Holiday packing – now it is time to consider your clothes!!

holiday packingWhen you are holiday packing, to ensure that you pack light and wear everything that you take with you, your clothes have got to work hard and support one another.  You need to be realistic and practical with the clothes that you choose and they must mix and match with one another.

The items that get into your suitcase should be versatile – can they be dressed up or down by changing accessories.  Could you wear  something in the evening with glamorous accessories and then during the day with flip flops or shorts?

For example, you could wear a dress with jewellery and sparkly shoes/heels in the evening and then sightseeing or to the beach during the day; alternatively you could wear a kaftan with white/beige trousers in the evening and then as a beach cover up afterwards.


What not to do!
What not to do!

Remember that feet tend to swell due to flying and the heat therefore some shoes that you can wear quite comfortably at home will be a painful nightmare whilst you are away. Most people over pack with the number of shoes that they take away with them! If you follow the colour rules (see below) then you really can limit your shoes to a maximum of 4 pairs for a 2 week beach holiday!

You can honestly manage with: a pair of flipflops for the beach, 2 x sandals/pumps (walking, sightseeing, sparkly &/or heels) plus a pair of trainers/walking shoes if you are likely to be sightseeing or walking alot. If you are taking trainers wear them on the journey as they probably weigh more than your other shoes and will be comfortable whilst you are travelling. Also avoid heavy wedges or platforms because of potential excess weight and they could be difficult to walk in.

bikini suitcaseYour Travelling Outfit?

  • Think – lightweight layers – cotton trousers, yoga pants, avoid tight jeans. If you are taking a jacket wear it on the journey.
  • Take a pashmina with you as it can be used to keep you warm on the journey and as an evening cover-up when you arrive.
  • Take/wear warm socks if you are flying long haul.
  • Use your beach bag as your carry on luggage if you have a suitcase in the hold.


This is the most important element of planning your holiday wardrobe because if you limit the number of colours that you take with you, you will create the ultimate mix and match capsule wardrobe!

Base your clothes around 2 neutrals & a maximum of 3 other colours. For example if you know your seasonal colouring you could base your suitcase on the following:

  • Winter – Black & white + bright pink, turquoise & bright blue.
  • Summer – Navy & white + pale pink, denim blue & soft purple.
  • Autumn – Chocolate brown & beige + teal blue, orange & olive.
  • Spring – Beige & cream + coral, lime & lemon.

You could use a top, dress, scarf or skirt with some of these colours in to help you select the colours for your trip. If you are going on a shorter trip then I would limit the number of colours further. This honestly makes all the difference to having lots of choice whilst you are away as well as allowing you to travel light.

Here is a suggested holiday packing list – you can swap some of the items around, so if for example you prefer dresses then just leave out a couple of bottoms. However if you know you will need specialist clothes because you are on an activity holiday, ensure that you leave room for them!

A Two Week Summertime Beach Holiday Suitcase

  • 6 x bottom halves – your choice will depend on your preference for skirts, trousers/jeans or shorts plus the activities you plan to do.
  • Travel.2 x going out tops
  • 2 x dresses
  • A selection of mainly plain tops for day and evening
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 x jacket
  • 2 x bikinis/swimsuits
  • 1 x sarong &/or 1 x kaftan (to match)
  • 1 x beach towel

Accessories – keep these simple, use to add interest + tie in with colour palette.

  • 1 x pair of flip flops
  • 2 x pairs of “walking shoes” (pumps, sandals, trainers)
  • 1 x pair of  heels/evening shoes
  • Selection of jewellery – necklaces, earrings, bracelets
  • 1 or 2 wraps/pashminas
  • 1 x Belt?
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 x Beach bag, evening bag & day bag
  • Sun hat
  • PJs & underwear

If you aren’t going on a beach holiday you can still use this template to adapt your holiday packing by basing your capsule suitcase wardrobe on a few colours with garments that co-ordinate and work with one another.

Having a well packed and streamlined suitcase is the ultimate capsule wardrobe so if you need help, head over to The Wardrobe That Works website and learn about my 8 step wardrobe management programme to a simplified and gorgeous wardrobe!

Happy Holidays!


Your Clothes – Holiday Packing Part 2