How to Pack in 30 Minutes


So, this is the second part of my ‘what to wear in Madrid in October when the weather calls for summer clothes‘ post. And I’m going let you in on the ultimate secret, the holy grail of lazy travellers everywhere:


Yes, really, I’m going to reveal my biggest secret (No, not really, but it sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?)

OK, this is how you do it:

First, choose your preferred style of cabin luggage (I like a simple trolley) and a nice, practical tote bag. Second, toss your choice of outerwear and shoes (in this case: a trench coat and ballerina flats) into the trolley and your preferred pair of sunglasses into the tote. Add a few pieces that go with all of the above; a couple of t-shirts, a shirt, a skirt, a pair of trousers / jeans etc. in the trolley. Next, add simple, functional underwear (with a few additional pieces, in case you get stuck at an airport somewhere and have to spend an extra night in a hotel).  Sprinkle with a few pieces of (costume) jewellery that goes with everything. And finally, add the camera case, hairbrush and toiletries. Close the trolley. Now, grab the trolley and the tote and exit the flat. Turn back at the door to make sure you switched of the coffee maker. Now, run for the train, quick, you have a plane to catch!

That’s it??!!??

Well, what did you expect? More drama? That’s what the coffee maker is for. Fine, you can also check that you didn’t leave the light on in the bathroom…

Anyway, the secret to a simple travel wardrobe is this: 

everything you pack can be mixed and matched endlessly, so that you can wear different versions of the same look over and over again.

Remember, I showed you this outfit a while ago (see the original post HERE):

smart casual over 50

Denim and Stripes

As you can see, the visual impact of this look is very similar to the other pictures you see in this post. OK, so I’m wearing horizontal stripes (and a t-shirt instead of a shirt) and a skirt instead of jeans, but the two looks are quite similar in style. We could even argue that these two outfits are merely slightly different versions of the same look: a trench coat, red accessories, denim and stripes.

And that’s precisely the point: for a minimalist, no-fuss travel wardrobe, all of the pieces must go together, in several different combinations. I could just as well combine the denim skirt with the shirt with vertical stripes, or the jeans with the t-shirt with horizontal stripes.

So, to recap: for a 3-day trip I packed jeans and a denim pencil skirt, and 3 stripy tops (one linen t-shirt with short sleeves, one long-sleeved t-shirt, and one slightly dressier shirt). Everything I packed would be suitable for both warm weather and slightly cooler evenings, and could be used to put together a number of both casual and smart casual outfits.

But what about toiletries? 

Well, that’s even simpler. Take the plastic bag they let you take past security control. It should be just big enough to hold a few travel-sized versions of your favourite products. And you really don’t need much for a 3-day trip. Trust me, you don’t. 

I’m a very low-maintenance girl: I don’t know anything about skin care (seriously, I just use Nivea, both for my face and my body). Unfortunately, my hair is a bitchy diva that refuses to settle for the complimentary hotel room products, so I always pack some shampoo, conditioner, and styling product to keep to diva from misbehaving too much.

And what do we learn from this? Life may be complicated, but packing doesn’t have to be…

travel capsule wardrobe

travel wardrobe over 40

Outfit details:

trench: Hobbs (old) / denim skirt: KappAhl (old) / t-shirt: Caroll (old) / 

bag: Furla / sunglasses: Dolce and Gabbana / shoes: Clarks

What’s your recipe for fuss-free packing?



PS: Nicole of High Latitude Style featured me and a number of other fashion bloggers around the world  in her post on dress code and fashion differences between countries. Go check it out!

Linking up with: 

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishGaray TreasuresHigh Latitude StyleSydney Fashion HunterThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirGet Your Pretty OnHappiness at Mid-LifeA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the HatSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeCoco et La Vie en RoseFashionably Employed,The Fabulous JourneyLiving on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleSheela WritesShelbee on the Edge Over 50 Feeling 40 A Pocketful of Polka Dots 


  1. Nancy's Fashion Style
    10 November 2016 / 11:03 am

    I don t think I can pack in 30 minutes for one night! But I do have learned to pack clothes that match together. I never did that before to find out on Holiday that I had way to much!

  2. Nicole Mölders
    11 November 2016 / 4:08 am

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. I like both outfits. The photo on the stairs is great!

  3. Clairejustine oxox
    12 November 2016 / 4:59 pm

    Such a lovely outfit. Love your blue jacket with the pops of red in you bag :)

  4. Patti
    13 November 2016 / 11:04 pm

    Well done and from a seasoned pro! Love this line: "my hair is a bitchy diva." I LOL'd. Thanks for linking, xo-Patti

  5. Shelbee On The Edge
    16 November 2016 / 3:56 pm

    Great tips, Tiina! I am tucking them away for my 3 day trip to California in a few weeks! Thanks for linking up with me On the

  6. Rigid Box Sivakasi
    3 June 2024 / 9:45 am

    “Elegantly crafted to perfection, our Empty Jewelry boxes promise to preserve your precious memories and treasures in timeless style.”

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