How to Plan a Travel Capsule Wardrobe in 5 Steps

If you’re like me then you know the drill.  You leave packing right until the last minute, throw in as many clothes as you can for as many different eventualities as you can, sit on the case… and then come back having worn maybe a third of it.  Argh!  By the time you read this post I’ll almost be on my way back from Canada – the first trip I’ve taken in a while – and this time around I’ve promised myself to streamline my travel wardrobe and only pack clothes that I know that I’m definitely, absolutely going to wear.  I’m yet to be converted to the whole capsule wardrobe thing in my day to day life, but I’m definitely on board when it comes to travelling.  Who wants a bulging case and last minute panics about what to wear when you want to be out and about exploring anyway?  So, without further ado, here’s how to plan a travel capsule wardrobe in five easy steps.

1. Do Your Research

Before you even touch any clothes, you’re going to employ a bit of Google-Fu.  Research where you’re going, how long for and what you’re going to be getting up to while you’re away.  The answers to these questions are going to help you build a destination appropriate capsule wardrobe:

  • What’s the weather going to be like where I’m going?
  • Are there any events that I need to bring specific outfits for (like a wedding)?
  • How long am I away for?
  • Are there any local customs when it comes to fashion (will I need to cover up?)

2. Plan Must-Have Outfits First

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to get stuck into your wardrobe, starting with the must-have basics.

A Travel Outfit

What are you going to wear when you’re on the road/in the sky?  Set aside something comfortable that will work as your “Travel Outfit”.  The bottom half is the most important part in my book; I like to be comfy if I’m going to be sitting down for a long time, and like to wear a pair of shoes that I can slip off if I want.

Event/Activities Outfits

Are you going to a special event while you’re away?  Are you going to be doing a certain activity that’ll need a certain outfit?  Are you going to be swimming?  Make sure these outfits make it into the suitcase before any others.

Knickers and Pjs

We all sleep, we all wear underwear (…right?).  So make sure you’ve got enough to see you through.  And when it comes to underwear, pack a variety that’ll work with different outfits (Spanx, Stick on Bras etc…).

3. Try On Some Outfits

With your must-have items sorted it’s time to work out what else you want to pack, keeping in mind that you want to build a versatile, interchangeable wardrobe.  You want colours that work together (some people like to choose black and white with accent colour) and items that are going to layer well.  Again, think about where you’re going, the weather and the sort of things you’re going to be doing.  Ask yourself:

  • What am I going to wear if it gets really hot?
  • What am I going to wear if it suddenly gets chilly?
  • What if it rains?
  • What am I going to wear during the day?
  • What am I going to wear out at night?

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4. Build Your Capsule from the Core, then Add Extras

Now that you’ve got some ideas, you can start building your travel wardrobe starting with the basic core capsule items.  Here’s a basic list, obviously it’ll be different depending on where you’re going, for how long and your person style, but it should be enough to get you started.

  • Bottoms:
    • 1 Pair of jeans
    • 1 Pair of black jeans (that can be dressed up or down)
    • 1 Skirt
  • Tops:
    • 2 T-Shirts (one white)
    • 2 Blouses
    • 2 Vests/Camis (for layering)
  • Dresses:
    • 1 Casual
    • 1 Fancy
  • Outerwear:
    • 1 Jacket (what kind of jacket will depend on your destination)
    • 1 Jumper/Cardigan
  • Shoes:
    • 1 Comfortable pair for walking (trainers or boots)
    • 1 Pair of smart flats (could be sandals or ballet pumps)
    • 1 Fancy pair (evening shoes or heels)

Once you’ve got your core capsule sorted, you can start adding extras and statement pieces. 🙂

5. Add Accessories

Now that you’ve planned your outfits you can start adding accessories.  Try and streamline, picking items that will go with everything you’ve picked out so far and make sure you’ve covered the essentials like bags and belts.

