Fashion Confessions: Capsule Wardrobes are Over-Rated

If you read my other blog, you’ll probably know that I’ve just returned from vacation.

On the way out, my suitcase looked much like the one pictured above. On the way back, meanwhile… let’s not even THINK about how full my suitcase was on the way back: it still scares me to think of it.

capsule wardrobes and packing light


I don’t pack light, in other words. And it’s not that I CAN’T do the whole “capsule wardrobe” thing – actually, I can do it pretty well if I set my mind to it. It’s that I don’t WANT to do it. Capsule wardrobes, you see, are vastly over-rated as far as I’m concerned. Sure, they’re easy. They’re convenient. They allow you to hop on a plane with just a carry-on, and they make getting dressed on vacation a complete breeze.

They’re just no FUN, though, are they?

Here’s the thing: I love clothes. I have a lot of them. I get a lot of pleasure out of wearing the clothes I buy, and for me, that pleasure doesn’t come from being able to wear the same three items over and over again (Not, I hasten to add, that there’s anything wrong with that…): it comes from knowing that all of my favourite things are on hand, and that I can wear them whenever I like. On the occasions when I HAVE decided to pack light, and take the absolute minimum of items for my trip, I find myself quickly bored with my outfit selections… and very tempted to hit up the local shops in order to add a little bit of variety into the mix.

So I no longer even attempt to pack a capsule wardrobe when I travel: instead, my packing skills revolve around making maximum use of the space in my suitcase, and giving myself as many different options as possible, without going over my luggage allowance, or not being able to carry the suitcase out to the taxi. Life is too short, after all, to not wear all those wonderful clothes!

What’s your packing style? Do you like to travel light, with a carefully-honed capsule wardrobe, or do you throw caution to the wind, and stuff your suitcase with whatever takes your fancy?



  • July 17, 2013


    I tend not to pack light or capsule style. Mine’s more “pack up an out fit for each day and make sure the outfits can be interchangeable.” Forme, than means a sweater or tee and cami for each day, and every sweater or tee goes with almost every cami. I throw in a few favorite pieces of jewelry as accessories.

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  • July 17, 2013


    Jewelry and scarves make the capsule wardrobe more fun. On a three week tour of Europe with one bag, it was necessary to keep it simple and interchangeable. It was a fun challenge to pare down my extensive wardrobe to a few options, and I played with it quite a bit before I left. I actually still like those outfits, too.

    But the capsule wardrobe is not possible everywhere. When I go to the in-laws – who all smoke – I have to pack two outfits per day, and plan on no repeats, because everything stinks.

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  • July 18, 2013


    When I travel, I just pack what I normally wear and not much of it – maybe 4 complete outfits on a week long trip. I prefer to go light on packing (and have plenty of room left over for souvenirs). However, I take several scarves and sarongs with me too. They have come in ridiculously handy. The larger scarves are great for sun protection since I’m albino pale with hair to match. And sarongs can become shawls, skirts, or, on one memorable occasion, an entire outfit.

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  • July 18, 2013


    I don’t like to pack too light – not because I crave so much variety but because I hate to wear stuff so many times inbetween washes. I do not wear a t-shirt, a blouse or something for more than a day, period.

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