My Travel Capsule Wardrobe: Best Wrinkle Free Travel Clothes for Women

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I have this thing. If I have really nice clothing – like, favourite stylish travel clothes, I tend not to wear them as often as I’d like to. Instead, I still wear wrinkle free travel clothes – but cheaper, older, less comfortable or less stylish clothes, and I justify keeping my favourites in the (proverbial) closet (which for me is actually my luggage), so I can save them for a more “special” occasion.

In this post I dissect what makes for the best wrinkle free travel clothes for women, as inspired by a capsule wardrobe challenge by Anatomie Travel Clothes #Anatomie #CapsuleWardrobe #TravelPacking #TravelGear #PackingTips #FullTimeTravel #TravelPlanning #TravelTips

Years ago, I saw Loretta LaRoche speak at a conference. She grew up being told by her mother that she could only wear her nice underwear on special occasions. Thing is, there was never an occasion special enough to put on these “party pants”. She also poked fun at people who have sitting rooms they never sit in, with nice furniture covered in protective plastic. Her theory was that we could all love life a lot more if we enjoyed the things we have rather than perpetually saving them for another day….a day that may never come.

I’m here to say it’s time to wear our party pants.

In this post, I discuss how I traveled with two tiny packing cubes of Anatomie Travel Clothing styles for three weeks (forcing me to wear my “special” duds every day!), in true capsule wardrobe fashion. And why it has changed the way I will travel (and live!) forever.

See also: Pro Packing Hacks – Here are the Best Travel Accessories for Saving Space and Organization

And for the fellas: Here’s your own Travel Capsule Wardrobe for Men!

Packing Cubes: the best way to pack a travel capsule wardrobe
Use the coupon code NORA20 for $20 off your order!

Preamble: My Journey With Anatomie Travel Clothing Since 2012

The birth of the Anatomie capsule wardrobe idea

A couple of years ago, I visited Anatomie Travel Clothing’s headquarters in Miami. I’d been a fan of Anatomie for years already; they sent me my first outfit in 2012 – an outfit that is still going strong, all these years (and abuse) later. (See also: Anatomie – My New Favourite Travel Clothing)

When I visited in 2016, Shawn and Kate (Anatomie’s co-founders) talked about things like cost-per-wear, and after doing some math, I realized that their prices (a stumbling block for me) weren’t actually as high as I’d originally thought if I worked out how many miles I could get out of them – literally and figuratively. So, I threw out my jeans.

In 2018, I returned to Anatomie’s headquarters with a furrowed brow. My favourite travel pants – the Kate Skinny Cargo pants, which I got just a couple of years prior – had worn in the strangest of ways. It led to concerns about the quality of their travel clothes on the whole. My original capris from 2012 were doing great! Why had the Kate pants deteriorated like this in a fraction of the time?

Anatomie was churning out a huge number of new styles at the time, becoming a highly-recognized brand name in the luxury market as the ultimate travel clothes for women. Had they grown too big for their own good?

Luckily, my concerns were assuaged immediately when I received a brand new pair of Kate pants, and was assured that any customer with a similar problem would be afforded the same treatment. They said that occasionally material from the end of a roll can do funny things like this, and while they hadn’t seen this particular problem before, they would look out for it in future.

While Anatomie may be growing exponentially, they still pride themselves on superior personal service and developing long-term relationships with their customers, as evidenced by the expedient replacement of my defective pants, their personal style concierge service, and more.

Not only did they replace my Kate pants, but they loaded me up with a whole bunch of new styles and Anatomie “Travel Essential” pieces. (Travel Essentials are styles they carry year after year because they’re so popular and customers get angry if Anatomie stops making them.)

With this gift of new clothes, they issued me a challenge: pack and wear only Anatomie clothes for my next trip. So, the next opportunity I had to leave my big suitcase behind, I did, and instead armed myself for three weeks with two wee packing cubes of Anatomie clothes.

Here’s what I learned about what makes for the best wrinkle free travel clothes for women. (See the end of this post for an exact list of what I traveled with, so you can design your own ideal travel capsule wardrobe).

Two packing cubes, used for my Anatomie travel capsule wardrobe challenge
Two wee packing cubes, with more than enough room for exactly what I used for three weeks. See the end of this article for a list of what I packed.

Before we go any further, I must tell you that I have received a ton of Anatomie clothing for free since the beginning of my partnership with them in 2012. I’ll also add that I’ve bought many styles for myself as well, at retail prices. I put my money where my mouth is, and I endorse Anatomie for having terrific travel clothes for women.

As such, if you click on any of the links in this post and buy Anatomie clothes, I will receive a small commission. It doesn’t affect your own price, and it helps me to keep running The Professional Hobo. I appreciate your support in advance!

Use the discount code NORA20 to get $20 off your order!
(Minimum order amount is $120 to qualify. Enjoy free shipping on all domestic orders.

Longevity

Good travel clothing will go the distance – literally and figuratively.

My Cargo Capris (since discontinued, though keep an eye on the Anatomie website – they occasionally revive them for a season) are still going strong since getting them in 2012. This is one style that I haven’t saved for special occasions; over the years, I’ve worn these pants more than any other pair of pants I’ve owned. Like, ever. The material is actually softer and even more comfy after all these years of abuse.

I’ve washed them in dodgy washing machines around the world, and they’ve even seen a few dryers (which you’re not supposed to do, FYI). The only thing I can say is that the material has thinned out a little (but not so much as to be a problem), and has also stretched out a little (due to my own weight gain/loss/gain/loss/etc. over the years).

With regards to fit in general, Anatomie advises that you can expect that the signature stretch wrinkle free material used for their pants will stretch over time (it’s what makes Anatomie pants a custom fit, as it stretches to hug your curves perfectly). More on this later.

Washing and Drying

If you’re traveling with a limited (capsule) wardrobe, then washing and drying must be easy.

Need to dry your pants in a hurry? A simple hair dryer will do the trick in just a few mins! (Almost) everything Anatomie offers can be washed in the machine in cold water.

Machine dryers in general are horrible on your clothes (they exponentially accelerate deterioration), nor are they particularly environmentally friendly. Luckily most Anatomie styles dry overnight.

Feeling slick in my stylish and sexy (and practical!) travel clothes for women
Wearing the Dora Stretch Pencil Skirt, Bri Pima Cotton Tank Top, and Nessa Mesh Button Down Shirt

Wrinkle Free Packing

Packing light means not having a lot of space. Irons are definitely not an option.

Worried about cramming those expensive duds into a packing cube? Don’t. Anatomie makes wrinkle free travel clothes, and although some pieces may come out of your luggage looking wrinkled, as soon as you put them on, the wrinkles fall out.

Other styles made of crazy comfy jersey and mesh (like the Gracie Mesh Sleeve Jacket and the Nessa Mesh Button Down Shirt (pictured above, since discontinued; here are their current lightweight jackets and button-down shirts) are truly wrinkle free in all respects. Scrunch it up in a ball in your bag. I dare ya.

Comfort Vs. Style

There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable. Except perhaps, being underdressed.

Luckily there’s no compromise! I’m just as comfy in my Luisa skinny jeans on a plane as I am in a pair of leggings. Except, I’m wearing something considerably more stylish than leggings. 

Even the Andrea Contrast Panel leggings are more-than-leggings.

For me, the perfect travel wardrobe has stylish travel clothes, without being pretentious. Regardless of whether you’re dressed up or down, you’re comfortable. Travel throws you enough curve balls; you’d better be comfy in your second skin.

On the topic of comfort, the Bri Pima Cotton Tank Top is made from Pima cotton, from Peru. I was ambivalent when they suggested I try it out (it’s a plain tank top….kinda boring right?), but it quickly became my absolute favourite top to wear. It’s suuuuuuuper soft, breathable, won’t shrink, goes with everything, and just like most of Anatomie’s styles, can be machine washed (on cold), and will dry fast.

The Pam Mesh Panel Long Sleeve Top from Anatomie is great wrinkle free travel clothing!
Wearing the Pam Mesh Panel Long Sleeve Top: super comfy and stylin’!

Staying Warm

Cool/cold weather is the biggest challenge to packing light. The secret is in layering.

Most of Anatomie’s travel clothing styles are very lightweight – which is both a selling point and a challenge. The signature stretch fabric used to make most of their pants is light as a feather, which means it won’t weigh you down as you take off, but if you’re taking off to chilly places, you might be cold.

Over the years, I’ve found ways to circumvent these challenges:

Layer Under. While most of Anatomie’s travel pants are slim-fitting, there’s still room for a pair of leggings underneath for added warmth.

Layer Over. This is where Anatomie’s travel jackets shine. While the Gracie Mesh Jacket is ridiculously comfortable over a tank top and takes the edge off a summer night, it’s also warmer than it looks and can be worn over a long-sleeved top.

The same goes for the Kenya Safari Jacket, which is hands-down their most popular travel jacket, and for good reason. It’s roomy enough to go over thicker under-layers, yet form-fitting enough to be super stylish and flattering.

And if you find yourself in even chillier climes, they have a selection of quilted items and even leather jackets. I still have a style of an Anatomie travel jacket (which they don’t carry any more) that is ideal for shoulder season climates.

Anatomie travel jackets go the mile for comfort and style!
Wearing an Anatomie jacket from 2014 (since discontinued), perfect for chillier temperatures

Lastly, Anatomie usually has at least one style of pants in their rotation made of thicker material. When I last visited the Anatomie headquarters, I was shown some thicker almost fleecy materials currently in the design process that will be an absolute dream to wear.

Free Returns and Clothing Guarantees

Spending a lot of money on the perfect travel capsule wardrobe? Free returns are critical.

I’m still leery of ordering clothes online. Even with sizing charts, you just never know how something will fit.

Anatomie understands this, and orders placed in the U.S. include free returns. And rumour has it they’re going to offer free returns to Canadian customers very soon too!

So if you’re curious about how that shirt or pair of pants will fit, there’s no risk in ordering it and finding out first-hand.

The same goes for clothing defects. While normal wear and tear is on your own dime, if there’s a problem with an Anatomie style, they’ll send you a new pair, as I experienced myself. Anatomie wants you to be 100% happy with your clothes, as they’ve demonstrated to me repeatedly.

Travel Clothing for Women with Curves

Most people aren’t models. So how do we know if those pants will actually fit AND look good?

Over the years, I’ve grown, and not just emotionally! While I’m not disproportionate or overweight, my measurements baffle many sizing charts.

Earlier this year, while trying to order pants and a shirt from (another) online clothing company, I couldn’t figure out which sizes to get. According to their sizing charts, I was somewhere between a Small and Medium for the shirt (but my bust measurement said I should be Large – and believe me, my boobs aren’t that spectacular). When it came to my lower half, my self-esteem “bottomed” out. While I was accustomed to being a size 6-8, my recent weight gain put me in the (8-10) category. This particular clothing company’s size 12 looked like it would still be too small. And….size 12 was their largest size. Who does that?!?! I have no idea what other curvy women would do if they tried to order anything from this company. (To their credit, my complaints inspired them to change their sizing charts, which is why they shall remain nameless in this post.) I simply share this story here as an example of how screwed up sizing is across the board, especially when it comes to women’s pants.

I don’t envy clothing companies. Women come in SO many different sizes and shapes; how do you design something for every-body?

I’ve had to be flexible with my use of Anatomie’s sizing charts as well, being a curvy woman and all.

  • For shirts, I take Anatomie’s Small and Medium sizes.
  • For pants, I take their Medium and Large sizes.

Shawn (Anatomie’s co-founder and chief designer) stood by while I tried on a huge variety of clothes, and he told me how they’re supposed to fit and made specific sizing recommendations. Between his recommendations and my comfort levels, I got mostly Medium sizes, although I insisted on one pair of pants (the Luisa Skinny Jean) being Large, just in case my trend of having gained weight was going to (irreversibly) continue.

Even so, Shawn warned me that most of Anatomie’s pants stretch up to a whole size over time; and my older Anatomie pants are testament to this. So, if your own Anatomie travel pants are a bit tight to begin with, never fear: their signature stretch fabric is a bit of a miracle-worker and will mould to your curves perfectly with time.

Loving the Kenya Safari Jacket by Anatomie: best wrinkle free travel clothing for women
Wearing the Kenya Safari Jacket over the Bri Pima Cotton Top, with the Dora Stretch Pencil Skirt

Here are some other observations about how Anatomie’s stylish travel clothes are made for curvy women:

  • The Dora Stretch Pencil Skirt has built-in jersey bicycle shorts. While this does add a bit to the packing weight and bulk, my thighs thanked me; can you say “no thigh rub??” (Note: the Dora has gone out of Anatomie’s rotation; here are their current skirts and dresses).
  • I asked Shawn which styles of Anatomie’s travel pants are best for the curvy woman; he said the Kate Skinny Cargo Pant (which I can attest to). More recently, Anatomie has come out with a whole line of pants for curvy women! Check their curvy travel pants lineup here. 
  • Not all women appreciate tight shirts. While I do recommend having at least one somewhat form-fitting tank top (e.g. Bri) and long-sleeved top (e.g. Pam Mesh Panel Top) for layering underneath jackets and such, I also like having a “let it all hang out” sort of top. Anatomie has a selection of looser-fitting tops that will turn heads; just have a browse through the store to see their latest designs, as their styles are always changing.

Not sure yourself? Here is one of the many bangs you get for your buck with Anatomie, in addition to free returns and quality guarantees: their personal Style Concierge will assist you with personalized fit and styling tips. You’ll find their personal email on the Contact page of the website, and their assistance very valuable (and of course, free).

The Gracie Mesh Jacket by Anatomie: ultimate in wrinkle free travel clothes. Scrunch it up!
Wearing the Gracie Mesh Jacket

Anatomie Travel Capsule Wardrobe Recommendations

Here is exactly what I packed when I took the challenge to travel with only Anatomie clothing:

Jackets:

Gracie Mesh Jacket, Black M (since discontinued. Here are Anatomie’s current lightweight jackets)

Kenya Safari Jacket, Grey M

Tops:

Nessa Mesh Button Down Shirt, Orchid Print (limited edition colour) S (since discontinued. Here are Anatomie’s button-down shirt alternatives, including some similar updated styles) 

Pam Mesh Panel Long Sleeve Top, Black/Dusty Rose (limited edition colour) (since discontinued. Have a look at Anatomie’s tops for an alternative that suits you!)

Bri Pima Cotton Tank Top, Taupe M

Flo Sleeveless Top, Navy M (note: I took a previous design of this top that I’ve had since 2012, since discontinued)

Bottoms:

Dora Stretch Pencil Skirt (with built in jersey bicycle shorts), Black M

Luisa Skinny Jean, Black L

Cargo Capri, Navy M (since discontinued; they’re the longest-standing pants I’ve EVER owned! Anatomie occasionally comes out with an updated capri pant for a season; check what they’ve got on offer!)

While this capsule wardrobe worked perfectly, I was sad to leave behind a few other of my fav classic Anatomie pieces, like the Kate Skinny Cargo Pants and Merika Windbreaker. But when pressed to travel ultralight, the above list did the trick for a variety of circumstances and temperatures.

Use the discount code NORA20 to get $20 off your order!
(Minimum order amount is $120 to qualify. Enjoy free shipping on all domestic orders.

BONUS: My Top Packing Tips Video

I know, I know. I must sound like a psychotic cheerleader. I promise, I haven’t been drugged, nor unduly forced to write all these accolades. Anatomie approached me in 2012 to develop a long-term relationship, much like they do with all their customers. (Difference being, they started me off with a free outfit, which inspired my love affair with them. Lucky me!).

