a Travel Capsule Wardrobe that you can mix and match

When you purchase through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • I challenged myself to fly to Europe for nine days with only one carry-on and was surprised at how doable it was.
  • The cornerstone of my travel wardrobe was a set of versatile Vuori lounge pieces that I could mix and match.
  • The compact Vuori pieces left room for bulkier disposables that I couldn’t avoid packing.

I’m a regular overpacker. When I board a plane, I find solace in the fact that my huge checked bag is packed with a variety of clothes to help me in every possible scenario. But this summer, with airline chaos (and checked bags lost in transit 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels), I challenged myself to pack all my travel needs into one carry-on for a nine day trip to Germany.

I had to be extremely strategic about my packing: versatile pieces would be key, as well as items that strike a balance between comfort and style. I loaded up pieces from one of our favorite athleisure brands, Vuori. His clothes adapt to different situations, whether it’s an eight-hour red-eye or long days of exploring new cities. Plus, everything is compact and saves space when luggage real estate is tight.

I chose items with limitless style options, like basic black joggers and simple, neutral tops.

The author wears Vuori athleisure for a plane ride next to a close-up of joggers

Talia Ergas/Insider

The most versatile outfits include solid and neutral pieces that are comfortable yet look put together. Vuori’s casual joggers in black ($98, XS-XL) fit the bill. They feature an extra high waist and super soft stretch fabric for optimal comfort. Plus, the wide ribbed waistband and ankle cuffs combine with a slim silhouette to give a polished look (despite the fact that you’re technically wearing sweats).

The only drawback of the joggers in terms of functionality was the lack of pockets. Vuori’s performance jogger ($94, available in 16 colors as well as long and regular length) is a good alternative if pockets are a must, but they wear more like traditional sweats. I preferred the sleeker look of the everyday jogger for versatility.

I wore joggers for my flights and layered Vuori tops so I was prepared for any possible airplane climate.

The writer wears Vuori athleisure for a plane ride next to a crew sweater nearby

Talia Ergars/Insider

I packed the daydream crew in heather light gray ($64, XXS-XXL) and the lux performance tank ($49, XXS-XXL) for a trip and wore the energy top in heather black ($58, XXS-XXL) and long – wing sleeve t-shirt in washed black ($64, XXS-XXL) for the other. I liked that the pieces were nicely laid out, especially since airplane cabins can get very chilly. I wore my tank and t-shirt on the way to the airport in the summer heat and then threw on my crew and long sleeve for the flight. Both items were warm but not heavy (the daydream crew provides more warmth than the long-sleeve down tee if you tend to get cold) and folded easily into my bag while not wearing them.

I re-worn pieces of my “airplane outfit” for various outings on my trip

The author wears Vuori athleisure pieces in casual and more dressy styles.

Talia Ergas/Insider

I wore my Vuori clothes over and over during my holidays, incorporating the different pieces into different outfits by dressing them up with jeans, statement boots or blazers. Since these items are machine washable and dryer friendly, I was even able to quickly wash several items mid-trip and wear many of the pieces a second or third time.

Every piece was well made and I felt confident that it would hold up in a variety of scenarios.

The author wears Vuori athleisure in two different outfits.

Talia Ergas/Insider

Vuori clothing is a bit pricey, but I’d always rather spend more on a high-quality product that will last, than buy cheap and have to replace it after a few wears. I have washed and dried these items many times now and they look as good as the day I got them.

With mid-weight, breathable fabrics, Vuori’s booties double as performance and can be worn well on hikes, jogs or a yoga class.

Since suitcase space was (very) limited, compact clothing left room for bulkier necessities.

The author's pile of folded packed clothes next to solid folded Vuori pieces.

Talia Ergas/Insider

On this trip, I was attending a friend’s wedding, and my fiancé and I had an engagement photo shoot booked, so I had to take two bulky dresses and heels that would be disposable items. That didn’t leave much room for the rest of my clothes, so the fact that Vuori items are super compact and fold up small made a huge difference.

The bottom line

Vuori lounges are packable, flexible, comfortable and high quality, making them perfect for travel. Being able to re-wear items from my “plane” throughout my trip – and do a quick wash mid-trip – proved to be a game changer as it allowed me to fit everything in a carry-on. I loved the minimalistic packing experience so much that I can always fly by hand just going forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *