I visit my darling 84-year old Dad every three months, so I’m heading out to the Netherlands tomorrow to see him, while Greg and Sam hold the fort back in Seattle. In case you missed them, I previously shared my travel capsules for the same trip in Autumn, Winter and Spring.
Including travel, it’s an eight-day trip, and this is what I’ve packed. A few things upfront before I delve into the details:
- I’ll be visiting family, doing errands, eating out, and going to appointments. I’ll be hanging out with my Dad in his home town of Velp, with the occasional trip to nearby Arnhem. These very quaint towns are on the east side of the Netherlands and close to the German border. I can keep my outfits casual.
- Summer in the Netherlands is disappointing this year. It has been cool, with drizzle and some sun. Daytime temperatures of about 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit) will be the norm, but colder in the morning and at night. I do a LOT of walking and take public transport when I visit my Dad, which means wearing the right footwear, scarves and toppers so that I stay warm, comfortable and dry.
- I’ll be putting a suitcase in the hold because I like to have more dressing options than a carry-on can accommodate. I’ll also be bringing presents for family and doing a little shopping on my trip which requires extra space.
- I will not be doing laundry on the trip.
- The capsule is larger than what I usually pack because I love wearing my Summer clothes, and have the space. It won’t be long before I’ll have to wrap up in Seattle, so I’m taking the opportunity to wear what I can while the weather lasts.
- The capsule also includes the outfit that I will wear on both ten-hour flights. It’s the same outfit, and I’ve shown the components at the end of this post.
The palette of the capsule combines dark blue, light blue and white neutrals with coral, blush and citron accents. I have a high affinity for colour mixing so to my eye brights work beautifully with pastels, whites keep things crisp, and the blue grounds the colour. I am an experienced traveller and packer and often travel with white wardrobe items. It sounds impractical, but believe it or not, I’m able to keep them clean. It’s my superpower.
To create a satisfying mix that is true to my style, I create a capsule that combines classics with trendy items, wardrobe essentials with statement pieces, solids with patterns, knits with wovens, neutrals with colours, and old items with newbies. Lots of variety but with a good amount of discipline.
There are many, many mix-and-match outfit possibilities here — easily a few weeks worth — and therefore more than I will need for the trip. But I felt like having multiple options this time round because Summer clothes aren’t bulky. That way I can wear a head-to-toe pastel outfit if I feel like it. Create a look with two brights and a pastel if that tickles my fancy. Create a light or dark column of colour, or combine brights with blue. I’ve tried on a slew of outfit combinations from the capsule to make sure that they work AND that I like them.
Here’s more detail on each part of the capsule. Note that basics like undies, camisoles, sleepwear, loungewear and socks are not represented here. For the rest, these are the exact wardrobe items that I packed and will be wearing en route.
I build a travel capsule around my shoes because it’s extremely important to have happy feet when you’re walking around a city and using public transport. Once I knew which shoes I was taking, I planned the rest of the outfits to work with them. (NEVER take new shoes on a trip. Take tried-and-tested styles that you know go the distance).
I packed three pairs of shoes instead of two, just for fun. For plane travel, one of the pairs has to be sneakers or boots. I chose blush Summer sneakers and two pairs of the exact same loafers which have been workhorses this Summer. I might end up wearing the loafers the entire trip and leave the sneakers for plane travel depending how things go.
I chose four bottoms instead of three, but actually it’s only three bottoms because I’ll wear the blue boyfriend jeans on the flights ONLY. That means I’ll wear the skirt, culottes and white cropped straights twice. Although all my bottoms are denim, they are very different in colour, vibe and silhouette. They can be paired with all three pairs of shoes.
I’ve packed six tops, but actually it’s only five because the striped pullover is for plane travel only. I had to haul out some Summer knitwear because the weather isn’t great. Three solid neutrals across three silhouettes provide some variety. For more variety, I threw in two printed blouses. I can wear three of the tops with the skirt, and a different three with the culottes. All tops are worn untucked so no belts needed.
I usually pack one Summer topper, but packed two because I’ll wear one daily. For variety, one is dressy and bright, and the other casual and embellished. Both short, structured and resilient. Both toppers can be worn over any of the tops, and with any of the bottoms. I like some combinations more than others, and will choose to wear those.
I’ll we wearing my new specs (so that my Dad can see them), along with gold watch, pearl bracelet and pearl wedding ring daily. To change things up and as an experiment, I’ve brought along two handbags instead of one. I MUST travel with a large satchel, but want to see if bringing a small crossbody will work on my trip too. These bags add dressy polish to my outfits, and are also practical.
I’ll wear a scarf most days, and have brought three for variety. They’re easy to pack and practical, so why not! The colours are a perfect match. The pink scarf creates a complement with the sneakers, loafers and crossbody. The citron scarf creates a complement with the citron bag. The coral scarf creates a twin-set effect with the blazer, and as a “false plain” works with any of the tops. YES, I will be wearing the pearl necklace with a scarf because I like the maximal vibe.
I will also be travelling with an umbrella and a cashmere wrap. I’ve left the wrap out of the capsule because it will not be styled into these outfits. It’s loungewear and a cosy blanket for plane travel only.
This is the exact outfit that I will wear tomorrow on the flight out to Amsterdam, and the flight back to Seattle next week. It follows my strategy for what to wear on long flights. Layers, fabrics with stretch, and soft fabrics are cosy and insulating for plane travel. A jacket, scarf and dressy bag also make my casual outfit look pulled together and polished. Comfortable shoes are essential for comfort when traipsing through airports and catching public transport with luggage.
You can visit the collection page to see my travel capsule in its entirety. The picture below shows the items just before I started packing