25 Ways to Mix and Match Outfits Using Just 8 Travel Essentials

Published On September 5, 2012 | By alex | FASHION, Travel Clothing for Women, Travel Outfits, Travel Style

Many backpackers choose to pack light with a carry on size backpack and minimal travel clothes. Both Erica from OverYonderlust and Brandy from Its One World Travel use less than 10 clothing items on their backpacking trips.

This travel outfit style-mix shows you how to mix and match the 8 Piece Travel Essentials Packing List. After wearing the same womens travel clothing repeatedly, you may need some inspiration to mix and match outfits for travel.

Check out this Travel Essentials Style-Mix to create fresh new travel outfits!


Travel Essentials Packing List: Style-Mix

25 style ideas to mix and match with just 8 pieces of womens travel clothing!


Leggings are a great multi-purpose item! You can use them for added warmth, pants, or pijamas. A basic set of black leggings is wearable with anything. Choose a thin microfiber type fabric and even the cheapest leggings will practically come out dry from the washing machine. Ideal!

These are the most recommended, best leggings for women that travel.





If you only pack one dress, make it a little black travel dress. Top with a tank or cover up with a button down top. Style it up for a night out or make it casual for day. Every girl needs to pack at least one dress as part of their backpacking clothing.

Check out our top choices for convertible travel dresses.


Whether you choose a flirty mini like this one or a more flowy and relaxed style, a plain black skirt is a good alternative if you want to pack light and still have the option to wear a dress once in a while. Choose a basic black one and pair it with a black top to make a Little Black Travel Dress!

 25-ways-to-mix-and-match-outfits-using-just-8-travel-essentialsShorts are also another travel essential if you’re traveling to warmer climates. Whether you choose to only carry the shorts from your convertible pants, capri length, or shorter shorts; they’re very versatile can go days without a washing. If you choose the shorter length like shown above, add some leggings in more conservative areas.

Dressier options like the ones shown in Packing for Paris Tips work well for Europe.

 25-ways-to-mix-and-match-outfits-using-just-8-travel-essentialsMany girls hate convertible pants for women and would much rather travel with jeans. However, you should include a relaxed and comfortable set of pants that can double up as trekking pants in your travel wardrobe. Certain style of cargo pants can be stylish and cute.  The best thing is the fabric – can go forever without washing or looking dirty!

These are the trousers we feel are the best travel pants for women. Find out why!

For more tips on travel outfit, please read:


I hope this travel essentials style-mix helps give you some ideas about how to mix and match your travel outfits. Please share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

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36 Responses to 25 Ways to Mix and Match Outfits Using Just 8 Travel Essentials

  1. Alee says:

    Traveling to Spain and Italy for 11 days and want to travel light and only pack in a carry on. With the mix and match outfits I’m assuming you wear them several times without washing them. Is there anything to use to keep clothing item smelling fresh? I know odd question but just thought I would ask. This is going to be my first travel experience.

    • alex says:

      Hi Alee, it’s actually a great question. Yes you would rewear some clothing but you can also do laundry half way through your trip if needed. Here are a few other tips:

      1) hang up your clothing after wearing it to let it air out
      2) spritz a bit of febreze of needed
      3) stick a fabric softener sheet inside your luggage
      4) choose fabrics that don’t absorb sweat and scents
      5) pack more tops and less bottoms because it’s easier to rewear bottoms without washing
      6) if traveling in the summer, take dresses!

      Depending on the time of year you’re traveling, you could take 3 bottoms + 7 tops and only rewear 4 of the tops or just wash them by hand after a week. Choose easy to wash fabrics.

      If you’re only spending on or two nights in each city and doing laundry on the go is difficult:

      – For cold weather travel, wear merino wool thermals under everything – they can be worn for days and won’t absorb scents so you’ll only need one or two pairs. Since they’re closest to you skin you won’t need to wash the rest of your clothing.
      – For hot weather travel, clothing is lighter so you can pack 3-4 bottoms and 11 tops and not do any laundry at all. That’s the Maximista size capsule wardrobe and should still fit into a carry-on with packing cubes.

      Hope this helps :-)

  2. Darlene says:

    Hi Alex. Where’d you get the striped tank & white sleeveless blouse?

  3. Emma says:

    Hi! I’m a nannie traveling to northern Michigan with their family for almost two months of the summer and I need to keep my stuff confined to 1 suitcase. Any tips? Thanks!

  4. Jo says:

    Hi Alex- Where is that navy button up from?

  5. Shellyb says:

    Leaving for Italy the end of January for a couple weeks. Only taking one medium//large suitcase as once we get there as we will be traveling by train. I know the weather is similar to the northwestern US which is where I live. I could use help for practical dress and packing more effectively. Especially for shoes/ boots.Thanks in advance. Love your website!

