What I Packed for ~6 Weeks Away: Capsule Wardrobe Experiment

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram (@amandadev4), you’ll have seen that Chris and I have decided to spend several weeks away from home. We decided to spend Mid-November to Mid-December in San Diego, CA (specifically Pacific Beach). Knowing we would be working remotely, as well as exploring the beach and city meant packing would be interesting. I would need to have work clothes in case I had to jet off to client meetings, lounge clothes for hanging out & remote working, and fun outfits for exploring the city & all the food and drinks San Diego has to offer. Chris and I also realized we would need to pack at least one monitor each for our remote work, which cut down our packing space further. Did I mention we are flying straight from San Diego to Phoenix for a wedding, then to Sedona for a few days before heading home?

All that being said, I knew I would need a flexible wardrobe that could get me through A LOT of different situations, including work meetings, wedding events, a half marathon, and many days of hiking. I was super stressed that I wouldn’t be able to pack everything I need – then the thought occurred to me that this would be the perfect opportunity to put a capsule wardrobe to the test! I’ve always said I wanted to be more minimalist with my wardrobe, but this is the first time I will be putting this to the test without access to the rest of my closet 🙂

In all reality, I still probably overpacked. I’m sure there will be an item or two here that gets very little wear/use while I’m away, but this is still a MUCH more organized and cohesive way to travel, considering the circumstances. Here is what made the final packing list:

I ultimately settled on 7 pairs of shoes, 7 bottoms, 10 tops, and 6 pieces of outerwear. This obviously doesn’t include items like PJ’s, underwear, socks, etc, but this will make up the entirety of “outfits” I am wearing. I’ve also not included any of my workout gear or my training shoes, because I won’t be wearing them “out” – just to yoga/the gym/on runs. I probably still overpacked, but this is the most cohesive suitcase I’ve ver packed.

Outerwear:

Camel Coat – A winter staple. Not sure how much I will end up wearing this in San Diego, but I’ll definitely need it at night in the desert of Phoenix/Sedona in December. Also will come in handy if I have to fly anywhere colder for work.

Denim Jacket – This seriously goes with everything. I’ve found myself reaching for this jacket more and more recently.

Black Blazer – A staple piece for my work wardrobe, but also excellent for more casual outings, or date nights where I want to look a little dressier.

Green Anorak Jacket – I almost didn’t bring this, but after being here almost a week, I’m so glad I did. This jacket is great for layering and adding a pop of neutral color to black/tan outfits.

Black Moto Jacket – Mine is actually suede from a few years ago. I’ve never worn it much, but something tells me I’ll get a lot of use out of it on this trip.

Grey Cropped Hoodie – Another great layering piece. Depending on the weather, I can wear this on it’s own as a light layer, or wear with another piece. This will definitely get a lot of use for lounging, beach time, and working from home.

Tops

Short-Sleeve Sweater– My secret for a layered look without overheating (especially when the days really warm up in the afternoon). The perfect neutral color.

White T-Shirt – An obvious closet staple. This always gets TONS of wear, no matter what kind of outfit I’m wearing.

Black T-Shirt – Another obvious closet staple.

Blue Button-Down Shirt – I’m honestly not sure how much I will wear this. I kind of panicked and threw this in my suitcase at the last minute as an additional workwear option.

White Linen Button-Down Shirt – Another staple wardrobe piece, perfect for casual wear and layering as well as for work.

Tan Sweater – A lighter sweater layer. I’m not sure how much I will wear this one, since it’s similar to the short sleeve sweater.

Grey V-Neck Sweater – I’m repeating myself here – but this is a staple piece that can work with any of the outerwear options.

Black V-Neck Sweater – One of the few black tops I brought – a necessity for workwear and will go with everything.

Cream Bodysuit – Perfect for layering, especially when my white t-shirt is dirty.

Camel Bodysuit– Another one of my most-worn closet pieces, the same as the cream bodysuit.

Bottoms:

Black Joggers – I’m already obsessed with these. They are SO comfy. But they look way more pulled together than my ratty old college sweatpants. My #1 loungewear/travel item. Also an amazon purchase of $35 so I HIGHLY recommend them to everyone!

Leopard Maxi Skirt – Another affordable amazon find. The only thing I packed that actually has a pattern, and also the only bottom I packed that isn’t pants. Not sure how much wear I will get out of it, but we shall see! Under $20 on amazon.

Spanx Leather Leggings – Definitely not the first time I’ve mentioned these on the blog. Everyone loves them. They are pricey, but I still love them.

Zara Pants – I basically only brought these in the event I need them for work. They can definitely be worn more casually, but I tend to mostly wear them in work settings.

White Madewell Denim – This was another impulse pack. I really don’t know how much I will wear these in the middle of winter, but they seriously go with everything. Plus, I wanted to have something casual to wear that wasn’t jeans of black, and this gave me another option.

Levi’s Distressed Denim – My most worn pair of jeans. Basically no stretch, but I love the way they keep me sucked in(ha!)

Black Jeans – the stretchiest, most comfortable pair of jeans ever. They also make your butt look awesome. Completely opposite in feel/style from the Levi’s ones, but I LOVE them for work and travel because they are so comfortable,

Madewell High-Waisted Skinny Jeans – Apparently us millennials are cheugy for wearing skinny jeans. I don’t care, I will still wear these all the time, especially in a casual work setting.

Shoes:

Black Mules – This was a last-minute purchase. I realized I had no black shoes (because I wasn’t planning to bring the black heels) and I have yet to wear them. We’ll see how much wear these get.

Nude Loafers – I wear these ALL THE TIME for work. When I visit customers, I have to wear flat, closed toed shoes to walk the manufacturing floor. I’m not sure if I’ll wear them a ton if I don’t have to go on-site anywhere, but I had to bring them in case.

Nude Heels – My most-worn heel for obvious reasons. They go with everything, a must for date-night, nice dinners, and the wedding I’m going to.

Tan Booties – The only “true” fall/winter shoe I brought. One of my most-worn shoes during this time of year.

Black Heels – This was a last-minute panic-pack. I really don’t know if I’ll end up wearing them but got nervous at my lack of black shoes so I brought them anyways.

White Sneakers – A no-brainer for me. Best option for walking around everywhere while still looking put-together. I’ve already worn them a ton since being here, and get tons of use out of them at home as well.

Cap-Toe Slingback Flats – This is another one I went back and forth about packing. I love these for work, and they go with SO many things because of the coloring. I was just worried they wouldn’t be super seasonably appropriate. Not sure how much wear these will get.


If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking around! I’m planning to share weekly updates of how I actually style all these pieces during my trip. Be sure to look out for those posts in the future 🙂

Until Next Time,

Amanda

Follow along on IG: @amandadev4

**this post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.**

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