Capsule Wardrobe Guide for Summer Travel in 2023 (Avoid doing THIS!)

Ready for your next summer getaway? You have booked your plane tickets and prepared your travel itinerary, and now, it’s time to pack your suitcase.

Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a traveling rookie, you want to bring along all your favorite outfits to your next destination. However, there’s no way to fit your entire wardrobe in a suitcase – you need to pack smart, so that you save space without compromising on your style.

With that said, it’s time to pack your most Instagram-worthy looks! Here’s the ultimate guide for the most optimal vacation wardrobe:

What to Include in Capsule Wardrobe for Travel Summer?

Your capsule wardrobe for summer travel should encompass interchangeable items, which is crucial if you’d like to travel right. Besides, if you would like to purchase some souvenirs or keepsakes, don’t forget to save up some space for those as well.

With that said, here’s our recommended packing list for your summer vacation:

  • 2 dresses
  • 4 long or short sleeved tops
  • 1 classic blazer
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 pair of casual pants
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 workout set
  • 3 bras (including a sports bra)
  • 1 silk nightgown / pajamas

Now, let’s move on to accessories. Here’s what else to include in your seasonal capsule closet:

  • 1 hat
  • a pair of sunglasses
  • walking shoes
  • sandals
  • dressing shoes
  • a pair of sneakers / trainers / hiking shoes

Planning Your Summer Getaway Collection

The perfect capsule wardrobe should withstand the wear and tear of traveling while filling you with joy. To avoid hassles and wardrobe malfunctions, it should include functional garments that you’ll happily wear multiple times.

As you document your travels and share your experiences on social media, it’s crucial that you look good in every picture. So, make sure to prioritize style, in tandem with, of course, functionality.

With that said, let’s break down some principles, which will help you build your dream capsule wardrobe travel summer in 2023:

Follow the 3:1 Ratio

When sorting your clothes out, follow the 3:1 packing ratio, which refers to the number of tops (3) per every pair of bottom (1) included in your capsule wardrobe travel summer. Pioneered by Anne McAlpin, the 3:1 ratio will expand your outfit options, allowing you to mix-and-match versatile pieces with ease.

The ratio ensures that you do laundry without overwhelming yourself, washing your tops more often than the bottoms – hence, allowing yourself to re-wear the same pair of bottoms in different outfits.

Choose A Central Color

Your minimalist collection must have a central color or color palette, which complements your personal style and enables easier outfit coordination.

Here are our tips for selecting a central color:

  • Choose a color that goes well with your skin tone – do not underestimate this tip. Your skin complexion and innate undertones make a tremendous difference in summer, especially with revealing attire.
  • Try to match shoes and accessories – maintaining a central color across shoes and accessories, such as sunglasses, hats, and silk scarves, will make assembling outfits much easier!
  • Observe your existing clothes – does your current wardrobe feature a recurring color or pattern? Be it different shades of red or simply, denim, you can build your clothing collection around a certain print, texture, or color scheme that’s already present across your clothing options.

Do Not Forget the Summer Essentials

No wardrobe is complete without the essentials – no matter what’s ‘in vogue’ for the given hot season. From the linen pants to the classic graphic t-shirt, summer staples elevate your outfits and maximize your outfit options. Most importantly, they are immune to trends, so you can wear them confidently without looking outdated.

With that said, we will unfold some of the key classic summer essentials for your travel collection. Note that these basics should be supplemented with accent pieces that align with your personal taste in fashion, body type, and travel destination.

The Straw Bag

Keep your belongings secure and safeguard them from direct sunlight with the classic straw bag. Made with natural materials, the bag is often an eco-friendly and stylish choice.

With its complex texture and sturdy build, the straw bag holds up for years and exudes a sense of elegance. The homespun bag is sure to elevate polished looks with a laid-back, seasonal touch.

The Classic Sunhat

Functional yet sophisticated, the classic sunhats adds a sense of glamour to any look. Originating in the late Victorian era, this classic accessory protects your skin in the sunshine while bringing depths to to the most basic summer outfits.

For a signature look, opt for the classic wide-brimmed sunhat, which features brims over 3 inches wide to maintain substantial coverage for sun protection.

A Beach Coverup

From the beach to a night out, a beach coverup is a versatile garment, which can be worn over a bikini or used as a party dress. This multi-functional piece can be dressed up or down with various accessories, making it a perfect addition to your summer collection.

