Travel & Packing

Casual Summer Travel Capsule

(And a Meditation on the World Cup)

Happy day, dearest reader!

I hope yours is going well. I had an exhausting week last week. Good, but exhausting, and so our weekend plans were punted for staying at home, catching up, and watching the World Cup final. Woo hoo! The Cup is not nearly as much fun when you are living in the US as compared to overseas.

When I was in high school, my family moved to Venezuela for a two year stint with my father’s company. (It was in the middle of an economic boom, and the capital, Caracas, was a metropolitan melange of people from all over the world, living and working there for the oil industry, and other related enterprises.) I kid you not when I say Caracas was a life-altering experience. But I digress! One of my clearest memories is World Cup fever; I had never experienced anything like it. In 1978, Argentina was the host, and South America was on fire for the event. There was no other topic of conversation! Every television you passed was tuned into the matches. People left work early; some didn’t go at all. And everyone gathered to watch together. People weren’t sitting at home watching on their own screens. This was a universal experience, to be enjoyed (or mourned) in a group. Generally a large, loud, and sometimes unruly group.

Many years later, (as a wife and mother) living in Europe, the same held true. Business doesn’t screech to a halt during the World Cup, but it certainly takes on a holiday feel, and the most recent match is the daily topic of conversation everywhere, from the nursery drop-off, to the butcher counter at the grocery, to the hairdresser’s. In Spain during a match, you couldn’t find a seat at any bar or restaurant with a TV for love or money (Unless you came hours ahead to stake out a spot!). I remember people carrying their own chairs from their homes to the bars to watch the match with their neighbors.

I miss the universality of experience that is the World Cup when you live outside the US. But with every passing Cup I find more and more people who are watching, and talking about the World Cup. Maybe someday we’ll catch the fever… It would certainly be a welcome distraction in the dog days of summer!

Sorry about that! Back to summer… In a recent post about my summer capsule, I included a picture of the Travel Six-Pack (or 7 as it turned out) I took on our beach trip. A reader asked how long I could travel with those 10 pieces. My first thought: “A really long time!” So today, here’s my nerdy analytical side with an outfit breakdown to see how that might work! As a reminder, here’s the pack:

Assuming we can do laundry, there are over 25 outfit combinations here, without even doing anything “weird” like wearing the dress over the jeans. (I love my dresses over jeans, but that’s just me!)

With no more than the three bottoms, and four stand alone tops, there are 11 outfits I would happily wear. (I could make 12 if I paired the pink shorts and the aqua top, but with my coloring, I am unlikely to do that.) Triple that 11 to 33 by adding on the jean jacket or cardigan. How about the chambray shirt over either of the tees? That brings the count to 34.

Now add the dress alone, and with toppers, 37. Dress and chambray shirt, 38. And just because I like the dress and jeans combo with and without toppers, we can make 41. And I haven’t layered any other shirts under or over the dress!

Nor have we even begun to play with the shoes and accessories! These ten pieces could easily take me through more than a month away from home. Now, to find a way to spend a month or more at the beach to test this out!

How about you? What are your go-to packing pieces? Suitcase BAE’s, as it were! The first to go into my suitcase would probably be my jean jacket, because I have a Little. Problem. I love to hear your thoughts! Let’s start a conversation in the comments below…

Stylishly yours,

As always, my forever thanks to Janice Riggs of the Vivienne Files for the Six-Pack concept! I was always a light packer, but she helped me to see light in a whole new light…

Images above from Amazon, Echo Designs, J. Jill, Keds, Lands’ End, Nordstrom, Old Navy, and Premier Designs.

Thank you to Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge, and Nancy at Nancy’s Fashion Style for the Link-Ups! You ladies are fabulous!


  • Andrea

    So useful and with a little tweaking of tones I’d absolutely all of wear this(even the pink with aqua. Another very helpful piece. Don’t you love the Vivienne Files- so inspiring as to what could be done with so little!

    • closetplayadmin

      I ADORE Janice! She really inspired me to hone in on my colors and refine my style. When I take a travel bag for speaking engagements, people are always so surprised that you can travel for a month with so little! Thank you for the visit, Andrea! XO

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