Travel Capsule for an Eight-Day Spring Trip

I’ll be heading out to the Netherlands over the weekend to see my dear 84-year old Dad. I’ll be on my own while Greg and Sam hold the fort back in Seattle. Including travel, it’s an eight-day trip, and this is what I’ve packed. 

A few things upfront before I delve into the details:

  • I’ll be visiting family, doing errands, eating out, going to appointments, and hanging out with my Dad in his home towns of Velp and Arnhem. These very quaint towns are on the east side of the Netherlands, and close to the German border. I can therefore keep my outfits casual, although I’ll have a few smart casual engagements too.
  • The weather will be milder than it was when I visited in January. A little rain with some sun and daytime temperatures of about 14 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) will be the norm, but colder in the morning and at night. I do a LOT of walking and take public transport when I visit my Dad, which means wearing the right footwear, scarves and outerwear so that I stay warm, comfortable and dry. 
  • I’ll be putting a suitcase in the hold because I like to have more dressing options than a carry-on can accommodate. I’ll also be bringing presents for family and doing a little shopping on my trip which requires extra space. 
  • I will NOT be doing laundry on the trip.
  • The capsule includes a dressier outfit that I will wear on one day — maybe two — and I’ve included it in the post. 
  • The capsule also includes the outfit that I will wear on both ten-hour flights. It’s the same outfit, and I’ve shown the components at the end of this post. 

The palette of the capsule smacks of Spring with its happy dose of brights, which keeps my spirits high. I’ve combined shades of white with shades of blue denim, tomato red, citron and a smattering of navy. I am an experienced traveller and packer and often travel with white wardrobe items. It sounds impractical but believe it or not, I’m able to keep them clean. It’s my superpower! 

The capsule is larger than usual because the weather is unpredictable at this time of year and I packed more tops just in case the weather is colder or warmer than expected. I also packed a dressier outfit (some of its items might not be mixed and matched with the rest of the capsule). I’ve tried on many outfit combinations from the capsule to make sure that they work AND that I like them. Although most of the tops can be combined with most of the bottoms, I’ll stick to the combinations that I like best. 

Here’s more detail on each part of the capsule. Note that basics like undies, camisoles, sleepwear, loungewear and knee-highs are not represented here. For the rest, these are the exact wardrobe items that I packed and will be wearing en route. 

Footwear

I build a travel capsule around my shoes because it’s extremely important to have happy feet when you’re walking around a city and using public transport. Once I knew which shoes I was taking, I planned the rest of the outfits to work with them. 

Two pairs of shoes are sufficient for the eight-day trip. I’ll wear my white and gold hi-tops most of the time because they’re good in the rain, and keep my feet warm. I’ll wear my white loafers for the smart casual engagements, and in some casual outfits. Both pairs are very comfortable, tried and tested, and go the distance. 

Bottoms

I’ve chosen an assortment of bottoms because I’m bored with wearing dark blue jeans. So there’s only one pair of dark blue jeans because they’re good to wear on the long flights. I’ll wear my light blue and white jeans most of the time, and throw in my gingham pants for dressier days. The jeans look good with either the hi-tops or loafers. The gingham pants look best with the loafers. 

Tops

I’ve packed seven tops across an assortment of thicknesses, although I’ll only be wearing the striped peplum knit top for the flights, so it’s essentially six tops. The cropped white pullover is for the dressy outfit only. I couldn’t decide whether I should take cashmere or blouses, so I packed both to be prepared for whichever way the weather wants to swing. I’ve packed brights, patterns and neutrals so that I don’t get bored with my look. 

Outerwear

Instead of bringing one wool peacoat, I decided to bring two lighter toppers that I can layer for different weather conditions. I packed a raincoat for the wind and drizzle, and a floral denim jacket that I can layer underneath the coat for warmth. I can also keep the denim jacket on indoors if it’s cold. And if it warms up more than expected, I can leave off the raincoat and wear the denim jacket. 

I do wear denim on denim, and lots of people in the Netherlands do too. The denim jacket looks particularly good with the gingham pants and white jeans, but just fine with the light blue and dark jeans. The embroidery on the denim AND my colourful scarves do a good job of breaking up the expanse of denim, as does my raincoat. 

Accessories

I’ve kept accessories minimally maximal. I’ll wear my green specs, gold watch, pearl bracelet, pearl ring and citron bag each day. Then I’ll choose between two Spring scarves that add bold high-contrast interest to every outfit, and pattern mix with the striped tops, floral denim jacket, and gingham pants. The scarves are also essential wind breakers when you walk in the Netherlands. I’ll wear the belt with my white boyfriend jeans, and my pearl necklace with most of the tops. YES, I will be wearing the pearl necklace and a scarf because I like the maximal vibe. 

I will also be travelling with an umbrella and a cashmere wrap. I’ve left the wrap out of the capsule because it will not be styled into these outfits. It’s loungewear and a cosy blanket for plane travel only. I’ll keep the umbrella in my bag just like I do in Seattle. 

Dressier Outfit

Here are the components of the dressier outfit, which is without pearl necklace because it doesn’t work with the mock turtleneck. I wore it out to dinner recently, and loved it, so I chose to pack it for my trip.  

Travel Outfit 

This is the exact outfit that I will wear on the flight out to Amsterdam on Sunday, and the flight back to Seattle next week. Layers, fabrics with stretch, and soft fabrics are cosy and insulating on long flights. A jacket, scarf and dressy bag also make my casual outfit look pulled together and polished. The coat is packed in my hand luggage, and I will wear it when I travel to my Dad from the airport with arranged transport, and need extra insulation. 

You can visit the collection page to see my travel capsule in its entirety. The picture below shows the items just before I started packing.

Travel Capsule

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