And there you go, one travel capsule wardrobe that’ll free up some space in your suitcase and stop all those last minute wardrobe panics!  Have a great weekend guys! 🙂

5 Favourite Fashion Hacks

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I love a good hack!  And I’m always on the lookout for ones that’ll help me make the most out of whatever’s hanging in my wardrobe.  So here are five fashion hacks I’m always pulling out of my sleeve. 🙂

1. The Two-Way Blouse

You know how much I love my weird and wacky patterned shirts, and now I love them even more thanks to this genius little hack I picked up whilst video hopping on Youtube (damn you ‘Suggested’ sidebar!).  There are plenty of different ways to wear a shirt, but this trick is a new favourite of mine because it’s easy peasy and practically turns the shirt into a whole new top.  All you have to do is tuck in the collar, work out where you want the neckline to sit and button inwards (just like you would with your duvet – or am I the only one who does that?).  Tuck it into some Mom jeans and voila!

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2. The Perfect Imperfect Tuck

First World Problem Number 99, amiright?  How to tuck your blouse/t-shirt/cami into your bottom half so it looks neat… but not too neat.  Here’s what I do.  Put on your jeans but leave them unbuttoned, then put on whatever top you’re looking to tuck.  Grab the middle part of the top’s hem and twist it once.  Now position it downwards against your abdomen whilst you do up your jeans.  Once everything’s secured you can gently tug on the fabric to loosen things up a bit.  Tada!  The perfect imperfect tuck without spending an hour fussing in front of the mirror. 🙂

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3. From Dress to Skirt

This is one of my favourite things to do when I’m travelling.  It only works on dresses with an open neckline that’ll fit over your thighs, though, so it’s not exactly a foolproof hack.  Saying that, I’ve got a couple of dresses that I know work well with this trick and like to pack them to save on space in my suitcase.  All you need to do is step into the neckline, pinch the waistline and then pull it up.  You can tidy up the waistline with a belt or a tied shirt.

4. Paperclips and Safety Pins

I keep a stash of these babies in my jewellery box because I use them all the time to tweak and perfect my outfits.  Safety pins can be used to fasten low necklines and wrap dresses, and can even be used to stop necklace chains from twisting round.  Just loop a pin through the clasp and then secure it to the label in the back of your top (providing it’s high enough of course 😉 ).  Paper clips can be used to hide bra straps – especially when you’re wearing a racer back.

5. Banging Ballet Pumps

I love flats – especially open ones – but I can’t stand having to grip them with my toes to stop them from falling off.  I bought these stripy ones from Primark for a couple of quid last year and they were a bit too loose, so I stitched in a couple of ribbons and gave them a bit of a prima ballerina makeover.  The ribbons secure the slippy shoes to my feet, and also make them look a bit more expensive than they were.  Just make sure you use a strong needle and either burn or paint the ends of the ribbons with clear nail varnish to stop them fraying.

What are your favourite fashion hacks?  Let me know in the comments! 🙂

What I Wore: Four New Things

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a fashion post, because honestly?  Until summer hit the UK I just wasn’t feeling particularly inspired about getting dressed (…I live in leggings and an old hoodie most days anyway!).  It was that weird, in-between period between winter and summer (…Yeah, Spring. Duh! But not Spring weather, I guess is what I’m trying to say oh so eloquently – am I ever eloquent?), I didn’t really have anything to dress up for and just wasn’t bothered about anything I saw in the shops.  But, then summer arrived (…and, more importantly, stuck around for a bit) and recently I’ve started picking up a few colourful bits and bobs.  I’ve got a couple of trips coming up this summer, as well as a wedding, so I fancied sprucing up my togs a bit 🙂

Primark Pointed Flats – £6

Six quid well spent.  I LIVE in flats, and the moment I spotted these babies in the Cardiff store I knew they’d be permanently attached to my feet all summer long, and I’m not the only one; when I managed to nab a size seven and skipped off to checkout with them, the cashier laughed and said she’d been selling them like hot cakes.  Mine are looking a little bit grubby at the mo, it has to be said and I thinking of trying to give them a bit of a wash in the machine to spruce them back up.  They are a faux-suede material though so that might be a mistake in the making.  Hmm.  If you’re after ones that will last, Urban Outfitters are probably your best bet.