  6. Carrie says:

    I’m doing 2 months in SEA next spring and have a gazillion clothes I barely wear that are basically brand new. What’s that Pareto rule – we use 20% of the things we have 80% of the time. So I’m researching my buns off to learn how to mix and match clothing to get different outfits (I’m also terrible at matching so this is certainly a challenge!). Great article, thanks for the tips! :o)

  7. SHIRLEY says:

    OK I totally need help before my family accuses me of committing another atrocious OVER PACKING CRIME LMAO! We are going to Miami/Orlando for Thanksgiving week – 8 days. We will be going for a somewhat family vacation, daughter’s competitive event, enjoy a football game, Sea World, Magic Kingdom – the works – have fun, nothing crazy. What would you recommend I pack…I am really torn b/c the weather is really in between its not HOT but it’s not COLD either…any help/recommendations for outfits please!! I am very known in the family to over pack like crazy and not wear half of what I pack, not to mention shoe wise I always go overboard LOL I always want to bring my entire closet for the what ifs. Avg temp is low 50’s and highs in the mid 70’s. Mornings and nights can be chilling and the afternoons warm. It also has a tendency to rain unexpectedly in FL. And I am planning on working out so workout gear is a MUST.
    PLEASE HELP and help me amaze my family during this trip ;)

  8. Vanessa says:

    Hi, I will going to Texas next week for a 10 days trip. Im an islander, so I’m not comfortable with cold. The weather must be around 64 degrees. I had never experience that kind of weather before, I’m going crazy thinking about what to wear. It’s going to be a special trip, I’m going to meet up with my bf and celebrate my bday. Help me out, please!!

  9. Sara says:

    Hey alex,
    Where did you find the black dress pictured?

  10. Lety says:

    I am traveling to Mexico city next week. I read that shorts and thight clothes are not ok. I was taking leggins as is the rainy season, but now I am having second thoughts. Help please!

    • alex says:

      Hi Lety, thanks for your comment! Mexico city is a very modern city and you’ll see many local fashionistas and hipsters. The Condesa and Roma areas in particular will leave you wishing you brought your coolest clothes from home.

      You can most definitely wear leggings and skinny jeans/jeggings. I think when it says to avoid anything tight, think more along the lines of a clothing item that is overly fitted in your rear or bust area ;-)

      Shorts are actually ok however if they’re very short you’re rolling solo in some areas you may receive unwanted looks. Obviously shorts that are very short and revealing are never a good idea. I’d pack a pair if I were you, feel out the vibe and worse case, wear them over your leggings! The best way to wear shorts is to balance them out with a longer sleeve top ;-)

      Any of these looks work in Mexico City (except Escondido): http://travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-mexico/

      Hope this helps! Mexico City is an AWESOME city ;-)

  11. Lisa says:

    Oh my! I have been googling and imaging minimalist wardrobe all day. Bonzai!! I am not going to “keep”, “toss” “donate”… i am going to toss
    my entire closet and going on a quest for these oh so versatile pieces. Heck, in my walk in closet of over 100 items, of which I wear maybe 10… This will be so awesome!

  12. Jane says:

    Thank you so much for this, I am terrible at mixing and matching so this gives me some great ideas :) Anyway that you could tell me where you found that dress? It would be perfect for my upcoming trip to europe :)

  13. Katara says:

    Where do you find leggings that fit? The ones I’ve tried always stretch out in the crotch making me feel like I’m a duck waddling along. I never wear leggings alone but can’t imaging the waddle with a cute pair of shorts or a shorter skirt.

  14. Lyndee says:

    I have been looking all over for cute cargo pants! What brand are the ones pictured? They are very cute.

    LOVE the fashion tips as well. I am hoping to do some traveling soon :)

    • alex says:

      These are BKE Dakota Convertible Pants. Although sold out they were on Buckle.com. Love the look of these too. Let me know if you find some your like!

      Thanks for reading :-)

  15. Bianca says:

    Great tips! I always travel on planes in a dress with leggings. It’s at least as comfortable as tracksuit pants but much more versatile. Generally I’m traveling from a cold Melbourne winter to somewhere warm so when I get to my destination I can just take off the leggings & I’m ready to go.


    • alex says:

      Love the idea about layering a dress over leggings for a plane ride! Beats changing outfits, just remove and you’re ready to go.

      thanks for the tip :-)

  16. Cassie says:

    I have seriously studied how to travel with less clothes, and have taken a carry on for my annual week in Maine. But, there is now way I would wear shorts that short. I am going to Germany and Poland next summer, for 13 days and was considering taking a duffle, instead of a carry on. But, maybe I can get by with just a carry on, after all. I do take a personal item, with my netbook, travel info. like tickets and itineraries, and plastic zipper bag of toiletries, as well as a book and my MP3 player.

    • alex says:

      Hi Cassie, thanks for commenting! Ha, don’t worry all the clothing is just meant to represent an item. shorts can be longer or shorter – it’s just up to the individual. Or if you go to a colder place, maybe you pack more pants and no shorts. You just have to adjust the lists and items for your own needs :-)

      Yes it’s nice to travel Europe without wheels – I used a duffle/wheel bag when I went in 2008. Found it nice to have access to both features. A carry on for 13 days sounds doable especially because you’d probably only need travel size toiletries – they can usually last a couple of weeks. safe travels!

      Thanks for reading! :-)

  17. trip styler says:

    love this mix. it’s true. you don’t have to pack much to look good. i’ve been traveling with a carry-on for 3+ years and I haven’t once sacrificed style.

    • alex says:

      that’s awesome! yes, it’s just about choosing the right pieces. find myself to be more creative with less options :-)

      • Adriana says:

        Totally true. Too many options make simple decisions much more difficult! Packing smart is the way to go. I unfortunately, throw a bunch of things I “enjoy wearing” and just hope* things come together. Definitely going to start using this site to eliminate half of the stuff I never wear anyway while overseas! Trekking it all is such a headache.

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