What I Wore: Travel Naked, Shop When You Get There


When we were in NYC last month, I was working with a small so-called “capsule” wardrobe (did you know that term is over 40 years old, and now mentioned daily by approx. 3 million bloggers?). I packed just a handful of basics and knew I could add any extras by thrifting. I have considered taking almost nothing, and relying on the thrift shops, but I am not quite so bold. This woman was – she brought nothing but seven pair of undies for a week-long trip – and gave a cool TED talk about it.

Dressed for a day of walking in perfect Fall weather: I chose men’s linen trousers (similar), an orange striped tee (sim), and pinstripe jacket (sim). The sneakers (sim) were thrifted at the Greenwich Village Goodwill the previous day, and I couldn’t love them more. I didn’t need a single band-aid this trip.



Beloved new/old sneakers. This look is not going to make the cover of Marie Claire, but I’m fine for city walking.


Whoa – I added a thrifted and clashing red scarf (sim) and a cross-body bag (sim) while exploring. There are countless magical photo locations in Greenwich Village.

Would you? Travel with almost nothing and shop at your destination? It sounds exciting.

Stay fabulous,

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  1. Even though I do find at least a couple of great items in thrift and consignment stores when I’m in New York, I have favourite items I want to take to wear when I’m there, especially hats, which are appreciated much more there than they are where I live. I also need to have shoes that accomodate my various foot ailments, which are not easy to find. I don’t think I would ever be able to travel with just one outfit and some changes of underwear. I do want to watch that TED Talk and see how she did it.

  2. What a good idea. I just leave room in my suitcase which means I am not very bold. But I haven’t got “the eye” for shopping and thirdt shopping either. So relying on purchases (which go together and suit the weather and occasions… nah.. too dangerous for me. I do like your outfit though. That red T looks ever so nice underneath the perfect jacket. The colour of the trousers is a dare, but one that worked out fine. Applaus. Your thrifted scarf and bag are very good. Well done.

  3. Everything I wear needs altered, whether thrift or regular retail, so I’d have to pack my old faithfuls. What an interesting approach, though!

  4. Oh how I wish I could do this! As a short, plus size busty woman, it ain’t happening in most places. I just returned from a lengthy visit in an Eastern European country where nearly every woman my age was built just like me, I still couldn’t find out where they shopped since I don’t speak the language. My male companions who do speak it were useless in conveying what I needed to know.
    But what fun it would be.

  5. I think you have done really well – you look great. I am plus size so thrift stores don’t always have the sizes or variety for me. If you can buy from the locals then that sounds good. Also if I have travelled a really long distance (read – spent lots on airfare) then I don’t usually want to spend time in a shop. I suppose if you live where it is warm and don’t have clothes for where you are going then buy is the best – the locals know what keeps them warm and cosy. Thanks for post.

  6. You do casual chic so well, Patti, and the sneakers are really cool!
    If I knew there were going to be charity/secondhand shopping opportunities, I’d definitely travel light. But I’d need the security blanket of a couple of outfits, I couldn’t manage with just undies! xxx

    • Nor could I! What if the shops were closed and we had to wander in the streets in our lacy little things? xo

  7. I’ve travelled to India several times with just a bikini, sun cream and books and bought everything else there. It’s great to support local businesses and travel light.
    Fab holiday outfit and happy you didn’t need plasters, my feet are always in ruins when I’m away even if I’ve worn the sandals for months before! xxx

  8. It’s an interesting concept, but I’m not quite that brave. Many of my things need to be altered, and there’d be no way to do that—unless, of course, you have no concerns of items fitting correctly…
    Your sneakers are exactly the right blend of comfort and fun!! jodie

  9. This is such a fun concept and interesting challenge. I suppose one would have to relegate the first day to thrift shopping wherever you go, otherwise you’d be wearing your travel clothes the whole trip.

    I watched the TED talk and liked it. Especially the part about her redonating all of the items back prior to leaving.

    I wouldn’t do this in Europe since I find their thrifting to be harder to locate and more expensive. I would probably give this a try in a location where I already know they have great thrifting. My other concern would be needing to wash everything before I wear it and pop it in a dryer for 15 minutes on high. I’ve had a bad experience with bedbugs before in NYC and never want to repeat that.

    Your runners look good. You were smart walking around in those.


    • Good point about the cleaning – I often will hand wash and drip dry my new finds, or take them to the local laundry. I use anti-bacterial wipes on the shoes – that may not be enough but I’ve had no issues. xox


  10. You look great! The sneakers are a great find!

    I am trying to be much more careful about what I pack and take as little as possible. I’m traveling to Germany in a few weeks, and I already know it’s going to be a challenge since I don’t own lots of “true” winter clothes since I have lived in California for 25 years… Plus, when looking at my sweater “collection,” I noticed that they are all different colors, not a lot that goes together… Plus, most have seen better days… We’ll see what I come up with.

    I think the idea of packing very little (I know I couldn’t do nothing!) is intriguing. If I went somewhere purely for fun (and probably by myself or with a girlfriend), I could see myself up for the challenge.

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