I read an article this weekend that said because people are traveling again, to expect higher costs for flights, hotels, and car rentals. The article also cited that flight cancellations and changes are to be expected. Thankfully, my husband and I booked our weekend trip this June to Toronto to celebrate his birthday (poor guy celebrated his 50th the first year of lockdown) three months ago when tickets were at an unbelievable price. This is not to say we haven’t already gotten one email from Delta asking us to modify one flight to a different one. Airlines are trying to catch up with these travel demands while building their staff back, and my client roster is bulging with requests for travel capsules. I just sent a client a capsule to one client for her upcoming European river cruise, I have pieces to pull for a client who is going on a Hawaiian vacation that her family put off for two years and today I am sharing a capsule I put together for a client who is taking a trip to Slovenia.
If you had to stop and pull up Google Maps to find out where Slovenia is, don’t worry, I did too. Slovenia is in an interesting location, south of Austria, east of northern Italy, and west of Hungary. When my assistant Rachel, who lives in Colorado, researched Slovenia, she remarked the climate is similar to where she lives. Travel capsules are always unique undertakings because these trips always include very particular itineraries, and this one was no exception. Adding another challenging layer to the mix was this travel capsule would be the very first project I would attempt for this client who I have named Mrs. Boundless.
I have given Mrs. Boundless her alias for one particular reason, she’s limitless. There’s a bigness about her life that I think I find the most impressive about her. Yes, she’s a thinker, a doer, and a perfectionist, just like nearly all of my clients who have needed these types of skills to be successful in their lives, yet, at the same time, Mrs. Boundless possesses a bigness in her vision and that seems to be her secret ingredient in helping her accomplish all that she has in life and work. I learn something from every client and if there is one thing I will walk away learning from her, it will probably be that. Mrs. Boundless is a lawyer who sold her firm to a larger one where she is now a partner. She works from home and in addition to helping her Mrs. Boundless create this travel capsule, we will be working on reestablishing her work wardrobe. That’s to follow next.
Building this Capsule for Slovenia
Back to Mrs. Boundless’s capsule. There are always caveats and challenges to them, some that will make my head spin, and others I swat away like they’re nothing. In Mrs. Boundless’s case, I was told she and her husband, Mr. Boundless, were heading to Slovenia for ten days because her stepson and his girlfriend, a native of Slovenia, will be running in (are you ready for it?) a 50-mile race and Mrs. and Mr. Boundless will be be the pit crew for them, which I am assuming is comparable to what the pit crew does for race car drivers. In this case, the pit crew needs to wear clothing that can stand up to the elements which include rough terrain and inclement weather. Despite the race only being one day, the clothes necessary for this fall into “gear” territory. Moving on beyond the race, in the evenings, Mr. and Mrs. Boundless will have dinner plans at nice restaurants which means that clothes for this are also required. Daytime will be spent sightseeing and will include lots of walking (comfortable walking shoes are a must), a visit to a local farm, and at least one actual hiking day will round out the trip. One last thing. All this must fit into a carry-on suitcase and the trip is, when Mrs. Boundless and I met, a month and a half away. I was also asked to find a better carry-on tote with certain parameters.
All this said, it’s certainly not the most impossible task I’ve ever been given. The timeframe, doable and, believe me, a month and a half is a luxury compared to the last-minute timeline some clients give me. The gear part? Not the strongest part of my wheelhouse, but it’s nothing I’m unfamiliar with. The carry-on part? A bit daunting, not because of the length of the 10-day trip but because of the type of stuff that needs to go inside.
What had me intimidated were two things: First, the fact that this was my very first project with Mrs. Boundless. Creating a travel capsule for someone I haven’t really established a style direction with can be a bit nerve-wracking because I’m going on very little intel, plus the only thing I had to work from in Mrs. Boundless’s closet for this capsule was a pair of pants and her hiking boots. Everything else had to be found. Second, this capsule has a lot of moving parts and each one is different. I needed to make sure Mrs. Boundless was covered for the inclement race day while also making sure she was covered for nice dinners, hikes, and sightseeing while also making sure I didn’t load up her suitcase with too much stuff. As I would add more things to the capsule it felt like I was playing a game of reverse Jenga where if I added another piece to the tower it would collapse vs. how the game is played where you pull a piece away while trying to keep the tower intact.
This is what inspired today’s post; how my brain strategically built Mrs. Boundless’s small travel capsule. I attacked it in parts and then took those parts and connected them together broadly. For any of you who may be going on a trip where you will be doing different types of things, this capsule may help you strategize.