And as much as I love Anatomie, they love me too, and they’re fascinated at how I traveled with carry-on luggage only for two whole years! While I was visiting Anatomie’s headquarters this year, they turned on the cameras and got me to share my top packing tips for ultralight travel. Here’s what I had to say:

Click here to watch on YouTube

Model Pictures (Wearing Anatomie Wrinkle-Free Travel Clothes)

A reader once wrote in that they visited the Anatomie website and were turned off by the super-skinny model. I mentioned this to the folks at Anatomie. Problem is, they said, skinny models work best – not necessarily for styles, but for customers. It’s a fashion industry thing.

This is why I’ve populated this post with pictures of me instead of models.

But I’m not the best model either. So, here are some professional shots of the exact clothes in my capsule travel wardrobe, courtesy of Anatomie:

Note June 2019: Anatomie has jumped on the curvy collection bandwagon! They now celebrate all figures using models of various sizes. 🙂 

The best in Wrinkle Free shirts and jackets: Anatomie's Gracie Mesh Jacket
Gracie Mesh Jacket
Lightweight women's jackets for travel: the Kenya Safari Jacket by Anatomie
Kenya Safari Jacket
best wrinkle free pants: Luisa Skinny Jeans by Anatomie
Luisa Skinny Jeans
The best women's wrinkle free button down: Nessa Mesh Button Down Shirt by Anatomie
Nessa Mesh Button Down Shirt
Fabulous Cruise Clothing: the Pam Mesh Panel Shirt
Pam Mesh Panel Shirt
Add the Bri Pima Cotton Tank Top from Anatomie to your cruise packing list!
Bri Pima Cotton Tank Top (seriously, ridiculously comfy)
Awesome cruise attire: you can dress this one up or down! Dora Stretch Pencil Skirt by Anatomie Travel Clothing
Dora Stretch Pencil Skirt (with built-in bicycle shorts)

Check out my Travel Lifestyle Guides for more ways to earn money remotely, spend it wisely, and balance the two so you can travel as long as you wish, in a financially sustainable way. 

Want to know more about packing for travel and best travel clothing tips?

Check out these posts:

Anatomie Travel Clothing Made me Throw Out my Jeans

My Search for the Perfect Travel Sandal

The Ultimate Packing List for Full-Time Travel

Best Luggage for Full-Time Travel

Checked vs. Carry On Luggage (and Why Checked is Best)

Travel Packing: How and What to Pack for Full-Time Travel (VIDEO)

Here is the secret to my ultra-light packing strategies - it's my travel capsule wardrobe, made up of wrinkle-free travel clothes for women, made by Anatomie designer travel clothes. My entire travel wardrobe is almost exclusively made by these guys. Here's why! #travel #ultralighttravel #carryontravel #anatomie #designertravelclothes #travelclothes #wrinklefree #travelcapsulewardrobe #capsulewardrobe #besttravelclothes

Watch the Web Story here.

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14 thoughts on “My Travel Capsule Wardrobe: Best Wrinkle Free Travel Clothes for Women”

  1. Noted for my wife Nora. I dig the party pants analogy. Good to know of the wrinkle free aspect too; sometimes we travel outside of the tropics. Humidity in places takes care of wrinkles fast but outside of the tropics you need quality, wrinkle-free clothes. Or an iron and board which ain’t happening around much of the world.

    Reply
  2. This is a great post, with the exception of all the body shaming. What’s up with the “real” woman stuff? Is a model a “fake” woman? You’re a great writer, and I know there’s a better way you can get your point across without making some women feel like they don’t qualify as “real” women.

    Reply
    • Hey Beck,
      Great observation – thank you! While curvy women seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to body image issues and persecution on a variety of levels, you are right in that I haven’t acknowledged skinny women as being “real”.
      I’ve removed all language that isolates any body type as being “real” or otherwise.

