I’m heading over to Vietnam to study for three weeks. I’m excited and nervous. I’ll need to pack both a summer and winter wardrobe to cater for Hanoi (cold at this time of the year) and Ho Chi Minh City (hot this time of year). My wardrobe has been very limited since I came back from our year in New Zealand. This has been great, but I really needed some basics in my cupboard, and so I decided to look ahead to the year and plan a wardrobe that would both cater for my Vietnam trip and my plans of the rest of the year.
What I find helps is choosing a limited colour scheme with neutrals and a few spots of colour. To help me do this, I look for palette inspiration from websites like Design Seeds. Or, you can use your favourite photo and pick out a colour palette using the Colour Viewfinder app.
I was inspired by this image found form HGTV. How glorious is this room!
I pulled the colour palette to give me a base to work from and then put together a wish list.
Before searching for products, it’s a good idea to consider some goals for the clothes you are purchasing. I want most of my wardrobe to be travel friendly, because that suits my lifestyle (that is, limited ironing and a focus on comfort). I am also moving towards more natural fibres. I recently discovered bamboo fabric and it is the softest most comfy fabric to wear, so you will find a lot of the basics I have picked are cotton, linen and bamboo. I do have some synthetic options too, especially the hiking gear. It’s good to have some quick drying options.
- Travel friendly
- Natural fabrics
- Mix & Match
Over the past month or so, I have been saving and collecting most of these items that will take me through this year. Some items are staples I already have.
This basic singlet is for layering and wearing under shirts in cold weather. It’s also good for sleeping.
Every wardrobe MUST have a white shirt. Pair it with jeans or the flight pants, pop on the blazer and it’s classy casual. This shirt is beautiful, but it will need ironing — however if you wash it and hang it up, ironing is limited. It’s nice and long too, so looks good with skinny pants.
I love a 3/4 sleeve, and this red top is darling.
This wide leg pant is stretchy and soft, but it still looks dressy. I am usually a size medium, and I got a small in these pants because they are a bigger fit.
5. Kathmandu – Hemp Shirt Dress
I found this shirt dress on Facebook marketplace for a bargain. It resists crushing, and is lovely to wear. I also wear it as a light jacket with pants.
I adore this skirt! It’s just glorious and makes me feel lovely. I purchased it in the teal, but I am planning to eventually get it in the black too. You can also wear it as a strapless dress if you want.
I’ve only recently discovered Uniqlo. They have a wide range of affordable clothes that are good for travel. This dress is made from soft fabric that has a bit of stretch, and also a bra included. I wear it with the linen kimono.
I love this linen dress from Cotton On. It’s just the right sort of cut and fit. The length is below the knee.
This stretch cotton shirt is great for under jackets.
10. Kathmandu – Jacket (purchased off Gumtree 2 years ago)
I’ve had this jacket for a couple of years. It’s FAB. I love Kathmandu stuff and picked up a few things on sale this year.
11. Laurel Pants (German brand – found in an op shop)
I’ve had these for a few years now. I don’t actually wear them very often, but I do find they are excellent when I travel so I hold on to them (wore them on a safari in Dubai).
These are really roomy and comfy, and yet they still have that tailored look. Sun soaked do the most GORGEOUS swimwear, but it’s out of my budget at this point. I got these pants on special. I wear them with the black Bamboo Taylor Top and Lani Blazer. They also go nicely with the cream kimono.
I wasn’t sure how this would go, but I have been very happy with the purchase. I find myself wearing it a lot, and I washed it and hung it up and it didn’t need an iron — so bonus! Kimono-style cardigans are easy wearing with dresses, jeans, pants and shorts.
I am planning to do the Oxfam 55 walk later this year. I have pale skin so I really need sun protection, while still staying as cool as I can. I picked up this top on sale. I liked the colour too.
They don’t have this scarf/stole available anymore but I WISH I got a few more colours. It is gorgeous to wear, in both summer and winter.
I don’t usually like to wear sleeveless shirts, but I do find it handy for layering in hotter weather. I haven’t worn/washed this yet, so will see how it goes.
