Guest post by Caitlin Leslie, who blogs about fashion and cocktails at The Apéritif
The perfect capsule wardrobe, which needs just a few mix-and-match pieces to create a week’s worth of outfits, is a bit of an urban legend. Very few have mastered it; most of us rely on packing as much as we can into one suitcase and simply hoping for the best. But wherever you’re headed this summer, it’s still worth considering the core pieces that will bring something new to your everyday style. I’ve picked my favourites for every type of holiday, plus a few carry-on luxuries, to point you in the right direction. Just add some SPF and a camera.
1) Cropped tee, Jonathan Saunders. 2) Black bikini, Lisa Marie Fernandez. 3) Playsuit, Topshop. 4) Print bikini, We Are Handsome. 5) Sunglasses, Ray Ban. 6) Pouch, Dezso. 7) Shorts, Aeropostle. 8) Skirt, Josh Goot. 9) Sandals, Topshop.
A mix of tropical prints and sport luxe pieces make up the ultimate island wardrobe, throwing graphic lines against hothouse colours. The simple silhouette of an asymmetric skirt, or the exposed zip on a wet-look bikini, brings edge to all those florals.
This year the prints are overblown and bright: if money were no object, I’d be wearing Jonathan Saunders’ cropped tee with everything. But on the high street Topshop has playsuits and jewel-toned shorts covered. And one pair of their simple, pared-back sandals will work with everything.
But for statement bikinis, no-one’s mastered them quite like Australian label We Are Handsome. The ‘Migration’ bikini is my pick, with its flock of fiery birds, but this year they’ve also worked with watercolour renditions of European coastlines – find the full collection here.
And for beach-bound essentials Dezso’s dusky palm print, splashed across simple pouches, is a subtle nod to this season’s tropicana trend. Just add classic aviators and denim shorts to tie it all together.
1) Blazer, Alice + Olivia. 2) Backpack, Alexander Wang. 3) Striped camisole, H&M. 4) Printed skirt, Rebecca Minkoff. 5) Sandals, Whistles. 6) Pink crop top, Topshop. 7) Clutch, Mulberry. 8) Jeans, J. Crew.
Keep cool in any city with lightweight separates in a sharp colour palette. Shots of pink – and the occasional floral print – keep urban essentials interesting.
Rebecca Minkoff’s printed pencil skirt would work with both a candyfloss pink crop top, and the clashing pattern on H&M’s stripy camisole. A relaxed blazer will bring boyfriend jeans into the evening while minimalist flats, like these metallic sandals from Whistles, will anchor both looks.
During the day I’d add a leather backpack, keeping your hands free for cycling around San Francisco or snapping flea markets in Barcelona. This one from Alexander Wang is the designer dream but ASOS has several budget-friendly alternatives. In the evening envelope clutches are having a bit of a revival right now, and will stand for chic simplicity wherever you are.
ON THE ROAD
1) Sweatshirt, Alexander Wang. 2) Tee, Monki. 3) Necklace, Maria Black. 4) Beaded headband, Topshop. 5) Bumbag, Friis Co. 6) Mirrored sunglasses, ASOS. 7) Dungarees, Mango. 8) Sneakers, American Eagle.
When you’re venturing off the beaten path, whether on a Route 66 road trip or inter-railing across Europe, look for casual classics with an edge. Denim dungarees are big news at the moment so layer a stonewashed version over a cropped tee and leave one strap undone. And bum bags are back too (look to Kylie Jenner at Coachella for inspiration), but this time around they’ve been covered with rock chic embellishments.
Reach for a logo sweatshirt when temperatures drop, and temper its 90s appeal with new-age sunglasses. I’d keep footwear classic and all-American, with rose gold jewellery for a feminine touch. A headband might be a predictable choice, but it’ll save you from three day old hair and keep on-the-road maintenance to a minimum.
1) Travel wallet, Marc by Marc Jacobs. 2) Eye mask, Harrods. 3) HD Beauty Balm, Stila. 4) This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Penguin. 5) Acai Hand Cream, Rudolph Care. 6) iPad Mini case, Kate Spade. 7) Headphones, Frends. 8) Honey Eau de Parfum, Marc Jacobs.
Whether you’re on an international flight or catching an overnight bus across South America, there are some things that can make every journey easier. An eye mask always aids relaxation but this one, from Harrods, is filled with calming lavender and cut in a silky fabric that’s kind to delicate skin, which can be even more sensitive when you’re traveling. Hand cream and a lightweight moisturizer are carry-on essentials too – the airport is a good time to stock up if you’re passing through international departures. I’d invest in some Duty Free perfume too: Honey by Marc Jacobs is perfect for summer with notes of green pear, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Keep wearing it after you’ve come home and it will bring back sun-drenched memories of your trip.