How to pack a (clever) capsule holiday wardrobe

Holiday packing outfit tips
Gilly Ferguson

With just 15 buys, you can create endless holiday outfits. Pack smart. Pack with purpose. Pack like a pro

Be it for a summer vacation, Bank Holiday staycation, hen do, honeymoon, mini-break or mini-moon, you may find yourself wondering, just how do I pack a suitcase? You may even be hankering after the experts’ best packing tips. 

Well, hanker no more, because we’ve unlocked the secret to packing like a pro. These 15 cunning, multi-use, holiday capsule buys are guaranteed to make your summer wardrobe work even harder. It’s never been easier to vacay the expert way…

How to pack: 5 expert tips

  1. Pick a 3-shade palette. Perhaps black+white+grey, or red+white+blue, or bronze+cream+green.
  2. Repeat staples, using the same bags and shoes with multiple outfits.
  3. Roll up your clothes.
  4. Pack a steamer.
  5. Photograph outfits while you pack so you know exactly how many combinations you can make.

One-and-done items

The best all-in-one outfits take up minimal suitcase (and head) space. Make a beeline for cooling fabrics (eco cottons, seersucker, linen, jersey, silk) and crease-resistant cheesecloth styles.

  • Departure, Lounge: Whatever the destination, nothing brings travel comfort quite like a joyful jersey jumpsuit. They’re multitasking must-haves.
  • The (Clever) Beach: The perfect poolside plus-one? Never underestimate the power of a kaftan to take you from beach to bar quicker than you can say pina col…
  • The AM/PM Jumpsuit: Like your holiday wardrobe with a side of kudos? In bounds The (jazzy) Jumpsuit. Worn relaxed and wafty for daytime wandering, or belted by night, this linen number = cool². Simply switch up your shoe sitch and add accessories at your leisure.  
  • The AM/PM Dress: More of a dress person? Invest in a dress up, dress down ‘Do-It-All’ dress. This heroic head-turner packs all the punch of a wow evening outfit (gingham print and puff sleeves, we’re looking at you), while it’s very pleasing 100% linen credentials ensure maximum breeze.

The cover-ups

  • Clever Cardi: Cashmere? In summer? Yes! Cashmere helps our skin to regulate temperature, in both hot and cold climates. Shout out to those thermally insulating fibres…
  • Pack-a-Shacket: See also – The shirt-jacket. Worn on travel days and chilly nights. Because… well, weather, basically.

Shoes: the rule of 3

Ask any expert and they’ll advise packing no more than three pairs of shoes. So, for a warm weather getaway, we suggest trainers, heels and sandals. Wear your weightiest shoes (aka the trainers) for travel. Pop the rest in linen travel bags, if you’re feeling fancy.

The swimwear

Carry-on luggage only? One-piece all the way. If you can carve out space for multiple bikinis, though, mix ’n’ match two sets over four days to multiply your poolside looks, while minimising excess baggage fees.

The ‘successories’

The real secret to AM/PM dressing? Smart, multi-use accessories. Consider them your sartorial bolt ons, and do wear them all on the flight. Maybe throw in a lunge, Joey from Friends-style. 

  • The BOGOF Bag: 2-in-1 Multipurpose. Detachable. Raffia. Whoever designed this bag deserves a promotion.
  • Sunglasses: For when the sun has got her hat on. 
  • Necklace: Gold, silver, rose gold… no matter your metal, nothing will dress up your decollétage faster.
  • Silk Scarf: Every stylist’s secret weapon, it can be used as a belt or to spruce up straw bags, striped tees and/or beach-blown hair. 
  • The White Tee: Part nightie, part beach cover up, part hack for dressing down your ‘One-and-Dones’ – no capsule wardrobe is complete without a trusty white tee. Fashion fact.

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