Fashion

Last minute holiday shopping: 11 editor-approved pieces for the perfect capsule wardrobe

Posted by
Billie Bhatia
Published

You’ve chosen your destination and booked your last-minute flight. Now, what to pack? Follow these Stylist fashion editor-approved steps for a complete capsule wardrobe that will never see you over luggage weight again. 

We’ve all been that person. The one who wears the same four items of clothes on rotation at work but the idea of packing for a 3-day trip induces some kind of madness, which results in chaotic over-packing (and likely a hefty overweight luggage fine before we have even boarded the plane) of 18 dresses, 4 bags and countless pairs of shoes.

What we really need is a capsule wardrobe of interchangeable pieces that will see us through a last-minute bank holiday getaway, and still leave space to fill our cases with souvenirs and 8kg of foreign sweets from the airport. 

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It’s easy to think you need six different kaftans for three days in the sun (one of which you will be touristing), but if you’re smart about the pieces you pack, and what you travel in, you’ll find you too can be one of those magical people who ‘packs light’. (Honestly, it’s taken us decades to work this out).

First up is the travel outfit, this requires a look that is comfortable, practical and stylish. It’s easy to get carried away with your travel look. There is an inherent desire in all of us to throw on our most whimsical sun dress, giant Jacquemus inspired hat and a beach bag, but the reality is going through passport control dressed like you’re already on the beach is actually a huge inconvenience. 

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Think of your travel look like fashion lego - building blocks for the rest of your holiday wardrobe. 

Our go-to look is jeans and a light-weight jumper, because 1) you can unbutton your jeans when you sit down 2) the airplane air conditioning is always colder than you think and 3) your return to England’s downpour will mean you won’t want to get caught short wearing your favourite sun dress.

Then it’s a continuation of building blocks from there. Don’t believe us? Here’s the 11 pieces (suitcase included) that will see you through your last-minute get away and beyond. 

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  • Away Carry-On Suitcase

    Away Carry-On Suitcase
    Away Carry-On Suitcase

    You can do it. You can pack for a holiday with just a carry-on case. Light weight, easy to wheel and even easier to pack, you’re holiday begins with this Away case. Finished with a leather pocket at the front to store your holiday reading / laptop for Netflix - you choose. 

    Carry-on with pocket, £325, Away 

  • Kitri Lenora Black Midi Dress

    Kitri Lenora Black Midi Dress
    Kitri Lenora Black Midi Dress

    You need one dress, I repeat one dress. With it’s trend lead puff-sleeves and button midi length, Kitri’s ever-popular Lenora dress ticks all our weekend away boxes and is effortless chic for all occasions. 

    Button-down dress, £125, Kitri 

  • Desmond and Dempsey pyjamas

    Desmond and Dempsey pyjamas
    Desmond and Dempsey pyjamas

    Sleeping in a bed that is not your own calls for extra special pyjamas. Desmond and Dempsey’s iconic print should do the trick in elevated pjs. 

    Tiger blue print pyjamas, £120, Desmond and Dempsey 

  • Cos Black Swimsuit

    Cos Black Swimsuit
    Cos Black Swimsuit

    Keep it simple when it comes to swimwear to avoid awkward tan lines. This Cos swimsuit has just enough detail for to keep it from being in the boring camp, and stylish enough that it feels totally chic. 

    Cross-over scoop bac swimsuit, £35, Cos 

  • Celine Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

    Celine Tortoiseshell Sunglasses
    Celine Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

    What would a weekend away be without sunglasses? These Celine cat-eye sunglasses will add an instant element of glamour to even your most paired back look. 

    Tortoiseshell sunglasses, £290, Celine 

  • M&S Linen Shirt

    M&S Linen Shirt
    M&S Linen Shirt

    Make your pieces work harder but using this linen shirt as your beach cover-up worn open with your swimsuit as well as your touristing day out. 

    Linen shirt, £29.50, M&S 

  • Chylak Cross-Body Bag

    Chylak Cross-Body Bag
    Chylak Cross-Body Bag

    Being handsfree on holiday is necessary not only because it allows you to be constantly holding an ice cream. But also because how are you going to capture all that #content if you’re bound by your cumbersome beach bag. 

    Croc-effect leather shoulder bag, £300, Chylak 

  • J.Crew Cashmere Jumper

    J.Crew Cashmere Jumper
    J.Crew Cashmere Jumper

    Your travel companion (aside from your passport) will be this light-weigh cashmere jumper from J.Crew. Coming in a whole range of sizes and colours, your airplane outfit never looked so good. 

    Cashmere jumper, £119, J.Crew 

  • Kurt Geiger Embellished Sandals

    Kurt Geiger embellished sandals
    Kurt Geiger embellished sandals

    You want in on the ugly dad-sandal trend, but you’re not willing to get too ugly? These embellished Kurt Geiger sandals will do just the trick. And they will be the comfiest things you ever wear, period. 

    Embellished sandals, £129, Kurt Geiger 

  • Madewell Straight Leg Jeans

    Madewell Straight Leg Jeans
    Madewell Straight Leg Jeans

    With their vintage light wash and easy-to-wear straight leg style wear these Madewell jeans for both travelling and roaming in comfort and style. 

    Mid-rise jeans, £115, Madewell

  • Zara Pearl Hairclips

    Zara Pearl Hairclips
    Zara Pearl Hairclips

    Just because you are packing light, doesn’t mean you need to scrimp on the details. Jazz up your poolside look, your day time attire and your evening outfit with this handy pack of four beautiful pearl clips. 

    Pearl clip set, £15.99, Zara 

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Images: courtesy of brands 

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