PACKING A CAPSULE WARDROBE LIKE A PRO

It’s no secret (because I won’t shut up about it) that I’m going on holiday soon, and it’s certainly no secret that I love shopping for new clothes to wear whilst on said holiday, but what do you do when you only have one case between two of you for a 12 night getaway, and you’re known for taking 6 outfit options per day plus the kitchen sink? 

Enter the sinking realisation that actually, no you don’t need that skirt because it won’t fit in the case, or no you can’t take that clutch bag that’s covered in 1,433 gems because it’s will take you over the 20kg limit – so girl has to do some serious streamlining!

Last year was all about the capsule (kinda) wardrobe for me – sticking to a colour palette, only buying items that I needed to fill gaps in my collection, like a statement tee here or a new pair of jeans there because they’d gone from black to grey in the blink of an eye. Now I’ll admit that in the past couple of months, the rules have gone out the window for me, because OMG so much colour on the high street, but I feel like I’ve got to grips with having a smaller collection to work with. So if I can do that for an entire season, I can do that for a 12 night holiday, right?

So, I won’t bore you with it, but I’ve written a list of all the pieces I want to take away with me, and followed a few rules to make sure I’m not going completely over board. The great thing about this holiday, is that we’re staying in a villa complete with washing machine, so that already eliminates the need for lots of items!

To start off with, I’ve split my wardrobe in to a number of sections; Tops for day, Tops for night, Bottoms, Dresses & Jumpsuits, Shoes and Swimwear. I like to think my style is quite casual and verstaile, so the items I own can easily be dressed up or down, hence why I haven’t bothered to split dresses and bottoms in to day/night. Here’s how I’ve split things up:

TOPS (day) x 5

These are the things I will probably wear the most – slogan tees, simple plain oversized tees and camis, great for throwing on over swimwear or for days when we head out to explore!

TOPS (night) x 5

The dressier pieces such as bardots, cold shoulder tops and those with a little more detail. These will go with shorts, skirts or trousers in the evenings.

BOTTOMS x 7

I’m definitely more of a jeans girl than a dress girl, hence why bottoms make up more of the wardrobe than dresses do! I’ll be packing a couple of pairs of shorts, some culottes, midi skirts and a pair of ripped jeans for cooler evenings.

DRESSES/JUMPSUITS x 4

One of these will be the super comfy jumpsuit I’ll be flying in, plus a couple of dresses and a playsuit that comes with me on every single trip!

SHOES x 6

This may sound excessive, but bear with me. The first pair will be my trusty Adidas Stan Smiths, which I’ll be wearing on the flight (so they don’t really count, right?), but also for trips out that might require a fair bit of walking. The other pairs are 2 casual flat sliders for by the pool or the beach, a dressy pair of lace up flats, and two pairs of mid-height heels for night!

SWIMWEAR x 6

Now this is the area that I’ve really cut down on! Usually I pack a ridiculous amount of bikinis and costumes, but this time round I’ll just be taking 3 costumes, 2 bikinis that can be mixed and matched, and a cover up!

That may still sound like a lot to some people, but for me that’s a huge cut back in my usual holiday wardrobe (seriously, just ask Dan), and for once I don’t feel like there’s anything missing. After years of holidays where I’d return home with half my suitcase untouched, or tags still on lots of new items, this is a bit of a triumph if I do say so myself, but the proof will be in the pudding in a few weeks time when I see how I faired whilst away.


Some handy tips if you’re trying to reduce the amount you pack for your next getaway, and the rules I followed myself when pulling this together are as follows:

WRITE A LIST

Jot down all of the items you want to take on holiday, and split them up in to categories like I did. Don’t leave anything out at this point – write down as much as you like without thinking about sticking to a certain number. This is just an initial ‘wish list’ – the culling comes later!

OUTFIT BUILD

Now start to think about building outfits. For each item (except swimwear) try to draw a line to link it to everything you could wear it with. For example, that must have slogan tee could be worn with cut of denim shorts, or that striped midi skirt, or those dreamy culottes. Once you’re done, cross off anything that can only be worn with one other item, or none at all! They just won’t be worth taking!

GET RID OF DUPLICATES

Now take another look at the list – are there things that are very similar to each other? Do you really need two blue floral dresses? Probably not. Will you get chance to wear those two playsuits that are the same shape? Doubtful! Cross off your least favourites.

COMFORT OVER STYLE

Something I’ve done in the past is pack a killer pair of shoes, or a beautiful item of clothing that in hindsight just wasn’t made for warmer weather or the terrain of where we were staying. Cross off those sky scraper heels that hurt after 5 minutes, get rid of those super tight dresses that stop you from breathing and get rid of any shoes that give you blisters!

VISUALISE IT

Now that your list is looking a little shorter, if you can, it’s time to get everything out of the wardrobe. If you’ve got the space, start laying everything out in the sections you’ve created, so that you can see it all in front of you. Looks a lot, right? That’s because it probably is! At this point you can probably start to see a colour palette forming, or maybe you’re drawn to a certain shape or fit. Now is the final step before getting it all in that suitcase, so its the last chance to get rid of anything you don’t need. Take a good look at everything – do you really need to take it? Will you wear it? If there’s even an ounce of doubt in your mind, put it back in the wardrobe! 

Culling everything that you don’t need before you start packing the case, means you’re less likely to have that last minute stress and panic that you can’t zip the case up, and reduces the risk of you pulling items out that you love just to get the thing shut! (Trust me, I’ve been there!)

Do you have any useful tips for packing a holiday wardrobe? What items would be at the absolute top of your list?

I’ll be shooting lots of my outfits whilst I’m away, so keep an eye out for an abundance of outfit posts when I return! 

C x

Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *