Wardrobe Woes

If I added up all the hours, I’d probably have spent less time coordinating an uncoordinated wardrobe for all the time it’s taken me to create a travel capsule so we don’t have to think about what we’re going to wear. But now that I’ve started….

The capsule principle was born of the idea that having one less thing to think about when we’re travelling would be helpful, and, I’m not going to lie, having colour coordinated photos was also appealing. So, where to start? First, I Googled personalised leisure/travel clothing, no MOQ. I came up with a list of companies including Lands’ End, a U.S. supplier of work uniforms. I know, that sounds horrendous, why on earth would we want to be decked out in workwear when we’re on holiday? Read on for details. Aside from casual wear, workwear and school uniforms, they also provide a monogramming service, just upload your logo and you’re good to go. And we’re not just talking clothing either, there’s other merch than can be personalised; think canvas tote bag, water bottle, luggage tags, hats, sunglasses, slippers….there’s literally nothing you can’t chuck a logo on. And if you’re starting to think this has the potential to get out of hand, you’re right.

But I digress…

In terms of clothing, what I was looking for were pieces that were practical/durable, fashionable, able to be personalised and easily replaced. In terms of durability, clothing had to be wrinkle-free, stain-resistant, UV resistant, moisture-wicking and fast drying. Now the workwear penny drops. You’re also probably thinking, now’s a good time to take fashionable off the list of pre-requisites, but there have been some great pieces to choose from.

I was looking for were pieces that were practical/durable, fashionable, able to personalised and easily replaced. In terms of durability, clothing had to be wrinkle-free, stain-resistant, UV resistant, moisture-wicking and fast drying.

Must-have clothing features

Beyond the obvious practical requirements for clothing when travelling, it’s important to think about colour. What’s the old rule? Two base, one accent? I have thought about it a lot, probably too much but, then again, we have to wear this stuff for the better part of a year so if we don’t love it at the start, we’re never going to. Conclusion, colour palette is important.

Dark colours hide things and light colours lift the mood. Navy is a great base, better than black in my opinion, particularly on children. White also works as a fresh neutral base, but then again, trying to keep it white may mean it’s choice I live to regret. Accent colour was always going to be the hardest. I don’t believe in male or female colours but I wanted to go for a combination that suited us all. In the end, we’ve decided to go with navy/royal blue, white and orange. Grey has also made a limited appearance. In the end, it won’t matter what any of us wears, it’ll work for the occasion and the colours will be complimentary.

The next challenge was choosing how many pieces to pack. The experts will tell you that 15 pieces of clothing is all you need for a long-term vacation so that’s the number we’ve worked towards. Disclaimer, I haven’t included shoes in that list nor each pair of socks or underwear for that matter. Instead, I’ve used it more as a category guide. You also have to take into account access to washing facilities. I’d rather lug a heavier bag with multiple changes of hiking shirts and underwear than stand at a sink scrubbing every night just so I can boast we’re “carry on only”.

Let’s talk categories

In terms of clothing categories, there’s the obvious hiking shorts/t-shirts combination, a waterproof jacket, a going out dress and two casual outfits. A pair of jeans is obligatory as is a casual jacket/jumper. Then there’s swimmers, sarong/kaftan and pjs. You can see how quickly you get to 15. My biggest weakness is shoes. Again, those pesky packing experts will tell you three pairs is all you need; trainers/sneakers, a nice pair of sandals/loafers and a pair of flip flops. The boys can almost get away with that, my daughter too but there’s no way I can manage with three. So far, I’m at five pairs and we’re still three months out. My motto is, if it fits and your bag is underweight, take it. What about shopping? I’m really going to try not to. It’s timely, costly and once I start I won’t be able to stop. That said, I am allowing myself to look, photograph and covet all I want.

Another way I’m going to try to mix things up is through accessories. I’m only taking costume jewellery and leaving the rest at home, that way there’s no need to worry about wedding rings and precious or sentimental jewels. For me, it’s fake all the way and so if it gets stolen, there are no tears, just relief. Other accessories such as scarves will also come in handy for draping around shoulders when it’s chilly or when visiting modesty-sensitive tourist sites. It might also help in switching up an outfit I can’t bear to look at again. My children already have bets on for how long it will take for me to get sick of my wardrobe. I’m guessing….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *