Going on holiday should be an exciting time, whether it's an adventurous city break or a relaxing beach holiday. But the idea of packing and planning what outfits to take can feel a little daunting sometimes. How many outfits do I take? How hot is it going to be? What do I wear in the evening? It's no wonder so many of us end up overpacking.
But (hear us out) having a holiday capsule wardrobe can eliminate unnecessary stress and allow you to pack lighter. It helps narrow down your packing by choosing versatile clothes, that you can mix and match as well as take you from day to night.
Discover the 16 essentials we've hand-picked to create the perfect holiday capsule wardrobe. Overfilled suitcases will be a thing of the past (unless you secretly enjoy it!).
Capsule Wardrobe Essentials for Women
If you’re fed up of staring at an overflowing suitcase that refuses to close (even when you sit on it), it might be time to consider a capsule wardrobe instead. Capsule wardrobes are curated collections of clothing that can be worn in any combination and still look chic and put-together. Our selection of luxury resortwear staples offer you a casual, comfortable, and sophisticated range of options to carry your effortlessly from beach to bar.
1. Staple T-Shirt
Ideal for almost any occasion, a couple of staple T-shirts are essential to any capsule wardrobe. Wear with shorts, pair with jeans, and even throw on to cover your shoulders as you head down to the pool. Add at least one white and black T-shirt to your capsule wardrobe alongside one of a brighter colour that compliments the rest of your clothes. Loose and light, a T-shirt will keep you cool in warmer locations or can be layered up in cooler climates.
2. Throw On Shirt
Whether thrown over a swimsuit or bikini while you head to lunch or paired with trousers for dinner, a lightweight, casual shirt is an essential for your summer wardrobe. Wear from the beach to the bar and beyond for effortless style day or night.
3. Linen Trousers
While you may not think a pair of trousers will be needed – especially for a beach holiday – it’s always handy to pack a pair. Linen trousers are lightweight enough to keep you cool and are perfect for days exploring the sights and experiencing the country's culture. They’re also an excellent option for staying comfortable on a long haul flight.
4. Lounge Shorts
Essential for relaxing on the beach, hitting the shops, or enjoying a glass of wine on-deck, a good pair of shorts are a holiday must-have. Lounge shorts can be paired with anything from a staple t-shirt while making your way to the beach to a swimsuit cover up while you enjoy a cocktail on the sun lounger. Pick up a pair that compliments the other colours in your capsule wardrobe for ultimate versatility.
5. Day-to-Night Dress
A day-to-night dress that can be worn as a beach cover-up during the day and elevated with a pair of heels, a belt and some jewellery for the evening is a true holiday essential. A midi or maxi dress in a bolder colour or unique pattern will allow you to dress up effortlessly. Choose lightweight, floaty materials, such as cotton or linen, so you can stay cool and comfortable.
6. Versatile Swimsuit
While you may have a drawer full of various swimsuits and bikinis, when packing light and creating a capsule holiday wardrobe, all you need is one high-quality, versatile swimsuit. A swimsuit with a timeless design, such as a halter neck in a block colour, can also be worn as a top with a pair of shorts or trousers and a jacket over the top.
7. A Light Cardigan
If you're planning on dining al fresco while on holiday, a light cardigan for the cooler evenings is always a good idea. To ward off any evening chills or brisk breezes, a light cardigan will instantly add a touch of luxury to your evening outfit while still feeling relaxed and cosy. Throw it over a dress or a t-shirt with a pair of trousers and accessorise with some jewellery for the perfect smart causal holiday look.
8. Comfortable Sandals
A pair of reliable sandals is a must. Sandals have the ability to work well with every outfit and can easily be dressed up or down. To feel comfortable and confident while walking around sightseeing, choose a flat pair with plenty of cushioning and support.
Holiday Capsule Wardrobe Essentials for Men
For men, a holiday capsule wardrobe with luxury resort wear should be practical, stylish and multifunctional, from quick-drying swim shorts to super-soft t-shirts.
1. Short-Sleeved T-Shirt
Short-sleeved T-shirts are essential in every man's holiday wardrobe. Offering style, comfort and versatility, you can't go wrong. Grey, white or black T-shirts will easily go with anything and can be worn during the day and evening. For a bolder look, choose a brighter colour or a pattern, such as stripes, that will still pair well with most other items.
2. Casual Shorts
For a leisurely holiday, a pair of causal shorts is a must. A pair of linen or cotton shorts are perfect for long evening walks or dinner by the sea and will keep you cool and comfortable. Casual shorts can be paired with t-shirts for an easy-going, relaxed look or a button-down shirt for a smart-casual outfit.
3. Linen Trousers
As tempting as it may be to live in shorts while on holiday, including a pair of trousers in your suitcase will add variety and allow you to dress up in the evenings. A pair of neutral-coloured linen trousers, which are designed to be cool and breathable, offer a sophisticated style that always ensures you're looking your best.
4. Swim Shorts
Swim shorts that look stylish both in and out of the pool will carry you through your holiday looking ultra-fashionable. Whether you choose a classic fit or short-length swim shorts, choosing a vibrant colour or a bold pattern will set you apart. Pair with a simple white t-shirt to walk around the resort comfortably.
5. Polo Shirt
If you plan on participating in some holiday sports, such as tennis or golf, or you want to include something in your suitcase that you can wear to dinners or other events, a polo shirt is versatile enough. A modern-day essential, Polo shirts offer unrivalled comfort and can be worn for multiple occasions.
6. Button Down Shirt
A long sleeve or short sleeve casual button-down shirt is ideal for days out exploring or evenings at the bar. A lightweight material, such as linen, will ensure you won't feel the heat due to its breathable fabric, making it the perfect choice for looking smart on tropical holidays.
7. A Light Jumper
Evenings on holiday can often get chilly, especially if you spend a lot of time drinking or dining outside, so a light jumper will be needed. For a smarter approach, choose a cashmere half-zip sweater that can be worn over a white t-shirt. Or, for a more casual look as you stroll along the beach, a cashmere hoodie will keep you warm in style.
8. Comfortable and Lightweight Shoes
Lightweight shoes that can be worn with multiple outfits and take you from the beach to the streets are essential for both comfort and style. A pair of cushioned trainers for walking, sandals for lounging around a resort, and loafers for smart dinners or events are ideal. To keep your suitcase light, we'd suggest wearing trainers on the plane, which will likely be the bulkier pair of shoes.
For plane outfit inspiration, take a look at our men's stylish travel outfit ideas so you'll know exactly what to wear for long-haul and short-haul flights.