My Winter Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

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A-M’s Winter Holiday Capsule Wardrobe 2015

Now that the work year is finally coming to a close, and school is out for all, I am allowing my thoughts to turn to our impending ski holiday in Switzerland. We have just over a week before we head off, so it’s time to start packing my winter capsule wardrobe. It started with a good plan, above …


…. which sort of looks very different in real life! #flatlayfail

lite-shock_75cm-spinner_black_01lite-shock_75cm-spinner_petrol-blue_01Firstly, in very exciting news, Samsonite gifted me two beautiful ‘Lite-Shock’ Spinner suitcases for our trip! Black and Petrol Blue! #heartstopping

They are the lightest suitcase (they are so, so light!) from Samsonite’s Curv Collection and their organic shape is reinforced and designed to absorb impact. They also have those 360° multi-directional spinner wheels for easy manoeuvrability.


Travel is always so much better with a beautiful new suitcase. You can read more about them HERE.

Ok, now to pack one of these beauties! The blue one, I think!

3 things to consider before you start packing your capsule travel wardrobe:

1. What’s the weather going to be like?

Research the weather forecast for the time of year you are heading off. Consider your stopovers! I can’t wear my winter wardrobe in the 4 days we will be in Dubai for our stopovers, so I have to take that into consideration and pack a very minimalist 5 piece summer wardrobe for those 4 days (2 light frocks, swimmers, hat and sandals … that’s it).

2. Activities planned whilst away.

For the majority of our holidays, we plan to ski, explore and loll about somewhere with a beautiful view. There most likely won’t be any glamorous evening affairs … maybe a few trips to local restaurants but no need for fancy frocks and fancy shoes. Most restaurants will be walking distance from our digs and will require snow shoes to get there … so no heels will be necessary!

3. Availability of washing facilities.

This is an important point to consider and will determine how many items of fresh clothing you will need, before you have access to washing facilities. This changes every time we holiday. Sometimes we arrive to the luxury of a washing machine! Oh joy! This time, we don’t have self-contained accommodation until our second week of travel, after 2 days in Dubai and a week in a little Swiss hotel up in the Alps. As we are travelling right through Christmas Day, when a lot of places are shut, we don’t know when we will be able to wash our clothes.

Skiing day in and day out is a really sweaty business … so we will all need clean tops to last a full week. I think last time we survived on 3 in total, as we had daily access to a washing machine. Underwear is easy to wash out over night to dry on the radiator!

Planning your wardrobe:

The key to achieving a workable winter capsule wardrobe is to pack a well thought out, coordinating wardrobe, where ALL the pieces work well together.
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1. Choose a base color. 

Base your wardrobe around dark-coloured foundation pieces, like pants, leggings, frocks. As you can see, my foundation colour is black! It doesn’t show the dirt and it is flattering!

I am taking 4 pairs of dark pants: 1 pair of dark denim jeans, 2 pairs of black leggings and a pair of thin loose pants, for relaxed evenings. I also have: a black dress that I can wear over leggings/tights, with black boots if I do feel the need to frock up; a black jersey top as a perfect base to add my coloured accessories to (also does double duty as a gym/walk/workout top; and a long jersey cardigan to layer over my tops. It’s all about the layering for warmth, rather than packing big bulky pieces.

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My general rule for travel, summer or winter, is ‘two pairs in my luggage and one pair on my feet’. This time I am packing running shoes for the gym as well, as my youngest is still maintaining his gym skills whilst we are away. They still train 6 days a week over the holidays back here and he is fretting that he will be missing lots of skills training …. so we are finding a gym whenever and wherever we can. With skiing happening all day, this is going to be exhausting for his non-athletic mother!

I am taking brown snow shoes (Aldi bargain) for trudging through the streets après ski, comfortable black flat leather knee high boots for transit and travel, and tan dress boots for something a bit fancier. I got them for Christmas from Santa, last time I was in Switzerland. They have removable faux fur cuffs …. that stop my heart! Essential for a Swiss wardrobe … heart-stopping fur boots.

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2. Add neutrals.

My main overcoat is a cream trench, so it works nicely with dark base pieces and tan or black boots. It isn’t waterproof so my ski jacket, which is black and acceptable as an overcoat, (with brown faux fur trim to fancy it up a bit) can double as an evening jacket if it is snowing and blowing a gale!

I have selected 4 light-coloured tops to add to my dark coloured foundation pieces: a grey cowl neck skivvy; a striped long T; a cream short sleeved top and a cream zippered knit top for a bit of extra warmth. These tops are going to get a workout under a ski suit and have to be shrink proof as they will be washed as often as they can be. As I mentioned before, skiing is a rather filthy business. #sweat

3. Add a highlight colour for your accessories, that works well with your base and neutral pieces.

I think it is best to limit your highlight colour to just one, as then everything goes with everything and you are not limiting the permutations and combinations of your outfits. I couldn’t go past pink for my highlight colour … baby pink and hot pink pashminas that can be worn as scarves but also provide extra warmth on the plane and around town as a wrap. I have a couple of faux fur scarfs too that I HAVE to take with me, as I can NEVER wear them in Brisbane! Ever! People would stare!

