even in the summer. I can vouch for every piece!

You can shop all of these pieces at the bottom of this blog post. They are affiliate links, so I potentially earn a commission when you shop through them, but at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my work by shopping my links.

A Few Changes I Made Due to Availability

I did, however, make a few changes in the graphics above based on item availability. My beige ribbed polo shirt that I showed in the video and the following photos is no longer available. So I swapped in this ribbed polo top from the same retailer. This ribbed polo fits very close to the body true to size or size up for a looser fit. I wear my TTS medium. It comes in white, black, violet and baby blue. It’s very comfortable.

Also my black L.L.Bean dress is going fast (as it did last year) and is only available in a few sizes. So I added the Destinations fit & flare dress from Coldwater Creek’s travel collection in the graphic above. I also added their Destinations layer tank in ivory. It’s also available in black. These are the only two items in the graphic above that I do not yet own and have not tried on. But they’re on their way to me now! You can check out more of Coldwater Creek’s Destinations travel collection for additional items.

Finally, I did want to point out that in the graphic above my white henley tee is in camel. I just couldn’t get a photo of the white tee, but they do still have them.

Watch the Video

If you haven’t yet watched the Buildable Travel Capsule Wardrobe for the Frequent Tourist, be sure to watch that now. It’s packed full of helpful tips and ideas. Plus you can see how these garments move with me. Share it with your friends on Facebook or through an email, too. And did you know you can also pin the videos to your Pinterest boards?

Remember, these are just suggestions meant to give you an idea of how to put together a versatile, mix-and-match travel capsule wardrobe. The garments and accessories very much reflect my personal style, which is evolving into a somewhat classic minimalist style essence. But you would want to select similar items in styles that resonate with you. If these resonate, great! But if not, that’s perfectly understandable. I encourage you to put together a similar number of pieces (or fewer) that would help you build comfortable, functional and great looking outfits that you could tour the town in.

And that reminds me…this particular wardrobe is very much for the tourist. This is not a travel capsule for a cruise or a resort vacation. These clothes are meant to combine into outfits that are suitable for walking cobbled streets, climbing stairs, dining outdoors or in, perusing art galleries and museums, meandering through city markets and even peddling through the countryside.

Let’s check out the outfits I created!

Outfits from the Travel Capsule Wardrobe for the Frequent Tourist

Please find all shopping links above in the caption of the capsule graphic or below in the shopping widget following the post. I’m only adding items that are not included in the captions.

Seasoft Pants and Henley Tee for Travel
watch (use code KAYHRMS for 15% off at Nordgreen)

White and black look so chic and classy.

with a jacket

This run with it jacket fits so very comfortably and has thumbholes, too. Yes, it’s a running jacket, but you absolutely can wear it with other things and it’s perfect for vacation.

Brooklyn Pants with White Henley

These Brooklyn ankle pants come in a lot of other colors, too. They’re lightweight and cool, perfect for summer travel. I’m wearing the 10, so I sized up because they are thin and close fitting. This way they have a looser fit that I’m more comfortable with.

I just swapped in a variety of shoes and bags so you could see how they changed the outfits.

Levitate Tank with Brooklyn Ankle Pants

The levitate poplin tank above also comes in white. So chic! It fits true to size. I’m wearing a medium. The above style is great for breakfast or dinner out. But I traded in walking sneakers and a waistbag and jacket for a day of touring below.

Add a Jacket

And then I swapped in sandals and a cashmere wrap for dinner alfresco.

with a wrap

A lot of these garments are from Athleta. They do a great job with travel and commuter clothes.

Levitate Tank and Seasoft Pants in Black

The seasoft straight pants look a little like cropped joggers, but they are made from a really plush Polyester/Modal/Spandex fabric that is breathable and a little elevated. They have a silky hand.

With a Sweatshirt Draped over Shoulders

I think a sweatshirt is a smart carry-along. You can wear it over your clothes or draped over your shoulders. And these days they are making such nice looking sweatshirts. This seasoft sweatshirt is made in that same silky, breathable Polyester/Modal/Spandex fabric.

Seasoft Separates

The seasoft separates above do come in other colors, but the only two colors that you can put together for a complete set are the black and the green. But I do love these cottage blue seasoft straight pants. But let’s move on to some looks with the abalone grey seasoft straight pants. To me, they really read more like an ecru.

With a Waistbag

I find the seasoft straight pants to run true to size, even a little roomy. I’m wearing a size medium.

With a Jacket

You can wear the excursion waistbag so many ways. I’ve been carrying this bag for a couple of weeks now, and I love just slinging it over my shoulder. But you know as well as I do that sometimes when you’re traveling you just need the security of a “fanny pack!” Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Seasoft Pants and Tee for Touring

I didn’t have the Rothy’s the sneakers in yet when I took these photos and videos. And I forgot about my Sonoma Goods for Life sneakers. So I only showed the J.Crew New Balance sneakers here for my tourist looks. But remember in the video I said it’s smart to take two pairs of good walking shoes on a trip when you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Your feet need to switch out each day. I can highly recommend either of the others.

Pink Sunset Sweatshirt and sunsoft pants

The sundown sweatshirt II above is one of the most comfortable around. Silky soft! And it comes in other colors, too. It runs true to size for a nicely roomy fit.

With a black polo underneath

Again, you can wear the sweatshirt alone or over another shirt. I love it with the collar of a polo poking out. And here I’ve sneaked back in those Brooklyn ankle pants.

Black Polo and Seasoft Pants

The on the go polo has such a great straight and cropped silhouette. Very modern! And easy to wear over higher waisted pants. It’s only available in black and runs true to size. Oh, and the polo is very lightweight and super soft. This is not your 1980s polo.

Black Polo with Cropped Pants

In the look above I’m wearing such comfy separates but I swapped in my black Sarah Flint Sacchetto ballet flats (use code SARAHFLINT-BAKAYH for $50 off your first purchase) along with a cashmere wrap for a dressier look that would work nicely for dinner out.

Avenue Tee with Seasoft Pants

And then, for another day of sightseeing, swap in the avenue tee. The avenue tee features a Supima Cotton/Spandex/Polyester blend fabric with XT2® Anti-Odor Technology™, which Athleta claims eliminates odor without the chemicals for as long as the garment lasts. It also comes in white and two other colors.

Brooklyn Ankle Pants and Sweatshirt

Yet another casual look for touring. I really wish I’d swapped in either my Rothy’s the sneakers or my Sonoma Goods for Life slip ons.

Travel Pants from Talbots

And that segues us into these Talbots travel pants. I purchased these in the fall and traveled in them for several trips. They are great for travel but then you can wear them like regular pants once you “get there.” They sold out last fall and have restocked. I think these are such a great investment for the frequent traveler.

Here are those same travel pants more dressed up. Oh, and the Talbots travel pants are 40% off right now. They run true to size.

Travel Pants Dressed up

And then here they are again. Remember, my ribbed polo top is sold out. I think most of you bought one. Or two! But you could swap in some other slightly elevated top for a similar look. The key is to include pieces that pack down nicely and keep their shape.

travel pants

It’s so easy to create a more elevated look from the simplest pieces when you carry along the right accessories. You certainly don’t have to include a pair of pumps or other dress shoes in travel capsule. But they may come in handy for nice dinners out or a performance such as concert or ballet. The shoes above are actually these Sam Edelman D’Orsay pumps, which are 46% off.

Black Dress from L.L. Bean

I wish I’d gotten a photo of this black dress from L.L. Bean without the belt bag. It’s actually a very flattering and pretty dress. Alas it is sold out in some sizes, so I included the Coldwater Creek Destinations fit and flare dress in the graphic above. It’s on its way to me and I anticipate it working nicely. They also have a short sleeved Destinations dress.

Urbanite Textured Dress

But what I really love is this urbanite textured dress. And it’s about 40% off, too. This dress is made from a stretchy, soft, lightweight fabric perfect for travel.

Urbanite Dress

I’m wearing my TTS medium and it is quite roomy. But I’m not sure I’d want to size down. It fits just right in the sleeves, which is an area I sometimes have problems with.

Urbanite Dress

My urbanite textured dress features beige pinstripes. But you can also get the urbanite dress in solid black, vineyard green or quartz pink, but at full price. The dresses are available in a full range of sizes from xxs to 3x, and in limited petite and tall sizes.

Black and Abalone Grey

Well, I thought I was through and then I found another outfit or two. I think those slides above are worth mentioning. I’ve been wearing those Naturalizers and my birchwood pair on repeat this summer. They are so extremely comfortable. They’d make great “camp shoes” for your walking vacation.

