Look of the Week: Stretching a Small Wardrobe

I love to travel. I don’t think of myself as an explorer or particularly adventurous but I do like to see new things and get away from the daily grind. I pay as much attention to the details of my wardrobe when we travel in our RV as when we go on International cruises. Why? Because my appearance matters to me no matter where I go.

Our trip this month is in our travel trailer which means I am working with a small wardrobe. Several readers have asked how I store my things on the road so I thought I would give you a peek into my mobile closet.

It’s a luxury to be able to simply transfer hangers from closet to trailer but my space is limited.

I use

Because I packed more clothes than usual this time, I had no room on my 8″ closet pole for scarves so they got folded and stacked in a small cubby over the back window. What you see here is the extent of my hanging capacity.

My jewelry and accessories are stored above in tiny cloth bags inside small handbags. Because the trailer has a curved roof in front, these closets have domed ceilings which render them ridiculously cramped.

Lingerie, tee’s, shorts, (I finally bought a pair) and socks are folded and stowed in this tiny cupboard over the bed.

My hats are stacked and travel flat on the bed. I transfer them to the table at night.

My shoes are carefully stacked. The bottom layer has each pair in a shoe bag to keep them clean. The next layer is stacked sole to sole or side by side. These all go in the tiny cabinet under the banquet seat. It’s hard to see what is stacked in the back so those get elevated on a boot box.

Everything you will see me wear during the next 3-4 weeks is what you see here…unless I go shopping with my daughter which is a definite possibility certainty.

Mixing and matching along with the power of accessories is what stretches my small wardrobe, even when it’s on wheels.

Do you pack lightly?

Thanks for reading and have a great day!


  1. I took a carry-on for a week-long winter holiday. But when I spent two weeks away in the spring, I took a medium-size suitcase. I needed a snow jacket, gloves, hat, scarf, boots and a spring raincoat. Early spring can be a tricky time to travel. Wild fluctuations are the norm in some places. Sweaters and sleeveless — all were worn. I was comfortable no matter what the weather, but I could have used a sun hat for the summery days. Some people will do anything for tulips and cherry blossoms!

    By the way, did you know that a person’s clothing size plays a role in what size of luggage they need? It’s true. I once wrote about this, and packed two suitcases with the same items in size four and size fourteen. Guess who can travel easily with a carry-on bag? So I say, now that suitcases have wheels and certain airlines charge for carry-on (!!!) anyways, I might as well take my mid-size roller bag.

    1. I never thought of garment size when packing. I see when that would matter!

  2. Thanks for showing us your travel wardrobe, Jennifer! I know that this is not the conventional wisdom, but I love to NOT travel light. I take a 25” checked suitcase and a student-sized carryon backpack for 4 weeks in Europe. The backpack has a small strap in the back that fits over my suitcase handle, so that at age 66 I can handle my own luggage anywhere, even over cobblestone streets. I love being comfortable, so I pack a variety of pants weights and sleeve lengths on tops. No matter what Accuweather says before you leave, it will always be hotter/colder/rainier/sunnier than you expect! My favorite indulgences: 2 pairs of athletic shoes/sneakers so you can alternate days (I’m so envious of your size 6s, Suz — my 10s are like packing canoes), “room clothes” (yoga capris and flip flops are so comfy at the end of a long day), my own mini-hairdryer so I can dry my hair outside the bathroom while my husband shaves and showers — saves a lot of time, dressier ballet flats so I don’t look like such a tourist at dinner, and several choices of jackets/cardigans. The last one is both for comfort and memories. After one long trip where I took a dozen tops but only one jacket, in the photos I looked like I wore the same outfit every day!!

    1. Those photos are a small hazard of travel wardrobes but it’s the memories that matter so long as you were clothed confidently.

  3. Love seeing what you’re doing to get ready for your RV trip. I’m also getting ready for an RV month-long stay. Wish I could say that I’m traveling with a minimal wardrobe but that’s never the case with me — I like to have changes and choices no matter where I am. I bought a new 50-pack of hangers and have used all of them and needed to add some extras from my at-home closet. That doesn’t include the tops and leggings that are folded in drawers, or the shorts/jeans/pants that are on pants hangers. Good news is that my husband is a real minimalist when packing so he’s happy to have 2 pair of shorts and one pair of jeans with him. Add 2-3 polo shirts and he’s set and everything of his gets stored in two drawers in the bedroom cupboard. That means I have the whole closet to myself where I’ve added stackable drawers for any folded items along with space for all the hanging clothes. I certainly understand and admire those women who are happier packing on a much smaller level, but I have a lot of fun getting my outfits ready to go. Sure wouldn’t do it this way if I had to carry luggage around, though! Safe travels to you!

    1. Lucky you Heather!! You must have a much bigger rig than we do. I would love to have a few drawers and envy you your space.

  4. Lovely selection of items. Great organizing and very efficient use of space.
    I have converted to traveling with carryon. My last 2 trips were 6 weeks UK and 7 weeks in Australia so I thought that was pretty good, (although AUS in country carryon weight limit was impossible so had to check luggage those few flights).
    Shoes are the most challenging, my size 6 helps a little! I don’t mind repeat outfits 🙂
    How is hubby doing, are you the driver for the trip?
    Enjoy – Suz from Vancouver

    1. He now has a splint and is a bored passenger, I do all the driving and always have so not a big change there.

  5. My husband and I lived on our 45′ sailboat in San Diego for five years and we both worked so needed clothes for work as well as fun. I chose navy blue, beige and white as my base colors and built my wardrobe around those basics with a variety of colorful tops. It worked quite well. Now we’re back on land and I have a big closet and I’m no where near so well organized. Got to work on that.

  6. You always look wonderful, Jennifer. I think I need to up my game while out on the boat. I dress rather simply, especially at anchor.
    That is an impressive array of hats. I’m on the look out for some that suit my tiny head. Not an easy feat but I know they are out there. I’ll take your advice and try on several to find what suits me.
    Have a fun trip!

    1. A simple pair of earrings or scarf can make all the difference. My hat collection includes ones that are at least 15 years old so the collection does grow 🙂

  7. We also only travel to Europe with carryon bags and a tote. No problem for 14 daysor more-yes we do a little laundry in our apartment, and I am tired of what I’m wearing by the end of the trip but it’s almost a necessity with cobble streets and few elevators (tiny ones!). I think your system looks great and that’s a lot of clothes! You’ll look good no matter what, you always do!

    1. I get tired of my clothes by the end of the trip too! I guess no matter what we bring reputation Makes them feel old.

  8. Last year we visited Scotland and Ireland for 18 days. We each packed a carry on and small back pack. As we stayed in a castle one night my husband needed to pack a dinner jacket as well as our dress shoes. I was amazed at how freeing it was to travel light. The key is planning. Next trip the back packs will be left behind.

    1. That sounds like a great trip. I’m very anxious to see Scotland. Planning does make all the difference but I still get a surprise or two each trip

  9. Looks like you are making the most of available space!

    We have done two week trips to France and Italy with carry-on bags only. Each time I found myself wearing the same few things more than others, and accessories make a huge difference. But given the option of an RV closet, I would bring more. And of course shopping help! 😉

    1. Definitely more space in the RV but I do wear things multiple times

  10. Travelled in R.V. Full time for 5 years, there is always room if you take the time to think about the space you have. It is quite an adventure even if it is only for a short time. ENJOY

    1. I’d love to hear more about your adventures Diane. We had friends who did that and loved it

  11. L H Carter says:

    I am impressed by your ingenuity in storing so many items in such small compartments. You must have some chipmunk or squirrel blood to have achieved this.

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