RVing Wardrobe

On a hoodie I'm thinking about buying

On a hoodie I’m thinking about buying

I’m not a material girl, as I’m sure you’ve all deduced by now. I don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy and when it comes to clothes I’m more about what’s comfortable than what’s stylish. But every now and then I get the desire to dress up, either for special events or because the mood strikes me. (Guys, I’ll have something more applicable to you next post, you can safely skip this one).

Those contemplating life in an RV may think they’ll have to give up dressing up once they hit the road. While it’s true you won’t have the same space to work with, I’ve found that traveling and looking nice can in fact go together with just a little forethought.

Clothing

I like to say that everything I carry needs to serve more than one purpose, and that holds for my wardrobe too. If your closet is as diminutive as mine, you’ll get more utility out of your limited clothing if you can mix and match the tops and bottoms. That way you can put together multiple different looks without needing to have as many different pieces. This photo is an example of my green/yellow/brown clothes.

dressing-up1

You’ll see the two items on the right are more casual than the two on the left. I’d wear the panda tee with the capris for everyday wear, if I needed something a little nicer I could wear the sleeveless top with the carpris or the panda tee with the skirt. If I was going to a nice restaurant or for an evening out on the town, I’d wear the skirt with the sleeveless top.

For colder weather, layer. That way you can still make use of most of your warm weather clothing year-round without having two entirely different sets of clothes, it saves on space. I have a couple warm knit sweater tops in neutral colors to wear over my shirts, and a couple nondescript close fitting undershirts I can wear under them.

dressing-up2

Jewelry

You can also change the look of an outfit with the presence or absence of jewelry. Like with the clothes, pick pieces that are easy to mix and match and go with several different outfits. You’ll see that most of my jewelry is silver/pewter/bronze colored and will go with about anything. I do have a few pieces with some color in them, and you’ll see those are primarily green because the majority of my nice clothing is green.

dressing-up3

Typical jewelry boxes are not very travel friendly. They can come open easily, and if they fall over while you’re driving all of your jewelry will get mixed up. I bought a small plastic tackle box for my jewelry. The dividers go all the way up to the snap lid so I can turn it upside down and shake it, and things will stay where they’re suppose to. You can move the dividers to different slots to get the size of compartment you want. Mine came from Walmart, but you can find them elsewhere too. (Note: if you wear makeup, these little tackle boxes can also work for that).

dressing-up4

Other

I’ve never been much of a shoe person and they take up even more room that clothing does so I stick to just a couple pair that will go with everything. If you’re bent on bringing lots of shoes with you, think about keeping a Tupperware in storage that can hold them all since you likely won’t have room in your RV entryway. You can keep one or two pair of regular shoes in the RV, and just switch them out for a specialty pair when needed. I’ve also heard of ladies who’ve had luck with those shoe organizers that hang over a door (although you’ll need a large enough door in your RV for this method to work). A nice thing about those is they take up vertical space that otherwise goes to waste in many RVs.

In the summer my sandals are my all-purpose shoe, slide ons work best because I don't have a convenient place to sit in the entryway

In the summer my sandals are my all-purpose shoe, slide ons work best because I don’t have a convenient place to sit in the entryway

One thing you’re more likely to run into while RVing than living stationary is wardrobe boredom. Even if you can mix and match your outfits there are only so many different looks you can get. I do just about all of my clothes shopping in thrift stores, so when I find that I’m no longer wearing a piece of clothing, if it’s in good shape I’ll take it back to a thrift store and shop for a replacement. This way it doesn’t sit in the RV wasting space, it goes to someone else who is going to enjoy it more, and it doesn’t cost much to replace. If you enjoy shopping in thrift stores, it’s even better when you travel a lot because you’ll always have new stores to shop in.

That wraps up everything I have to say on the subject, but if any of you ladies out there have anything else to add (or ask), you know what to do!

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42 Responses to RVing Wardrobe

  1. Old Fat Man July 21, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    I think your choices in ear rings and necklaces are very nice.

    • Becky July 21, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

      Hah, thanks I guess.

  2. cynthia ray July 21, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Very practical and enjoyable. Thank you.

    • Becky July 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed this Cynthia.

  3. Ron July 21, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    You are right, Girl post.

    • Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

      But you read it all the way to the end! I’m impressed Ron. πŸ˜›

  4. Rhonda July 21, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

    Love this post! I’m stationary for now but try to adhere to the “10 Item Wardrobe” philosophy of mix/match minimalism. Like you, Becky, I love thrifting and part of the thrill is a shop day out picking up 3-4 pieces (like your pretty things above–love the skirt!) that will work in different combinations. All for under $15, of course…:-). The tackle box jewelry holder is a great tip for traveling. Thanks for keeping it “girl” for a change. πŸ™‚

    • Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed this Rhonda!

      Isn’t thrift store shopping kind of like a treasure hunt? It’s always felt that way to me. The anticipation of what gems I might find, that skirt was a good one. Happy shopping. πŸ˜‰

  5. Cherie July 22, 2015 at 1:28 am #

    Great post… and concur totally. We also do a lot of thrift shopping to keep our wardrobes fresh and fun.. and affordable.

    One trick I utilize is keeping all of my bottoms (skirts, shorts, pants) as solids, and my tops as patterns. This gives me a lot of combos of mixing and matching.
    Cherie recently posted..Tips for Storing Your RV When You Need to Leave it BehindMy Profile

    • Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

      Ooooh, good suggestion Cherie!

  6. Marsha July 22, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    Buy the moose shirt – it’s adorable!

    • Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

      I need to decide if it’s $28.62 worth of adorable. For me that’s a lot of money for one item of clothing. πŸ˜‰

  7. Cheri July 22, 2015 at 5:40 am #

    Great post. Loved the tip on jewelry storage. We are not FT but a great way to easily grab and go. Also, good reminder for me to limit clothes I take as we are soon to leave on a 3 month adventure in the RV. Thanks Becky!

    • Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

      You’re welcome Cheri!

      And yes, no matter what kind of traveling you do the tackle box method can come in handy, it can be thrown in a suitcase or duffle bag with everything else – no fear of spillage or disorganization.

  8. Jim@HiTek July 22, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    Great advice about shopping in Thrift stores. Not only do you help recycling efforts, but often you can find real treasures.

    Great way to find all sorts of things for the RV you’d never think of buying ‘just to try out’ in a regular store.

    Found all my miniature kitchen appliances in thrift stores, for instance. And lots of other stuff like paperback books, furniture, glasses, dishes, electronic toys just to play with, etc.

    Plus it’s fun.
    Jim@HiTek recently posted..Hanging around Rosamond…My Profile

    • Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

      Yeah, thrift stores are pretty awesome!

  9. Jodee Gravel July 22, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    We (hubby and I) each have 15 hangers and if we want something new, then something old has to go out. Same with shoes – 6 pairs each including slippers and shower shoes. Our space is much bigger than yours at 35′, but storage is still at a premium. Our coats are in the underbed storage. I learned to fold tshirts and pants so that they take up little space and we each have a large drawer for those. A big yes to layering and multi-use and thrift stores! We also don’t by knic-knacs or magnets or shot glasses but we do buy the occasional tshirt or hoodie from places we really liked. They are fun reminders plus a nice update to a tiny wardrobe.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Nice Golf Course, No Golfing. Miles of beach, No Surfing.My Profile

    • Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

      A good rule to stick with Jodee. πŸ™‚ Now that the warmer weather has arrived, my winter gear is living in plastic tub under my bed too.

  10. Bill July 22, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    You are correct, it was a girl post but I try to learn from everything I read and there was a very clear message here. Make all choices in clothes as well as other items serve multiple purposes. I think this is a great idea for all of us whether we live in a small space or not. If we use less we live more lightly on the earth and leave more resources for others. Thanks for the post.

  11. Becky July 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    You’re welcome Bill. Glad you enjoyed it, girly though it was. πŸ˜‰

  12. Dawn from Camano Island July 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm #

    What a great post, Becky! I admire your taste in clothing–the skirt is adorable. I admire your thrift shopping. Thrift stores & I are not compatible. My Mom loved taking us kids with her when she thrift-shopped & I still remember the ‘odor’. I buy cheap & on sale. We take too many shoes with us–gonna have to work on that. I say go for the sweatshirt too–it’s cute!

    • Becky July 24, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

      Hope it’s not just the memory of an odor keeping you away, I’ve only been in I think one thrift store that didn’t smell good, I just skipped it.

      Good luck trimming down the shoes!

      • Dawn from Camano Island July 25, 2015 at 8:49 am #

        Good to know, Becky. I’ll keep trying.

  13. Juli July 23, 2015 at 6:12 am #

    Wow; what an interesting post! We don’t have a trailer yet, but are preparing for our retirement life, which will include part time RVing six months of the year. Like you, I’m a diehard thrifter; in the spirit of simplifying I take a box of “stuff” to the thrift store weekly and “trade out” some outfits when I tire of them. When I travel, no matter how long the trip is I never pack more than twelve items (not including outerwear if it’s cold weather) and only ever use a carry on bag. We just returned from a 10 day trip to Jamaica and I returned with five pieces I never even wore since I stayed in my bathing suit most days. Thank you for this lovely post; you prove that “less IS more.”

    • Becky July 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

      Wow, seven items in 10 days, you did well Juli. πŸ˜€ Someday I want to take the RV down to the Florida keys, and when I do I hope I can stay in a bathing suit most of the time. Wouldn’t be a real long trip because the keys are an expensive place to stay.

      Thrift stores are my savior, really. To think of all the money I save on clothing that I can spend on gas to go places. πŸ™‚

  14. Angela July 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    That tackle box idea is perfect. Closing lid (which my current organizer lacks) and changeable spaces. Guess I’ll be looking in the fishing section at Wal-Mart, never thought I’d be there! πŸ˜‰

    I’d need to make sure I had some “Fat clothes” on hand for when it’s that time of the month and I’m extra bloated and cramping. Ahh the joys of being a woman! Up next… menopause!

    I shop at the thrift store every month. $5 pants for work? Yes please!

    • Becky July 24, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

      One of the better ideas I’ve had for organization for sure Angela. And you can find them in different sizes to fit however big or small you need.

