Fabulous Travel Wardrobe with Just One Suitcase

Looking and Feeling Grand on the Grand Adventure

Location: United States

After wearing the same clothes over and over on our Grand Adventure I was looking forward to some major shopping once I got back in the USA. I knew I could create a fabulous travel wardrobe that would fit in  just one suitcase.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past two months purging my old travel wardrobe and adding fresh new and fabulously fun and comfortable items.  There are only five items from my previous wardrobe (excluding underwear) that make the cut for this next phase of my fabulous travel wardrobe.

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

The white dress five ways. This is from J. Jill. I’m gonna love this dress I think.

I have a really good understanding now of what works for me as a full-time traveler; what makes me feel good; is comfortable, pretty and easy to care for; what is well constructed and can withstand hand washing, sweat and constant wear; and most importantly what is versatile for many kinds of climates and all kinds of fabulous.

That’s what I look for in a fabulous travel wardrobe.

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

Black Dress six ways. This is a TravelSmith purchase, wrinkle free fabric. I love it. It made the cut for this next phase. Denim jacket is Levi.  Black and white kimono scarf I bought in Bali. White tie blouse is from Macy’s.

Granted, most of the clothes I need are for warmer climates.  However on this next phase we will see some cool weather, especially while we are in Spain and Portugal in late October and November.  So I need to take this into consideration.

I’m basing my fabulous travel wardrobe on some anchor pieces including; one white dress, one black dress, one pink dress and one green dress.  In addition I have added; one black linen drawstring pants, one white linen drawstring pants, one white walking shorts and one black walking shorts.

With these anchor pieces I have added multiple tank tops and t-shirts and blouses as well as one sweater, two cardigans and my denim jacket. I also have two kimono scarf wraps (one silk, one cotton) and two

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

The green dress four ways. This is another Travel Smith purchase. The silk Kimono scarf and the black leggings are from Sirvana


scarfs.  All of these items together can create an endless array of options for me.  The photos show just some of the ideas I have.

I also have a couple of fun hats and a small collection of versatile jewelry to mix and match.  Although most of the time we aren’t getting dressed up, it’s nice to have some jewelry options for casual outfits as well.

My wardrobe includes

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

Pink dress four ways. I got this dress on a clearance rack at J.Jills. It’s linen – my favorite fabric. There is that Sirvana kimono again.  Teal and pink scarf is from Target.

some handbags and six pairs of shoes.  My shoe choices are flat or low heeled with excellent arch support and lots of comfort.  Anything other than that doesn’t make the cut of a fabulous travel wardrobe.

In my suitcase you will also find my small collection of mix and match items that serve me for hiking, running and yoga.  These activities are a big part of most every day in My Fab Fifties Life so making sure I am comfortable when I’m working out is a priority.  Our fall hike of the Porto Camino will likely include some rainy days, so I am preparing with a better rain poncho

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

White pants and or shorts six ways. There are endless options here. Linen pants are Caslon from Nordstrom. The white shorts I have had for years. Black lace duster from Sirvana. Blue and white striped tank is DraperJane by Reece Witherspoon. White Lace tank from Travel Smith. Washed denim top from Marshalls and red top from StitchFix.

than the one I had last year on the Spain Camino.

I bought two of the same swimsuit but in different colors.  This way I can wear the first one until it starts to fall apart and have a back up ready.  I hated trying to shop for a swimsuit on our travels. And because I wear a suit almost every day, mostly in salt water, they really wear out.  I’m also bringing my older one-piece suit that I found in storage.  I prefer a one piece suit when snorkeling so I want to have it for those times.

Making the cut from last years wardrobe are my

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

Black pants and or shorts eight ways. Of course black is flattering, but these pants are also comfortable. Linen pants are Caslon from Nordstrom, black shorts I have had for years. Teal button up tank and print tank from J Jill. White top with black embellishment is from Macys. Mustard sweater is Coldwater Creek.

bold flowered print long sleeve gauze blouse.  I love the color and comfort of this top and even though it’s long sleeved it is perfect in hot weather.  It will come in handy in Muslim countries where I want to cover my arms.

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

My gear for running and yoga. Black shorts and shoes are Brooks. Leggings from Sirvana.

I’m also bringing my 12-year-old teal linen sundress which is my favorite and is a perfect beach coverup.  I did some hand stitching to it this summer to fix the hem and some fraying. Good as new and ready to go again.

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

I have hiking options for all weather possibilities. And we likely will use them all! Most everything you see here is from REI. Poncho from Magellan. My hiking shoes are from Kuru- specifically designed for plantar fasciaitis.

In addition I’m throwing in my denim cropped white jeans.  I’ve never had a more comfortable pair of jeans and they work in so many ways.  A keeper for sure. My black shorts are also on the return list.

And finally, my black dress from Travel Smith I wore over and over on the last phase of our travels I will wear over and over on the next phase.  This dress is a wonderful wrinkle free fabric and feels really good to wear.

There are a few other minor miscellaneous items I plan to bring, but I feel more pared-down than when we left two years ago.  We both will continue to use our sturdy REI roller bags, now in their fourth year and who knows how many miles and baggage handlers they have endured.  We had to change the wheels on one of them, and are carrying a set of wheels for the other bag just in case.

Fabulous Travel Wardrobe

My swim attire – the blue and the green tops are identical except for color. I bought the Sarong in Bali and there is my old trusty teal linen sundress that has been around the world several times.

In addition Arne has his backpack and I have my new roller carry-on.  I’m confident we will have plenty of room.  Not only for our clothes but for all the other items (did you see the YouTube video we posted about packing non clothing items?  We also posted a time-lapse on Youtube that is fun to watch).

The thing is, you would basically pack the same if you were going on a month-long vacation.  Granted there are some things you wouldn’t need to pack (back up wheels for your suitcase or 12-months of contact lenses), but it’s essentially the same.  I would most likely bring the same amount of clothes for a month as I am for a year, a fabulous travel wardrobe.  It’s all about planning and knowing how to mix and match to feel and be your fabulous best.  Everyday, every country, everywhere.  Go. Be. Fabulous.

Launch is in T-minus 25 days!


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  • Reply Carryn

    I love these looks. So fresh and summery! Enjoy your travels!

    July 14, 2018 at 1:29 am
  • Reply Kirstin | the tinberry travels

    So many outfits out of a couple of key pieces! I really need to start doing this more when I travel. I plan everything else and always leave the clothes til the last minute and take too much!

    July 14, 2018 at 4:44 am
  • Reply Tory

    I love how well you mix and match your pieces! You’re great at making a couple of things to a long way. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

    July 14, 2018 at 6:24 am
  • Reply Mariann

    I love them all!! Your energy is contagious, all outfits on point too! <3

    July 16, 2018 at 9:00 am
  • Reply Leanne |

    Such a clever and workable assortment of clothes – I’m always curious to see what long term travellers manage to fit into their suitcases. I’m bookmarking this for later reference!

    August 24, 2018 at 1:50 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you!! I think I’ve finally got the hang of it!

      August 24, 2018 at 1:52 am
  • Reply Deborah K Kukal

    This is the most useful article I’ve seen on doing a ‘capsule’ wardrobe. Your pictures are excellent – very clear demonstration of the process. Good work!

    March 4, 2023 at 6:23 am
  • Reply Valerie

    I love looking at your pics and it makes me think about how I can prep for my trip I have planned. Thank you for sharing!! Go Cougs!!

    March 29, 2023 at 9:33 pm
  • Reply simplyjolayne

    What a fun post that must have been to write and photograph. So many great ideas for first-timers who may wonder what to pack and wear.

    May 13, 2023 at 6:35 am
  • Reply Yvonne Pryor

    Wow! This is amazing. I don’t even own this many clothes! I have a feeling you didn’t carry packs in the Camino.

    June 23, 2023 at 7:39 am
    • Reply Laureen

      We shipped our large bags ahead to Santiago and each carried a small pack on the Camino. Then forty days later it was like Christmas when we picked up our large bags to continue our travels!

      June 23, 2023 at 1:09 pm

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