While it’s still fresh in my mind, and since we have some pictures to illustrate, I thought I’d outline the way I packed for our recent trip to Japan.

My packing strategy for our travel adventures is usually the same. I watch our destination’s weather like a hawk right up until the day before we leave. The day before, and not a moment sooner, I pack a mix-and-match capsule with a few extras. 

I don’t pack light because I like to have outfit options, and I do not want to do laundry while we’re on the trip. I wear clean tops almost every day, pack lots of layers, add in the odd dressy piece, and take an extra pair of comfy shoes in case my feet start complaining. I stay well within the baggage allowance and there is always room to bring home some goodies that we find along the way.

Excluding the days that we traveled to and from Japan, we were away for 8 full days. This meant packing a relatively casual capsule of at least 9 outfits, along with fancy outfits for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, plus underwear, socks, sleepwear, accessories and toiletries.

Here are the items I took:

Everyday Wear

  • 3 Bottoms: Yellow tartan skinny trousers, jodhpur jeans, zippered blue skinnies
  • 1 Skirt: Polkadot midi (a dressier item for the evening)
  • 7 Tops: Two white button down shirts, denim shirt, chambray linen shirt, animal print blouse, striped knitted tee, navy and cream striped silk blouse.
  • 2 Vests: Black sleeveless top, patterned sleeveless top (for layering over some shirts)
  • 2 Jackets: Cropped black jacket, ink blue blazer
  • 1 Coat: Cream trench
  • 1 Scarf: Burberry
  • 2 Pairs of walking shoes: back & white flat oxfords, gold loafers 

Rehearsal Dinner

  • 1 Bottom: Red Dress Pants
  • 1 Top: Scarf print blouse
  • 1 Blazer: Floral 
  • 1 Pair of shoes: Cream patent booties


  • 1 Dress: Blue sheath
  • 1 Cover up: Citron trench
  • 1 Pair of formal Shoes: Citron stilettos
  • 1 Formal handbag: Red clutch 


  • 10 Pairs of knickers
  • 3 Bras
  • 6 Camisoles
  • 7 Pairs of socks and 3 pairs of nude knee highs
  • 1 Pair of textured black hose
  • 2 Sets of pajamas


  • 2 Pairs of specs
  • 1 Pair of sunglasses
  • 1 Pearl necklace
  • 1 Gold watch and wedding ring
  • 1 Umbrella

Note that these are the items that I packed. For the flight to Japan, I wore a pair of black straight leg jeans, houndstooth button down shirt, a tunic cardigan, grey booties, black doctor’s bag, white specs, and silver watch and wedding ring. I don’t re-wear the clothes that I fly in, but I do re-wear the shoes, bag, specs, watch and wedding ring. So in total, I brought three pairs of walking shoes, two bags, 4 pairs of eyewear, and a change of watch and wedding ring. On the way back, I wear an outfit that I’ve worn on the trip because I don’t feel the that I need fresh clothes for a less than pristinely clean plane flight.

I wore all the bottoms and two pairs of walking shoes several times over, and some of the tops twice. I wore both vests multiple times as a fun extra layer. I wore one of the jackets or my trench coat each day. On some days and nights, I wore my jackets under the trench coat. I wore my scarf with half of the outfits. I wore the polkadot skirt a few times out at night and matched it with a top and jacket. I carried the same black bag day in day out, but swapped out my specs daily. Some days I swapped out my watch and wedding ring. I didn’t end up wearing the gold loafers because it was too cold, but I wore the heck out of the rest of the capsule. 

I only wore the outfits for the rehearsal dinner and wedding once, as these items were not brought to mix up with daily outfits. Below are pictures of one of the outfits that I wore each day. What isn’t shown are the ways that I remixed these items for the evening.