The Ultimate Minimalistic Outfit Packing Formular

I have to confess – I am the world’s worst over packer. I love the minimalistic packing ideas I see online, but somehow I was never able to adhere to them. Why?
Because one of the biggest struggles is planning outfits. We all want to look amazing in our travel photos, but lugging a heavy suitcase around isn’t particularly appealing. Not to mention half the time, you don’t even get around to wearing all the clothes you bring with you.

How do you get out of this predicament? For my 16 day trip to central vietnam I challenged myself to bring 4 tops and 4 bottoms only – and it (sort of) worked. What is this method?

Basic top x Basic/print bottoms

Simplistic 4 x 4 16 day outfit

The rule to this formular:

  • Tops have to be white/black/neutral colour, cutting doesn’t matter
  • Bottoms can be basic or printed

It can be the other way around, but I personally find it easier to have versatile top.

The forumlar:
X tops x Y bottoms = XY numbers of Outfit

Case study:

What I brought with me to Vietnam:

    1. White off should top
    1. Black short-sleeves crop top – the one I wore is from Brandy Melville
    1. Mint green tank top – I made the one I wore, but there are plenty similar options.
    1. Racer-back white camisole – if you want a more budget choice, Grana does some good camisoles.
    2. Printed shorts – I got mine from H&M and they have a lot of choices in the summer.
    3. Denim cut-offs – Levis cut offs will never get out of style
    4. Floral mini skirt – I got this in Portobello Vintage market
    5. Printed midi skirt – this skirt I got from Monki

Outfit photos:

You can adjust the formula depending on the number of days you are travelling. Planning your outfits ahead of time and committing only to the combinations available is the best way to pack as little as you can and make sure that you’ll wear them all!


The Ultimate Minimalistic outfit packing guide | Laugh Travel Eat
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Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.


  1. Awww girl I totally know what you mean! Wanting to look fabulous in travel shots but having to pack light is just a major struggle. I find any white top really matches well with say jeans, leggings, the printed skirts you mentioned, etc. But it also gets dirty easily so then comes the trouble of doing your laundry when travelling… hahahaa the problems never end! Such great tips nonetheless and thanks for sharing!

    • That is so true! I somehow ended up doing fine for this trip I went to, but it’s a nightmare when I go hiking. I tend to bring the ones that can be washed easily (bye bye to my silk top) so I can handwash them on the go! It seems I need to revise this post sometime in the future 😉

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