How to Pack a Minimalist Travel Capsule Wardrobe for all Seasons

How to Pack a Minimalist Travel Capsule Wardrobe for all Seasons

February 24, 2021

Packing isn’t easy. However, choosing and planning a minimalist travel wardrobe can be even trickier. Finding clothes that can fit multiple purposes, suit the climates of your destinations, and take up minimal space in your backpack is not as straightforward as you’d think. 

That’s where a minimalist travel capsule wardrobe comes in. You can deck out this capsule with versatile clothing for any condition or social setting. Building this out lies at the heart of minimalist travel. But More than that, it is the vital foundation towards the end goal of fitting everything into your minimalist travel backpack.


What’s a minimalist travel capsule wardrobe?


A minimalist capsule wardrobe is a trend that began in the 1970s . A capsule wardrobe has a small number of clothes, which are refreshed at the beginning of each season. By relying on staples you can wear year after year, you don’t need to forever spend money buying the latest style crazes.

However, what started off as within the home, has now moved to our backpacks. A minimalist travel wardrobe is an even more dialed-back version of the original idea. Minimalist travel outfits are versatile, easy to pack, and suitable for the seasons or climates where you’ll be visiting. 


Minimalist Travel Wardrobe Tips


Before getting into what to pack, there are some general rules of thumb to follow when choosing your minimalist travel outfits:

  • Choose subdued colors - You want to pack clothes that can mix and match with one another. With that in mind, keep it simple. Black, Blue, Green and Gray all mix together very well. If you do still want a dash of color, add one or two more vibrant items.
  • Pack capsules for summer and winter - Is it possible to make a minimalist travel wardrobe for winter? Of course! In fact, these don’t have to be too different. For instance, the t-shirts can remain the same. You’ll just have to swap a few items out.
  • Choose 10 items or less - Whether you’re packing as a woman or a man, 10 is the golden number. Anymore than that and you’re probably overdoing it on accessories.
The last two on this list are very important if you want to travel with one bag. However, if you have a loud vibrant style and love to make a statement, the first one is entirely optional!


What to pack in a men’s minimalist travel wardrobe capsule?

Or alternatively, read our guide to packing a woman’s minimalist travel wardrobe here.

As mentioned above, the minimalist packing community seems to agree that 10 items is what to aim for in your wardrobe - 8 items of clothing and two pairs of shoes. Difficult, but not impossible.

 Here’s a good basic list to get you on your way:

  • 3 t-shirts
  • 1 dress shirt
  • 2 bottoms (pants, jeans or shorts)
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 jacket
  • 2 pairs of shoes

The list above is good for both spring or summer. However, this can easily be adapted for fall or winter. Our advice would be to switch out a t-shirt for an extra sweater (two t-shirts and two sweaters) and go for a more insulated jacket. The best kind for lightweight travel is a light, packable down-jacket as they fold up really easily. That being said, if you are traveling with thicker winter wear, save space by wearing those items when you’re traveling. 

The list we’ve provided doesn’t mention unmentionables. We recommend bringing five pairs of underwear and socks. If you’re going longer than a week, be sure to do laundry!


One Bag Travel Clothing - Final Thoughts


It may seem wild to some people that one bag can fit all your travel clothing needs. However, minimalist travel is now increasingly popular, particularly with people who are regularly or constantly traveling.

Whatever the weather, a minimalist travel wardrobe allows travelers the freedom to get up and go as soon as possible while taking the stress out of packing. Moreover, switching a large suitcase for a more durable travel bag gives you greater comfort and ease on the road. 

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