Mastering the 10-Piece Travel Wardrobe

by Alexandra Jimenez, editor and founder of Travel Fashion Girl

Planning a compact ten-piece travel wardrobe is easier than you think. By following a few easy guidelines and planning your choices strategically, you too can travel with only a carry-on, no matter the length of the journey or the destination. Your days of checking in heavy oversized luggage are in the past!


Choose classic cuts that can be worn in different settings. Ideal fabrics are those that can be worn casually or dressed up if needed. A plain cotton top can be worn casually with cargos to sightsee during the day and can be spruced up with a skirt and accessories at night.

Carefully assess every item you plan to pack. Consider it’s style, color, and quality. Make sure each item is in good shape and the material won’t fall apart after a few washes.

Each item in your suitcase should be multifunctional. It should not serve just one purpose. By sticking to simple clothing that isn’t categorized for use on one specific occasion, you open up your styling options allowing you to mix and match your limited travel wardrobe.

Select clothing that can be worn with every other piece in your travel wardrobe. You may love a particular top but if it can only be paired with one other item, it’s not the right choice for your trip.


One of the most important aspects of traveling as a minimalist is to pack interchangeable clothing. Sticking to a One Color Story is the easiest way to achieve that. Choose neutral shades to ensure that your clothes can mix and match with ease. Black and grey work well in cold climates and creams and khakis keep you fresh in the heat. Add pops of color with bright scarves and other accessories.

Choosing a One Color Story is especially important when packing for cold destinations when layering is crucial. Remember to use the three layer rule: base layer, thermal layer, and shell.


Planning your travel outfits is key. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and realizing that your chosen items of clothing don’t go together. Spend some time “playing dress up” and ensuring that not only do the colors work but the cut does too. You may find that a shirt you consider fabulous fits too short when paired with your pants or that the fabric of your skirt is too dressy when paired with your chosen tops.

Creating your outfits in advance is especially important if you tend to over pack. You’ll be incredibly surprised at how many outfits you can create with just ten pieces of clothing.

One of the most important things about packing for any type of travel is that you’re happy with your clothing. If you like your clothes and they make you feel good about yourself, you have created your perfect travel wardrobe.

Alexandra Jimenez - editor and founder of Travel Fashion Girl.

Alexandra Jimenez is originally from Los Angeles, but has been traveling around the world since 2008 as a tourist, a backpacker, and a vagabond. Now 36 countries and 6 continents later, she’s learned how to travel stylishly and practically. Visit her website Travel Fashion Girl for invaluable tips and fun trip suggestions. You can also visit her on facebook and Twitter.

Check out TCO Clothes Trotters for great travel-worthy styles!