River Island Faux-Wrap Dress – £50

If you tune into my Instagram Stories then you’ll probably remember me despairing over what to wear to a wedding.  I was really hoping to get a jumpsuit (I love them, they’re so easy… and – if you’re like me – they tend to spare your dignity when you fall over after a few too many glasses of prosecco), but alas, I just couldn’t track one down that I liked and was a reasonable price, so that was that.  Then, I spotted this gorgeous pink faux-wrap dress in River Island and totally fell in love with it because I feel like it’ll be something I’ll wear over the summer out and about, not just to a wedding.  (They’ve even got it in yellow and stripe 🙂)

Florence and Fred @ Tesco Pink Espadrilles – £12

I need to stop trolleying around the clothes section in Tesco when I should be picking up bread and eggs.  I bought these to go with the wrap dress from River Island and for just general bashing around in over the summer.  They had loads of different colours, but I loved this frayed, dusky pink pair.  They also come bragging cushioned soles, which I’m always a bit suspicious about (to be honest, I buy most of my shoes with the expectation that they’ll cripple me), but these are so damn comfy that I easily looped around Bute Park in them without getting a single blister – even on the first wear.  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a link to the pink ones online (here’s them in a white broderie anglais), but Dorothy Perkins do a very similar pair.

T K Maxx Yellow Culotte Jumpsuit – £11

I haggled this one down, guys.  I love a jumpsuit, but when I spotted this one in store I wasn’t sold on the culotte-style legs.  Tried it on anyway, loved it, but found a couple of holes around the waist line.  They didn’t have any others in my size, and you know how it is with T K Maxx, once it’s gone, it’s gone (although looks like Boohoo have got a very similar one).  I’m good enough with a needle and thread (I knew that Brownies sewing level one badge would come in handy one day…) and decided I liked it enough to give fixing it a go, but was absolutely unwilling to pay full price.  Anyway, I bossed it up to the cashier and asked them if they could do anything about it, and they did.  I got it for £11 and half an hour of stitching in front of the telly.  Nice!  It pays to ask, right?

Bag – Marks and Spencer, Earrings – Dorothy Perkins (similar here)

Hopefully I’ll be taking it out for a spin this weekend if the weather’s nice.  Here’s to the Bank Holiday weekend!  Have a good one everyone! 🙂

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How I Got my Hair Back

Just before I turned thirty, I cut my hair short.  I didn’t tell anyone I was going to do it, I just dropped into a London salon I’d searched up on Google that day at work, went armed with a couple of pictures I’d saved from Pinterest on the train ride, and I had the whole lot lopped off.  SNIP SNIP.  For someone who felt like her long hair had defined her throughout her teens and early twenties, this took guts.  And while the decision was impulsive and was put down by those around me to Saturn’s Return, the truth was that I did it – and decided that I needed to do it – because I felt like I’d completely lost control of my hair.  It was in bad shape and was making me miserable every time I looked in the mirror.

The long, mermaid hair I’d always thought of as “me” had split and thinned out to the extent that I’d actually stopped wearing it down, and just putting it into a lanky, limp ponytail made me upset.  It just looked awful.  Something had changed around the time that I moved to London.  London water is HARD, and the chalky residue it left behind every time I washed my hair was drying it out. It was so damaged that it was falling out in terrifying chunks in the shower or when I brushed it.  And even though Sunny and everyone around me kept telling me that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, I refused to hear them.  But then I also refused to do the one thing I could to get it back under control. Instead of getting it cut, I desperately clung on to the meager strands I had even though they were beyond help.

