The Essentials You Need For Your Perfect Vacation Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes have increasingly become more popular over the past several years, with people realizing that more material pieces don't always mean a better style. "A capsule wardrobe is a concise, curated selection of timeless clothing. It can vary from person to person based on our differing lifestyles, but the best pieces are the kind that can be worn at work, during cocktail hour, and dressed down on the weekend," designer Misha Nonoo tells InStyle. People choose to create a capsule wardrobe for a variety of reasons, whether it be because they want less stress when choosing what to wear or, simply, because they have a small closet.

One of the perfect times to curate a capsule wardrobe is when you are packing a vacation wardrobe. If you are taking a long trip with only one suitcase, you most likely can't bring endless outfits due to them not fitting. With a capsule wardrobe, you will still be able to make up plenty of outfits, but with fewer pieces.

Once you have decided on the color scheme of the trip and the type of weather you are preparing to venture into, you are all set to begin picking clothing for your trip. In order to help you maximize your new minimal wardrobe, we have curated a list of fashion essentials necessary for creating the perfect capsule wardrobe.

A few seasonless basics

"Aside from outerwear, my pieces generally stay the same throughout the year," Misha Nonoo tells InStyle when speaking about her beliefs on seasonless style. In today's society, it is easy to take basic pieces and layer them to fit the weather. For example, if you are vacationing in a warm destination, a button-down can be worn as an open shirt over your favorite cropped tee, but if you are vacationing in cooler weather, the same button-down can be used as a base layer with a sweater over the top.

Three tops that are weather appropriate

Aside from basics, three tops that are weather appropriate and easy to layer are necessary. While staying in your chosen color scheme, choose three fashion tops that are appropriate for the temperature. If you are vacationing somewhere tropical, you may choose a silk camisole, cropped top, and a graphic t-shirt, whereas if you are vacationing in the mountains, you may choose a sweater, a cardigan, and a turtleneck. When you layer these fun pieces with some seasonless basics it creates endless outfit possibilities. 

Three bottoms in your preferred color scheme

To pair with your tops, you will need three bottoms. These bottoms should stay within your color scheme so they can easily mix and match with the tops of your choosing. According to Dressbarn's capsule wardrobe checklist, you should have a mix of jeans and pants. This will give you casual, business casual, and elegant options to choose from depending on the activity. These bottoms can be interchanged depending on where you are going as well (shorts may be more appropriate than long pants, for example).

Three pairs of shoes

Ensure that you pack three pairs of neutral shoes in your vacation capsule wardrobe. The pairs should fall into the following categories: practical, day-date worthy, and "going out" shoes. Fashion stylist Tan France tells MasterClass that there are three shoes essential to every woman's capsule wardrobe: white sneakers, heels, and flats. Luckily, these fall into the categories of needed shoes for most vacations. These shoes are all versatile enough to be paired with plenty of looks and elevate basic outfits to a new level.

A versatile day to night dress

You can create many outfits for both day and night with one simple dress. For example, a LBD can be styled down by wearing sneakers or styled up by wearing heels. Simple changes can create a whole new outfit. Plus, dresses are only one piece, which is great for space-saving, and often all it takes is one other piece or a few accessories to dress the item up or down. Instagram health influencer Esha shares a photo of her wearing a denim jacket over her LBD, which makes the look appropriate for a day date.

Accessories to make repeat outfits look new

Accessories take up little room in a suitcase, making them the perfect way to give a new feel to a repeat look. A simple belt can be the pop of color your outfit is lacking or a pair of sunglasses could be a practical, yet fashionable, final touch. MasterClass explains that accessories are a great way to dress up even the most basic of outfits. The same clothing pieces can be taken from day to night, just by switching accessories like your jewelry and handbag.

A light jacket

A light jacket is essential, no matter where you are traveling. Even in tropical destinations, night times can be chilly and restaurants can be cold. It is better to be safe than sorry that you didn't pack one, plus a jacket can create a whole new outfit through the power of layering. If you choose to pack an oversized blazer as your light jacket, you could wear it as a dress like Instagram influencer Christie Allison pictured above.