Travel with a capsule wardrobe: style tips from Tracy Joy Phillips
From boarding the plane to getting to all the places you’ve planned in your itinerary – every moment’s a chance to look good and picture-ready. Check in to these style tips – so you can look fab while on the road, and be prepared for any spontaneous trips to the theatre / museum / beach / club / Michelin-starred restaurant / you-name-it.
All while travelling light so you’re truly refreshed from the holiday, and not return needing a vacay from your vacay (we know you can relate to this one!)
We speak to Tracy, whose love for fashion and travel is evident on Instagram.
You seem to travel quite a bit! What’s your travel philosophy?
There’s nothing like travel to switch off auto-pilot mode and broaden one’s perspective; and ultimately, everything in life is perspective.
Go with an open mind, spend time in nature, hang out with the locals, take in the local arts, culture and fashion. I typically plan 50% of the trip and then leave the rest up to serendipity.
What are your three most unforgettable travel experiences?
#1 Bhutan and climbing up to Tiger’s Nest – I appreciate the country’s resolve in maintaining the happiness of their people as paramount over economic growth. They’ve also done a lot to preserve Vajrayana Buddhism, which is a source of great wisdom for me. So even though I’m deathly afraid of heights, it was worth climbing to this sacred place to sit in silence for a while.
#2 Attending Burning Man in the Nevada Desert – there’s really nothing like it in the world. I went because I wanted to experience a gifting economy and where all the art and creativity you’re surrounded by is devoid of commerce.
#3 My recent birthday trip to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree in California – because I’ve been obsessed with the desert and the architecture of Palm Springs since my twenties, and finally made the time to make it happen.
Now on the style part of travelling. What's your regular plane attire? Do share your formula to looking good during – and right after! – a flight.
I have a ‘uniform’ when I fly – long sleeved cotton tee, comfortable tailored pants, slip-on shoes, and a shawl or cardigan in my travel bag. If it’s a flight of over 7 hours I don’t wear any makeup and use a moisturising tissue mask at some point in the flight to hydrate. I always have lip balm and a blend of essential oils that has anti-bacterial and uplifting properties to keep the spirits up.
Can you share some practical tips on maximising your travel wear so you can look good without having to lug along your whole wardrobe?
If I’m going away for more than 4 days, I make an effort to plan my outfits so I don’t overpack and can wear everything as separates to get more outfit options. If it’s summer, I pack thin pieces that don’t take up too much luggage space.
Best beach vacation pieces?
Sunnies and a hat, because sun damage is real! And I always love an airy kaftan over a one-piece, that can take you from the beach straight to dinner.
What are the best pieces for an urban destination?
A pair of comfortable flats that go with everything, and a light weight yet roomie bag that does the same – because you're moving around a lot and need to keep some items close. And for your shopping too ha.
Best multi-purpose pieces?
A lightweight jacket to layer since that works for any season, a hat to keep the sun away or the heat in, and a good pair of pants that can be dressed up or down.
How about the shoes?
That's part of my planning. I self-impose a max of three pairs, so they need to work with every outfit permutation. White sneakers tend to make the cut as one pair.