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Packable wardrobe

sfinx

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Hey forum, I'm new here. If this isn't the right place for this sort of discussion, let me know.
--
Some travel and remote work in the last few months has me rethinking my possessions now that I'm home again. The pandemic had already reduced my usage of what I thought was a minimal set of clothes, but recent travel has motivated me to cut even further. I expect a fair bit more travel during the course of the year, so I have a question/thought exercise for you style aficionados...

What would you pack if you needed a packable wardrobe. This wardrobe should include everything you need for a urban/suburban lifestyle. You can list as many or as few items as you want, so long as everything would fit in a standard carry-on suitcase plus maybe a small backpack. This should include shoes as well. Assume climates ranging from hot and cold as well as dry to wet. Assume you don't need any specialized wear: formal business wear, funeral clothes and I don't know, a wetsuit. If it helps, imagine you'll be using this wardrobe for 2 years continuously.

I think this will be a good way to gather some perspectives/ideas on how to approach this packable wardrobe I'm planning. If I've left out anything, let me know. Thanks!
 

AdeolaOj

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Well, it'll be a set of basic things - white T-shirts, light blue jeans, a cashmere sweater, dark trousers, a shirt, a pair of classic dresses and a few bright things like a short scarlet kimono that I wear like a cardigan.
regarding footwear - comfortable sneakers, nude pumps, boots like Timberland, a beige coat (?), a scarf and a hat.
 

PDandG

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My list is coming from the mindset of what I imagine I would be doing on my travels to various cities: Walking as much as possible, visiting museums, having a few work calls, going to restaurants and bars, etc. If this trip had more outdoor/rustic leanings, I would probably drop the more tailored stuff for items that would be good for hikes and riding bikes.

1. Navy Blazer - Something in a wool that can handle being folded up if need be. Ring Jacket Balloon comes to mind.
2. Chore Coat/Over Shirt or Other Light Outer Layer. Something I can fold up with no issue.
3. White Oxford Cloth Shirt - Spread or BD. I am an American so likely a BD. Don't @ me.
4. Navy Spread Collar Shirt
5. Chambray Spread Collar Shirt
6. Grey Shetland Jumper or a Good Sweatshirt
7. Navy Crewneck Jumper - Cashmere or Merino
8. Charcoal Turtleneck Jumper
9. Off White or British Tan Chinos
10. Grey Wool Trousers
11. Olive Five Pockets
12. If there is room: Pants that match the jacket for a casual suit if I want to go somewhere fancy for a drink or a meal. I could use the Grey Wool Trousers but you didn't say this had to be totally practical.
13. Dark Polo Shirt
14. Chelsea Boots with Danite Sole
15. Black Loafers
16. White or Navy Sneakers
17. Belts
18. Black Knit Tie
19. T Shirts in Black, Navy, and White
20. Undies and Socks
21. Workout Clothes

Probably need some outerwear, so that will depend on where I am going.

Obviously, I would wear some this on my way to said destination(s). 2 Years is a long time, so some of this may get replaced/added to along the way.
 

Phileas Fogg

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I cannot imagine living out of a carryon for 2 years. If my life ever came to that point, my wardrobe concerns would be far, far down the list.
 

sfinx

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Well, it'll be a set of basic things - white T-shirts, light blue jeans, a cashmere sweater, dark trousers, a shirt, a pair of classic dresses and a few bright things like a short scarlet kimono that I wear like a cardigan.
regarding footwear - comfortable sneakers, nude pumps, boots like Timberland, a beige coat (?), a scarf and a hat.
This is helpful to understand what's considered basic.

My list is coming from the mindset of what I imagine I would be doing on my travels to various cities: Walking as much as possible, visiting museums, having a few work calls, going to restaurants and bars, etc. If this trip had more outdoor/rustic leanings, I would probably drop the more tailored stuff for items that would be good for hikes and riding bikes.