      Hard to argue with inexpensive clothing, for sure. πŸ™‚

  15. Ron July 24, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    It may be a girl post, but I love the thrift stores too, found some great deals today at about 10 – 20% of retail prices and like new too. I also find treasures to sell on eBay too.

    • Becky July 24, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

      Yay good deals! Like I said, it feels like a treasure hunt, haha.

  16. Katy in NH July 27, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    Hi Becky,

    I LOVE THE HOODIE!

    Sometimes when it is something you really love, you will enjoy it every time you wear it and keep it for many years. I use wearings/$$ and feel good/$$, as guidelines for my purchases. That hoodie makes me smile!

    A friend of ours that full-timed in a 30 foot trailer and truck, had a rule of 3s. They were a family of 3 – two adults and a 7 year old. Other that under garments and a coat, they each had 3 of everything – 3 short sleeved shirts, 3 long, 3 turtle necks, 3 pants, 3 shorts, 3 pairs of shoes, etc,. They were traveling to many climates, so needed to account for that and to make room for the many pounds of homeschooling books.

    • Becky July 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

      Decided not to get the hoodie, but I understand what you’re saying about those kind of clothes. πŸ™‚

      Rule of 3, I like it. πŸ™‚

  17. Blaize Sun August 4, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    I live in my van, and clothing is my undoing. (Well, clothing and books!) I have too much clothing, but when I find something I like, that fits, that’s a $1 (or maybe $2) at a thrift store, it’s difficult to pass up.

    I shop almost entirely at thrift stores and garage sales. And now I’m trying to stay away from them because I really do have everything I need.

    Also because I am working as a camp host this season, I wear a uniform, which means I don’t wear my real clothes much.

    I use those big plastic storage bags that compress items once the air is squeezed out of them. I’ve had mixed success with the bags. When I am able to fill one with winter clothes (for example), squeeze the air out, and leave the bag alone, it works well and takes up significantly less space. However, the bags don’t hold up to repeated opening and closing and eventually little holes are poked in them and they don’t stay compressed.

    Most of my clothes are compressed in bags, the bags stored in a large plastic tub with a lid. But I still have too much!

    • Becky August 4, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

      Clever idea using those storage bags, thanks for the advice! I can see where they’d be more useful for seasonal and occasional clothes rather than stuff worn often.

      Hope you’re enjoying your work-camping gig Blaize and enjoy your summer. πŸ™‚

  18. Cate August 6, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Loved the tackle box..getting one for myself and for my two friends who travel often.

    I have already learned to pack light for my trips and coordinate the pieces with 2-3 color combos, so this has been good practice for when I launch my full-time RV life.

    Another fan of thrift/consignment shopping..the source of most of my clothing. That and the 75-80% off racks at Macy’s. Every season I purge clothing that I haven’t worn in a year to donate or sell. Hey gals, if you love color…your “neutrals” can be olive green and mink brown which are beautiful with turquoise, pink, “gold”,some blues, etc..
    Thanks for a fun post Becky.

    • Becky December 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

      You’re welcome Cate, thanks for sharing that tip about olive and brown!

  19. Teresa Hill December 1, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    I need to do this with my wardrobe, too. I love the jewelry box and I definitely need to have jewelry storage box that makes my jewelry more visible and accessible. My husband is a fisherman and he has many of this fisherman’s boxes that I’ve always seen as the perfect storage containers for my stuff! Thank you for sharing! Lovely post! Greets!

    • Becky December 1, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed this Teresa! If you took one of his tackle boxes and replaced his lures with jewelry how long do you think it would take him to notice? πŸ˜‰

  20. Terri December 17, 2015 at 5:51 am #

    Not sure how I missed this post other than that I was in the middle of the insanity of preparing for my move out west when you wrote it. I appreciated this. I’ve been looking at what I have and right now, I have work clothes (read: covered in bleach and stains, etc.) and non-work clothes (not covered in bleach, etc.) So I am looking forward to when I go nomadic and don’t have to worry about having both sets. Right now, I can’t wear anything I actually care about to work because it will get ruined.

    This Useful Stuff page has been such a wealth of info, Becky, thank you. I’m going to reread some of your Yellowstone Posts because I am thinking of applying there for next summer, although I’m a bit worried about there still being snow, unless I were to start in June. I actually would be going there to enjoy being around the crowds, although the remoteness of the location, I’d have to adjust to, as well.
    Terri recently posted..ThankfulMy Profile

  21. Linda Sand April 28, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    I rarely wear jewelry other than earrings but scarves are a must have for me. Tied various ways around neck or waist or even wrapped around a wrist scarves can change the look of an outfit quickly. Plus they help keep you warm on cool days.

    • Becky April 29, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      Good ideas Linda. πŸ™‚

  22. Meg November 13, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

    You can also get the equivalent of that jewelry/tackle box (in a lot of different sizes) at JoAnns or the like (fabric/craft stores). They’re more likely to be smaller and lighter, too.

    • Becky November 14, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

      Makes sense, many crafters use supplies that would would fit well in one of these things. Thanks for sharing.

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