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Packing for 7 Months Abroad: My Winter Wardrobe Capsule

After much debate, packing, and then repacking after Christmas presents and post-holiday shopping, I have finally settled on my winter capsule wardrobe! Doesn't it look so pretty all laid out and organized? I actually think this will be really useful for putting outfits together (I am definitely a visual learner).

Over the past couple weeks I ended up adding a couple key pieces to my packing list - the perfect chambray shirt (definitely size down!), the most perfect travel turtleneck (bon voyage!), a versatile navy lace dress, some fun (yet so comfy) slouchy pants (on sale in store), and the perfect LBD. Don't you just love post-Christmas sales and gift cards? 

I think the two dresses will end up being super versatile, since I can dress them up or down, and they basically work in any season. And of course a chambray shirt goes with everything. The wool turtleneck was a bit of a splurge, but it was too cute not to pass up. Plus I really only had one other wool sweater (my fair isle). I am hoping this wardrobe will prove to be functional, versatile, and stylish! 

I didn't include shoes or purses in my capsule because I am already bringing a limited selection of shoes that I will wear throughout my 7 months abroad. I have also finalized my spring capsule and will share that with you soon. 

I probably could have eliminated a few more items (I did eliminate one puffer, I hate to admit it, but Bethany you were right!), however, once I am there I can't just grab something from storage if I decide I need it. So since my suitcases are holding everything nicely, and coming in under 50 pounds, I figured I would error on the side of more. I will probably regret this when I am trying to get my bags to my 4th-floor apartment!

pink sweater // fair isle // plaid popover (old) // buffalo check (old)
red skirt // red dress // toggle coat (similar) // plaid skirt

plaid pants // plaid skirt (old) // pants // cropped jacket
tweed mini // leopard dress // puffer vest (old) // blouse
heart print top (similar) // cropped sweater // turtleneck // black skirt

Here is how everything ended up breaking down:
  • 6 sweaters (2 wool, 1 merino, 3 cotton)
  • 6 button up shirts/blouses (a mix of dressy and casual, with a detachable pussy bow of course!)
  • 1 striped t-shirt (I have a couple extra basic t-shirts included in my lounge wear, which can do double duty if I find I need more t-shirts. I am also bringing 2 tissue turtlenecks for layering under sweaters, button ups, and dresses)
  • 3 coats (1 heavy-duty cocoon coat, 1 lighter toggle coat, 1 cropped jacket with capelet)
  • 1 cape (I just could leave this adorable plaid cape behind!)
  • 2 jeans (1 black, 1 dark wash)
  • 1 pair of thick ponte leggings 
  • 1 pair of plaid pants (which match the blazer so they can double as a suit)
  • 1 pair of slouchy silk pants
  • 6 skirts (to go with these skirts I am packing lots of opaque and fleece lined tights and knee high socks)
  • 7 dresses (two of which are dressy enough to wear for work-related functions)
  • 2 puffer vests (I admit defeat)
  • 1 plaid blazer (I am also packing a small special occasion capsule - 4 pieces - for work/conferences/special events)

So what do you think?  I am curious to hear your thoughts since everyone gave such helpful advice last time! I will also be sharing the shoes, purses, and accessories I packed soon!

T-minus 10 days!

Ashley B
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  1. I'm going to need this in about 9 months...I've already started to eliminate things, figure out what I can keep/toss. What kind of luggage do you use? I'm moving to London permanently next fall and need to find some inexpensive luggage!

    1. For years I used cheap luggage to travel back and forth to Italy, but I found that in the end I was replacing them so often that I was actually spending a fortune! A couple years ago I took the plunge and invested in high-quality luggage with a life-time warranty (Briggs and Riley). It was a game changer and I will never turn back! Sorry I don't have any cheap recommendations. How amazing that you are moving to London! Good luck packing, it's not easy lol!

  2. You really have a knack for packing Ashley. I definitely agree with the chambray shirt because it's so versatile! Also that bon voyage sweater is really fun!

  3. I don't see Betty- did she not make the cut?

    1. Don't worry, the bow coat is in the Spring Capsule ;)

  4. Just how you're going to manage taking only 37 pieces for the next few months is an art that I hope to one day (preferably in the next week or so) learn!! I'm spending the next 5 months in (arguably) THE most fashionable city in the world, and the process of packing is causing me some serious stress! Any advice on how to make the cut between what to take and what to leave behind??
    Also what shoes are you taking as part of your winter capsule?? I've heard that #1 tip of advice is to not overpack shoes but they are my biggest weakness, and therefore biggest challenge to leave behind!

    1. To be fair these 37 pieces are only for 2 - 3 months, I have another capsule for the following 3 months (spring into summer). I am posting about the shoes I'm bringing Friday (10 in total for 7 months). So be sure to check out that post!

      Packing is super stressful and very emotional, so you have to start early and give yourself time to mentally process and think about what you really need. I start by setting out everything I could possibly want to bring. Then over the next couple of days I begin taking things away. It also helps to start planning outfits, you'll notice some pieces are used in tons of outfits and others just in one. You can start tossing the items you are using as much. And don't forget, you can buy things there so forgetting something isn't the end of the world! Hope that is helpful!

  5. All I can say is wow. Where were you two years ago when I was packing to study abroad ;)? Packing for a long term trip can be so stressful, but it looks like you've done well!


  6. It seems to me like a fashion blog. Any women can decide her fashion statement by viewing this things. And if anyone is planning to visit Country like Spain this winter they can take help from a detailed Spain Road Map and these amazing fashion accessories.


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