1. Navy Blazer - Something in a wool that can handle being folded up if need be. Ring Jacket Balloon comes to mind.
2. Chore Coat/Over Shirt or Other Light Outer Layer. Something I can fold up with no issue.
3. White Oxford Cloth Shirt - Spread or BD. I am an American so likely a BD. Don't @ me.
4. Navy Spread Collar Shirt
5. Chambray Spread Collar Shirt
6. Grey Shetland Jumper or a Good Sweatshirt
7. Navy Crewneck Jumper - Cashmere or Merino
8. Charcoal Turtleneck Jumper
9. Off White or British Tan Chinos
10. Grey Wool Trousers
11. Olive Five Pockets
12. If there is room: Pants that match the jacket for a casual suit if I want to go somewhere fancy for a drink or a meal. I could use the Grey Wool Trousers but you didn't say this had to be totally practical.
13. Dark Polo Shirt
14. Chelsea Boots with Danite Sole
15. Black Loafers
16. White or Navy Sneakers
17. Belts
18. Black Knit Tie
19. T Shirts in Black, Navy, and White
20. Undies and Socks
21. Workout Clothes

Probably need some outerwear, so that will depend on where I am going.

Obviously, I would wear some this on my way to said destination(s). 2 Years is a long time, so some of this may get replaced/added to along the way.
That's a good perspective to take, i.e. "what will I be doing?" - I'll share what I'll be doing, but it's not meant to influence your choices, I think this exercise is more fun if you guys do it for yourselves/your own activities. Probably helps to list the activities as you have so I can understand the context of choices.

So as far what I will be doing, here's what I anticipate (along with the associated ratios):

20% meetings (both in-person and online - however, I'm not in a field of work that requires heavy formality, so business-casual flies); 30% home-wear / lounging gear / quick neighborhood errands; 25% city jaunts/restaurants/bars; 10% driving (probably can be absorbed by some other category); 10% active-wear for walks/bike rides/sports; 5% hikes.

One thing I need to consider is that I'm closer to an endo- or mesomorph than an ectomorph. I've noticed that fashion in general is more geared toward ectomorphs. Blazers/coats have rarely looked good on me, but it could just be I've never found the right cut either.

PS, you included a bunch of terms I need to learn about.

Thanks for your reply!

I cannot imagine living out of a carryon for 2 years. If my life ever came to that point, my wardrobe concerns would be far, far down the list.
Hahaha, it's just a thought exercise, don't worry. It's a way of forcing parameters within the question. How about we get your thoughts with a full size check-in suitcase in mind? :)

--

I'm enjoying this, thanks everyone.
 

PDandG

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One thing I need to consider is that I'm closer to an endo- or mesomorph than an ectomorph. I've noticed that fashion in general is more geared toward ectomorphs. Blazers/coats have rarely looked good on me, but it could just be I've never found the right cut either.
Fashion is fine but I think it's better to just find clothes that fit you, your personality, and your lifestyle. If you want to find a good blazer, I would say it's best to avoid fashion leaning options and instead go to a store that sells classic tailored clothing. Try on different options and if needed, consider something custom, though I think most guys can find something ready to wear that works for them. Price can be low or as high as you want. Any shape of dude can look good in a blazer that fits. It's one of the laws of the universe.

If that doesn't work, just get a navy chore coat and enjoy the extra pockets.

PS, you included a bunch of terms I need to learn about.

Thanks for your reply!
Happy to help. Which terms?
 

sfinx

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I googled a bunch of them already but for example, I didn't know what BD was, shetland, jumper, etc. I gathered some refered to materials and styles I'm not familiar with - like I had no idea there were so many types of collars.

The ensemble you listed impressed for its versatility. I googled each item and I can see how it all comes together. That stuff would probably fit 45-50% of my needs for city jaunts/restaurants/business casual meetings, etc.

I think I probably misused the word "fashion" then, I meant clothingdom in general. =] But I take your point, perhaps I've just never found the right blazer, and indeed clothes need to fit your vibe and function first and foremost.
 

PDandG

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Lots of jargon that I barely notice that I am using.

A good number of people would say my list is boring and they may be right. But to me, I can go pretty much anywhere and not feel out of place with that list.

Safe travels.
 

breakaway01

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Fitting everything into a carry-on + backpack + what I can wear:
Need to be able to handle some inclement weather (let's say NYC-type weather) and some outdoor activity.
Since you're wearing the same clothing over and over again, versatility is key, and nothing that stands out so much that people will recognize that your wardrobe is very small

Outerwear
- Norwegian Rain single-breasted coat with zip-in liner. A true 3-season (fall/winter/spring) coat, can dress it up or down. Somewhat bulky but you need something that can handle the cold.
- an olive waxed cotton field jacket
**if room allows, maybe a very light down jacket like a Patagonia Nano Puff, also in olive

Mid-layer
- navy linen crewneck sweater (linen so it's not too warm)
- grey cotton hoody

