How to create a travel capsule for summer

3 July

First and foremost, a travel capsule wardrobe should be tailored to your personal style, destination, trip duration, and planned activities. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are some ideas on building a cohesive travel capsule wardrobe.

At the end, I’ll share my own summer travel capsule to inspire you. If you need help packing, you can book a session with me here.

To have in mind:

  • Choose things you normally wear and you feel comfortable wearing.
  • If you are going to buy things, try to shop for pieces you are also going to wear on your day to day or will serve the purpose of many holidays ahead (for example good quality swimwear)
  • Creating a mood board with ideas will help youunderstand what vibe you want for the holiday ahead.
  • Take into consideration the destination: culture, weather and activities you will do.
  • Luggage - would you pack a big suitcase? Or only a small cabin bag?

1 Choose versatile pieces

Summer packing is easier because many items can serve multiple purposes. For example, a cool co-ord in a breathable material can be a comfortable travel outfit (opt for long trousers if you get cold on planes) and can be worn in various ways during your trip. Pack a few dresses that are easy to wear in hot weather but can be dressed up with the right accessories and jewelry. Include a shirt that works for sightseeing and doubles as an effortless cover-up over your swimwear.

2 Pack your favourites

Consider the pieces you love wearing day-to-day. For example, I love summer dresses, so my summer capsule wardrobe includes several simple dresses in my favorite colors, a white dress (perfect for summer), and a printed one (I adore gingham!). But choose what works for you. If you wear shorts often or love jeans, opt for denim bermudas or a skirt instead of full-length jeans, which might be too hot.

3 Think of the fabrics

Summer is all about breathable materials, so avoid acrylics! Choose cotton, lyocell, linen, rayon, and other natural fibres. Smart blends like viscose with linen or cotton are also great options and will keep your pieces from getting too wrinkly.

If you love linen like I do, don’t worry too much about wrinkles. As soon as you arrive at your destination, take your linen items out of your suitcase and hang them up. Hang them near the shower while you shower to let the steam help with the wrinkles. You can also pack a hand-steamer, but your hotel or holiday house will likely have an iron.

4 Be consistent with the colours

You should be able to mix and match almost everything, so it’s important to keep the colors consistent. Consider your summer basics—mine are mostly white, beige, and brown—and add some of your favorite colors. Choose prints that have similar colouring to the rest of the pieces.

If you love color, this is the perfect time to experiment with interesting combinations, so don't just go for the obvious!

5 Avoid overpacking

I love summer clothes so much that I always want to pack everything, but I end up wearing the same outfits. If this happens to you too, try making a list and sticking to it. You’ll find that by packing less, you’ll enjoy creating different outfits with what you have.

Shoes are probably the trickiest part of packing, so keep it simple. If you’re doing lots of walking, pack one or two pairs of comfortable shoes that won’t hurt your feet (avoid packing new shoes you haven’t walked in yet). I like to stick to a total of 3 or 4 pairs: 1 pair of trainers (for sightseeing or exercise), 1 or 2 pairs of comfortable sandals, and 1 pair of cute sandals for dinner or going out.

6 Accessories/jewellery to add your personal touch

The right accessories and jewellery will give you that personal touch that your outfits need and are also a great way of adding something different to an outfit you have worn on repeat during the holiday.

Some ideas:

  • Across the body bag big enough to carry your essentials.
  • A canvas bag or backpack to carry shopping you might do.
  • A silky scarf that can be worn many ways - around neck, on your hair, as a beach cover-up, etc.
  • Favourite jewellery, I love packing a couple of statement earrings that can transform a simple look.
  • A small bag for the evening.
  • Sunglasses
  • A hat that doesn't take up lots of space.
  • Versatile belts that can be worn with trousers and over the waist.
  • Not really an accessory but a water bottle and a reusable coffee mug are essentials for me. I love this one as combines those two.

7 Test your outfits

Before you pack, lay out all the items you plan to take and try mixing and matching them to ensure you can create enough outfits for the duration of your trip.

This step will help you identify if you're missing any crucial pieces or if you've packed too much.