If you want a jean look-a-like without the weight, these are fab.
I needed a hike pant, and I put these pants to the test. They are great. They are high wasted, with a thick soft waist band. Plus, you can roll them up into a 3/4 leg. The only slight negative is the material makes a noise when you walk (because of the synthetic fabric — however I needed water resistant pants like this).
I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, but whenever I go away, I love wearing this necklace with all my children’s name on it. You can read my review here.
I don’t like putting earrings in and out often. This means I often don’t wear earrings unless I’m going out somewhere special. However, I do really enjoy wearing earnings, I just find it annoying to sleep in them so I take them out. I have been looking for some huggie earrings that are a bit like sleepers but more classy. They are comfy to keep in. I found it really hard to find plain silver options (most of the stores I went to had them with diamonds). I ended up finding some at Myer (Amor brand). They have a good range.
21. Ruby Olive Necklace (gifted a few years ago)
I love this necklace and have worn it often. It works with my colour scheme well too! It’s good to have a statement necklace.
I LOVE this relaxed blazer. You can see a picture of me wearing it here.
My daughter used this scarf for her formal. She doesn’t usually wear a lot of scarves at assessories, and she gave it to me for Mother’s Day last year. I love it! So pretty and delicate. Great way to dress up an outfit.
This is a thin scarf that can be used a belt, hair band and all sorts of things. Handy for travel.
A wardrobe basic.
Decjuba do really good jeans. I like a high waist skinny.
I bought these a year ago or so. They are ULTRA comfy and I love wearing them. The upper leather part is soft, and the tread is sturdy with good grip so they are good for walking but also can be worn with a dressy outfit.
I needed new shoes for my regular bootcamp style exercise and also for my hike challenge. I have been disappointed in the quality of my last two pairs of shoes (Asics & New Balance) so I wanted to try a new brand. The Mizuno are super bouncy and I felt good as soon as I put them on.
29. Mox – Sapphire
I’ve been wearing Mox for years. They are the ultimate travel shoe. They are rubber so it doesn’t matter how dirty they get. Read my review here.
30. Mox – Gold
I am surprised how I often I wear the gold colour. It’s so versatile.
I always look for a stretch belt. They are more comfortable. They are actually hard to find!
I borrowed my daughter’s Lorna Jane Flashy Pant and found they are really comfy for travel.
I’m in the process of packing, and I find it helpful to lay everything out so I can organise it properly. My sister bought me packing cubes for Christmas this year. They are amazing and help to organise your suitcase. In different cubes, I have:
It means I can find things easily and the suitcase stays organised.
Adventure awaits. 2019 — bring it on.
Update – 15 February
I’m back! And I’m SUPER happy with all my clothes. They worked brilliantly for me while I was over in Vietnam, and also now I’m back. Below are a few snaps of the outfits I wore on my trip. The piece I loved waring the most: Ezibuy – Linen Kimono Cardigan (am considering getting another one in a different colour), Cotton On – Woven Camila Button Through Midi Dress (black) (which unfortunately you can’t get anymore), Bamboo Body – Taylor Top (black) (like the high neck and longer sleeve length — and breathable fabric), Kathmandu – Flight Women’s Stretch Travel Pants (midnight) (they are super light and stretchy — fabulous jean-alternative), Bamboo Body — Long Sleeve Woven Blouse (I adore this shirt! It feels a little luxurious and is such a classic. Love the fabric too, and if you wash it and hang it up straight away/dry it, it really needs very little ironing), Sun soaked – Katherine Wide Leg Pant (the sizing on these are quite roomy, but I find myself wearing them often because they are a little dressy but oh-so-comfy).
L to R: 12, 25, 31 | 6, 25 | 25 & Lorna Jane Flashy Pant | 3, 4 | 9, 13, 17, 31 | 11, 25, 31
L to R: 14, 15, 17, 28 | 5, 30 | 13, 15, 25 & Lorna Jane Flashy Pant | 13, 15, 25
2, 17, 19 (below is the white bamboo cotton shirt, and this is what it looks like un-ironed — pulled from suitcase and hung up for a few hours, so travels well)