Finally deciding to let those dead ends rest in peace was the first step I took to getting my hair back, and three years of hard work later, it’s looking so much thicker and healthier.  I mean, it’s not perfect by any means, but I’m happy with it.  I think I’ve finally found a routine that works. 🙂

Of all my weird patterned shirts (and there are a lot.  A LOT.), I think this mermaid one is my favourite.  Unfortunately, it’s a few years old now but I did find a link to one selling on eBay if anyone’s interested. 🙂

Regular Trims

When I was seventeen I had hair down to my waist and my whole hair care regime involved my Mum dragging me to her hairdresser once a year where I mournfully parted with an inch of a dead ends.  Then, during my twenties it became horribly clear that the old ways just weren’t cutting it anymore (…see what I did there 😉 ).  My fine, dry hair was far more prone to breakage than it used to be (thanks London water!) and so far more susceptible to splits.  That meant that the longer I left it between trims, the thinner my hair got as the split ends made their way up the hair shaft.  Nowadays I’m still a bit lacsy-daisy about getting my ass down to the hairdressers regularly, but as soon as I see the ends drying out and splitting, I go and part with as much hair as I need to to keep the hair I do have looking healthy.

Less Washing & Heat Styling

I used to wash my hair every day – and sure it kept my hair clean and restyled, but by doing so I stripped it of all its natural oils.  Plus heat styling every day on top of that made it dry, which in turn left it brittle.  These days I wash my hair no more than three times a week (I like the Garnier Ultimate Blends Sensitive Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner) and heat style it as little as possible.  (It also helps that the water here in Cardiff is nice and soft).

I’m a huge fan of Toni&Guy’s styling products; they smell amazing, they don’t weigh my fine hair down and they’re usually on a two for one offer either at the supermarket or Boots! 😉 I can’t rave about Vitapointe enough; it’s basically a leave in conditioner that you put on dry hair and I like to put it on my ends after styling or whenever they’re looking a little frazzled.  You don’t need a lot of it, it’s not greasy and it’s cheap!  Aaaaand, I like to put a coconut oil mask on my ends once a week – usually when I’m in the bath – just to keep those split ends at bay.

Keep it Simple when it comes to Products

When my hair was at its worst I started buying expensive shampoos, conditioners and miracle oils to sort it out.  But that was a waste of time and money.  My hair was already broken, and layering heavy moisture-rich products on top just weighed it down, stressed out my scalp and no matter how expensive they were they were never going to be able to bring my dead ends back to life.  These days I’ve stripped my products back and only use ones that work with my hair type – and, they’re all cheap as chips! 😉  Oh, and I stick with them – no more chopping and changing.

Ditch the Hair Ties

It got to a point where I was so depressed about my hair that I stopped wearing it down and instead scraped it back into a bun every day.  But using hair ties was just making things worse and left me with flyaways and split ends halfway up the hair shaft.  I know there are supposedly hair ties out there that claim not to cause breakages, but for me, going cold turkey on all hair ties was the only thing that worked.  Clips and pins all the way!

No Dye

When I was at Uni I went through a whole pink hair phase – which was fun at the time, but did horrible things to my hair and scalp!  I had highlights and balayage throughout my twenties and although I loved how my hair looked with a bit of blonde through the ends, it just made it drier.  I made the decision to go Au Natural a few years ago and it’s definitely helped my hair spring back to its former glory.  I mean, I’m tempted all the time to foil up again like I used to… but I’ve worked so hard to get my hair back that I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Be Happy With What you Have!

