I know a lot of people who overpack for quick getaways. They think they’re going to need fourteen different outfits for fourteen days (guilty!). Here’s how to create 5 outfits for 5 days using only 5 pieces of clothing and not be a victim of overpacking!
For this post, I’ll pretend I’m going on a vacation to the San Francisco Bay Area since it’s a top summer destination. This will help you understand how to create the five outfits, for five days, using five pieces of clothing (not including undergarments, shoes, accessories, swimsuits, and jackets).
The only 5 Items you’ll need
The five items of clothing I’ve packed for my daily outfits are a black sleeveless tee, a green tank top, a skirt, a long black maxi dress and a pair of white jeans. These five items of clothing can basically be mixed and matched as five outfits for five days. I’ve also added these items, which are not included in my outfit pieces: one pair of pajamas, swimsuit, beach caftan, gold sandals, flip-flops, undergarments, Levi’s jean jacket, purse, and sunglasses.
Take a look at my first outfit. It’s the simplest of the mini-capsule. It’s a long black maxi dress that I wear with my gold summer sandals.
The second outfit is a pair of high-waisted Levi’s jeans, a black tee, and gold sandals.
The third outfit is my green tank top, my skirt, and of course, my gold sandals. As you can see, in these three looks, I’ve worn every item I have for the week in just three days. If I get cold, I have a light Levi’s jacket that is fifty percent denim and fifty percent linen, which is perfect as a summer jacket because it’s not too heavy or hot.
As you can see in the picture, I’m wearing the sleeveless black tee, but this time I’m wearing it with my skirt and gold shoes.
And my last outfit is the green tank top, high waisted white Levi’s jeans and of course, my gold sandals. As I mentioned before, if I get too cold I can throw on my Levi’s denim jacket.
How to choose pieces for your own wardrobe for your next vacation
Step #1: Think of the activities you’ll be doing on your trip. Are you just going to be sunbathing at the beach and dining out? Or are you going to be hiking, biking, or camping?
Step #2: Once you’ve evaluated what you’ll be doing on your trip, gather all the clothes you’ll want for all your activities.
Step #3: You’re not going to like this part, but I’m going to suggest you only bring enough pieces for each day you’ll be gone. What?! Yup, that’s right. If you’re going to be gone five days, bring three items of clothing. If you’re going to be gone seven days, bring seven items of clothing. There is a bit of a “gray area”, which I’ll explain here in just a minute. And yes, it sounds little crazy, but you can put together a minimal wardrobe.
What am I going to wear now that I’ve already worn every item of clothing that I brought with me?
I bring my Tide travel handwashing packets and I lay the clothes over a chair or drying rack in my hotel or vacation home. Here’s the trick. I wear my jeans and my skirts a couple times before washing them, so I can wear them again without washing. However, I’ll wash my tops and my dress as soon as I wear them to give them time to dry before I wear them again. If they don’t dry in time, I’ll just use the blow-dryer in the hotel to completely dry them off. After I’ve washed my tops, I can wear them again with other pieces in my mini-wardrobe.
The Gray Area of Bringing One Item Per day
One day, two days, four days and five days work for bringing one item per day while on your trip, but it doesn’t work for three days. I know, it’s strange, but it does make sense. Three days is the exception to the rule! So if you’re going to be gone for three days, go ahead and bring enough pieces of clothing for four days because it just doesn’t work.
Free packing guide!
See that wasn’t hard at all! You have to basically put together minimal pieces of clothing that can be worn together for the season or occasion. So, do you still think it’s crazy? I hope not because I’m giving you your own guide on how to create your own minimal wardrobe and packing list for your next short travel weekend or getaway. Click on the photo below to download! You’re welcome! ☺
Shelbi is a capsule wardrobe blogger and minimalist in progress living in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and toddler. Her blog, Urban Girl’s Closet, is about building a small wardrobe for those working with a small closet. If you need help creating a minimal wardrobe, visit her blog for more ideas on building a capsule wardrobe, and get ready to learn how to create your own personal style from clothes you already own!