Beauty & Fashion

Need a Travel Capsule Wardrobe? Start with a Scarf – the Tracy O’Neill silk scarf by Echo

Need a Travel Capsule Wardrobe? Start with a Scarf – the Tracy O’Neill silk scarf by Echo

June 17, 2024

I love this scarf – I need another scarf like I need a bad headache, but a silk bandana? With wee ducks all around the edge? Be still by beating heart…

“It Will Be Cool in Paris in October…”

And she’s going to be there for at least two weeks! She’s going to be tutoring English students in perfecting their accents – how fun is that? If things go well, she could be there are long as six weeks! Was there ever a better motivation for doing your best work?

She’s keeping it simple:

She’s going to have a place to stay – a VERY TINY place to stay, she’s been warned. They were particularly specific about letting her know that she shouldn’t bring much luggage, which is true of so many trips we make in life!

Her plan is a 4 by 4 Wardrobe in black, white and denim. She knows that she will be wearing the same outfits more than once, but she also knows that a bunch of college students aren’t going to be obsessed with what she’s wearing, and neither will she!

She’s starting here; of course, this is three outfits – one as shown, one without the blazer, and one without the vest:

She knows that she wants to pack black pants – they dress up easily, and are boring enough that nobody will notice how frequently she wears them. These pants are perfect to wear with her blazer, and with her black cardigan they give her a “suit-like” ensemble:

She knows her tolerance for cool weather, and cool classrooms – packing a couple of vests makes sense for her. A different heroine might want more sweaters?

At this point, she’s very happy with her clothing choices, but she’s not quite sure what else to pack. Her “not too big” suitcase will hold 13 garments, so if she wears three things, she can plan a wardrobe of 16 pieces. Here’s where she is, so far:

Let’s think carefully about these next five things:

  1. a black v-neck sweater can be worn on its own with black pants, jeans or her black skirt, or over a tee shirt or any of her button-front shirts;
  2. she wants to pack a denim dress that can be layered; this dress will easily accommodate a turtleneck or tee shirt under it, as well as her down vest over;
  3. another print shirt, just because she’s going to need shirts, and she loves black and white print; 
  4. a black cashmere turtleneck goes with every bottom, as well as under her denim dress. It’s the fastest way to get dressed – add a scarf and you’re done! and
  5. a striped tee shirt goes with both vests, her black v-neck sweater, her black cardigan, and her tweed jacket. If she runs into a surprisingly warm day, she can wear it with nothing over it!

And she could use a pair of “not black and white” loafers, and why not another scarf?

this is where I would add a ton of jewelry, and probably a half-dozen scarves, if I was packing this!

Here’s where she finds herself:

And this is what it all looks like when not so “arranged.” There are only five print garments here, but it feels like more, to me.

Of course this is an easy wardrobe to wear, but our heroine walks through a dozen outfits, just to reassure herself that she hasn’t gone off track somehow:

This heroine is fortunate that she’s got a four month warning about this assignment – she may want to do a little bit of shopping!



p.s. Ten years ago, I shared with you the first six color palettes that I was planning to use over a number of months...

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