Isn’t this weather glorious? Last week, we were lucky enough to have a little adventure on board Royal Caribbean’s newly refurbished Independence on the Seas, and from there I went straight to Gatwick for a quick overnight at the BLOC Hotel there (write up coming soon) before flying to Palma on assignment for Cruise International for the launch of Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) brand new ship, Marella Explorer. Fab fun, but the challenge was that I had to have cabin baggage only for two trips, which forced me to think long and hard about what I needed to take. Happily, this means that I’ve been testing out the perfect holiday capsule wardrobe and I think I’ve come pretty close.
Firstly, let me just say that you might have totally different taste to me, and I’m certainly no fashion expert, so don’t for a second imagine that I’m creating a set of rules to follow. You might hate shorts and decide to pack more simple t-shirt dresses for day, or really want to take a pair of heels (I can’t wear them – it’s a centre of gravity thing that makes me fall over). I do think, though, for the perfect holiday capsule wardrobe you’ve really got to pick a colour scheme. I’m a monochrome gal so this was an easy one for me: white, black, a bit of grey, some denim… although I always think tan is lovely for sandals in the summer and maybe your bag too. You might decide to go navy and white, or even go bonkers with colour. The key is just make sure everything goes with everything else!
1 Mix and match essentials
A few t-shirts and vests in your chosen colour scheme are a good start. I took t-shirts in white, black, grey and a black/white stripe plus vests in black and white (I didn’t use either of the vests in the end). If you’re a shorts person, denim (either black, blue or even white) is perfect as it goes with everything. I always buy shorts on the loose side, they’re so much more flattering if you size up. I love these simple black cotton ones.
2 Day to night dresses
I do love a simple black dress, especially with a denim jacket if it gets nippy in the evening. Although I’m a bit taken with this stripe midi. Gorgeous with Converse in the day for sightseeing and wandering, then perfect dressed up for evening with tan sandals and some simple jewellery.
3 Undies and swimwear
I’m obsessed with the multipack cotton high leg knickers at M&S. I’ll often buy a new pack just to take on holiday. I’m not a massive fan of nude underwear, so I’ll take a black and a white bra (this two pack is perfect). I actually quite like the look of a bikini top under a plain vest top as well.
M&S have recently released a new range of premium swimsuits in collaboration with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley that have secret slimming and tummy control technology and look gorgeous. I love this palm print one but there’s also a fab off-the-shoulder version, and a gorgeous white bandeau with a colourful palm print.
Slightly away from the capsule packing theme (but I suppose you could include it as your day to night dress) is this flipping divine palm print maxi, also from Rosie for Autograph:
4 Shoes and sandals
If you use your trainers for travelling (and sightseeing), you basically just need flip flops for the pool and a fab pair of sandals that are pretty enough to wear in the evening (I’m not a heels person, but I guess you could squeeze some in too). I’m a bit taken with these orange leather sandals (new in and also available in tan, black and white).
I really struggled with this one. I have a pretty much standard kit that I use for travelling, but most of these items are over 100ml (and I also take far too much) so I had to have a total rethink. M&S have a good range of travel sized toiletries including this cute little version of the Emma Hardie Moringa cleansing balm, which is amazing for massaging into skin before removing with a warm, damp cloth.
Equally, I tried not to go too bonkers with the make-up, taking just a tinted moisturiser, bronzer, mascara and gel eyeliner, which I just smudged into my lashline. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or golden shimmer dry oil smells amazing and is a great multitasker. Use it for making your shoulders and shins gleam, smooth a tiny bit through hair to defrizz or press onto cheekbones to create a soft glow. It smells amazing too so you can forego perfume.
6 A jacket
And finally, you really need a good multitasking jacket. I think a denim jacket is perfect for travelling (I always wear black jeans as I’m not a fan of double denim), BUT I’ve recently discovered the white denim jacket and I think I’m a bit addicted. It just seems a tiny bit smarter than the usual denim, and it would go particularly well over floral maxi dresses, I think.
Et voila! Cram it all in your carry on and off you go, no extra charges or standing in the baggage reclaim for you. Got any capsule packing tips? You know where to find me. Happy travels xx