Travel Essentials

easy travel wardrobe

I’m a low maintenance girl…

Therefore, I like to keep my life simple. Correction: I’m constantly trying to simplify my life (and usually failing), but at least I can make my wardrobe fuss-free, especially when I travel.

I have no packing system; I just toss into a suitcase (yes, a suitcase, not cabin luggage) whatever I think I might need plus something for unexpected circumstances, such as unusually cold weather or rain. Be prepared for (almost) anything, that’s my motto. I know, I’m a bit neurotic. But I’m also old enough to say ‘so what’: I decided to give up trying to ‘improve’ myself and instead embrace my neuroses a long time ago. A few more decades and I’ll be able to pass them off as adorable eccentricities…

low-maintenance travel wardrobe
wrap: Marja Kurki / sunglasses: Miu Miu / bag: Michael Kors

But I’m digressing here.
So, I do pack a sort of a capsule wardrobe, i.e. I may pack clothes in a certain colour scheme, so that they can be mixed and matched, but I don’t plan any outfits in advance (it would be totally pointless: whenever I do plan an entire outfit in advance, I end up changing my mind at the last minute…). There are lots of basics (trousers, t-shirts, maybe a dress or two), 2-3 pairs of shoes, a couple of bags and at least 2-3 pairs of sunglasses, several big scarves and tons of jewellery (I need some variety). My accessories always take up most of the space in the suitcase. Seriously, if it wasn’t for accessories, I could fit everything in cabin luggage. Perhaps I could pack just one bag, one pair of sunglasses etc? No, I don’t think that would work…

how to wear a poncho
top: Banana Republic (old) / trousers: Marks and Spencer (old)  / shoes: Clarks (spring 2014)

This is a typical holiday outfit: trousers and a t-shirt / long-sleeved top (for cooler days), a small cross-body bag for essentials (= credit cards, phone, lipstick, camera) and a wool wrap / poncho that I can throw over whatever I’m wearing when it gets colder. These pictures were taken in Funchal, Madeira, where it was around 16ºC / 68.8 ºF, so the wrap was actually quite useful because it was a bit chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings.

travel in style

If this outfit looks familiar, that’s probably because the wrap has been featured on the blog before, in red and in white… Yes, I did it again (sorry for quoting Britney, totally accidental…): I bought the same wrap in yet another colour, but how could I resist such a lovely shade of blue?


PS: This is my 100th post, can you believe it?

Linking up with Visible Monday

Dilettante Artist has her own blog now, The Dilettante Artist’s Gallery,  where I will be posting (very infrequently) random pictures: illustration, photomanipulation, that sort of thing. And there is a pretty, new widget on the sidebar to take you there…


  1. Anonymous
    28 December 2014 / 2:19 pm

    I love that wrap! I'm with you on accessories.

    • Tiina L
      29 December 2014 / 3:48 pm

      Thanks! Yes, accessories make the outfit.

  2. Natalia Lialina
    28 December 2014 / 9:47 pm

    Comfy yet stylish and vibrant! I love your idea of packing extra accessories – they really make an outfit. We lived in two homes for half a year in 2014, and it was fun and challenging for me to come up with a mini capsule wardrobe every weekend. I don't think I am very good at it, maybe just a couple of times my choices were inspired. I was low maintenance for a few years, but now I so enjoy the variety and luxury to dress spontaneously according to my mood. It's a great skill to have when you travel – to have fun dressing up from a limited wardrobe options though. You can teach master classes, Tiina. 🙂

    • Tiina L
      29 December 2014 / 3:51 pm

      Thanks, Natalia. I guess I'm so used to having a small wardrobe and limited choices, it's second nature. If I had all my clothes in one place I would probably freak out: too many options, too much stuff…

  3. Patti
    28 December 2014 / 11:24 pm

    Love it – esp the part about how our neuroses will be charming eccentricities later! Gorgeous cape. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo.

    • Tiina L
      29 December 2014 / 3:51 pm

      Thanks, Patti.

  4. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas
    29 December 2014 / 5:33 am

    First Up…Happy 100th post! I love your cape…capes would be so versatile while traveling, so thanks for that tip! One day I'd like to be able to travel with only cabin luggage…for me, it's the personal stuff, ie., skincare, first aid kit, make-up etc., that takes up so much of my suitcase…and doesn't that just make me sound like a bit of a diva, LOL.

    • Tiina L
      29 December 2014 / 3:54 pm

      Thanks, Sue. I tried travelling with only cabin luggage, and it only works when I travel between the homebases (no need to carry toiletries etc heavy items). On holiday I need more stuff, and have accepted that a suitcase is a must.

  5. Jill James
    29 December 2014 / 9:24 am

    Congratulations on your 100th. post. I always enjoy your travel wardrobe tips, with all your travel you certainly are the expert. I love the idea of extra accessories they make all the difference.You wear your capes so well. Happy New Year to you.

    • Tiina L
      29 December 2014 / 3:55 pm

      Thanks, Jill. There are a couple of more travel wardrobe posts in the pipeline…

  6. Jasmine Rabuñal Barrientos
    29 December 2014 / 11:16 am

    Congrats on your 100th post! Hope your write a lot more. I also take along with me a big part of my things. That wrap is amazing.Jasmine ♥For a Real Woman

    • Tiina L
      29 December 2014 / 3:56 pm

      Thanks, Jasmine! I always try to fit my entire life in the suitcase… now, that is neurotic.

  7. Marea Dotz
    29 December 2014 / 3:57 pm

    Your post made me laugh. I have the same problem. I try so hard to pack light and efficient, but end up with one BIG MESS–but it makes traveling fun. Never know what I'll be pulling out of my bag of tricks.

    • Tiina L
      30 December 2014 / 7:35 pm

      Well, suitcases are so small… And I always need something I didn't pack, but will just have to make do.

  8. Suzanne Carillo
    29 December 2014 / 9:02 pm

    That colour is so stunning on you. I am the WORST person for packing but I find I do end up full packing outfits. I prefer that method otherwise I overpack or miss a piece to complete an outfit. I will often take photos of the outfits too. You are a much more carefree packer than I. I do hope my husband views my neurosis as adorable eccentricities : ) bisousSuzanne

    • Tiina L
      30 December 2014 / 7:38 pm

      I'm a carefree packer because I do it all the time… my clothes are always either in the laundry or in the wrong country, and after a while you just get used to it, and get good at improvising…

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