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Holiday capsule wardrobe: 6 easy outfits to take away with you

Perfect your packing list with these chic summer looks

Holiday Capsule Wardrobe
Orin Carlin
Orin CarlinContent Writer
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Whether you're jetting off to the Maldives for a full-blown exotic getaway or heading down to the South of France for a relaxing vineyard stay, all holidays share a common denominator. A packing list is utterly necessary to ensure that you look your best while gallivanting abroad, and that requires astute sartorial prowess. 

Holiday hours are precious, and you mustn't waste a second. Maximise your sunbathing time by deciding what you're going to wear before you've even topped up your air miles.

The key to perfecting your packing list is by curating a holiday capsule wardrobe. Curb the temptation to stuff everything and the kitchen sink into your suitcase, and instead employ an ounce of restraint. (Beware: maximalists may find this challenging.)

How to create a capsule holiday wardrobe

 When determining which pieces deserve to make the cut, consider versatility as the main criteria. Seek a one-piece swimsuit that would look killer by the pool, but also has the potential to double up as a restaurant-appropriate bodysuit over a pair of floaty wide-leg trousers. 

Likewise, invest in an airy pyjama-style co-ord that can be styled as a set or teamed with alternative separates to prove its usefulness; those by Denimist, With Nothing Underneath and French Connection are all excellent options.

READ: The 14 best designer beach bags for summer

MORE: 11 stylish linen dresses to pack for a summer getaway

Colour-wise, it pays to be restrained. Rest assured, we're not rejecting brighter hues as a rule – far from it – but a general theme is always a good idea if you don't have masses of suitcase space to spare.

Think of the shades that tend to suit your skin tone after some gentle sun exposure. Try and select colours that lend themselves to mixing and matching. By and large, it's difficult to go wrong with neutrals (think warm camel, deep tan, crisp white, dusty khaki and soft black), all of which can be accented by a statement vibrant accessory.

How we chose the pieces 

Each outfit is centred around one hero piece. The focal point is tied to a current trend, but not so much so that it would look out of place next season. A piece with an air of longevity, that can be styled in different ways so you can reap maximum wear. After scouring the internet's top fashion sites for these key picks, we have styled them alongside other pieces, taking into account style, quality, price point and comfort, to bring you some holiday outfit inspiration.

 Hello! Fashion shares our current favourite holiday capsule wardrobe outfits:

The dress

Blue one-shoulder mini dress and complementary accessories

Cool-girl cut-outs are everywhere this season, and this sky blue mini by Aussie label Bondi Born features them at the waist for added interest. The extra glimpse of skin is accented by a playful tie, and we adore the unfussy A-line shape. Gucci's Angelina slides with soft lilac monogram detailing would add a splash of Y2K appeal and elongate the line of the leg. For a hint of texture, consider Mango's white braided leather offering, which can be worn across the body or using the structured top handles for maximum wearability. Hermès' H Equipe earrings are in keeping with the soft pastel colourway, and don't forget to protect yourself from the sun - Arket's crochet hat is calling.

Bondi Born Mytros one-shoulder cutout linen-voile mini dress, £603.26, Net-A-Porter; Braided leather bag, £59.99, Mango; Gucci Angelina canvas-jacquard wedge slides, £495, Net-A-PorterH Equipe earrings, £430, Hermès; Crochet straw hat, £45, Arket 

READ: 5 jackets to wear with summer dresses – shop our favourite styles right now

RELATED: 10 minimalist outfits that you'll want to recreate this season

The shoes

Thick mules and complementary accessories

Alaïa's quirky cut-out mules are seriously cool, and the supple black leather alongside the rustic-feel wooden wedge feels like a material combination with enduring appeal. They would work extremely well with Tory Burch's chic ivory kaftan, crafted from lightweight cotton voile. The piece is infused with 'Quiet Luxury' appeal, and the shape is super forgiving. Spacious and understated, AllSaints' Allington bag is the neutral obsessive's ideal beach accompaniment. Top things off with H&M's affordable cat-eye shades, and save your cash for holiday indulgences.

