Capsule wardrobe for a trip to France

Capsule wardrobe for a trip to France

I am currently spending two weeks in the South of France. Hopefully, we will see some blue skies. However I can’t be too sure as the weather here has been very turbulent recently with lots of rain and electric storms, so I decided to be prepared wardrobe-wise.

I thought I would share with you the basic capsule wardrobe that I brought down with me. I have based my choices on navy and white/off-white with accents of pale blue. You can substitute whatever neutral and accent colours work for you.

The first Item I brought with me and wore on the journey is a navy lightweight Parka by Hopefashion. I layered it over their foundation scoop neck top (currently reduced from £75 to £37.50) and leggings (reduced from £55 to £27.50). I have found Hope’s foundation pieces very comfortable and practical for travelling. See how I wore their wide leg foundation trousers last summer here. I wrapped a blueprint pashmina around my shoulder for warmth.

I chose pale blue as my accent and added two sweaters in this colour. The first a cotton roll neck by WinserLondon (this years version) and the second a blue merino wool by WoolOvers. I included a  classic white shirt which is always a useful item as it can be dressed up or down and worn under the sweaters. I have also packed a couple of white/cream tops and a no crease blue top from MarksandSpencer (similar). I travelled in a pair of trainers and popped my new embroidered slip-on shoes (US link) from Marks&Spencer and a pair of navy mules (similar) into my case. The final two items are a pair of wide print trousers and matching top from People tree. This year’s versions here and here. I plan to mix these pieces with my cream, navy and pale blue tops.

Capsule wardrobe for a trip to France

Above: Navy parka // Blue sweater // Navy foundation top // straw hat // Navy foundation leggings // Embroidered shoes // rucksack // Scarf // white shirt.

I managed to fit all the items on the clothes rail into my small backpack together with my computer.

I still had room for a pair of jeans or trousers in my case plus underwear and cosmetics. I have not included these as I keep these items here in our apartment.

Shop capsule wardrobe:-




  1. 17th April 2018 / 15:05

    I just wrote up something about packing for spring in France. Last week, a roll-neck sweater might have been nice, but today we are in shorts and short-sleeves, with the windows all open in Carcassonne. I try to eliminate anything that is at all winter-like (you did a good job, especially with the springlike blue), and focus on layers. And always a raincoat, preferably with a hood, like yours.

    • 17th April 2018 / 18:25

      Hi Francetaste
      I agree the sun has just come out today and it is lovely and warm. Not sure I will need my wool sweater after all but last week I certainly would have. Better to be save than sorry.

  2. Glenda Kociolek
    17th April 2018 / 15:15

    Any ideas on what to pack for a Sept 2 weeks vaca in Portugal?

    • 17th April 2018 / 18:18

      Hi Glenda
      I don’t know Portugal that well. I have only been there once. The climate is pretty similar to where we are in the South of France so similar clothes will work, possibly without the sweaters as it should be getting warmer. It depends on what you are planning to do there and what type of accommodation you will be staying in.

  3. Sara
    17th April 2018 / 17:47

    While I do agree that travel requires a good capsule wardrobe, am I the only person who gets so bored after about two days wearing the same/similar colour combinations? I hope not! I am away currently only for three days and am, on day one, already wishing I had other than navy based choices to pick from. Makes getting dressed easy but…… wish I’d been extravagant with packing and brought my good old black as well. We are in the car, so I could have done but I was being sensible. Surely an advantage of getting older is NOT to be sensible?? Next time, heart will triumph over head.

    • 17th April 2018 / 18:14

      Hi Sara
      Go for it if you want too. Although even when we drive down by car I am disciplined about what I pack. I can no longer lug heavy suitcases around and my husband complains that I am filling up the car with bags.
      I find that colourful accessories help to ring the changes.

    • Kathy
      1st January 2022 / 18:21

      I love a blue and white/ivory base but need more color so I choose to add color in accessories and tops. I have a great collection of scarves and love to buy a new one when traveling. If I stay in my color palette, it all works together and isn’t boring BUT still fits in one bag.

  4. Alice
    17th April 2018 / 18:10

    I love this capsule. The types of garments are basically what I wear most of the time (for this weather), i’d just need the jeans you mention and a light blazer or two. I wish I could be so disciplined with colours! Not just for packing, but altogether, it would be wonderful to have such a calm and organised palette, instead of my chaotic rainbow. Something to aspire to!

    • 17th April 2018 / 18:12

      Hi Alice
      I can take some time to get your colours sorted but it is worth it as it saves so much time.

  5. Mary
    17th April 2018 / 19:12

    Love the capsule wardrobe. I would probably add lots of scarves as these can “change” an outfit. Being short I find big scarves swamp me so mine are silky, long, rather than rectangular, and several have magnetic clasps.

  6. Jacqueline
    17th April 2018 / 23:37

    We are going to be in Paris and Bordeaux in September. I imagine the weather will be similar to Spring in that it could be chilly and/or rainy, but could also be warm. Being so near the Atlantic I think Bordeaux will be cooler than the south of France, what with marine influence et al. I suspect I will revisit your capsule when the time comes as I love the color pallet and I will introduce some rogue colors with my scarves. I don’t have any patterned pants so will use a neutral gray. Thank you for your capsule. Nice work!

  7. Sheila Coates
    18th April 2018 / 14:19

    we are going on holiday shortly and you certainly made me think about my packing. Keep up the good work.

  8. Margie
    18th April 2018 / 17:25

    Josephine, I really like that you are featuring more navy; I’ve come to the conclusion that, with my white hair/blue eyes, black is just getting too harsh for me. The problem is, I find, there are limited choices in navy; and, oftentimes, the navies clash with each other. The navy parka you featured here got me to check out the Nordstrom website where I found one for myself…and on sale. I’m hoping I will find it a good choice. Thank you for such inspiration; love your blog!

  9. 19th April 2018 / 14:54

    Hi Margie I am definitely trying to wean myself off too much black but I agree I can be very frustrating when you see a style you like and it is only available in black. I don’t mind mixin navies too much provided they tone.

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