Fashion: How to Pack Light

As many of you now know, I packed quite light for my 2-week trip to Japan. I travelled with a carry-on luggage only, and I used Ziploc space saver bags for all of my clothes. These bags really maximized the space in my luggage, and I was glad my sister introduced them to me just a few weeks before my trip. I LOVED traveling light; I zipped around the airport so quickly with my carry-on, and it was extra easy moving through cities in Japan. Beyond these things, my hotels were small, so I was grateful that I had a small suitcase as there was always plenty of room for it. A larger luggage would have required some moving of hotel furniture, I’m sure!

As you may remember from this post, I basically followed the 10 x 10 capsule wardrobe approach to pack for this 2-week trip. I packed what I had listed in my blog post along with a few other items (a sweatshirt, two extra pairs of shoes). If you’re looking to travel light, I highly recommend the capsule approach And, if you’re going to a place where laundry is easily accessible, I recommend packing even less! I used everything I packed, especially since I had a few different climates to deal with (rain, sun, cold, heat), but since I also stayed in hotels with laundry facilities, I realized that I could have lightened my load (aka…left more room for souvenirs). I did laundry one night half-way through my travels.

If you’re interested in seeing how my light packing turned into daily outfits, keep reading.

Most days, I wore one outfit from day to night as there was no time (or reason) to come back to the hotel for an outfit change. I wore comfortable clothes each day, and more than the clothes, my Cole Haan sneakers were comfortable for my many kilometers of walking each day. Here’s how my slim travel wardrobe worked out.

Day 1
1.Travel day: romper, long sleeve top, sneakers
2. Arrival night dinner: jeans, sweatshirt
3. Bedtime at hotel #1: pjs courtesy of my hotel*
Day 2
4. Tokyo day: jeans, tee, sweatshirt, sneakers
Day 3
5. Tokyo day: dress, tights, sneakers
Day 4
6. Tokyo day: documenting a good hair morning (The water in Japan made my hair SO soft! I only brought a travel size, foldable hairbrush, and I used whatever shampoo and conditioner were supplied in my hotels. I didn’t bring any liquids with me on account of my carry-on style.)
7. Tokyo day: leggings, dress, sneakers
Day 5
8. Tokyo day + travel day: jeans, striped top, Hello Kitty socks**
9. Nikko day: Yukata supplied by my resort hotel
Day 6
10: Nikko morning: Yukata (I had fun changing up how I tied my sash)
11. Nikko day: jeans, tee, cardigan, sneakers
Day 7
12: Nikko morning: Yukata (I LOVED this piece. Unfortunately, the hotel didn’t sell it, and I didn’t see anything in the same material in the shops. I really wanted it!)
13. Nikko + travel day: moto leggings, tank, black tee
14. Kyoto evening: moto leggings, layered tops
Day 8
15. Kyoto day: midi dress, cardigan, sneakers

16. Kyoto evening: midi dress, cardigan, tights, ballet flats
Day 9
17. Kyoto day: dress, tights, sneakers
Day 10
18. Kyoto + Osaka: jeans, tee
Day 11
19. Kyoto + Kobe: jeans, black tee, Birks
Day 12
20. Kobe: midi dress, Birks
Day 13
21. Travel day: romper, striped tee, sneakers

*I realized that next time I go to Japan, I won’t need to pack pjs. Each hotel that I stayed at supplied crisp, clean, comfortable pj sets. In addition, I bought two cute sets while I was there.
**I realized that I don’t need to pack so many socks either. I had packed way more than I needed for my 2-week trip, but I ended up buying so many fun Japanese socks. Like at every store. I had to really control myself near the end!

During the first week, I wore my coat and scarf every day. While I was in Nikko, I also wore my hat and gloves as I was in the mountains, and it got cold. On some days, I layered under/over long/short sleeve tops because the weather would change from morning to night, and I wanted to stay comfortable while walking around. Towards the end of my trip, the weather really warmed up, and it was too hot for sneakers, so I wore my Birkenstocks. If I did a similar trip in the future, I’d probably cut out the ballet flats (I only wore them twice), keep the Birkenstocks, and I’d maybe pack a second pair of sneakers.

As you can see, I stuck to black and white, so that all my pieces could work with one another. My black and white LeSportSac purse added a graphic print to each day’s outfit, but more than that, it was large enough to fit my camera, water bottle, etc., and I used different zippered compartments for easy access to things like Chapstick and my metro card. It’s a great purse style for traveling.

There you have it! The 10 x 10 capsule wardrobe plus the carry-on luggage approach worked out very well for me for this trip! I would definitely use the same packing approach in the future!

Note: I packed a Le SportSac duffle bag, and on way home, I used it (spot it in photos 20 and 21). (See earlier point about socks!)

I’ll be posting about my trip to Japan, but if you can’t wait for the posts, have a look at #WhiteCabanaGoesToJapan on Instagram for some highlights.