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What I’m Wearing While On The Road

    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.

    stack-of-clothesWhen selecting what clothes to bring I had to consider a handful of factors:


    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.


    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.
    outfitsI’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?


    shoesThere 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:
    outfits2outfits5 outfits6 outfits1 outfits3 outfits4See 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).

    topssources1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7

    bottoms1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

    dressessources1  |  2

    shoessources1  |  2  |  3

    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!

    35 thoughts on “What I’m Wearing While On The Road”

    1. I don’t see the adorable blue dress you are wearing in one of the IG shots from New York! (not that I’m stalking your trip on all media channels or anything)
      Where did you find it?

    2. Another great post…going back through e-mails after 3 weeks of summer travel myself! Three of my favorite summer travel pieces ended up coming from Athleta and I did it initially for Disneyworld which was hot and humid but wanted to be stylish while climbing in and out of rides! Ended up wearing these non-stop and glad I had them in Seattle too.
      The skort with a bow; Wish now I could add the navy one because it’s perfect for daytime with tennis shoes but nice enough to trade out a cute to and sandals for night and a hip restaurant.
      Another one I purchased and just a little more casual with some zippers and different fabric but wear equally as often;

      Dress; this thing DOES NOT wrinkle and I’ve worn it to work, to hang out etc…
      Best dress I’ve bought in a while!

      Liked all the outfit combinations and encouraged to think like that when packing!

    3. Love your style and enjoying all the photos of your trip. The link for the jeans isn’t working? Do you have a correct link or can you tell me what they are?

      1. The sweatshirt was from JCrew in late winter. I bought it on sale and when I went back to buy another (because it is the best sweatshirt ever!) they were gone :(

        1. Ahh, bummer! Thanks for the reply tho! I’ve enjoyed following your amazing cross country trip with your fam…I dream of doing something similar some day! ?

    4. I too was wondering how your family is doing with eating & exercising during such extensive travel & ‘keeping the weight in check’. Such a struggle once 40 hit and very much trying to re-group and get things heading back in a positive direction. Real & helpful suggestions to do so are very welcome, especially during travel.

    5. I love it! And raincoat – will you share what you have? I’m in Houston and decided that after our last drenching season that it’s time I got one. I’ve only lived here for 15 years. But mine needs to be a warm weather one I suppose….

    6. Emily–where did you get the cute raincoat that you brought along on the trip? Thanks for this fun post–especially helpful to have all the fun summer outfit ideas!

    7. I am really enjoying following along on your trip and can’t wait to hear how this time away living small and simple impacts your family going forward. I’m sure you will look at things in a new way! I have just a slight obsession with tiny homes and LOVE how you decorated your trailer! I especially liked this post, as I am six months into a massive downsizing of my possessions. My wardrobe is down somewhere between 1/2-3/4 what it was and I love it, not to mention how much easier it is to keep up with my home without all the “treasures” I don’t miss a bit. I’m not quite at the capsule wardrobe stage yet, but as finances allow and I find the right pieces, I’m slowly replacing some less functional pieces with more versatile items.

    8. I absolutely love your cool, casual style. So perfect for a mom on the go yet always looking put together. Can we be best friends please?? ;) Thanks again for another great post!

    9. I am loving following along on your road trip. So fun to see all your posts and this one is helpful for packing for my own summer trip. What do you do about accessories? Do you bring along some favorite necklaces, bracelets, etc? Can you give details on the necklace you wear a lot – looks like maybe small round charms with initials? Thanks so much!

    10. I was hoping to see a link to your jacket on this post. I’ve been admiring it from your blog posts. So cute! Is it no longer sold in stores?

    11. Hi Emily,
      Thanks for this post, it’s really interesting to see how you’re keeping it simple! A capsule wardrobe is the only way to pack for extended travel, and while I like your selection I think you could have reduced your wardrobe even further. I’ve backpacked through Europe for months at a time with a lot less (including outfits for the opera & 4-star restaurants)… for example, when you’ve got access to laundromats, why do you need 2 grey t-shirts, 2 blue tanks, a cardigan and sweatshirt that look very similar, and 2 pairs of blue shorts? On the other hand, I think the kind of dresses you’ve got are really useful, and can be worn as tops if needed, so you probably could have done with 2 more. Anyway, it’s a fun exercise and the road trip is so great to follow along! Have a great time!

    12. I don’t own 37 pieces of clothing that I love. Instead I own 5 pieces that I love and 50 so-so things that I picked up at thrift stores or garage sales. I think a capsule wardrobe sounds wonderful and freeing!

    13. Gosh, you really know what we want, photos of cool places great, photos of airstream awesome, cute photos of kids adorable, but photos of your clothes and outfits ~ priceless! Thank you.

    14. Great ideas! Useful for a three week trip I’m taking soon :)
      Here is an unrelated question….how are you keeping your weight in check? How do you fit in excersize? I have a hard time eating healthy when eating out a lot (like on a trip) and fitting in cardio….maybe a future blog post???

    15. I cannot tell you how much I’m enjoying your trip. Everything you are writing and pics you are showing are great! You are giving me lots of ideas for future trips, restaurants and this post with the clothes is fascinating. Almost every time I go on vaca I pack way more clothes than I need. Most of it comes home still folded!! This is great. I love that you give us the sources for your clothes as well. I almost don’t want your trip to end. Thanks for such great posts – and so many of them!! You are giving way more than I thought you would, considering you are on the road. It’s wonderful and thanks again.

    16. These are my favorite posts of yours! I feel like your style suits my style very well but I’m not that great at putting things together.
      And I am working towards a capsule wardrobe of sorts.

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