Mrs. Boundless’s Capsule: Creating Smaller Travel Capsules Within Her Larger One
Shop Mrs. Boundless’s Capsule
1 Vicky Tank 2 Tourmaline Gemstone Necklace 3 Fuchsia Drop Earrings 4 Belleville Top 5 Esatto Flat 6 Octagon Necklace 7 Kyanite Dewdrop Earrings 8 Rory Cardigan 9 Back Seam Pants 10 Rachel Dress 11 Ruby Gold Necklace 12 The Agata 13 Ruma Crossbdy 14 Crew VersaPack 15 Merino Chute 16 Merino Pocket Beanie 17 Merino Flexi Beanie 18 Star Sneaker 19 Salutation Stash Pocket Leggings 20 Freeflex Roll-Up Pants 21 Brooklyn Ankle Pant 22 Sculptek Ultra Skinny Jean 23 Merino Insulated Vest 24 Long Sleeve Zip Hoodie 25 Waffle Hoodie 26 Ultimate Bra 27 Aurora Bra 28 Merino Fine Gauge Crew Socks 29 Merino Hike+ Light Mini Socks 30 Merino Hike+ Medium Crew Socks 31 Merino Tech Lite II Short Sleeve T-Shirt 32 Merino Spector Short Sleeve Crewe 33 Merino Siren Tank Top 34 Merino Sphere II Long Sleeve T-Shirt 35 Merino 150 Zone Long Sleeve Crewe 36 Ines Anorak
Pieces not linked came were either resale from The RealReal or already existed in Mrs. Boundless’s closet.
Okay, let’s break this capsule down and talk about how it is laid out so you can understand it better.
- In the top left corner is where Mrs. Boundless’s pieces for dinner are housed. When mixed, those few pieces create more than enough looks for all the nights she will be in Slovenia which you will see in the looks below. In addition to that, should she have some more casual dinners out, she can borrow the jeans and hybrid Athleta pants and partner them with some of the more formal pieces. This is how the pieces from the smaller capsules connect. I worked on each capsule section separately while still keeping the overall palette in mind.
- Next, the weather conditions could potentially fluctuate. It led me to choose merino for Mrs. Boundless in lieu of synthetics or cotton. If you don’t know about the benefits of wearing merino as activewear, merino is a super lightweight, soft, non-itchy, non-clammy fiber that regulates body temperature and will keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat. It has far greater absorbency than cotton, absorbing 30% of its weight without feeling wet. Merino will resist odor which is what makes it great for packing and wearing multiple times. It also doesn’t wrinkle. It’s a natural fiber rather than manmade so it is naturally renewable recyclable and biodegradable.
- While historically known as a professional brand, M.M. Lafleur has become a great resource for travel due to how it packs and its washability. Now that they’ve skewed more casual for the workplace, they are a great brand to check out for mid-casual travel plans.
- If there were two words to summarize this capsule it would be fashion and function. I needed to capture both while not sacrificing either. An anorak with a waist shape was on the list, a comfortable walking shoe, and a new carry-on with certain parameters. My limit was three pairs of shoes total and one had to be hiking boots. I located an anorak rather quickly, more on that later. The walking shoes and carry-on, complete credit on both goes to my assistant Rachel who solved them from personal experience. The Taos sneaker came from her memory walking into a shoe store while pregnant and asking for a sneaker style she could wear her entire pregnancy. The carry-on brand is from her brief period being a flight attendant after college. Travelpro was started by a former pilot who invented the rollaboard and put wheels on suitcases. It’s the brand most flight crews use. If it’s good enough for flight crews, why go anywhere else?
Outfits Created From Mrs. Boundless’s Capsule
These are the outfits created from Mrs. Boundless’s pieces. At the end of the looks, get more information on where the capsule currently stands.
Since Presenting this Small Travel Capsule to Mrs. Capsule
After presenting this capsule to Mrs. Boundless and some orders coming in, a few things have changed.
- Mrs. Boundless decided to remove the dress from the capsule after deciding that while dinners will be dressy, they won’t be that dressy. We are currently adding more tops to wear with her three bottoms now that the dress is eliminated. The top from The Fold needed to be exchanged for a larger size but restocking won’t be available in time. The gorgeous printed tank, resale from Lafayette 148, was too small. That one hurt. The dinner capsule took a hit but we are rallying with new tops and another cardigan. The magenta jacket, resale from Etro, was fabulous.
