I have a confession to make. I used to really dislike packing. The planning of outfits, the going back and forth between do I need this and “just in case” with outfits, and so on, and so forth.
When it came to packing, and planning outfits, I struggled. Kind of hardcore.
In theory, it’s fun to think about the outfits you’re going to take, thinking of how your pictures are going to end up with the outfits you picked out, and then some. BUT, when it comes to actual packing and look- and looking at your closet like 😳, where do you start??
Over the years of traveling, both long term and short term, I have established what I call “The Travel Clothes Staple Pieces” which as the name suggests, are a set of travel staple pieces that I carry with me, no matter where I go, no matter the climate I go into, that has drastically SIMPLIFIED the travel clothing packing process by a lot for me.
And today, I want to share with you what those travel clothing staple pieces are, in hopes that it can help you also simplify your clothes packing process, or at the very least, give you some ideas on some items that I love to travel with that you may want to check out later on.
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The Best Travel Clothing Staple Pieces To Pack On Your Next Trip – No Matter Where You Go
By far, my favorite pants that I have now lovingly dubbed, “my travel pants“ has to go to my staple black drawstring trouser pants.
The ones I am wearing in the photo above, I got at Zara for a steal ($10) and we’ve been inseparable since their purchase. It’s the best!
Ok, but for real, no hate to leggings, but I automatically feel 10x more put together, confident, and chic when I wear these trouser pants – not to mention SUPER comfortable because of the elastic waistband and generally loose fit that remains flattering but not super tight and uncomfortable for an 8+ hour journey…
These are seriously the best to travel in, and to wander a new city in.
Dress them up or down. I usually pair mine with a simple but quality-made top (more on this later), maybe make it a monochromatic look to take it up a notch in chic-ness by pairing it with a black top like this one.
Really anything goes with this kind of pant, but the more simple the better – which isn’t that what we all want when we travel?
When it comes to what goes on your top half, I have a general rule of thumb to simplify the process: Basic but quality t-shirts and tops.
Basic as in solid color tops, and of quality material because as we know, travel is not always a walk in the park.
From running around trying to get to your gate, being in different types of temperatures – travel might as well be a sport.
Without fail a travel staple clothing piece in my suitcase is maybe 1-2 basic t-shirts, that I can style with anything – and/or dress up or down.
And because these t-shirts are quality, they won’t wrinkle as easily as cheaper t-shirts, they maintain their shape when washed abroad in sinks or hung dry, and they retain their color, making them look good as new every time!
Personally, I opt for the Lulu Lemon Love T-Shirt that not only has all of those qualities I mentioned above but also are designed for movement and sweat – and therefore keeps you dry and odor-free which is such a nice feeling to have when you’re traveling ☺️
I absolutely have been loving the Lulu Lemon Love T-Shirts, and recommend them to any traveler out there that wants a quality t-shirt that not only looks good in between packing and unpacking but is worth every single penny.
These t-shirts are an investment piece for sure, especially for a basic white and black t-shirt, but I assure you, the build, material, and feel of them make these travel staple items 100% worth it.
P.S. Athleta also has some amazing and cute travel staple clothing for minimalistic, chic, and purposeful travel and commuter clothing that keeps you dry, odor-free, and offers so much flexibility to make those long journeys a lot more comfortable, without sacrificing style.
Dresses and any kind of other one-piece, one and done, type of outfits are a hard YES in my travel clothing staples, and I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.
In the case of dresses, you can never go wrong with something as versatile such as a t-shirt dress like the one I am wearing in the photo above, with white sneakers for a daytime look.
Dress it up by wearing a black leather jacket and switching the white sneakers for a pair of cute and comfortable low-heel ankle strap sandals.
The key here is to add variety of pieces, that way you have a little of different styles that you can mix and match.
Along with mixing and matching styles such as dresses and pants, it’s important to select colors that will also go together, and a way of doing that may be by creating a color palette for your travel staple pieces.
A quick word about travel clothing staples and creating a color palette
You may start to notice by now that I tend to stick to neutral colors such as blacks, whites, and grays, and it’s on purpose.
Having some kind of capsule wardrobe, which basically means a set few travel staple clothing pieces that have a similar color scheme and come from a similar color palette, could definitely save you time and mental work of putting different pieces and colors together.
Having a color palette with your travel clothing staples will make it easier to mix and match, and you can pack minimally without worrying too much about repeating the same outfits.
If you’re wondering how to create a travel clothing staple palette of your own, definitely check out this blog post that helps simplify the process for us non-fashion bloggers.
PRO TIP: If you’re really trying to visually plan out a travel clothing staple palette that works for you, and one that will make clothes shopping WAY easier and faster, try using tools such as Canva to get an idea of which colors work best together, and how to combine visually appealing colors combinations for variety and consistency in your carry-on suitcase.
Kind of random, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Wondering how the heck you can use Canva to help you plan your travel outfits?? I gotchu!
Leave me your name and email below, and I’ll send over a comprehensive guide to help you every step of the way!
Canva has a free and cool color palette generator that allows you to upload a picture of one of your travel staple pieces or a full outfit, which will then generate a color palette based on the image you uploaded.
This tool can help you plan which colors actually go well together, which maximize your clothing color selection while traveling, to help you create multiple outfits from the limited clothing pieces you packed.
I break everything down in this guide to help you achieve this with Canva’s FREE color palette generator. So leave me your name and email below to have it delivered to you inbox for free!
A trusty leather jacket will always elevate any outfit from meh to chic, and from day to night, with minimal effort let’s be honest.
And while you’re on the road, that is music to your ears, I’m sure!
Take it on when you’re flying, and it bumps up your airport outfit into another level, even if you’re in sweats underneath.
And depending on the destination, of course, you may want to pack something warmer or something lighter, that depends on each person’s judgment.
I just recommend in addition to that necessary parka for example or rain jacket, packing something cool, stylish, and chic like a leather jacket or an everyday, casual, but put-together jean jacket will definitely help pull an outfit together seamlessly, especially when you have limited outfit choices.
It’s no secret white sneakers are THE go-to shoe when traveling because they literally pair well with any piece of clothing.
From dresses to skirts, and pants, and everything.
While I know that the chunky dad sneaker is rampant across Pinterest fashion boards, I personally opt for a simple style such as my Vans that I never travel without.
But you can choose any other kind of white sneaker that you’d like.
Perhaps you’re looking for something with more comfort, in which case, I’d recommend theses Asics white shoe which gives you the comfort of an athletic running/walking shoe while not compromising the overall look of it with a bunch of marks and labels on it.
These types of shoes are a must, don’t forget to pack them!
A day bag is not only a cute accessory but such a travel staple piece in general. I think that’s a no-brainer.
However, in the luggage and backpack market that offers many styles, purposes, and sizes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Personally, whatever you get, make sure to look for the following points:
- It’s a size that you don’t mind carrying around that fits your essentials
- It fits your style and your purpose for it
- It fits your travel staples palette and pieces
- It’s sturdy for travel
I’ve personally used my Kanken backpack every time I’ve traveled, for the past 3 years and I have nothing but amazing things to say about it.
It matches the style I am going for and my travel staples color palette, it’s suuuuper sturdy, it fits more than it looks, and the exterior material is easy to wipe clean.
A travel day bag is a must travel staple piece to have, and I could not, not include it in this list!
Concluding thoughts on travel packing staple pieces
There they are!
Some of my favorite tried and true travel staple clothing pieces and accessories that I rarely travel without.
This list doesn’t cover ALL the things I pack, as you can see I don’t go into items such as jeans or sweaters, as the main point is to share those staple items that I build my travel wardrobe around, and that I don’t see myself traveling without.
I have seen throughout my own packing experience that having a set few items that you love to travel, move and look in already make the travel packing process so much easier and quicker.
Having your travel staple pieces identified ahead of time, lessens the time you need to think about every little detail.
Instead by having those pieces selected, you already have a few pieces to build on in case you want to change a few items or add a few more pieces to your travel wardrobe.
I hope this post has helped give your travel packing a bit more structure, and that it cleared up a bit of difficulty when packing up for your next adventure.
What do you consider a travel staple clothing or item in your suitcase? Let me know in the comments below!
To more travel moments like these ✨