The Ultimate Women's Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobe
We've all overpacked. It's nice to have options, but it's frustrating when you realize your luggage is heavy with things you won't even use on your trip. Save the weight—and leave room for souvenirs!—by packing a few super-versatile pieces you can mix, match and re-wear. And if you end up wearing the same outfit twice, who cares? Your secret is safe with us.
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Royal Robbins Geneva Ponte Dress
This wrinkle-free dress from Royal Robbins expertly transitions from cozy plane attire (just add leggings) to professional attire fit for conferences and business travel (just add dressy shoes). The stretchy fabric makes it comfortable for all-day wear, and two zippered hand pockets keep your cell phone, credit cards and boarding pass safely tucked away.
Buy It: Amazon, $89
Toad&Co Windmere Dress
A stretchy mix of Tencel, cotton and spandex, Toad&Co's flattering Windmere dress was built for traveling. Long sleeves keep you cozy (and look great under a vest), and deep pockets hold onto your phone even when you're rushing to catch a bus. Also great: NAU's Kanab Long Sleeve Funnel Dress, which has one adorable diagonal pocket and a collar that'll keep you a bit warmer on cold days.
Buy It: Amazon, $82
reDEW Bjork Jeans
Swedish denim company reDEW might make some of the greenest jeans on the planet. They've identified the dirtiest secrets of denim manufacturing and tackled them one by one. Their super-stretchy Bjork jeans (you might forget you're not wearing leggings) come from organic cotton and polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, and they use significantly less water in the dying process than most other brands. And that's just the beginning. They've even thought about the buttons: Many jeans have buttons made of two different types of metal, which are difficult if not impossible to recycle. Theirs are pure copper. Bonus: reDEW donates 25 percent of its profits to various environmental causes each year. Also great for traveling are Boulder Denim's Women's Skinny Fit jeans. They're finished with a water-repellent coating that rejects stains and odors, meaning you can go longer between washings, and maybe even pack the one pair. Super-deep pockets, including one that zips shut, rival the pockets we envy in men's clothing. Finally, someone gets it.
Buy It: Redew, $150
Chaco Cataluna Mid Boots
Chaco's Cataluna boots will dress up any outfit and are as practical for a long day on your feet in a museum as they are for a sprint through the airport. I'm getting over a long battle with plantar fasciitis and found the built-in arch support in these boots to be sufficient for all-day wear. (You can remove the soles to use your own if you'd prefer.) The slight heel is barely noticeable, even for someone who wears heels roughly once a decade. And there's no need to fear puddles or slush: the soles are grippy, and the uppers are made of waterproof leather.
Buy It: Amazon, $180
Pladra Peregrine Flannel Shirt
You can't beat a comfy flannel shirt on a cold day. And Pladra's Peregrine flannel delivers on both comfort and style. Each style is hiding a fun secret in the collar and cuffs: beautiful wildlife scenes including animals like fox, wolves, deer, moose and owls.
Buy It: Amazon, $119
Duckworth Vapor Shirt
For hikes, yoga, sleeping, airport days and everything in between, it's always smart to have at least one t-shirt with you. Duckworth's Vapor tee, made from wool from sheep raised in Montana, is about as soft and cozy as it gets. The heathered gray color is perfect for pairing with black leggings or wearing under a button-up flannel, but there are several more colorful options, too. Also great: Trew's Weightless NuYarn Merino T, which has a longer cut in the back.
Buy It: Duckworth, $50 - $60
Toad&Co Tangerine Falls Jacket
Toad&Co's Tangerine Falls Jacket is a classic fall coat, and it's a perfect match for the Windmere dress. Zippered external pockets keep your hands toasty, and an internal chest pouch is ideal for insulating a smartphone (and its cold-vulnerable battery) from the elements.
Buy It: Amazon, $149
Smartwool Parmalee Reversible Skirt
When leggings aren't quite enough to keep you warm, layer up with Smartwool's Parmalee Reversible Skirt, which you can dress up or down. It's super-stretchy so it's comfortable rather than restrictive, and it'll provide some much-appreciated insulation for cold days and frigid bus-stop benches. One downside: it doesn't have pockets.
Buy It: Amazon, $110
NuuMuu RuuMuu Dress
You might think "athletic dress" is an oxymoron, but NuuMuu proves that it's not. Their RuuMuu dress is super-stretchy (read: uber-comfy), dries fast, and has two pockets on the lower back for cell phones, credit cards and other small objects.
Buy It: NuuMuu
Knixwear Evolution Bra
If you're only going to pack one bra, make it the Knixwear Evolution bra. It's as comfortable as your favorite sports bra but as flattering as an underwire, without the discomfort or the uni-boob. The removable straps can be reconfigured into a cross-back bra, and it's fully reversible, complete with a second pair of straps that matches the other side.
Buy It: Knix, $55
Icebreaker Valley Slim Crew Neck Sweater
Wool is one of the best fabrics you can buy for travel, especially in the fall. It doesn't hold on to odors the same way cotton and synthetic fibers do, so you can go far longer without washing it. And you can forget about the scratchy wool sweaters of your childhood. Soft merino wool pieces like this Valley Slim Crew Neck sweater from Icebreaker are some of the most comfortable and temperature-regulating things you'll ever wear. Plus, the Valley Slim has flattering, contoured ribbing and a longer length, so it's perfect with leggings.
Buy It: Amazon, $149.95
Icebreaker 150 Zone Wool Leggings
You might have to give up your cotton leggings forever once you go wool. They're warmer, dry much faster if you get caught in the rain or need to do some hotel sink laundry, and they repel odors. On a recent trip, I wore my Icebreaker 150 Zone Leggings almost non-stop under dresses, for yoga and during full days of airport travel.
Buy It: Amazon, $90
Conner Hats' Bird & Feather Hat
A hat not only completes your look but keeps your ears and head warm on chilly days. The stylish wool felt Bird and Feather Hat from Conner Hats doesn't mind being crushed inside your luggage: It'll spring back to life as soon as you open your bag. The ultra-crushable Tessa Hat from Sunday Afternoons is also a great option. Both of these hats have internal adjustment systems so you can get a perfect fit no matter the size of your skull.
Buy It: Amazon, $59