Weekend City Break: Create the Best Capsule Wardrobe for the Summer

Planning a summer city break? Let me wager a guess. You’re going through your wardrobe with a helpless look on your face, thinking, “How am I supposed to pick what to wear? This is impossible!”. As a personal stylist, I know just the right tricks!

Planning a summer city break?

Let me wager a guess. You’re going through your wardrobe with a helpless look on your face, thinking, “How am I supposed to pick what to wear? This is impossible!”

I understand. Creating the perfect capsule wardrobe for summer can be a challenge, especially if you have limited space in your carry-on.

But that is what a great capsule wardrobe is all about – it is a wonderful collection of pieces that can be combined into multiple different outfits.

And as a personal stylist, I know just the right tricks!

10 Summer Style Essentials: A Quick Rundown

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of creating your outfits, here’s a quick overview of the 10 essentials that should go in your bag:

  1. A dress that flatters your body shape and keeps you cool
  2. Elegant shoes (heels aren’t necessary – you can wear pointy flats, for example)
  3. Trainers suitable for long walks (ideally in a style or colour that matches the rest of your wardrobe)
  4. An accessory such as earrings or a belt (this can be your statement piece, as we’ll discuss later)
  5. A pair of shorts that complements your body shape and supports your aesthetic (for instance, high-waisted chic shorts are super classy)
  6. A bag that goes with both your dress and your shorts
  7. Sunglasses with UV protection that complement your face shape
  8. First T-shirt or blouse
  9. Second T-shirt or blouse (in a colour that reflects one of the colours in your ‘wow’ colour palette would be great here)
  10. A light knit/sweater as an option for if it gets colder in the evenings

But hold on – there’s more. Throwing anything in your bag as long as it fits the list isn’t the way to go because it may leave you with pieces that aren’t very multifunctional.

It’s time to put our heads together and think strategically. Let’s talk colours, practicality, and statement pieces.

My Tips For Your Travel Capsule Wardrobe

What clothing style makes you feel most comfortable and empowered? That’s the first question to ask yourself.

There are 3 simple style aesthetics below, that you might find yourself resonating with. You could opt for:

a simple and classic look (think a weekend getaway to Paris, perusing the Champs-Élysées)

Weekend City Break: Create the Best Capsule Wardrobe for the Summer 1

Dress – Fenwick

Bardot Top – Wolf & Badger

Wrap Top – The Fold

Vest – Mint Velvet

Shorts – 7forallmankind

Sandals – Carvela

Trainers – LØCI

Bag – COS

Sunglasses – Reiss

Earrings – Monica Vinader

a retro vibe (think a girls’ trip to Marseille, shopping along the coastline)

Weekend City Break: Create the Best Capsule Wardrobe for the Summer 2

Dress – Hush

T-Shirt – Mint Velvet

Halter Neck – Superdry

Shorts – Levi’s

Sandals – White Stuff

Trainers – Converse

Bag – LK Bennett

Sunglasses – Vallon

Earrings – Ania Haie

a more boohoo style (think a writing retreat in picturesque Gruyères, soaking up the beautiful scenery)

Weekend City Break: Create the Best Capsule Wardrobe for the Summer 3

Dress – Abercrombie & Fitch

Top – Abercrombie & Fitch

Vest – The Kooples

Shorts – COS

Sandals – Ugg

Bag – Monsoon

Belt – Jigsaw

Sunglasses – John Lewis

Earrings – Wolf & Moon

To help you decide, look at the clothes you already have and choose pieces that you love to wear. Then, edit that edit, and see which pieces bring you joy and will get the most use for your getaway. If your reaction to any piece is indifferent, put those clothes back in the wardrobe, they won’t be coming on this trip!

You should now have an assembly of pieces you really like. Next, remove all pieces that are predominantly black. This is a summer city break, after all, and research shows wearing black makes a significant difference when it comes to how hot you get. (Definitely consider this, if you find yourself super sensitive to heat changes or plan to do a lot of outdoor activities in high temperatures).

Wear something light and colourful or include more white into your city break capsule wardrobe – as white is more likely to reflect more light away from your body, hopefully keeping you cooler. (The black clothing vs white clothing debate is a complicated one, but both have it’s benefits!)

Weekend City Break: Create the Best Capsule Wardrobe for the Summer 4

And now for the 10 essentials described above! You should ideally be able to style your T-shirts or blouses with your pair of shorts, as well as your trainers, elegant shoes, and a sweater.

However, this very same sweater should also coordinate nicely with your dress. For this purpose, it’s incredibly important to consider colour and fit. Your pieces should be able to be mixed and matched when restyled for different occasions over the holiday weekend, whether it’s a casual, al fresco lunch or an impromptu wine tasting in the vineyards.

As for shape, have you heard of the popular belt trick? One way to accentuate your waist is to tuck your sweater into a belt that matches your outfit, or create a half tuck (French Tuck). If you’ve picked a boho maxi dress, you can also hide the belt or wear a cropped sweater over it instead.

But what about the bag? I hear you say. How do I team it with my dress and my shorts? A canteen bag or a chic shoulder bag will do the trick. Try to focus on a style that will accommodate what you consider to be your essentials. If you’re a ‘just-in-caser’ like me, then a larger style canteen or tote bag would definitely suit you better.

Perfect! All your pieces can now be combined when it comes to colour, shape, and practicality.

My last tip is to always bring a statement piece with you. This is a part of your outfit that makes you stand out, and it can be anything from a bold pair of earrings, to an elevated pair of wedges or a flattering, summer midi dress with a geometric print.

Perfect Capsule Wardrobe in 2023: Conclusion

And there you have it, all your city break essentials in one suitcase, ready to go! Don’t forget to bring some sunscreen and a reusable water bottle as well – it gets hot in cities.

If you’re still feeling unsure about the pieces in your capsule wardrobe or if you have any other fashion-related concerns, why not reach out and book my personal styling services? As a personal stylist in London, I offer both virtual and face-to-face consultations.

Let’s work together to make sure your wardrobe expresses the authentic you!

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