Travel – Packing a capsule wardrobe for France…

Travel - Littlegreenshed Packing a capsule wardrobe

In a few days we are off on a road trip across the Pyrennes, arriving at Spain into France and back again.  There is much excitement in our house.  Our own car is still in the garage being fixed after the car accident – so we are taking the Insurance hire car.  As lovely as it is, new, comfortable with better air con than ours, it is much smaller.

So when it has come to packing the car with the tent, bbq, camping stove, airbeds and then clothes – we don’t have much room at all.  So we are taking a small amount of clothes and I shall be washing them as we go… all part of the French adventure I say!

So it got me thinking how to make the most out of the little clothes I take, and came up with my own capsule holiday wardrobe…

Capsule wardrobe- packing for franceI have had to be strict with myself with a few basic rules:

  • A limited colour palette of white, navy, blue and grey
  • Colour pop with accessories
  • Everything has to have a multi use.  Think blouse with jeans, which could also go over a dress and with a skirt

What I am taking:

  • Big scarf which will go with every outfit and can be used as a beach cover up
  • Two pairs of footwear, one sandals, one avarca slip ons
  • One small clutch/over the shoulder bag in a bright pop of colour
  • One basket for beach / market and everyday carrying of camera and snacks
  • A grey cashmere cardigan – warm, light and packs up small
  • Tshirts in teal, white, breton, navy, plus one with a bit of sparkle- will go with jeans, skirt and under sleeveless dresses
  • Swimming costume
  • White linen dress – this is my evening dress for dinner out
  • Navy sleeveless linen dress
  • Striped day dress
  • Denim skirt
  • Blue jeans
  • White lace blouse
  • Linen blouse
  • Denim shirt
  • Loose dress for the beach
  • Of course pants and bras!
  • And a few necklaces to jazz things up

And all of this packed by using this brilliant way of rolling not folding (see Heather’s video and Katy’s post) so I can fit it all in a small carry on cabin bag.

Dan is also taking a minimal wardrobe, as most of the boot will be taken up by a massive bag for the boys. My kids go through clothes daily.  So grubby!

I will let you know how I get on!  So how do you pack for your holiday? Any tips are welcome.

Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed.  A UK lifestyle & travel blog

Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.

  • We camp a lot. I also use a similar colour palette, but add red as well as jazzes things up a bit. Flip flops or Saltwaters for the showers as can’t do bare feet in communal showers *shudder* and a folding straw hat is an essential. Muji are brilliant for teeny tiny everything in the toiletries department. I also swear by the camping towels you can buy in Mountain Warehouse etc. that fold small and dry in miracle time. Buy the biggest one possible and it will become invaluable. Happy holidays!

  • love this! especially the orange bag ♡

    I am so terrible when it comes to packing. It means decision making ahead of time and that’s something I’m NO good at ;) your collection looks perfect though I must say.

    our travels to Ireland bring all kinds of weather so we take pretty much everything I can squeeze in. Varcas and Wellies!!

    happy travels Lovely Lady! x

    • What, no pac-a-mac – you’re brave!
      I’m not camping but taking similar, but substituting a large fabric tote instead of a basket – it can be rolled up small when not in use, whereas baskets are space-hungry. I also take leggings, which can be slipped on under a dress when it’s cooler, or even slept in. And I never take white clothing when camping as I can almost guarantee that on the first wearing they will get ketchup / red wine / insert stain of choice on them, meaning that my entire holiday would be spent in stained clothing! :)

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