Creating your perfect capsule wardrobe
Wherever you’re headed on your holidays this year, a little forward thinking and some smart planning decisions can help you make the most of limited luggage space.
You’ve booked your cheap flights with a budget airline, and now you’re desperately trying to avoid having to pay for any hold luggage – but don’t despair! Whether you’re planning a city break, a beach holiday or an escape to the country, it can be possible to fit all you need into your carry-on case and still be prepared for any eventuality.
Short beach breaks are relatively easy to pack for when it comes to preparing your capsule wardrobe – lightweight shorts, skirts, vests, tops and dresses can be easily compressed into a small space and summer sandals take up very little space.
Male and female travellers alike should have few problems squeezing their beach holiday essentials into an aeroplane carry-on, although be sure not to forget all-important items such as sunglasses and sunscreen.
The restrictions on liquids that can be carried in your hand luggage mean that sun screens and toiletries should be decanted into small containers of 100ml or less, saving space that might in the past have been taken up by cumbersome larger bottles of shampoo, sunscreen and the like.
Fashion conscious travellers will want to be prepared for any social occasion, so it’s wise to pack outfits that can easily be transformed from day wear to evening wear. For those heading off for a sunkissed beach break, this shouldn’t present too many problems.
Men can save space by travelling in heavier clothing that will be necessary for restaurants and nightspots, such as trousers or smart jeans, a shirt and shoes or trainers, while packing lighter day items – a couple of pairs of shorts, t-shirts and one or two pairs of sandals or flip flops should be perfectly adequate for those hot sunny days.
Women will find that most hot-weather items can easily be transformed from day to evening wear with the addition of a few choice accessories. Save space by leaving the killer heels at home and investing in some pretty sandals instead – make sure you invest in a pedicure before you set off and your choice of footwear will work even at the smartest restaurants and nightspots.
Avoid bringing along the entire contents of your jewellery box and choose a few key pieces instead – some dramatic earrings and a few rings, bangles or bracelets can instantly transform a simple beach dress into an outfit suitable for a big night out or a meal in a formal restaurant.
One key item that no woman should be without on a beach break is a sarong. Choose the right print and these can serve not only as beach towels but also as skirts and – with a little clever knotting – even smart dresses. Add the accessories and sandals and – hey presto – your beachwear becomes evening wear. Sundresses, skirts and vests can all be easily dressed up, so avoid doubling your wardrobe and pack just a few adaptable items.
Travellers heading off for a break in the country will no doubt want to prepared for jaunts in the great outdoors. If you plan to spend a lot of time on country rambles, forget fashion for a moment and pack a sturdy pair of shoes that won’t be ruined by a bit of rain. For warm destinations, walking sandals are a good bet and as well as being lightweight will be much more comfortable than heavy walking boots.
Bring along lightweight items that can be layered to suit changing weather conditions and don’t forget a lightweight waterproof. There are plenty of innovative waterproofs on the market, such as jackets that can be compressed into a tiny bag that can be clipped to waistbands.
City breaks are a little harder to plan for, but some clever wardrobe choices should mean it is still possible to squeeze all your holiday essentials into your carry-on bag. Again, adaptability is key. Depending on the weather at your destination, choose items that will be comfortable for daytime sightseeing and can easily be smartened up in the evenings. Travel in shoes that will be comfortable enough for getting out and about in the daytime, while packing one or two further pairs for the evening – making sure that these combine well with the outfits you are packing.
Accessories such as scarves, sunglasses, hats and belts can transform outfits instantly and it makes sense to pack neutral outfits that can be dressed up or down as befits the situation. Smart jeans worn with a casual top can work well for both men and women as day wear and are easily dressed up with smart tops and some choice accessories to work in most evening situations.