      Reply
    • I’m sorry But HAVING mainly ANOREXIC MODELS EVERYWHERE ADVERTISING LADIES CLOTHING IS NOT REALISTIC AND DOES NOTHING BUT PUT UNREALISTIC IMAGES on how we should LOOK and THAT’S wrong because yes they ARE FAKE THEIR ANOREXIC AIRBRUSHED BLOWN UP/ DEFLATED ETC ( REFERRING TO DIFFERENT AREAS OF BODY)
      Therefore
      We have TOO MANY GIRLS GROWING UP WANTING 2 LOOK LIKE THAT INSTEAD OF BEING HAPPY WITH WHO THEY ARE SO THEY WIND UP DEAD!!!!!!
      FROM STARVATION. DEPRESSION
      OVERDOSE
      PREGNANT
      ALL DUE TO UNREALISTIC TOOTHPICK IMAGE MEDIA PLACES ON HOW FEMALE BODY SHOULD LOOK

      AMEN TO ALL LADIES OF ALL SIZES WHO ARE NATURAL WITHOUT ANY COSMETIC SURGERY DONE!!!

      I am very happy 2 see women of all sizes are finally being noticed and admired!

      Reply
  3. Nora, I was ready to like this company you love in spite of the big price tags. Just thought you should be aware how an ordinary customer is treated. I found this in the reviews from the Skyler Skinny Pant. I’m afraid that you get special treatment from the company. If they really backed up their products for defects it might be worth it. But 10% discount is nothing to compensate this woman for a messed up zipper on a very expensive pair of pants.

    hannah
    poor policy
    I have purchased a pair of Anatomie pants and was very satisfied with the product, until I had the inner seam of the zipper seperate from the fabric so they are no longer wearable. I have worn the pants no more than 10 times, but being outside of the 30 days they would not help me. Since this was obviously a quality issue I feel like this says something about the company as a whole.
    Anatomie >> replied:
    Hannah, thank you for contacting us; we apologize for the inconvenience. We looked into the matter and since the pants were purchased about a year ago, and that particular style is no longer in production, we will not be able to issue a replacement. But we would like to offer you 10% off your next purchase for the inconvenience encountered. If you have any other questions, please contact us at [email protected], we would love to help!

    Reply
    • Hi Linda,
      Oh my! That’s not good.
      I’ve contacted the team at Anatomie to look into this. I hope there’s another side to this story, because indeed, this contradicts what I understand their customer service policy to be.

      I wonder if perhaps she bought the last of a line that was being discontinued and was thus on clearance sale. Anything on super clearance wouldn’t likely be subject to the same return/exchange policy.

      Reply
      • Nora, since I wrote the above post, I have given Anatomie a try. Customer service has been wonderful, namely Raquel. It’s very difficult to get the style and size right on first try and she’s shown some flexibility. I tried the popular Skyler pants and am lukewarm about the fit. I’m going to give your Luisa Skinny Jeans a try! (Did you by any chance try the Lora Nylon & Fleece jacket? Seems to be one of their Italian items.)

        Anyway, I love your blog! I signed up for your emails and am loving your writing and all the helpful information. I’m simply thrilled!

        P.S. We’re going to Cuenca January-February! We’re putting the house on the market and hope to find house-sitting gigs while we are here in the Atlanta area to give us more flexibility. We had part of this plan in process when I landed on your blog. You gave me the extra push I needed to try house-sitting and work-aways. We had already signed up for WorkAway and my nephew uses WWOOF. We’ll probably try both!

        Reply
        • Hi Linda,
          I’m so very glad that you gave Anatomie a shot and that your experience has been positive!
          I didn’t really like the Skyler pant fit either, so I hope you like the Luisa in contrast (I think you will). I haven’t tried the Lora jacket, but it looks beautiful.

          And thank you for reading! Good luck with the sale of the house (and all your stuff in it – ha ha), and I hope you enjoy your time in Cuenca. It’s a gorgeous place.

          Happy Travels!

          Reply
  4. I keep asking for someone to post a blog for clothes for women over 60. Everything I see is for twenty year old. Travelled to over 65 countries. Now in my seventies cannot wear the ridiculous clothes and shoes., no one writes for older women. Pity.

    Reply
    • Hi Sue,
      I’m sorry you feel under-represented and under-served by myself and other sites. I would have thought that at least some of the styles offered by Anatomie are ageless. Many are conservative, and most are classy – especially the jackets and tops.

      Reply

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