The Little White Dress

This is the summer equivalent of the little black dress. With its bright white color, the little white dress is the ultimate summer wardrobe staple, which can be paired with a pair of open-toe sandals, minimalist strappy heels, or a vibrant handbag.

For an evening look, it can be elevated with eye-catching makeup and diamond jewelry. For the daytime, on the other hand, it can be worn with a pair of espadrilles and a straw bag – the opportunities are endless!

The One-Piece Swimsuit

The one-piece swimsuit suits all body types – whether you’re small- or large-chested. Besides, it is multifunctional, as it can be worn as a bodysuit with a pair of casual pants.

Reimagine Your Garments as Multifunctional

We think of each garment we own in a single context, not realizing that they can double for multiple uses. This is important to notice, as you try to pack as lightly as possible.

  • A cotton T-shirt can be used as a nightgown or a beach cover up.
  • A simple silk scarf can be used as a headscarf, wrap skirt, veil, hair band, or even a top!
  • An oversized blazer that’s timeless in your wardrobe can transform into a sleek dress.

Capsule Wardrobe Travel Summer 2023: What to Avoid

Like other travelers, you may be interested in checking out outdoor musicals or entertainment venues in public squares, museums, or other locations. So, before packing, think about what outdoor activities you will engage in throughout your summer travel.

Pro Tip: If you will go on walking tours, consider bringing light-colored clothing with you to avoid parching yourself in the heat.

Yet, regardless of what activities you pursue, it’s crucial to make yourself feel comfortable in your own skin. Unfortunately, with their moisture-trapping properties, synthetic materials can be inconvenient and even dangerous in the summertime.

With that said, here’s what you should avoid wearing synthetic fibers in summer, no matter the occasion:

Avoid Wearing Synthetic Fabrics In the Heat

Synthetic fabrics are by-products of petroleum, They are made of cheap raw materials, often sprayed with hazardous chemicals. Since they’re not breathable like natural fibers, they heat up and suffocate the skin in the summertime.

Without proper fiber pockets for air circulation, synthetic fibers provide no insulation or thermoregulation. Instead, they adhere to the body, trapping heat and moisture in their fibers.

What’s worse, synthetic fibers cause skin issues, especially in summer. As they’re heavily processed with chemicals, they can trigger skin rashes, eczema, and itching. So, make sure to eliminate the following manmade fabrics from your summer attire:

  • Viscose
  • Polyester
  • Rayon
  • Viscose
  • Spandex

Prioritize Natural Fabrics

In summer, prioritize garments made of natural, sustainable fabrics like cotton, hemp, linen, and natural silk. Not only they’re hypoallergenic but also exceptionally good at thermoregulation, keeping you cool and comfortable in hot weather.

Most importantly, natural fabrics eliminate all the inconveniences like itching, rashes, and sweat, granting you maximum comfort during fun outdoor activities.

Choose Linen

An ancient natural fabric, linen is well-known for its ventilation properties. The reason behind this lies in the complex weaves of the flax plant, which allow air to go through its fibers freely. The wind penetrates the fabric easily, boosting its moisture-wicking properties.

With its hypoallergenic properties, linen features exceptional breathability and durability, which make them a great alternative to synthetic fabrics. Ultimately, it is an undisputed favorite among all fabrics when it comes to summer wear.

Invest in Matching Two-Piece Linen Sets

To level up your capsule closet, invest in two-piece linen matching sets. Crafting that airy, vacay-ready look in an instant, two-piece linen sets allow you to mix-and-match the pieces with other clothes.

Linen co-ords are versatile, as they can be paired with graphic t-shirts, a cardigan for layering, or an oversized blazer. The matching separates can produce multiple looks, resulting in unexpected combinations. This makes them a perfect staple for your capsule wardrobe travel summer.


As you go over your itinerary, you can start thinking about how to pack light yet smart. This entails taking a look at your current wardrobe, picking out a common color scheme, and gathering up all your summer staples.

Besides, it’s crucial to think outside the box! What items could serve multiple functions? what garments could work in different outfits? Fall in love with your clothes all over again and reimagine them as you bring them with you on your next summer adventure.

Given that, your brand new capsule wardrobe travel summer is sure to level up your outfit coordination game while making your trip hassle-free.

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