Simple Travel Capsule Wardrobe – What I Always Have In My Suitcase as a Flight Attendant

For more like this, check out all of my Travel Posts

Also take a look at How to Make the Perfect Travel Toiletry Bag


I have been a flight attendant for over 6 years now, and I’ve learned that when it comes to packing – less is more! It took me years to figure this out, and packing was always a pain. Now I have a system where I pack pretty much all of the same items every time I work. I just wash them in between trips.

I was even featured in The Wall Street Journal for tips on how to pack your carry-on travel bag! I discussed how I was able to pack 10 days worth of clothes for my honeymoon in Europe into only my carry-on bag.

I was able to do this by making a capsule wardrobe, where I have basic items that I can mix and match to create new outfits.

With my job, I always have to come prepared for any type of weather because I have had days where I was scheduled to layover in Seattle in the winter, but ended up in South America.

Everything I am linking is a product that I own or own something almost identical. This list should get you through at least 10 days! I did laundry once in those 10 days, so that is something to keep in mind. Every big city should have access to a laundromat.

This is for a basic wardrobe, if you are going somewhere guaranteed to be super hot / cold, adjust the list as needed

This post contains affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my disclaimer


First of all, this is the brand of suitcase I use every single day:

**Always check the dimensions of approved carry-ons with the airline you are traveling on**

Travelpro Crew Versapack Softside Expandable Upright 2 Wheel Luggage, Men and Women, Jet Black, Carry-On 21-Inch

I also always travel with this backpack!! It’s sooo handy because it can hold so much – so any overflow from my suitcase goes into it. I put it under the seat in front of me when traveling on a plane.

Travelpro Maxlite Lightweight Laptop Backpack, Fits up to 15 Inch Laptop and 11 Inch Tablet, Water Resistant, Men and Women, Work, School, Travel, Black, 18-Inch



Packing Cubes are a great idea

These will help you stay organized and have less bulk in your suitcase

BAGAIL 8 Set Packing Cubes Luggage Packing Organizers for Travel Accessories

What to Pack

I like to stick with neutral colors- white, black, tan, blue, etc. because they can be mixed and matched easier. You can bring one or two colorful items to mix it up if you want


1. Basic T-Shirts (2 to 4)

You can’t go wrong with black and white

Amazon Essentials Women’s Classic-Fit Short-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt, Multipacks


2. Blouse or Button Down Shirt (1 or 2)

GAP Women’s Long Sleeve Button-Down Blouse Easy Shirt

Astylish Women Corduroy Shirts Casual Long Sleeve Button Down Blouses Top


3. Sweater (1)

Amazon Essentials Women’sSoft Touch Pleated Shoulder Crewneck Sweater


4. Cardigan (1)

Urban CoCo Women’s Long Sleeve Crew Neck Button Down Knit Cardigan Sweater


5. Light Jacket (1 or both if you also want a rain jacket)

Freemale Women’s Casual Solid Color Drawstring Hoodie Long sleeve Sweatshirts with Kangaroo Pockets


Avoogue Womens Raincoat Waterproof Rain Jacket Lightweight Packable Hooded Rain Coat Outdoor Active Pocket Windbreaker


6. Black Pants (1)

These are sooo comfortable!! This is what I usually wear on long flights

GRACE KARIN Women Ruffled High Waist Casual Pants Cropped Striped Pants

7. Jeans / Jean Shorts (1 or both)

Levi’s Women’s 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans (Standard and Plus)


Levi’s Women’s Mid Length Shorts


8. Khakis (or pants in another color of your choosing) (1)

Gloria Vanderbilt Women’s Classic Amanda High Rise Tapered Jean


9. Casual Black Dress (1)

DouBCQ Women’s Casual Flowy Pleated Loose Dresses with Pockets


10. Another Dress for Special Occasions (1)

BTFBM Women Casual Short Sleeve Crew Neck Summer Dress Bohemian Floral Printed Flowy Maxi Dresses Tiered Cocktail Dress

Activewear / Loungewear

This is also what I usually sleep in

11. Shirts / Tops (1-2)

Amazon Essentials Women’s Tech Stretch Short-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt (Available in Plus Size), Multipacks


12. Leggings (1)

THE GYM PEOPLE Thick High Waist Yoga Pants with Pockets, Tummy Control Workout Running Yoga Leggings for Women


13. Other Comfy Pants / Shorts (1)

These are my favorite comfy pants! I bring them everywhere

Colorfulkoala Women’s High Waisted Joggers with Pockets Full Length Sweatpants & Lounge Pants

Colorfulkoala Women’s High Waisted Ultra Soft Athletic Sweat Shorts Casual Summer Lounge Pants with Pockets



Shoes can take up a lot of space in your luggage – I specifically look for smaller shoes that will pack easily

Tip: Wear the largest shoes you’re bringing on the plane


14. Black Flats (1)

You can also bring nude flats if you think those will go with more than black. I own both from the brand I’m linking

KOLILI Women’s Ballet Flat Classic Round Toe Walking Shoes Casual Ladies Faux Leather Flat Shoes


15. White Sneakers (1)

Converse Women’s Chuck Taylor All Star Stripes Sneakers


16. Walking/Running Shoes (1)

I like these because they can be compressed really easily and take up very little space in your bag

TIOSEBON Women’s Slip On Walking Shoes Lightweight Casual Running Sneakers


17. Sandals (1)

DAYDAYGO Women’s Elastic Flat Sandals



18. Bathing Suit (1)

I always like to pack a swimsuit even if I’m going somewhere cold – just incase!

Tempt Me Women Two Piece Scoop Neck Bikini Crop Top High Cut Swimsuit Sporty High Waisted Bathing Suit with Bottoms


19. Socks / Underwear / Bras 

I don’t need to link you to these lol



20. Small Bag

I don’t like to carry a big purse / backpack all day, so I bring this bag with me everywhere so I can be comfortable when I’m out and about all day

INICAT Small Sling Bag Crossbody Vegan Leather Fanny Packs for Women Women Fashionable Chest Bag for Travel


21. Packable Jacket (1)

I roll this up and put it in my backpack for the entire winter! It’s amazing and surprisingly warm. If it’s extra cold outside, I wear a light jacket under it

CAMELSPORTS Women’s Down Jacket Hooded Winter Light Weight Short Puffer Coats Packable Warm Windproof Ladies Parka

22. Fleece Lined Tights (1-2)

These are actually the tights I wear with my uniform every time I work! They’re just so comfortable. These are great to wear with a dress in the winter

G&Y 2 Pairs Fleece Lined Tights for Women – 100D Opaque Warm Winter Pantyhose


This is what I had in my bag for a 10 day trip to Europe! When I am working as a flight attendant, I don’t always have every single one of these items – but I do always have about 5 days worth of clothes with me at all times (you never know if you will get stuck somewhere!)

What I always have in my suitcase for work:

  1. Basic T-shirts
  2. Cardigan or Button Down Shirt
  3. Lightweight Jacket
  4. Jeans or Jean Shorts
  5. Black Pants
  6. Casual Black Dress
  7. Activewear Shirts
  8. Leggings
  9. Comfy Pants or Shorts
  10. Black Flats
  11. Running Shoes
  12. Sandals
  13. Bathing Suit
  14. Multiple Socks / Bras / Underwear
  15. Small Bag
  16. Extra Tights
  17. Packable Jacket (from late fall to early spring)

So almost everything I listed!!

These stay in my suitcase and I just wash them when I get home then immediately return them to my bag.



Is there anything else you bring that I forgot? Let me know in the comments!




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