I don’t know if I agree with the usual advice of wearing your heaviest items onto the plane, especially when you are landing in a hot climate. I tend to take light layers with me on the plane and fold my heavy items just once and lay them in the top of my packed suitcase. Rolled up coats and ski suits look a bit worse for wear after being rolled up I believe … but that’s just my experience.

I am taking a couple of thermal singlets, to wear under my tops under my ski suit, and a few pairs of ‘a million denier’ stockings to layer under my pants if I feel the need to layer. I have found that long thermals are overkill in Switzerland. The days in Zermatt are nearly always sunny and fine and you tend to strip off the layers the more you ski! The chairlifts are heated with wind/rain visors and the gondolas are almost hot with all the bodies and heating inside!

4. The extras.

Beside undies, one set of sleepwear and a few pairs of ski socks and a few pairs of regular socks, I always like to pack a nice hat to wear during the day when off the slopes. It’s still sunny and you can still get sunburnt. I also have a beanie on standby for extra cold evening walks. As we wear helmets when skiing, we all take little skull caps to wear inside our helmets, to put a barrier between us and the previous wearers of the helmet. I try not to think about how the helmets aren’t cleaned as often as they should be. Yuk!

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Besides my ski gloves I also pack a pair of leather day gloves (embelished with faux fur of course, any chance I can get to add faux fur I can! … no opportunity ever to wear fur in Brisbane!) … and a light felt pair, that I can easily slip into my pockets as I walk the lovely streets at night. My boys pretty much stay in ski gloves 24/7 as they cant walk the streets without picking up snow and throwing it everywhere. #lifewithboys


Jewels? No need for anything more than a few different pairs of earrings when out at night. Scarves are around your neck all the time and gloves are on your hands!

5. Luggage.

Thanks to Samsonite, I have the most glamorous suitcase a girl could dream of. My carry-on is my black computer bag (with computer). I will still need to work a little bit. Sort of.


A last minute purchase this week was this gorgeous leather day bag from Sunday Society, which I think will be very practical when heading out in town at night …big enough to fit a phone, tissues, lip balm, gloves, someone else’s gloves! … and it’s perfect because it packs flat and takes up no room in the suitcase.

All other valuables (passport, credit card and cash) are always around my neck in a travel pouch at all times.


So all my ski gear easy fits into one side of my new Samsonite suitcase.

That side can be zipped up and forgotten about until we hit the slopes.


Everything else: dress boots, runners, pants and tops, summer frock, flat sandals and togs for Dubai, day bag and hat (stuffed with socks to keep it’s shape), easily fits into the other side.


After adding my toiletries, and my trench coat folded neatly over the top, I still have heaps of room left!


I am wearing one of my 2 Dubai frocks on the plane with my black boots and the long jersey cardigan, with one of my scarf/pashmina-like thingys for extra warmth.

So how many pieces is that? Do I meet the criteria for #project333 ?

4 pants

5 tops

1 frock

1 long cardigan

1 trench coat

2 hats

4 dress scarves

1 ski cowl scarf

2 piece ski suit and ski pants

3 pairs of gloves, including ski gloves

4 pairs of earrings

3 pairs boots

1 pair runners

1 handbag

33 pieces!  Nailed it. Quite by accident too!

Underwear, sleepwear, in-home loungewear and work-out clothing, wedding or sentimental rings that you never take off, reading glasses and watches, as a rule, are not included in the 33 items in Project333.

You can read more about Project333, and how to implement it in your everyday life, over at ‘Be More With Less’HERE.

I live the Project333 way of life every day with my work wardrobe. Makes life so simple.

So, I’m packed! And so so ready for a holiday!

See you on the other side!

A-M xx


This is where I muse about home design, interiors, life with my boys and other stuff that stops my heart. I own my own Real Estate agency, 'Cape Cod Residential', through which I stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia.

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1 Comment

  • Lia Halsall
    January 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I just found this great post of yours (thank you) and have bookmarked it for future research.

Comments are closed here.

About ‘A-M’

This is where I muse about home design, real estate, interiors and life with my boys. I am starting my next house build, 'The Next House That A-M Built', and hope to have some action on site in January 2018. While I am building I will continue to run my Real Estate agency, 'Cape Cod Residential', through which I stage, style and sell beautiful homes all over Brisbane, Australia. I have an unrivalled staging inventory which enables me to present all manner of homes in their absolute best light for sale. It brings me such joy to be able to do Real Estate so differently and achieve great results for my clients. I am so grateful to be living such a creative and exciting life ... that I have created through blood, sweat, tears and physio appointments!
A-M xx

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