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How to Build a Spring Travel Capsule Wardrobe

travel capsule wardrobe

Building a Travel Capsule: Spring Wardrobe Edition

Spring travel season is almost here! Regardless of where you’re going, prepping for your trip is a must – including building a travel capsule wardrobe. 

If you always overpack, then this guide is for you. Find out how to create a versatile spring wardrobe for travel that has key pieces to keep you in style throughout your trip. 

From tops to bottoms, get all the help you need to get the benefits of this solution to overpacking, starting with some frequently asked questions.

What is a spring travel capsule wardrobe?

First, let’s start with the concept. A travel capsule consists of 15 items or less that can be mixed and matched to create new, unique looks daily. Recommended pieces may vary based on season and destination. Overall, though, a capsule wardrobe usually contains tops, bottoms, top layers, and at least one dress. A spring travel capsule uses this same method to pick pieces for travel based on the season.

Why should you create a spring travel capsule wardrobe?

Creating a capsule wardrobe for any season saves time, money, and space. You’ll save time deciding what to wear since you have a few looks planned out to work with. Plus, you’ll save money checking luggage or shipping home souvenirs because they can’t fit in your luggage. Lastly, you’ll save space in your luggage so you can bring home a few new things you bought on your trip.

How many pieces of clothing should be part of your spring travel wardrobe?

Most people follow something called the 5-4-3-2-1 packing method. This amounts to 15 pieces total that can be mixed and matched. An example of this method looks something like this packing list:

  • 5 tops
  • 4 bottoms
  • 3 dresses
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 jacket


Of course, the formula varies based on things like season and destination. For example, if you’re building a winter travel capsule wardrobe, it wouldn’t include the same types of garments as a summer travel capsule wardrobe

What color clothing should your travel capsule wardrobe include?

Color choices for your travel capsule wardrobe definitely depend on season. For spring, go with vibrant colors like yellow and green balanced with neutral tones. Bouncy stripes and subtle florals are also great print options. When it comes to jeans, reach for lighter washes. Also, don’t be afraid of pants in vibrant colors.

Here are two ways to coordinate color bottoms:

travel capsule wardrobe
Pair them with a tee and fashion sneakers for a sporty chic look.

travel capsule wardrobe
For a more refined look, trade the tee for a fashion top and an accent scarf.

Best Spring Capsule Wardrobe Pieces

Need help figuring out the best spring capsule wardrobe pieces? You’re in luck! Here are some favorite styles based on the 5-4-3-2-1 packing technique that are perfect for a spring travel wardrobe. Learn how to build multiple looks from just a few effortless pieces. 

Versatile Tops

Having enough tops to achieve unique outfits daily requires skill. Here are a few rules for picking out tops:

  • Day to night is best. Pick at least a couple pieces that have crossover appeal, matching with sleek bottoms or everyday denim.
  • Consider material. Make sure you’re picking tops that are appropriate for the climate.
  • Think about accessories. Tops should be able to go with a variety of jewelry, shoes, and top layers. 

travel capsule wardrobe
This shirt has perfect crossover appeal, featuring allover eyelet details, a scallop hem, and a lush green that pairs well with neutral pants or classic denim.

Trendsetting Denim

Speaking of denim, it’s a good idea to bring one or two reliable pairs of jeans. In the spring, the weather may be just right for crops, especially if you’re visiting a southern locale. Here are some tips for picking out the best denim for your spring travel capsule:

  • Go with medium or light wash. These washes are more suitable for the warmer months.
  • Opt for comfort. Only bring jeans that you feel comfortable in since you may be wearing them multiple times.
  • Think about shoes. Some styles are better suited for specific footwear, so bring denim bottoms that go with a range of shoes.

travel capsule wardrobe
Trouser crops are one of the newest denim fits this year, offering a little more leg room from hip to hem.

Easy-to-Wear Pants

Just like jeans, a couple pairs of pants are a must. You can go with a classic ankle pant, or something more trendsetting, like wide leg pants. Whatever you choose, remember they you should be able to wear them again and again with different pieces in your spring travel capsule.

Here are some tips for picking out pants:

  • Consider pull-on options. They’re often sleek, easy, and stretchy. 
  • Lengths have impact. Whether crops, full length or ankle, pant lengths change the way an outfit look.
  • Fabric matters. Go with soft, lightweight fabrics for spring capsules. 

travel capsule wardrobe
Fashion mixing gives these poplin crops a more upscale feeling, which is exactly the kind of versatility you want.

Resort Casual Shorts

Shorts are usually a necessary addition to your spring travel wardrobe. However, make sure you’re choosing shorts that are appropriate for your destination. Most resorts, hotels, and cruises have dress codes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting shorts:

  • No cut offs or distress. Include pieces with clean hems that are an appropriate length and don’t have any rips or tears.
  • Select styles with fashion details. This way, your shorts are still a standout piece of the ensemble.
  • Make adaptability a priority. You should be able to wear them for many occasions in many ways, from excursions to poolside. 

travel capsule wardrobe
The sailor button shorts can be worn with tanks and jackets or as poolside coverup.

Sporty Skorts

Skorts are an overlooked option for travel capsule bottoms. These handy items have the look of a skirt with the comfort of shorts. They’re really good for mixing and matching, and give fashion looks a sporty edge. Here are some things to look for a in a spring travel wardrobe skort:

  • Stretch fabrication. The point is fashion and comfort, so don’t skimp on the comfort.
  • The right short inseam. This length will vary based on size and height, so check inseams when you shop.
  •  Form and function. Pick skorts that have solutions, like hidden inner pockets or ribbed back waistbands.

travel capsule wardrobe
This rib mix skort is perfect for walking or engaging in other types of light activity.


Any well-rounded travel capsule wardrobe for spring includes dresses. This is a tricky category, because dresses can only really be worn once, whereas bottoms can be worn multiple times. That’s why it’s suggested to only bring 2-3 dresses max, especially for a trip lasting more than 5 days. To help you pick the right pieces, here are a few tips:

  • Think about special occasions. You’ll likely need at least one occasion dress for special events.
  • Climate makes a difference. Cooler locales may require long sleeve maxi dresses, and warmer destinations need shorter arm and hem lengths.
  • Make sure it travels well. Some fabrics need a lot of care, and the less care you can put into a look while traveling, the better.

travel capsule wardrobe
When in doubt, include a traditional black dress, like this lace hem midi style.When in doubt, include a traditional black dress, like this lace hem midi style.


With the weather warming up everywhere, it’s likely that you’ll need swimwear. There’s nothing better than going to a tropical location after a long winter. When it comes to swimwear, you’ll want to bring swimsuits and coverups. Here are a few things to consider if you need new swim pieces for your travel wardrobe:

  • Modesty is the best policy. Dress codes at resorts my require a one-piece swimsuit, so be sure to go with a modest selection.
  • Inspire confidence. There are a range of swim pieces that can make you feel confident in and out of the water, like tennis swim skirts and swim rompers. 
  • Include coverups. These can be pieces you include specifically for this purpose, or they can be multifunctional pieces like fashion shorts or popover dresses.

travel capsule wardrobe
: This swim romper is modest and flattering, and it accessorizes well.

Build Your Spring Travel Wardrobe at Chico’s

With your trip coming up so soon, don’t hesitate to start picking pieces now. Shop Chico’s spring collection out now so you’re prepped with time to spare. Happy travels!