- The navy anorak was also great, but too small and a size large wasn’t available. It did jog Mrs. Boundless’s memory that she had something similar in grey in her closet already. She also had a pair of beige flats similar to the M.Gemi’s I selected for her.
- When I presented the merino pieces to Mrs. Fabulous, I gave her plenty of options not knowing where her preferences lie in terms of tanks, tees or long sleeves. She chose her favorites and as luck would have it, also had some athletic pieces in her wardrobe in some similar shades. She mixed those pieces into the capsule along with some of the merinos. I found it to be pretty serendipitous that a color I chose for her was one she was already buying for herself.
- The hot pink Tumi crossbody is already being used in her everyday life and is getting compliments.
- The Taos sneakers are a win, as are the jewelry pieces that have started to come in.
- The Travelpro carry-on tote took a few tries to get the right suggestion to her, but it looks like this style is the right size and need.
Despite some setbacks among the wins, this capsule has provided the much-needed framework we have all used to build out this capsule and without it, I don’t think we would have been able to work nearly as efficiently. My special thanks to Mrs. Boundless for not only being as efficient, responsive, stylish, fun, and reliable as this capsule is, but for allowing me to blog about it.
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Great travel capsule! It is hard to pack light for a trip that has active days plus dining out.
Mainly I just want to comment that I wish I could be friends with Mrs. Boundless. I admire her sense of adventure!
Hi Carol, yes, that was the tricky part and the part I attacked first. Once I got the color palette started it got easier but establishing it was tricky. Plus, few formal pieces travel well which is what led me to M.M. Lafleur and beginning with the Deep Ocean. It was all downhill from there. If you can begin with one color to get that boulder rolling, it usually starts to pick up moss.
And, I agree, this isn’t even the most exciting trip Mrs. Boundless has coming up. I think that new carry-on has many adventures to come.
Fun! Thanks for sharing and here’s wishing Ms. Boundless an amazing trip! I have a wedding to attend in ~1 month, and i’m combining the trip with some remote work, visiting friends, and maybe casual sightseeing. I’m working on my capsule in a similar manner – the wedding capsule first, and then, using that palette, filling out the mid-casual to casual. the hard part feels like not making casual TOO casual…
Good idea, I did the same. I started with the formal stuff first. It helped set the color tone with the other pieces which are definitely much easier to find. Had I worked the other way and needed to back into the formal pieces I would have struggled a lot more. Another tip is to pack accessories that can easily dress up and down more casual things easily. They’re small to pack and can make a big impact. Also, as you saw in this capsule, try to make it so you can cross over and use some dressier pieces with your casual ones to create that mid-casual look. Sportswear dressy separates vs. all dresses make that easier because they can be broken apart. I hope that helps!
Bridgette, that’s one amazing capsule you’ve created for an amazing lady!! I so enjoyed you describing the process of what worked, what had to be reconfigured and how you and Mrs. Boundless worked so well together. The pieces in the capsule are beautiful and it gives me ideas of how to piece together something for my upcoming two month trip to Canada. While I have to pack a bit more I still try keep in mind that I don’t need everything in my closet! Very helpful post for sure. Thank you.
I am so glad to hear you found this post helpful, Wanda. Two months sure is a daunting trip to pack for so I am happy you have some guidance. I would definitely say that biting it off in sections will help with that. Start with one section, build your color story and use that story to build broadly. This way it’s easier to connect things later on and you won’t need your entire closet. It worked for me. I am heading to Toronto in June, as I mentioned, but it’s just for a weekend. It definitely will not be as difficult, but I most definitely will be capsuling regardless. All the best of luck with that suitcase!
+1 to all those saying this is a great capsule! Colors are neutral-ish but not bland, and flattering (speaking for myself). I wonder if Mrs. B has a weight or volume limit on her luggage. Sometimes European airlines have limits like 35 liters, which isn’t that big at all.
Thanks, Vicki! If there is a limit, I am certain Mrs. B knows it as she is a pretty extensive traveler. She also is flying first class so she has the luxury of being able to pack a first class-sized carry on which I believe can be slightly larger. I’m also not sure if she is flying a domestic or foreign carrier, we didn’t speak specifically about that, but it’s a good question. If there were concerns about that, I have no doubt it would have come up. All good call-outs, for anyone traveling to consider for their future trips! Thanks, Vicki!
Thanks for a very interesting capsule, I adore the colours.
I plan a trip to Slovenia with my family this summer. I will need both seaside and mountain pieces.
Your comment is making me very grateful that seaside-wear didn’t need to be thrown into the mix! LOL. Enjoy your trip to what I am learning is quite a beautiful country!