Monday, December 16, 2019

What I made and wore for 2 weeks in Paris!

This past November I spent 2 full weeks in Paris. (Much of this was documented on my Instagram feed- @siouxzeegirl)


One of my favorite parts about travel is planning my wardrobe. Once my destination is selected, dates nailed down and flights purchased I immediately start to think of my wardrobe. Paris was such a fun trip to plan for and I am glad that I started early since I knew that I wanted to make as much of the wardrobe that I could.

I selected a color palette of blue, red and white. A slightly different palette from my normal clothes. This gives me an opportunity to play with other colors AND come out with a great capsule wardrobe in the end.

Wardrobe sewing planning

With the color palette selected I started pulling all the fabrics from my fabric collection that fit into this palette. I don’t really think about what I will make with them at this point, I just pull the fabric and put it all on my couch, table and floor, wherever it all fits so that I can see all of it. With all of the fabric spread out it is easy to ‘see’ and you can quickly start removing fabrics that just don’t go. This can be because the color is a little off. For instance, I ended up going with deeper and true reds versus orangey reds. I removed many of the very dark navy blues and went with a brighter blue and brighter navy’s. After doing this first culling, which usually removes about half of the pulled fabrics, I start to look at the fabrics left against my list of clothes that I want to make. This then helps me to put the fabrics into 4 groups. Tops, bottoms, dresses and outerwear. 


I have a couple rules that I follow when creating a travel wardrobe.

  1. All separates, bottoms (skirts and pants) and tops (knit and woven) need to go with multiple other items. For example, if I bring 3 bottoms then each top I made must go with at least 2 of the 3 bottoms. Ideally all 3! And vice versa. Each bottom needs to go with multiple tops.
  2. Each dress needs to worn at least twice. Unless traveling for a special occasion like a wedding, I NEVER bring an item that will only get worm once.
  3. I try to stick to 3 pairs of shoes. And NEVER bring new, untested shoes.
  4. I always have a travel outfit that gets worn on plane to and from and then usually one other day on the trip that I consider a down day. (Crucial for longer trips)
  5. Only bring undergarments that can be rinsed/hand washed and dry overnight. 
  6. I almost never travel with jeans. They are heavy and if they get wet take forever to dry. (Unless I am staying in a ABNB with a dryer)

These rules help me to make sure that my wardrobe creation and packing for a longer trip are very thoughtful and deliberate. These are the rules that work for me and they may certainly not be what works for someone else! I guess my biggest thing is that if I am deliberate beforehand with my creating and selecting my wardrobe then when I am on my trip I don’t really have to think about it too much and just really enjoy my travels!

Yes, your eyes are correct... I packed a suitcase inside a bigger suitcase on the way there, so that I would have plenty of room on the way home for the FABRIC purchases!! It worked out perfectly!

For my Paris trip, I knew that I wanted to bring 3 or 4 bottoms, 5 or 6 tops and 2 dresses. Plus, outerwear.

What I made and what I bought.

Things I made:

Dresses: 2 blue floral matelassé corner dress from 2 coordinating fabrics and Chanel tweed dress with tucked knit sleeves and tweed cuffs.

Bottoms:3 (1 skirt & 2 pants) one midi length red corduroy straight skirt, one blue tweed lined slim ankle pants and one full length wool crepe lined pants with pleated hem. 

Tops: (6) red wool knit top, blue wool knit top (only item from my existing wardrobe) rayon/spandex knit tunic, blue floral ruched knit top and a woven Japanese cotton top. Plus one French style jacket and shell. 


I Only 4 purchased items that came with me! Both my outer wear pieces and my travel tunic and leggings. I just ran out of time and thought why not! Everything else I made :) Such a great feeling to travel with wonderful me made wardrobe.

I purchased both items of outerwear that I brought with me. A tunic length navy puffer vest and a burgundy London fog hooded rain/trench coat.

Shoes: I broke my rule and actually brought 5 pairs of shoes. 2 red shoes and 2 blue shoes and a pair of pool flip flops. All shoes were flats and every pair got worn. PLUS…. I purchased 2 more pairs of shoes while in Paris. I mean really, how could I not buy shoes in Paris!!

Day 1 (travel day)

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10 (with a very bad selfie!)

Day 11

Day 12 (forgot to take a selfie on the trip!)

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15
 The last day, DAY 16, was our travel day home and I wore the exact same outfit as I wore traveling to Paris.
The page in the travel journal where I recorded how many times I wore each item.

For this trip, I knew I wanted to do a detailed trip journal. (On past trips I have done small journaling but I really wanted to do more and a bigger journal with everything that can be in one place once the trip is over) So, in this journal I made a list of each item of clothing that I brought plus the shoes and I marked them each time I wore them. Plus, I preplanned a daily 2-page spread in the journal that included one page for notes and another page for a sketch of my daily outfit. I loved doing this!! I also left open pages in the journal for sketching and note taking and for pasting in tickets and other memorabilia once I got home.
The croquis that I used were from My Body Model and I really enjoyed having them!


How do you plan your travel wardrobes?


  1. I have only recently started traveling again, but this is so very inspiring! I need to give this some serious thought ...

    1. Pamela, thank you for your comment. It was a wonderful adventure!

  2. What an inspiration! I am planning a trip to Europe in the spring and have already made 4 pieces that might contribute--no final decisions yet, since one of them wrinkles more easily than anticipated. You have given me ideas for further additions, thank you!

  3. A fabulous wardrobe and thank you for the ideas on who to get started.

  4. That's interesting. I have a similar approach to matching items, but I use it for everyday wardrobe, because when I travel my rule is one top per day plus bottoms, so a dress is also counted as 1 per day. I just don't feel comfortable wearing the same top twice, I feel sweaty. But then, I bring less shoes, I often take just one pair. And I bring clothes for 10 days max, if I stay longer, I need to do the laundry.


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