Shirts
- light blue OCBD
- light blue linen button-down in a subtle pattern like a houndstooth
- long-sleeve off-white and navy T-shirts
- a light grey LS henley
- navy cotton polo
- thin synthetic LS hiking T-shirt

Trousers
- grey wool fresco
- brown 5-pocket cords
- midweight (12-13 oz) dark blue jeans
- thin pair of hiking/trekking pants
- nylon shorts for swimming or running e.g. Patagonia Baggies
**if it's going to be really hot where I'm going, maybe swap the cords out for a pair of trousers for hot weather e.g. tan linen or linen-cotton

Footwear
- dark brown suede chukka boots
- German Army Trainer sneakers in white/light grey or similar sneaker (e.g. the classic white Common Projects Achilles)
- running shoe (Nike Free RN pack very thin because of the soft/flexible heel counter--can put a pair in the outside pocket of a carry-on suitcase)

Depending on your work or social needs, consider adding a navy blazer (in an open weave fabric like a Mock Leno), a semi-spread light blue shirt, and a tie. Pretty much nothing I couldn't do and nowhere I couldn't go.
 
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sfinx

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Fitting everything into a carry-on + backpack + what I can wear:
Need to be able to handle some inclement weather (let's say NYC-type weather) and some outdoor activity.
Since you're wearing the same clothing over and over again, versatility is key, and nothing that stands out so much that people will recognize that your wardrobe is very small

Outerwear
- Norwegian Rain single-breasted coat with zip-in liner. A true 3-season (fall/winter/spring) coat, can dress it up or down. Somewhat bulky but you need something that can handle the cold.
- an olive waxed cotton field jacket
**if room allows, maybe a very light down jacket like a Patagonia Nano Puff, also in olive

Mid-layer
- navy linen crewneck sweater (linen so it's not too warm)
- grey cotton hoody

Shirts
- light blue OCBD
- light blue linen button-down in a subtle pattern like a houndstooth
- long-sleeve off-white and navy T-shirts
- a light grey LS henley
- navy cotton polo
- thin synthetic LS hiking T-shirt

Trousers
- grey wool fresco
- brown 5-pocket cords
- midweight (12-13 oz) dark blue jeans
- thin pair of hiking/trekking pants
- nylon shorts for swimming or running e.g. Patagonia Baggies
**if it's going to be really hot where I'm going, maybe swap the cords out for a pair of trousers for hot weather e.g. tan linen or linen-cotton

Footwear
- dark brown suede chukka boots
- German Army Trainer sneakers in white/light grey or similar sneaker (e.g. the classic white Common Projects Achilles)
- running shoe (Nike Free RN pack very thin because of the soft/flexible heel counter--can put a pair in the outside pocket of a carry-on suitcase)

Depending on your work or social needs, consider adding a navy blazer (in an open weave fabric like a Mock Leno), a semi-spread light blue shirt, and a tie. Pretty much nothing I couldn't do and nowhere I couldn't go.
This is very cool, thanks for posting! Googling these, it's a very different (darker/more somber) look than the previous ensembles posted. Reminds me of Paris or New York type style.

--

I'll post what I am considering soon so you guys can critique.

If this trip had more outdoor/rustic leanings, I would probably drop the more tailored stuff for items that would be good for hikes and riding bikes.
I got curious about this part - would your colors, materials, style choices change if it had more rustic leanings? Is there a good reference somewhere I can go through? (No worries if you're not sure, I will look for one either way.)
 

breakaway01

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This is very cool, thanks for posting! Googling these, it's a very different (darker/more somber) look than the previous ensembles posted. Reminds me of Paris or New York type style.
Interesting, what about it is so different from @PDandG 's list? seems very similar in the color palette (mostly navy/grey/olive)?
 

sfinx

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Interesting, what about it is so different from @PDandG 's list? seems very similar in the color palette (mostly navy/grey/olive)?
Hoodie, field jacket, Norwegian coat, dark jeans, texture of chukka boots gave me that vibe. Perhaps these differences are magnified to me or maybe you guys can better visualize how it comes together and is more similar than not.
 

pwbower

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OG chinos
Lightweight gray flannels
Smart tan chinos
Levis 501s

2 Blue and 1 White OCBDs
Brown longsleeve polo shirt
White/black/breton t-shirts

Navy chore coat
Casual brown check sport coat
Navy harrington
Gray lambswool cardigan

Unlined brown loafers
Dark brown suede chukkas
Jogging shoes

Socks + undies
Brown belt
Jogging shorts
 

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