It’s that time of year again–time to pack for the holidays! I’m loving what’s become sort of a tradition of posting my Thanksgiving packing list because it never fails to produce new outfits from clothes I already own. (See the past 3 years HERE.)
For newer readers, I started packing mini capsule wardrobes for trips because one year for Thanksgiving I packed in outfits in an attempt to not overpack, but none of my clothes went with anything outside of its designated outfit. Once I was on my trip, I absolutely hated the outfits I packed and didn’t want to wear them. Since nothing could go with anything else, I was stuck with the outfits I brought and hated. On top of that, I actually didn’t have appropriate clothing for some unplanned activities on the trip. For a week I was stuck with a suitcase full of clothes that I either didn’t want to or couldn’t wear, and I felt trapped with no options!
Packing mini capsule wardrobes give me tons of options without overpacking. It’s the best! Instead of being limited to set outfits, I have a mix and match suitcase full of outfit options for whatever I want to or need to wear that day. Plus, it really helps with not overpacking!
After all these years I’ve landed on a generalized list that I go back to, which is:
3 different colored bottoms – skirts, pants, shorts, etc. Each bottom needs to go with at least 3 out of 4 tops, but you’ll maximize your outfits if they each go with all tops.
3 completer pieces – The more different they are from each other, the more varied your outfits will look. For example, a vest looks and provides a much different feeling for an outfit than a cardigan while two cardigans of different colors might feel the same after a while. Not always, though! And if you don’t care as much about outfit variety then it doesn’t matter either. This year I went with a pullover sweater instead of a third completer piece. I like how it worked out!
2 pairs of shoes – I usually limit it to just 2, and in this case it’s a pair of riding boots and a pair of ankle boots. They’re both neutrals so I can wear either of them with any outfit.
1 scarf – Usually I’ve gone with 2 scarves, but this year I only felt the need for one and I think it worked out fine. Plus, I realized scarves are actually kind of chunky and take up as much, if not more, packing space than adding another top. I could have easily added a 5th top in the place of that 2nd scarf that I didn’t pack.
A handful of necklaces – This year I think I only used 2 necklaces, whereas in the past I might have used more. I think it’s because I brought more patterned pieces this time.
Duration: 7 days. I want to clarify that I would not use this list for a 15 day trip, planning to wear each outfit for each day of the trip. Using this list that way would only put you back in the trap of having set outfits and doesn’t give you margin for things to get dirty, not having the right outfit for the right occasion, or the weather not cooperating with your planned outfit for the day. For me the point of this is to have some options for those unexpected times, so I can be ready for getting spilled on, the weather changing, or unplanned activities–without packing half my closet for all of those “just in case” events. I would pack this for a 7-10 day trip, but not a 2 week trip.
Weather forecast: Average of 68 during the day and 48 in the evening. I’m bringing one jacket that is not pictured here, in case anyone is wondering.
Here are the outfits!
I really, really love this year’s list! I felt like I could have made a billion more outfits, but for this post I tried to stick with ones that were more distinct from each other.
I said earlier that I usually don’t bring pullover sweaters, but I ended up loving how it’s basically a 5th top but provides the extra warmth that a completer piece would provide. Also, the vest is a nice changeup from the usual two cardigans I’ve packed in the past. I still haven’t decided if I’ll pack the one featured here, or the one from Old Navy that I was gushing about the other day (HERE), but either way I will bring a vest!
I honestly can’t even choose favorite outfits because I like so many of them. It makes me excited for the trip though!
Anyway, if any of you are stressed about packing for the holidays, I hope this list helps relieve some of that. Happy packing!
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