The Essentials You’ll Want In Your Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Getting stressed with holiday packing? I’m here to help you build a travel capsule wardrobe for a short trip this summer.

Packing for a summer trip can be hell. No actually, not even a ‘can be’. It IS hell. More so when you’re team hand luggage only. Your packing space is already limited, nothing seems to match well, and shopping never fixes the problem? Trust me, I get it. There is something which is going to help us all out though, and that’s an established travel capsule wardrobe.

For demonstration, let’s imagine we’re jetting away for a week in Europe. Maybe something like Portugal, Italy, Greece or Spain, as these tend to be popular destinations within the summer period. You’re looking at weather where you won’t need heavy layers, would like a variety of options, and don’t want to just wear floral dresses. Right? Challenge accepted.

So what makes this post worth the read? Well, I’d say my ability to get as many outfits as possible into hand luggage is somewhat impressive. Outfits that is, not clothes. I’ve also only travelled with cabin bags during my 7 years of travel blogging, and have a dislike towards standard summer fashion. Instead, the theme is minimalistic looks which scream ‘put together’. If that’s your vibe, you’re in good hands. Let’s go.

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An Example Packing List For A Travel Capsule Wardrobe:

The best thing about capsule wardrobes? Most of us probably have foolproof summer items already hiding away in storage boxes. You know, crop tops, oversized shirts and a loyal piece of denim. The type of clothing which made it into my bag for a recent trip to Barcelona and Lisbon. In fact, this was my exact list:

Upper Body:

  • -Oversized T-Shirt
  • -Plain T-Shirts x 4
  • -Denim Top
  • -Satin Crop Top
  • -Cami Top x 2
  • -Bodysuit
  • -Silk Shirt
  • -Cropped Jacket

Lower Body:

  • -Black ‘Cycle’ Shorts
  • -Jeans (I prefer baggy jeans with rips during summer)
  • -Satin Dress
  • -Cargo Trousers
  • -Black Cargo Shorts
  • -Midi Skirt

Footwear + Additional:

  • -Trainers x 2
  • -Sliders
  • -Belt
  • -Scrunchie (This will be an accessory in itself, seriously)
  • -Bag

Side note: Don’t forget you can take a duty-free bag in addition to your hand luggage. Fill it with clothing if you’re running out of space at any point. It’s one of the best travel tips out there.

A Few Objects Everyone Should Travel With:

In my eyes, some things should be a default feature when it comes to holiday prep. Ready? Okay… Laundry sachets, a portable travel iron, and a roller, to remove anything caught on clothing. You might have an iron in your accommodation, but I’ve stopped risking it. Nobody wants a creased skirt ruining their photos and mood.

Putting The Pieces To Work:

Below is how I styled everything which made it into the ‘you’re coming with me’ category. No irrelevant waffle, no lengthy introductions, just an honest tried-and-tested formula to play around with. To be honest, at a push I think a few more outfits could be squeezed from the basics we’re working with, but I’ll leave it for you to decide…

  1. Oversized T-Shirt + Cycle Shorts + Belt + Trainers
  2. Jeans + Denim Crop Top + Sliders
  3. Satin Dress + Trainers + Scrunchie
  4. Cropped Jacket + Cami Top + Cargo Trousers + Trainers + Belt
  5. Cargo Shorts + Bodysuit + Silk Shirt + Sliders + Scrunchie
  6. Midi Skirt + Plain T-Shirt + Trainers + Bag
  7. Satin Crop Top/T-Shirt + Satin Dress + Sliders
  8. Cargo Shorts + Plain T-Shirt + Silk Shirt + Bag + Sliders
  9. Cycle Shorts + Cami Top + Cropped Jacket + Trainers
  10. Jeans + Plain T-Shirt + Sliders + Scrunchie + Bag
A Few Of The Visuals:

What’s an outfit post without a few pictures, eh?

I wore the oversized t-shirt, cycle shorts, a little belt that resembles a plane seatbelt, and trainers, for a day of wandering around Barcelona. I needed something that concealed a food baby to the fullest lol. There’s nothing better than an oversized t-shirt in situations like these, honestly.

Uh oh. Double denim with jeans and a crop top, but as you can see, I’m all for it!

A little black dress will forever be THAT STAPLE WARDROBE ITEM EVERYONE NEEDS. I teamed mine with trainers to make it more casual, but please know I am not joking when I say this is my hiking outfit haha.

A moment for the bag. Thank you for dressing up the midi skirt, plain t-shirt and trainers.

Now that I’ve hopefully inspired everyone to rummage through their clothing, instead of automatically hitting the shops for something new, it would make sense if we had a few destinations lined up. In the mood for some city break travel inspo? I think you’ll find my post on 22 cool things to do in Barcelona interesting! Although, if you can’t take much time off work, don’t let that stop you. Instead, I’ll point you towards my recent post on a weekend in Lisbon. If there’s anything that would define ‘The Strawberry Snaps’ perfectly, it’s one vision – frequent travel around a 9-5 is not impossible!

Planning to venture outside of Europe? My guide to New York for first-timers might help! Or how about an epic bucketlist experience in Seoul?

If you’re after more visuals, I think you’ll like my vibe-y inspo videos on Instagram. I’ll catch you over there.


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