A 12 Piece Holiday Packing List

A white background with 12 clothing items plus shoes and accessories for A 12 Piece Holiday Packing List. In the middle is a black box with white text that reads, "A 12 Piece Holiday Travel Packing List."

It felt like it was time to put together a holiday packing list because it has been a while. These were regular posts of mine, but there was a shift from travel to building personal style and wardrobes that took place that felt was the right direction.

Since I introduced the 12 piece capsule wardrobe series I realized how interchangeable they were with travel wardrobes and packing lists.

They are very similar to the thought process I go through when I am building capsules, so it makes sense.

Planning my posts weeks in advance is not something I have been able to manage yet, and I usually find myself making the decision the weekend before, sometimes even a day or two before depending on if it is turning out the way I want.

So this weekend I did a crowdsource for ideas of what you guys wanted to see, and a holiday packing list got mentioned a lot.

I had a few suggestions for neutral wardrobes, all black, and then a black, white, cream, and grey travel wardrobe, so I went in that direction.

It is hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that it is time to say that it is the holidays.

Time is crazy.

But alas it is even though today it feels closer to late summer than heading towards winter.

This is one reason why packing lists can be so hard.

The weather is so unpredictable now, that it takes a lot of last-minute tweaks and planning to ensure that you are going to be prepared for the weather.

Tomorrow is going to be 23°C here.

I can’t even wrap my head around it. I am used to cold and crisp mornings, wearing beanies, and thinking about snowfall at this time of year.

It’s like short sleeves and sandal weather.

Anyway, I am going to share with you the thought process of a packing list, and how it relates to when I build capsule wardrobes.

You’ll start to see the connections and how easy it is to take the same concept and apply it to your own wardrobe when you are packing for a trip.

A 12 Piece Holiday Packing List

A white background with 12 pieces and accessories for A 12 Piece Holiday Packing List.

Grey Tie Knit Sweater | Grey Jeans | Beanie | Black Boots | Coat | Belt | Cream Sweater | Green Tote | Skirt | Black Turtleneck | Grey Trousers | Sling Bag | Earmuffs | Uggs | White Button Up
Green Scarf | Black Cords | Gloves | Fleece Jacket | Grey Sweater | Sunglasses | Sneakers | White T-shirt

It is a bit like assembling a puzzle.

You have a finite amount of space, and the challenge lies in planning out a travel wardrobe that is small but versatile, while still retaining your personal style.

A packing list and a capsule wardrobe are related in that both are strategies designed to help you be more efficient.

They share some common principles.

Selecting Versatile Pieces
Both a packing list and a capsule wardrobe encourage you to choose versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits.

This approach maximizes the number of looks you can achieve with a minimal number of pieces.

Both concepts promote a minimalist approach. The goal is to avoid overpacking and bringing unnecessary items that can weigh down your luggage and make your travel experience more cumbersome.

How often have you brought clothes on a trip that you literally never wore, not even once?

The goal is to plan, so you don’t fall into the, “better to overpack than under pack” mentality.

Colour Coordination
In both cases, colour coordination is key. A well-thought-out colour scheme ensures that your clothing and accessories can be easily combined for various outfits, reducing the need to pack a wide range of colours and patterns.

With this one, I stuck to a variety of neutrals and then added just a touch of colour in a couple of accessories.

You don’t have to go neutral though.

Any well thought out wardrobe of any combination of colours and patterns will work as long as you make sure that it is capable of mixing and matching.

Both strategies aim to make your packing and dressing process more efficient.

With a capsule wardrobe and a well-organized packing list, you can quickly select your outfits and avoid the stress of rummaging through a cluttered suitcase or wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is a broader concept that involves curating a small collection of clothing that can be mixed and matched for everyday use, not just for travel.

BUT this also works for travel.

While a packing list is a practical tool for trip preparation, a capsule wardrobe is a long-term strategy for creating a minimalist and versatile clothing collection.

However, you can incorporate capsule wardrobe principles into your packing list to make your travel wardrobe more efficient and space-saving.

So when you are creating a holiday capsule wardrobe we want to maximize your outfits while minimizing the amount of clothing you bring.

This can be done by a little research and planning, like the weather and activities at your destination.

Also, determine the duration of your trip and whether you’ll have access to laundry facilities.

Choose a Colour Scheme to help inspire you. Select a colour palette with 2-4 versatile colours that work well together.

Neutrals like black, white, grey, and denim are great choices, but not the only choice so don’t get stuck in that mindset.

Start with essential pieces like jeans, comfortable pants, and versatile skirts.

Include tops like T-shirts, blouses, and lightweight sweaters.

A lightweight jacket or cardigan for layering is a good idea which is why I included a fun fleece.

They are great for a travel outfit, early morning coffee runs, days that aren’t as cold, and even as a layering piece under your jacket.

Select clothing that can be mixed and matched easily. Ensure tops and bottoms coordinate well within your chosen colour scheme.

Prioritize comfortable clothing for walking and sightseeing without sacrificing your style. This will help you to avoid feeling like you have nothing to wear and keep you feeling more like yourself.

No one wants a wardrobe that doesn’t reflect your style.

I kept everything somewhat looser fitting, even the jeans are a boyfriend style versus high-waisted and tight for comfort value.

Choose pieces that can be dressed up or down, such as a versatile dress or skirt.

Limit Footwear to two or three pairs of comfortable, versatile shoes, including sneakers or walking shoes, a boot, and a weather appropriate selection.

Use accessories like scarves, belts, and jewellery to change the look of an outfit, but limit them to a few key pieces that work with multiple outfits.

The belt is reversible from black to white, the gloves still allow touch screen, and the sling bag is convenient and roomy.

Bonus: it looks like the slouchy banana bag from The Row, but is less than 1/10 of the cost.

Don’t forget things for the weather like these HeatTech tights to layer under the skirt or even your jeans and trousers for extra warmth if it is chilly.

I included a beanie, but earmuffs are also a super fun choice.

Bring a weather-appropriate jacket or coat. Consider a lightweight raincoat if needed.

Be mindful of the number of items you’re packing to keep your capsule wardrobe truly compact.

Make sure to test your travel outfits. Try on different outfit combinations to make sure everything works together.

Make any necessary adjustments to your selections.

And wear your bulkiest pieces on the plane to limit the amount of clothes you have in your suitcase.

By following these steps and being mindful of versatility, comfort, and practicality, you can create a holiday capsule wardrobe packing list that allows you to travel light and stylishly while having the right clothing for various occasions during your trip.

This approach isn’t just about neat organization or fashion finesse – it’s a philosophy of mindful, purposeful travel.

The magic of a well-curated capsule wardrobe lies not only in its efficiency but in the freedom it grants you, and by selecting pieces that serve multiple purposes and embracing the art of mixing and matching, you’re liberated from the weight and clutter of overpacked suitcases.

With every well-planned trip, you’re free to savour the moments, connect with new cultures, and immerse yourself in the beauty of exploration, unburdened by unnecessary baggage (physically not emotionally, I can’t help you there).

Let this concept of packing light guide you towards the ease and elegance of travel, leaving you more room to cherish the experiences that truly matter.

May your travels be as light as your suitcase with your new well planned out wardrobe.

Travel Outfits for Women

A white background with 12 outfits for A 12 Piece Holiday Packing List.

A white background with 12 outfits for A 12 Piece Holiday Packing List.

Grey Tie Knit Sweater | Grey Jeans | Beanie | Black Boots | Coat | Belt | Cream Sweater | Green Tote | Skirt | Black Turtleneck | Grey Trousers | Sling Bag | Earmuffs | Uggs | White Button Up
Green Scarf | Black Cords | Gloves | Fleece Jacket | Grey Sweater | Sunglasses | Sneakers | White T-shirt

You might also like:
A 12 Piece Colourful Fall Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Minimalist Fall Capsule Wardrobe
My 12 Piece Ultimate Fall Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Carolyn Bessette Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Romantic Fall Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece Ralph Lauren Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe
A 12 Piece New Preppy Style Fall Capsule Wardrobe


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Sara is the founder and creative behind livelovesara. A George Brown College Fashion Styling Graduate, she provides advice on finding your personal style regardless of age and budget. She is always on the hunt for the perfect wardrobe piece and is a vintage and thrifting enthusiast who can't wait to share her newest finds. She is also trying to learn French.

One Comment

  1. This is perfect for me for my 3 winter trips. Thank you so much for the notion of a neutral packing capsule. Love the green instead of traditional red or beige as the coloway!

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