Travelling celebs and their stylists make dressing to impress look effortlessly easy, but most of us mere mortals have to work with more modest budgets and within airline luggage limits.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel a million dollars while on holiday. With some forward planning and a stash of quality basics that you can mix and match — often referred to as a ‘capsule wardrobe’ — you can actually achieve a wide variety of looks from within one well packed suitcase.
When pre-planning your Australian holiday wardrobe, remember that depending on the time of year and where you’re travelling to, the weather can be very changeable (the ‘four seasons in one day’ rule in Melbourne is a perfect example). Your outfits should not only have you looking great, they should also keep you as comfortable as possible whatever the weather decides to do. Pack pieces made from natural, breathable fabrics that you can layer up or down as needed.
Sun protection is also an important consideration. Many of us spend more time outdoors while on holiday and it can be tempting to wear as little as possible to stay cool. However, this strategy has its risks, include sunburn or even worse, heatstroke. Choose loose fitting clothing that won’t trap heat close to the body, but will keep you protected from the sun.
So, what are the essential items for your holiday capsule wardrobe? Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.
When travelling, you invariably spend more time than usual on your feet. Walking between gates at the airport, transferring to your hotel, and general sightseeing will all get your steps up. A quality pair of trainers or walking shoes are essential, so that your feet can breathe while still being adequately supported. The last thing you want is blisters, so if you’re buying new shoes for the trip, break them in well in advance.
New season wedges are a great option when you want to add a touch of glamour to your outfit in a warm weather setting. They’re stylish, comfortable and offer a wide range of colour and style choices — including the material that makes up the upper shoe, and whether or not they have a closed toe.
Lower body wear is obviously season dependent. In cooler climates you’ll opt for jeans and trousers over shorts and midi skirts, but keep in mind that even in winter many Australian cities experience quite mild daytime conditions. You may actually need a mix of clothing types to get by comfortably. Go for classic cuts and neutral tones.
Jeans, wide leg trousers or linen pants can all be matched easily with must-have-in-your-kit white tees and breezy boho blouses. Complete your look in cooler temps with a stylish jacket, or add colour and texture in summer with a scarf or pashmina.
The maxi dress is a versatile summer holiday all-rounder, that translates easily from day to night. Maxis exude a sense of style, while keeping the wearer cool and comfortable. They look and feel fabulous, without taking up much space in your case.
Good headwear is also a must — as much for style as it is for protection from the elements. While a Panama hat is not an easy item to pack (so consider wearing it on the plane), it will work wonders in summer holiday mode and goes with pretty much everything. Not only are beanies and scarfs practical in winter conditions, they’re loads of fun to wear and can really reflect your personality.
What swimwear to pack for a beach holiday is a vexed question for many of us. The experts suggest playing it safe with a classically cut one piece in black or white. You can then bring in colour using a sarong or summer shawl.
Look and feel great on holiday with a well-thought-out capsule wardrobe. You’ll return home relaxed and rejuvenated, and ready to take on the year ahead.
Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of tips for planning the perfect holiday capsule wardrobe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.