Written by Ellie Peach
With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get yourself away on a little break. This could be a spontaneous trip to the next city over, or a thoroughly planned and scheduled holiday around the world. The scariest part about the whole process? Packing.
Now, we all know you have to bring the basics like your passport if you’re travelling abroad, portable chargers, international adapters, and your headphones (a must to fill up the journey time). But what types of clothes do you need to bring and how many? You need to build up your capsule wardrobe and the packing process becomes far easier to manage as the ‘basics’ you have, like simple tops and jeans, will be versatile and easily styled into multiple different looks!
First, before even thinking about the various outfits you want to take with you, you have to assess what sort of place you’re going to, and what the weather will be like while you’re visiting. Of course, if it’s snowy, chances are you won’t be needing your short floral dress and sandals, and if it’s warm, you can thankfully leave your winter coat behind.
With that established, what are some perfect pieces to take travelling?
A trench coat is a perfect jacket for most occasions and weather types. A beige trench coat is most classic and likely to go with all outfits; however, you can often find one in any colour you fancy! I love a trench coat when packing because it won’t take up much space in your suitcase or bag. It is easily folded, which is useful when trying to squeeze in as much as possible.
A capsule wardrobe requires versatile items to be worn multiple times in different variations. A trench coat, mainly if you buy one in a neutral colour like black or beige, could be worn with every outfit. It’s appropriate with casual jeans, just as it’s suitable with an LBD for a girl’s night out. The fact this coat can be worn with so many outfits is the reason it is a top choice for your capsule wardrobe and therefore to take with you on holiday.
However, if you are on a colder holiday, you probably will be much better off with a thick puffer coat for a lot more warmth. If this is the case, it is perhaps best to leave the trench behind and opt for a blazer or cardigan if you want to accessorise and add some coverage. You can simply wear your winter coat over the blazer or cardigan until you are at your destination on a dinner out. Both items can also be folded small into your luggage, and you should wear the winter coat to the airport to avoid wasting space.
Tip – an oversized crocheted cardigan in various colours is trendy this season. If you choose to go with this particular style, check it is something you will want to wear a lot and not just until the trend ends – make sure it is worthy of your sustainable capsule wardrobe!
A fancy outfit
We should always ensure we pack at least one fancy outfit when planning for a holiday. Even if you feel you will be touring and exploring most of the time, it is good to have one just in case you decide to dine out or go for drinks in the evening. A dress is a lightweight item that can be packed easily without taking up much room.
Bring your favourite dress that can be styled for a party or a meal out, and you’ll be covered. Bold colours tend to not stay on trend for too long; however, if there is a particular colour dress you love to wear, then it will always be the right pick. Floral or animal prints are timeless, and long silk dresses with a cowl neckline are very popular this year. To ensure your dress is as sustainable as possible to fit in with your capsule wardrobe, ensure it can be kept for an extended period, and buy good quality so that you are as environmentally friendly as possible. That way, you won’t have to spend more money on new outfits to replace the ones you already love.
If dresses aren’t for you, then there are tons of other ways you can dress up for a night out! For example, a long silk or satin skirt is the perfect item worn for a fancy occasion, on the beach, or walking through a city. This makes it an excellent staple for your capsule wardrobe. Pair it with a neutral blouse and your trench coat for a classy and feminine look.
Blue and black jeans
Jeans in a few colours are great to have as they can be worn with most tops, shoes, and coats! A pair in the classic blue and black will allow you to be as versatile as possible with your outfits, and providing you buy good quality jeans, they will last you a long time. This is essential as it is a more sustainable option by keeping items for longer and out of landfill and will save you money in the long run. The style of the jeans is totally up to you, but ultimately you need to feel comfortable walking and sitting in them. Choose the type you love and invest in them, whether that be a baggier fit or skinny. Wide leg or straight. Mom jeans or bootleg, there are many options, and each person will have a different preference.
Alternatively, you could just take a good pair of trousers. Like jeans, they can be very easily styled with your tops, shoes, and coats. You can dress these up further with a blazer for a sophisticated look or dress them down with your crocheted cardigan!
Both jeans and trousers will be one of the bigger things you pack. We recommend taking at least one pair of jeans or trousers so if you are short for room, choose the tops you want to wear on your holiday and see if they can all be paired with the one pair of jeans or trousers you want to take.
A pair of comfy sneakers
Choosing the shoes you want to take on holiday can be the most tricky part. They often take up the most room, so you need to choose carefully to not waste space but be as practical as possible. Again, this will all depend on the type of holiday. If you are walking around a lot, you will need comfortable trainer type shoes, and if you just want to lounge on the beach, then sandals or flip flops are a must.
Generally speaking, however, you can’t go wrong with taking a pair of sneakers. They are very versatile as sneakers can be paired with a dress, and you’ll still look dressed up, or can be worn with jeans or a skirt for a more casual look. In terms of colour, white is classic and always a good option as they will go with most of your outfits. If you do want to go a bit bold, ensure the outfits in your capsule wardrobe can mostly be styled with them, so you don’t have to buy or take more than is necessary.
You may also want to take an additional pair of shoes with you, depending on the location of your trip. With a bit of sun, a good pair of sandals or slip ons are perfect and won’t take up as much space. If it is chilly, take some boots! Whatever you decide, to ensure you are saving as much space as possible, you should wear the biggest shoes you have to the airport.
A staple accessory
Accessories can elevate a simple look to the particular vibe you want to give off; scarves have great versatility for this. A silk headscarf can give you the It-girl look if it’s a summer in Europe. In contrast, if you visit a city like London in spring, a sophisticated knitted or cashmere scarf can keep you warm while looking classy. Scarves can be as bold as you want because, generally, they will stand out on your outfit. A lovely floral print on a headscarf always looks very chic; likewise, a simple beige scarf will tie well into most outfits linking back to that versatility needed for your capsule wardrobe.
However, scarves aren’t the only thing that will elevate your look…
Extra items to consider!
If it’s a sunny location consider: a staple bikini or bathing suit, a sun hat, sunglasses, a summer dress and a pair of sandals. They can all be carried in a beach bag as a part of your hand luggage if space is an issue!
If it’s a rainy location it’s a good idea to bring; a fold-up raincoat and umbrella, extra pairs of socks, and waterproof trainers.
If it’s a snowy location you might consider, a woolly hat, gloves, scarf, big coat, and winter boots. You should wear your winter boots and coat to the airport so that they don’t take up unnecessary room if you are limited on space. It may be a little hot to wear them. However, it will save tons of space and remove some weight from your bags!