Travel Wardrobe Ideas

travel wardrobe
Putting together a practical travel wardrobe for a short city break can be challenging. Depending on you destination, how long you’re planning to stay and what the weather is going to be like, you need clothes that can multitask and mix and match effortlessly. You may also want to fit everything into cabin luggage, with some room to spare for the inevitable shopping in your destination. No, packing for a 6-day city break is definitely not an easy task.

But it’s not an impossible task. Provided you accept a few caveats. Most importantly that your travel wardrobe is never going to be perfect, and you just have to make the most of what you’ve got. And that there’s always going to be something you wish you’d packed, and something you could have done without. After that it’s just a matter of finding your ‘key pieces‘ and adding separates that you can mix and match endlessly. 

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smart casual over 50

Find your ‘key pieces

For my recent city break to Barcelona (6 days, cabin luggage only), I decided on a colour scheme of mainly navy and burgundy, and found a few ‘key pieces‘ in those colours (i.e. these striped trousers, another pair of navy trousers and the burgundy poncho from my last post). Everything else should go with all of these key pieces. In other words, I just added one long-sleeved top, a few t-shirts, a cardigan and a scarf. 

What about shoes and bags?

Well, I had packed 2 pairs of shoes (or actually, I had packed one pair of flats as I was wearing my new Adidas on the flight over). As it turned out, I never even wore the other pair, not once. It was a bit cool (and windy and rainy), so ballerina flats were really not the best option… So, even though I think it’s always a good idea to pack two pairs of shoes, in this case the other pair was one of the items I could have done without ( I also packed way too many t-shirts, but would have needed another long-sleeved top. Well, live and learn…)

And bags… Well, when it comes to bags, I have only one advice to anyone planning a trip to Barcelona: get a crossbody bag. Yes, it’s lighter, and easier when you go sightseeing, blah-blah-blah… Never mind all that. Barcelona has pickpockets and bag snatchers. A crossbody bag is the simplest way of keeping your valuables safe. And yes, I packed two bags: a salmon pink Furla crossbody and the clutch/crossbody you see here. This bag is made of cork (a souvenir from Madeira), weighs nothing and packs really well. Otherwise one bag would have been enough.

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Outfit details:
cardigan: Esprit / trousers: Ril’s / t-shirt: Jigsaw /
bag: Artipel / sunglasses: Nina Ricci / scarf: A + more (old) / shoes: Adidas
location: El Born, Barcelona

How do you put together a travel wardrobe?


Linking up with:

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleStyle ElixirA Labour of LifeCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeLiving on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeA Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashThe Fashionista MommaTina’s Pink Friday, Away from the BlueMummabstylish , Mutton Years Style and I


  1. Deborah
    30 April 2019 / 8:25 pm

    Love this post. My sister and I devour travel tips for packing a carry on and travelling light the way other people devour porn! I will be sure to pass this along to her— LOVE your outfits, such an inspiration…..

    • Tiina
      3 May 2019 / 9:04 am

      Thank you! I usually pack a suitcase if I go somewhere for longer than just a couple of days, but this time I decided to travel light. I liked how easy it was, particulalry because I didn’t have to wait for luggage when I got back in the early hours of the morning. However, with so many people travelling with cabin luggage only, there’s always the risk that the airline makes you check in your cabin luggage (with its carefully edited, super light-weight travel wardrobe)…

  2. 1 May 2019 / 7:58 pm

    I’m a huge fan of this kind of advice based on real experience and cabin baggage!. I usually pick my shoes and bag first and build my baggage around these essential pieces. Comfy shoes are a priority! and a cross body bag when visiting any city (your advice on pickpockets is really useful!). I prefer clothes easy to wash and as unwrinkable as possible.
    I love your comfy&cool style, the color combo, the beautiful accessories (the cork bag is so cute!) and also the relaxed atmosphere in your pictures!.

    • Tiina
      3 May 2019 / 9:06 am

      I also often start by choosing my shoes and a bag (they are the heaviest/bulkiest items, after all). And yes, comfy shoes! Can’t stress that enough. There’s nothing worse than walking all day wearing bad shoes.

  3. Flora
    1 May 2019 / 8:42 pm

    One thing about an extra pair of shoes is that even if you only change into them for a few minutes after a lot of pavement pounding it seems to rest your legs and feet. I admire your small but well thought out holiday selection.

    • Tiina
      3 May 2019 / 9:08 am

      I agree: a second pair of shoes can make a huge difference and give your feet some well-deserved rest.
      Thanks, Flora!

  4. mireilleftm
    2 May 2019 / 11:11 pm

    I have a very small crossbody bag that I will use on our trip to Europe. My son usually carries a small backpack that hold the extra things I usually would have in my purse such as wipes and a diaper for baby, medecine, kleenex…

    • Tiina
      3 May 2019 / 9:11 am

      Yeah, that’s the problem with crossbody bags: they fit very little. Or maybe we are used to carrying too much stuff… When we travel, my husband usually carries a backpack, so I can put the camera in there.

  5. mummabstylish
    3 May 2019 / 12:15 am

    Good ideas Tiina, thanks for sharing them on the #linkup Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • Tiina
      3 May 2019 / 9:11 am

      Thanks, Jacqui!

  6. thestylesplash
    5 May 2019 / 11:09 pm

    Great advice Tiina! I always find it hard to stick to the minimum when packing, especially selecting pieces that all work together. You did really well to pack for six days in hand luggage! I love your outfit, the crossbody bag is fab! Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • Tiina
      7 May 2019 / 2:43 pm

      Thanks, Emma!
      Packing is never easy, especially for a longer period of time. But I think I’m finally getting better at editing my wardrobe and selecting pieces that work together. Still, there is always something I miss.

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