For the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with re-wearing my garments several times before washing them. I was originally inspired by the cute capsule wardrobes I saw on Pinterest that always baffled me with how few tops they included. This summer, I put one of these capsules to the test during our two-week road trip around Ontario. Here’s what I brought and how everything fared.
In my suitcase:
- Plaid Archer Button up by Grainline Studios
- Sheer Roscoe dress by True Bias (as a beach cover up) psss I did a thorough sew-along blog on my patreon for this one!
- Black biker shorts (rtw)
- Hacked adventure tank by Fancy Tiger Crafts (for sleeping)
- Essential tee by Peekaboo Patterns (split hem hack)
- Jean jacket (rtw)
- Cozy shorts by Patterns for Pirates (for sleeping)
- 3/4 length athletic leggings (rtw)
- Black athletic tank (rtw but I altered it to fit better)
- Beige biker shorts (rtw – for wearing under dresses and sleeping/workouts/lounging in a pinch)
- pink athletic tank (rtw – same as the black one)
- Shirred dress (tutorial here!)
- Medium wash jeggings (rtw)
- Black swimsuit (rtw)
- Essential tee dress by Peekaboo Patterns
- Waterproof Kelly Anorak by Closet Core patterns
- Reversible bucket hat (pattern no longer available)
- Turkish towel
- Grey belt bag
- Straw bag
- White converse
- Woven headband
- Pink ball cap
- Black athletic sneakers
- Pink claw clip
- Reversible tote bag (self-drafted)
- Flip flops
- Ruffle pouch (tutorial forthcoming on Instagram)
- Straw boater hat
- Floral umbrella
- White Birkenstocks
What got worn and what didn’t
I arbitrarily decided I would only bring 16 garments and 16 accessories, but honestly, these were the perfect numbers for this trip (I was originally scheduled for 16 days. Maybe I’m onto something? I never felt like I had too many or too few clothes, but there were definitely a few items that didn’t get used as much as I thought.
The MVPs of this trip were definitely my black biker shorts. I absolutely should have bought a second pair because I had to go without them for a few days after our zoo trip and missed them sorely. I will absolutely be buying a second pair very soon. You’ll also maybe remember I was considering bringing white shorts instead of a second pair that I ultimately didn’t buy in time? I didn’t miss them one bit. I’m so over jean shorts.
The Roscoe didn’t end up being the versatile garment I originally planned, but we did a lot of beach sitting so I definitely earned its space in my suitcase.
My self-drafted shirred dress surprised me a bit. Not only did I wear it for the nicer days, but also with no makeup, just around my parents’ house after the beach and it was so comfy.
Predictably my jean jacket and plaid shirt were heavy hitters for cooler days and got worn a lot. I knew this would be though so I wouldn’t say this is any kind of revelation.
The jeans and raincoat were only worn once, but they’re the kind of required “just in case” items you sorta hope you don’t have to wear.
I didn’t wear my huaraches once. The one day that would have been appropriate to wear them, we decided to do a lot of walking and there is no way I would survive without arch support. I think I’m going to buy another pair in a size up so I can put some orthotics in them and actually get to wear them.
I wore the flip flops one single time. I didn’t want to wear my birks to the beach and risk getting them wet, but in the end, arch support won out and I abandoned the flip flops. I won’t even both bringing them next time.
I only wore my sneakers about two or three times and my converse about the same. I wore the converse a few times to justify having brought them (and for the sake of variety I guess) but each time was with an outfit that would have absolutely worked with athletic shoes. I did wear the sneakers twice for moments that the converse wouldn’t have worked (ie hiking), so I’d just bring the black runners next time.
I didn’t wear my headband a single time. I wore hats every day because we were outside so it just didn’t make sense. It’s not terribly big so I don’t necessarily regret bringing it.
I only wore the claw clip once. Still figuring out how I like to wear it, but again, this is a relatively small item and I didn’t mind the space.
The Turkish towel might have seemed silly because we were staying with family the whole time, but I really enjoyed having a towel to match my vibe instead of borrowing one.
What I learned
I absolutely reinforced that my clothes don’t need to be washed each time I wear them and that wearing garments a few times before they go in the laundry is the best way to avoid spending vacation either lugging a massive suitcase or constantly doing laundry. Everything I brought fit in one duffle and a tote with room for three books and a knitting project.
What made this work, though, was having a bunch of neutral basics that I was able to transform with accessories. I find changing a hat or bag can change the entire vibe of an outfit.
Moving forward, I’m going to approach dressing at home in the same way. I’m going to focus on have a solid core closet of neutral basics and spend my time and money curating great accessories to go with them. I’ve got some great plans for my fall wardrobe already!