5 Style Tips for Vanlife: How to Look Like You Didn't Sleep in a Van

Dee | Lady Bugout
by Dee | Lady Bugout

I’m going to share 5 of my favorite tips on how to sleep in a van without looking like you just slept in a van. Van and RV living is an amazing way to live minimally, travel the world, and explore.

If you’re worried that living in your van or RV means looking like you’ve just come from a campsite all the time, let me allay your fears. I have found some basic rules and guidelines that help me look and feel my best while living on the road.

Wearing clothes with no rips, tears, or wrinkles

1. No rips, tears, or wrinkles

It easily and instantly elevates your look if what you’re wearing doesn’t have any wrinkles. It also helps if your clothes aren’t too worn down. I like to wear merino wool. It can be a bit more expensive, but it is worth the investment. It will last you longer than cotton and other materials.

Merino wool clothes will also last longer between washes because it is a moisture-wicking fabric. This helps prevent the clothing from smelling. Merino wool also doesn’t get wrinkled as easily as cotton when it’s folded or rolled up. I also like to buy clothes made from fabrics like viscose rayon. Those are great fabrics for blouses. I like to buy pants made from lyocell fabric. Jeans are also good.

Versatile shoes

2. Versatile shoes

Having a good pair of clean and versatile shoes is very important in helping you look put together. Find a pair of shoes that are nice looking but also very comfortable. I like to get shoes that are good for hiking and walking that will also look good when I want to go into stores or go out somewhere and look nice. A good pair of basic, neutral shoes will get you far.

Versatile outerwear

3. Versatile outerwear

My coats are a way to layer up and change outfits by season. I layer underneath and wear coats and jackets that change and make the outfit. This allows me to do a lot with very few items. I also like to make sure my outerwear can handle a variety of different weather conditions. Coats and jackets with removable lining or layers are a great way to look good while making sure all your needs are being met.

Capsule wardrobe for vanlife

4. The 80/20 rule

Curate a wardrobe that is %80 solids and %20 prints or pop colors. I try to keep my solids in neutral colors like greys, blacks, and beiges. Following the 80/20 rule enables you to mix and match your clothes easily and pop in a bit of color or print when you need to. This can also come in handy when you’re getting dressed in the dark, which does happen when you’re sleeping in a van. Knowing that whatever you throw on will work together makes it easy to look great no matter what.

Clothes that fit and look good

5. Need to fit

My clothes need to both fit my body comfortably and fit my lifestyle. When you get to a stage where you only keep the things you actually wear it’s such a game-changer. You know every time you get dressed that you will feel good and look good in what you put on.

You’re not wasting time and emotional energy trying to fit into a pair of jeans that you have from years ago. It’s very freeing. I only keep the things that fit me well, that I feel good in, and can wear when I’m going about my regular routine.

I have a few questions that I ask myself when I’m looking at clothes and need to change my wardrobe in any way. First I ask myself if it fits my style and will go with the rest of my clothes. Next, I ask myself if it’s in the color palette that I already have.

The third question I ask myself is does it look good on me now? I don’t have the space to carry around things that I’m not going to wear. I also don’t have a full-length mirror, so I want to know that whatever I’m putting on looks decent. The last question I ask myself is, is it easy to care for? I’m not going to bother with a fabric that gets wrinkly all the time or is dry clean only.

How to look like you didn't just sleep in a vehicle

I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any interesting ideas and methods that work for you I’d really appreciate it if you could leave them in the comments section. I am always looking for new ways to make my journey better and more efficient. Let’s exchange ideas and learn from each other.

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