Alaïa Black Sculpture Mules, £870, SSENSE; Allington Straw Tote Bag, £119, AllSaints, Jacquard caftan, £690, Tory Burch; Cat-eye sunglasses, £9.99, H&M

The sunglasses

Orange oval sunglasses and complementary accessories

Oval shades are the shape du jour according to our street style crushes Hailey Bieber and Emily Ratajkowski. This pair by Le Specs look far more expensive than they actually are, plus the tinted aspect adds a hint of nostalgia to an otherwise very classic look. High street hero Warehouse has unexpectedly been smashing it lately, and we are head over heels for its crochet maxi with a clean backless design. Mango's shoulder bag feels cool and current in shape, and we love the textural element afforded by rich beading. Complete the look with Dear Frances' ultra-versatile Rain sandals and Max Mara's glamorous Corona hat.

Spiral shoulder bag, £49.99, Mango; Le Specs Magnifique oval-frame plastic sunglasses, £65, Selfridges; Max Mara Corona canvas-trimmed straw hat, £245, Net-A-Porter; Crochet Maxi Dress, £49, Warehouse; Rain Sandals, £335, Dear Frances

The bag

Gold shell clutch and complementary accessories

The shell is a treasured motif within the Cult Gaia aesthetic, and we're totally on board. Whether it's the Mermaidcore trend rubbing off on us, or just the extremely pleasing fan-shaped composition, its Nala clutch is at the very top of our summer accessory wish list. This is echoed in Johanna Ortiz's Era of Palms maxi and we love its Art Deco edge. If you're looking to invest in a pair of timeless shades, Celine never disappoints. Its oval Triomphe frames are tinted with a sludgy green hue, and would therefore tie in perfectly with the Johanna Ortiz maxi. Finish the look with cream buckled slides by Charles & Keith.

Triomphe Metal 01 Sunglasses, £410, Celine; Johanna Ortiz Era of Palms printed hammered-silk maxi dress, £1,330, Net-A-Porter; Gabine Buckled Leather Slides, £95, Charles & Keith; Cult Gaia Nala shell-detail mini clutch, £470, Farfetch 

The co-ord

Striped co-ord and complementary accessories

Airy, pyjama-style co-ords will stand you in excellent stead when it comes to maximising your suitcase space. While Denimist's striped separates rack up a pretty hefty price tag in total, they are guaranteed to deliver on versatility. Investing in and taking care of quality basics is key if you want your capsule wardrobe to last well beyond next holiday season. Wear the shirt over a swimsuit by the pool for some sun respite, or style the shorts with Arket's classic white racerback and Whistles' Shai chunky sole flip flops for a minimalist moment. Top things off with Prya's affordable Katia earrings for a pop of Mediterranean blue.

Denimist Oversized striped cotton-poplin shirt, £255, Net-A-Porter; Denimist Striped cotton-piqué shorts, £290, Net-A-Porter; Shai Toe Post Sandals, £129, Whistles; Rib Racer Tank Top, £15, Arket; Katia earrings, £26, Prya

The swimsuit

Patterned swimsuit and complementary accessories

A statement one-piece is a great way to make a splash at the poolside, and we can't get enough of Agua by Agua Bendita's hand-embroidered Mejorana design. Infused with beading, the swimsuit features a geometric diamond pattern which ties in perfectly with with Miguelina Arukia's delicate crochet coverup. For affordable leather slides, Zara has you covered, and we adore these tortoiseshell shades by cool eyewear purveyor Chimi.

Agua by Agua Bendita Mejorana cutout embroidered recycled swimsuit, £800, Net-A-Porter; Miguelina Arukia crocheted-cotton pareo, £425, Net-A-Porter; 10 Havana sunglasses, £120, Chimi; Leather heeled crossover sandals, £49.99, Zara

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