Last time I went to the hairdressers there was teen in the chair next to me getting highlights put in.  She had the most gorgeous mass of curls I’ve ever seen and hair envy hit me HARD.  But, sometimes you’ve just got to roll with what you’ve got and be grateful for it.  Did cutting my hair short suddenly give me thick, curly hair?  Nnnnope.  But, it improved the condition of it and put me on the path to healthier locks. Sadly, thick, curly hair just isn’t in my genes.  I have fine hair.  I have dry hair.  I have annoying baby hairs around my face that like to stick up.  And, I’m probably never going to have the mermaid hair I was blessed with in my teens again.  But that’s okay.  The problem with wanting what you don’t have is that you forget to appreciate what you do have.

What are your top hair care tips or holy grail products?  Let everyone know in the comments! 💇

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What I Did: New Kicks and Cocktails at the Celtic Manor

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Happy Friday everyone!  Here’s another What I Did post, this time all about what I got up to yesterday.  It was a long one, which all started with Bungle barking at 5.30am.  I’ve got no idea why he’s waking up so early at the moment, but it’s driving me nuts!  Apparently a Golden Retriever in Australia holds the world record for the loudest bark and I can bloody believe it.  Once Bungle’s awake he barks and barks and barks until one of us crawls out of bed and goes downstairs to see him – and at the moment, that’s happening most mornings at the arse crack of dawn.  *sigh*  He’s such a brat!

Look at that innocent face.  Ugh!  🙂


After breakfast (and Bungle’s morning walk), I got dressed.  I put on my cosiest jumper (it’s been absolutely freezing in Cardiff this week!) and decided to give Benefit’s *Bad Gal Bang a road test.  The verdict?  Well, I applied it at 9am, absolutely loved the lift and volume that it gave my stubby little lashes and was amazed that they stayed in place right through until 11pm when I took my makeup off (Apparently it’s capable of lasting 36 hours, but honestly who on earth wears mascara for 36 hours?!).  I was able to avoid clumpy, tarantula eyes because the wand is easy to manouvre; so big tick on that one.

Now, it claims to be smudge proof, but alas I was panda’d up as usual by the afternoon, and I did have quite a bit of smudging by the end of the night under and above my lashes – so wah-wah on that one.  Buuuut, the lift and volume you get is pretty epic.


I popped into town to run a few errands… aaaaaand – like a Magpie with a one track mind – ended up in Skinny Dip looking at all the shiny, pretty things, and then H&M, where I bagged a new pair of trainers for £9 in the sale.



In the afternoon I worked on my book (fuelled by some fresh Welsh Cakes that I picked up from Bakestones in Cardiff Market), and then after dinner, Sunny and I drove up to the Celtic Manor.  I’ve passed by it so many times in the car on the way to and from London  – you can’t miss it towering over the M4 on the hillside near junction 24 – and I’ve always wanted to visit.  So I was very excited when I was invited along to the launch of its brand new cocktail lounge; The Mulberry.



Decorated with gold paint, dark marble and plenty of velvet, it was like stepping between the pages of The Great Gatsby, and the cocktails didn’t disappoint either.  Far from a bit of ice, fruit juice and gin shaken together, The Mulberry‘s cocktails are like a performance in a glass.  For example, their champagne cocktail, the Candy Floss Royal comes straight up with a cloud of pink candy floss in a martini glass, which melts when you pour over the muscat and champagne mix. And their Tom Collins?  They aerate it at the table with Laughing Gas.  Actual Laughing Gas, you guys.


I took my brand new Skinny Dip clutch out for a spin, which looked very much at home in the glitzy surroundings 🙂

Time to check in with Bungle.  My Mum and Dad bought us one of those Pet Cams for Christmas and it’s seriously amazing!  We’ve got it set up in the kitchen so every time we go out we can check in on Bungle and see whether he’s sleeping (unlikely…) or getting up to mischief (more likely!).  Last night he spent most of the time lying on his bed looking sorry for himself, poor guy. 😦  It’s nice to be able to check in with him and see whether we need to hurry back to him or can stay out a bit longer – plus, we can actually talk to him through it if we want to (…which he hates!  It really confuses him!).

Hooray for the weekend! Have a good one, whatever you’re up to! 🙂