Intentional Travel: Creating a Capsule Travel Wardrobe with Everlane

May 19, 2017

Happy Friday, friends! I’m so excited to introduce you to a new addition to my Intentional Travel series, one of my favorite series here on the blog, where I share my packing lists and go-to tips for packing light for any work trip. Over the years, I’ve mastered the art of packing for multi-day adventures in one carry on suitcase, and never have I felt limited with my wardrobe options or like I wasn’t satisfied with the specific pieces I took with me. Traveling light has enabled me to spend less time wondering what I should wear and more time out in a new environment, fully experiencing the world around me.

 

Now, I think it’s worth noting that I am not a fashion blogger, but I am, in fact, someone who has to often put on clothes and go out into the great outdoors and interact with others. Often times there’s a stage involved, so it’s helpful to make sure I don’t look like a total goof. So over the next few weeks, I’m sharing a peek inside my closet at the actual pieces I wear when I travel for work that represent my style and work well with any given setting. Whether it’s a speaking engagement, conference, or for client work, I’ve paired down my wardrobe to a few key pieces that are my all-time favorite travel items. Think of it like a capsule wardrobe just for business travel!

 

I’ve essentially created a uniform for speaking engagements and work trips so anytime one pops up, I spend very little time packing or worrying about what to wear. This frees up so much active mental space in my brain, which ma sound silly, but I can’t tell you how good it feels to pack a bag in 15 minutes as opposed to the 50 I used to take. I used to attempt to pack for every type of outing (“But what if we go out to a nice dinner afterwards? I need to bring this skirt!”), only to find that I was overpacking and wasting too much of my life standing in front of the mirror trying to figure out what to wear. My little travel capsule wardrobe has been a game changer, and in case you’re considering seriously simplifying your packing process and still looking polished at your next conference, work trip, or educational engagement, this newest addition to the Intentional Travel series is for you, friend!
Today’s post is my exact formula for what I’d wear to teach a day-long workshop: simple, statement blouse + dark wash skinny jeans + cognac accessories + one shiny bauble = a look that’s polished without trying too hard. In the past when I’ve taught workshop sessions, they’re often several hours long and involve not only a good deal of standing and actively presenting to attendees, but I also need to be able to move around freely to answer questions from the audience (and so I can talk with my hands). The workshops I’ve taught in the past are usually a more intimate group of 20-40 creatives, so it’s important for me to feel confident in what I’m wearing but not so done up that I feel stiff or unapproachable. I want to be able to feel confident in my own skin, which is why I opt for pieces that are polished but still casual enough to suite most venues and settings.
The statement pieces in this look are a deceptively simple white blouse and gorgeous cognac leather boots, both from Everlane, a socially conscious and radically transparent brand that elevates basic wardrobe pieces to not-so-basic staples. This blouse is made from a luxuriously woven fabric that feels soft to the touch but is structured enough to support this boxy silhouette. It has flattering sleeves and an oversized cut that moves well and is extremely breathable, you know, for if you’re stuck in a conference room with poor ventilation. The fabric is also thick enough that you don’t need to layer underneath, which is always a cause for high praise when you live somewhere like Texas where layers in the summertime need to be kept to a minimum.
 
But what makes this blouse such a surprising statement piece is the exposed zipper detail on the back. It has fabric gusseted underneath which means you can open or close the zipper as needed for a more customized fit. For example, if I wanted a more A-line shape versus the boxy oversized look I have in these photos, I can simply unzip the bottom zipper a tad to release the extra fabric. Viola! Instant change of silhouette!

 

Paired with my favorite skinny jeans in a dark wash, this look would work well with tasteful heels or, in my case, ankle boots. I can hardly resist a good ankle boot, and I’ve found that this is a shoe that translates seamlessly from day to night with a few minimal updates. If I’m going to be teaching for any length of time, I want to feel comfortable in the shoes I’m wearing. So I opt for boots whenever I can so I can add a little height thanks to this stacked heel, and so I can stand comfortably for hours on end. Plus, I can easily walk a few blocks to grab a post-workshop drink after my session wraps up without having to change my shoes! These buttery leather boots from Everlane are handmade in Italy and are so deliciously smooth that I almost feel guilty wearing them around town. They fit like a glove and add just enough pizzaz to this ensemble without appearing too casual or out of place.
This look is a definite favorite of mine for teaching a workshop or even attending a casual creative conference, and it easily goes from work to play with just a few minimal updates. In fact, you’ll probably catch this look in action as I teach at the Creative at Heart Conference in Raleigh this August! Next week, I’ll be sharing my go-to look for presenting a keynote session, so be sure to check back in for that fun post soon.

 

Do you use a capsule wardrobe for traveling, boss lady? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

 

This post was kindly sponsored by Everlane but, as always, I only recommend products I’ve tried personally and stand behind wholeheartedly.
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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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