I’ll be honest … figuring out what clothes to pack for a four month journey occupied a good chunk of my brain leading up to our departure date.
When selecting what clothes to bring I had to consider a handful of factors:
VERY MINIMAL CLOSET SPACE
Our airstream has two small wardrobe closets on either side of the bed in the back; I have one side and Ryan uses the other. My closet is about 14 inches wide (it holds about 20 of these thin hangers) and there is a shelf above our bed for folded clothes.
Our travels were taking us down the west coast during the end of rainy spring, into the high desert where it can be chilly and windy in early May, and then to the south and east coast during the peak of summer. The majority of our time would be spent in hot and humid places, but we still needed some warm layers.
I needed clothes appropriate for camping and hiking, and also for touring cities, going out to dinner, laying on a beach, visiting museums, and riding for hours in a car. Comfort was big, but I also wanted clothes that felt nice-ish and looked good in our millions of sight-seeing photographs.
HIGH QUALITY/LOW MAINTENANCE
Everything I packed would be worn over and over again so it felt important that each item held up well to multiple wears and washes. And no ironing allowed (since we didn’t even bring an iron).
Keeping all four factors in mind, a small mix-and-match wardrobe was created.
I’ve been so intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe and now I can say I am giving it a try! Before we left, I was on a major purging kick and gave at least half of my clothes away. I was wearing the same things over and over even with an entire closet full of clothes and so I decided to cut way back and see if I missed anything. The answer: not at all. I couldn’t even remember what I gave away! It was great practice for living with a super limited wardrobe while on the road.
Ready to see what I brought?
There it is. My entire road trip wardrobe. 37 pieces in all.
- 10 casual shirts
- 5 nicer shirts
- 1 sweatshirt
- 1 cardigan
- 1 raincoat
- 3 dresses
- 3 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of leggings
- 5 pair of shorts
- 4 pair of sandals
- 1 pair of tennis shoes
- 1 pair of slip ons
- 1 pair of rain boots
(Plus a few extras like pajamas, swim suits and cover ups).
Most of the items came from my existing closet with a few additions bought specifically for the trip.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows my fashion preferences that everything (except for that pretty green top and orangey-red hunter wellies) fit into a neutral color palette of gray, denim, blues and white.
While not totally intentional, my limited color preferences proved to be super helpful in the mix and match wardrobe concept. Everything goes together and combinations of tops and bottoms is endless.
Let me show you some of the outfits I’ve been wearing:
See what I mean? So many combos using the same items over and over again. I am totally in to this method of wardrobe-making.
Now that we are halfway through our trip (sad! I don’t ever want it to end!), I have some reflections on what I packed:
+ During the first few weeks, I stressed out about not having enough warm clothes. I was not expecting rain and cold for as long as we experienced it and felt like I was wearing the same thing over and over. It turns out, I was just fine wearing the same thing over and over.
+ While in the National Parks, we did a small amount of hiking. Packing a pair of regular tennis shoes proved perfectly adequate.
+ I promise you I did not mean to pack this way, but every day our entire family is wearing some combination of blue/gray/white. Even Ryan (who does his own packing) has a coordinating wardrobe. Apparently we are a blue/gray/white kind of family.
+ I need another dress or two. The heat and humidity haven’t been terrible, but now I understand why sundresses are a thing. I’ll be adding a few more to my wardrobe soon.
NOTE: Not all of the items in my road trip wardrobe are new or currently in stores. Below are the items that are available with links for where to buy.
If you pick anything off the list, grab#3 on the Bottoms list. The most comfortable shorts ever (coming from a girl who doesn’t usually like shorts).
There you have it. What I’m wearing on the road trip. In every photo you see of me on the road trip, you’ll find some combo of the 37-piece mix and match wardrobe!