To see my ten-piece spring wardrobe, click here.
One issue people have with capsule wardrobes is they presumably don't work in extreme temperatures or in all four seasons. Well, I'm back in Paris after several months of travel, from sweltering climates (Kuala Lumpur, Phoenix) to frozen tundra (the eastern United States- thanks, polar vortex), and the 15-pieces I brought beg to differ. When I wasn't trapped indoors by torrential rains, 60+ inches of snow, and -40°C temperatures, I worked, visited family and friends, volunteered, baked cookies and watched Netflix with my brother and sister. My clothes withstood salt, snow, slush, sand, water, and cactus needles, and everything I packed fit in my purse or reusable shopping bag. I wore a coat and boots and folded the rest.
Real life, all-weather, multi-city packing list: Clothes
- Two linen t-shirts
- One cardigan
- One silk-wool sweater (worn alone or layered)
- One red sweater
- One pair jeans (tucked into boots, they look like skinny jeans- my friends asked if I bought a second pair)
- Two lined dresses (seasonless wool and silk)
- Silk-lined wool skirt
- Three pairs shoes- boots, heels, and sneakers
- Coat (I dug cars out of ice-encased driveways in this)
- Lined leather gloves
All pieces, including the coat and purse, are washable.
Two months of travel toiletries
- RMS Beauty Un-Coverup and lip2cheek
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Wood and natural rubber hairbrush
- Safety razor, minus the blade. Blade, soap, vinegar, baking soda, and bulk coconut oil purchased unpackaged in the US (only the blade came in paper) to simplify carry-on packing.
I accessorized with my wedding ring, frostbitten extremities, and a shovel. Between the Super Bowl and the harshest weather conditions outside Planet Hoth, these few pieces yielded 35+ combinations. Each dress can be worn several ways- alone, unbuttoned cardigan, buttoned cardigan, under sweaters, and under a skirt. People thought I was wearing separates, and I really only used my cardigan most of the time. On bitterly cold days, I borrowed a pair of silk leggings from my mom and wool socks from my grandma, since I forgot my own in Paris.
This trip confirmed that by and large, you can get away with packing the same items for multiple climates and destinations. Before going home, I cleaned the salt from my boots with vinegar and threw my purse in the washing machine. I didn't feel self-conscious and the outfits weren't repetitive, not to me, at least. I never thought I would leave Cleveland, and now that I live in Paris, I have attitude about it- a sense of entitlement- like I can afford to own fewer items. The accumulation of objects isn't linked to how I feel about myself anymore. And on that note- this post contains affiliate links. If you click on them, I make a small commission.