Okay, enough said! Especially if you watched the video, too. Ha! Let me know if you have any questions. And remember, you can shop through the photos below, too. Happy travels!

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Blessed for My Day

Sometimes we think we’re waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers, but really He’s waiting oh so patiently on us. He’s waiting for us to allow our hearts to change, to let go, to trust Him, to obey. Don’t you find that more often than not your prayers don’t necessarily change things as much as they change you? Maybe that is what God is doing when He seems to be delaying…he’s changing you.

Today as you pray that prayer again…because you absolutely should persevere in prayer…ask the Lord if He is also waiting to change something in you. Give Him permission to do a good work in you. Allow Him to examine your heart and mind to see if there is any hurtful way He needs to correct. And then be willing to move forward with Him.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. ~ 2 Peter 3:9

xoxo, Kay
Shop the Post
Oversized Cashmere Wrap
Slip-On Shoes
Linen Blend Scarf
Organic Cotton Open Weave Scarf
Airy Linen Gauze Scarf
New Balance x J.Crew Sneakers
The ReNew Sport Sandal
The Wristlet
The Sneaker
Vintage Rib Polo
Boxy Supima Henley
Destinations Fit-and-Flare Dress
Destinations Seamed Maxi Skirt
Destinations Lantern-Leg Crops
Destinations Layer Tank
Destinations Botanical Dress
Run With It Jacket
Avenue Tee
Levitate Poplin Tank
Brooklyn Ankle Pant
Seasoft V-Neck Sweatshirt
Urbanite Textured Dress
Sundown Sweatshirt
Seasoft Straight Pant
Seasoft Straight Pant
Excursion Waist Bag
Black On the Go Polo
Miller Cloud Sandals in Spark Gold/Natural
Black Travel Pants
Slide Sandals
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9 thoughts on “a Buildable Travel Capsule Wardrobe for the Frequent Tourist

  1. You look lovely in all of these clothes! But this wardrobe is not intended for summer though, is it? At least in eastern North Carolina, where I live, I would not dream of wearing a sweatshirt, esp with a polo under it. Or a wrap. Typical summer days here are in the 90s with high humidity. 😩 My usual clothes in summer are short sleeved shirts with shorts or capris. Love your posts!

    1. Hi Linda, I put the travel wardrobe together with no particular place in mind…and everywhere all at the same time. It’s for travel. So sometimes you do indeed go places that have cool nights or mornings. When we traveled to the Pacific Northwest several times I was always surprised at how cold it was in June and even July. They have hot days, too, but they’re prone to hit cool spells. So these are pieces you can layer on and off as needed. Pack what you need!

  2. Nice travel outfits, but with the price of gas right now and things that are going on in our lives personally, I am not sure if we will be going on vacation
    this year. Really nice BFMD though. Really fits in with our personal life right now. Bless you.

  3. Wonderful video. Even for a camping wardrobe. After unpacking the camper I realized I packed too much. Even though I have the space it was a lot of back and forth to the house with items. LOL

    The Eileen Fisher scarf would that work with jeans? It looks like a dusty blue? It is on sale!

    Thanks Kay

  4. LOVE the Talbots travel pants!! I shop Talbots frequently and would never have seen them but for your recommendation! Looking forward to checking out some of these items also! Thanks so much Kay for “test driving” all these items for us. It makes shopping for me so easy!

  5. Kay, thank you for all the work you put into this most useful video and blog. It has really inspired me to build a travel wardrobe in fabrics that will keep me cool and comfortable depending on the weather and a/c places. BFMD really resonated with me. It was as if you had written it just for me. Thank you.

  6. Thanks so much, Kay! We are planning our first trip to Spain and France in the fall. We are not regular travelers but this will be a once in a lifetime trip for our granddaughter’s Christening in France. This has helped me so much. Any suggestions for a dress for morning Mass service? You and I have very similar body type and style. I have a classic navy street length lace. Thank you again for putting this together. Love it.

  7. I love everything! We’re going to Europe in August and we’ll have warm days/cool nights. I’ve been looking for a travel jacket and a casual bag that isn’t tiny. Your picks were great- and I love your color palette too. Thanks for doing such a thorough job on this blog post and video!

@dressed_4_my_day