I tried out the capsule wardrobe ideas on this trip and it worked really well. Generally built off neutrals, but with bright colors peppered throughout (couldn’t pick just one!). I took my favorite clothing pieces and saw how many ways you could mix and match them. I loved every outfit! Definitely provided necessary fuel for continuing to clean out the closet and pare down the wardrobe.
Plane outfit (heaviest items): skinny jeans, ankle boots, long sleeve shirt, black sweatshirt wrap, trench coat, Smartwool socks
- 6 Basic Tops (sadly, I haven’t found a great top at Gap in years and all of those are at least four years old BUT clearly they used to be good to me because these are all still favorites)
- bright pink three-quarter sleeve shirt
- taupe pleated short sleeve shirt
- black pleated short sleeve shirt
- light green three-quarter sleeve shirt
- navy scoop neck tee shirt
- purple long sleeve shirt from Loft
- 2 Printed Tops
- Loft Vine Utility Blouse
- Thrifted green blue orange colorful tank
- 4 Bottoms:
- Skinny jeans
- Black shorts
- Black leggings
- Black jersey maxi skirt with pockets by Brook
- One black XGen dress (similar): the most versatile piece of clothing I own. I’ve had it since I was 10 (yes, really) and it’s the perfect swim cover up, day dress, and fancy dress. Plus it balls up to nothing.
- Black knit blazer by Esley from ModCloth
- Uniqlo black heattech sweatshirt wrap (similar) – super warm for sweatshirt material because it traps your body heat (heattech is amazing)
- 3 Long Loft cardigans (orange, black, blue) (similar)
- 5 pairs socks
- 1 pair of smartwool socks for travel days
- 4 pairs lightweight knit socks in neutral colors (black, grey, blue)
- 5 Bras (2 nude, 3 colorful)
- 9 Underwear (2 cotton, 2 sport, 4 lacy, 1 no show/ match set) – 3 weeks is a LONG time!
- 1 honeymoon special set of bra and underwear
- Eberjey Estelle Robe in Merlot (light, but long-sleeved)
- Swimwear: Ikat bikini from Athleta in Amalfi Blue
- Outerwear: classic Burberry Trench Coat from my mom’s closet (now it’s mine) (similar)
So I started by packing for a single week and then added items I needed for the difference in climate, the realities of being a lady away for 3 weeks (cycles are a thing), and specific activities. We did full loads of laundry at a laundromat twice and I washed a few pieces of our clothing in hotel sinks one or two additional times based on cycle and a very smoky restaurant. Highly recommend packing a clothing line and packets of delicate wash liquid. My trick is to pack 2-3 packets (though I usually only need one or two) and a tiny travel bottle so I can save what’s left of one packet for the next wash rather than having to toss it.
Main lesson learned: do not be a total idiot like I was and break in TWO new pairs of shoes on a walking-intensive vacation! Luckily, the Dorith sandals were favorites of my sister’s and we have similar feet issues. I made sure both new pairs (the Aetrex and the Naot) were supportive, great investment shoes and they had metatarsal support so I didn’t have to use my inserts for the majority of the trip. Having my favorite flats meant I could give my feet a break occasionally, but just the extremely flat flats would have been wrong for cobblestones, heat, and a ton of walking. I was happy to have some other shoes to wear when I got back, but by the end of three weeks both pairs were well broken in.
Coming home and living with my larger wardrobe for a few weeks, I find myself still gravitating toward a majority of these clothing items!
Photos of us by Flytographer Roberta in Rome