How To Pack The Essential Capsule Vacay Suitcase

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Packing for your holiday vacation can be stressful at the best of times. How many times have you been on holiday and not worn half of the clothes you’ve packed? Guilty! Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of everything you’ll need, from the airplane to dipping your toes in the ocean. We all want to pack light and avoid any overweight baggage checking in so our list is the essential capsule closet that you can mix and match together creating multiple outfits from only the essentials. Stay on trend this summer and still avoid over packing, our guide has your summer holiday written all over it. 

Color Palette

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In order to create a capsule suitcase that’s as versatile as you need it to be, you’ll need to devise the perfect color palette. For Summer 2019 we’ve chosen to work with Pantone’s color of the year, Living Coral. This will be our accent color, toned down with complimentary navy, cream and grey and set a light with a pop of acid green. Neons are still in for Summer 2019 but they’ll be out for Winter so this is your last chance to break out those vivid greens before they’re shelved to the back of the closet until another season.

The Maxi Dress

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The key to your maxi dress is versatility. You’ll want a maxi length that will work for evening dinners, covering up on the beach and shopping in the local market all at the same time. Stretch cotton jersey is a great fabric choice, it rolls up small to save space in your suitcase, it doesn’t need ironed and it can be dressed up or down for various occasions. Since you might want to wear this dress to cover up on the beach for lunch, be sure to match it with your swimsuits. We love bold prints that work for day and night and color blocking is such an effortless way to work this style. Do choose a maxi dress that works for your body type; halter necks are perfect for enhancing your bust but will also widen shoulders so avoid those styles if you’re already broad across the shoulders. Sweetheart necklines with adjustable spaghetti straps work for most body types and of course it’s hard to go wrong with a classic V or round neck. You don’t want to be struggling to wriggle into this dress on the beach so be sure it’s easy to pull on over your head and that the length works for both low heels and flat sandals without dragging along the ground. Finally, you can easily shorten this dress to create another style by tying up one side and creating a shorter asymmetric hem. 

Swim suits

If you’re anything like us, you always go overboard with swimsuits but realistically you only need two; a one piece and a two piece. Two pieces are great for sun worshippers and pulling on a pair of shorts at the beach and one pieces look ultra sexy yet are super practical for swimming, snorkeling and other water activities. You only need two because while one is drying, you can wear the other one, anymore than that for a week’s vacation will only take up precious space in your luggage. To compliment your maxi dress/beach cover up, opt for a solid color one piece and a color blocked two piece. 

Shorts and Skirts

These options come in the same category as most people prefer one or the other and they can easily be interchanged. Choose either two pairs of shorts, two skirts or one skirt and one short. A solid color A Line mini skirt with an elastic waist for comfort and a pair of your go to denim cut offs are both great options. If you plan on going with two skirts, make one a floaty maxi that can double up as another beach cover up or for two pairs of shorts, try a soft jersey pair with a crochet or Pom Pom trim. 


You’ll need a few more options for tops so aim for between 3 and 4. Of course you’ll need a basic T Shirt, we love cooling white or cream T Shirts with a high fashion detail such as an open back. Other great options for holiday tops include a crop t shirt or bralette, a shirt with flared or ruffle sleeves that can be layered and knotted and a long line floaty top that can be worn as a tunic top. Don’t forget our color palette, all of your tops and shorts/skirts should be mix and match able for maximum styling options. Of course, life isn’t always that kind and if there’s a top or a bottom that you simply can’t resist bringing, just be sure you can wear it with at least two pieces. 


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You may or may not want to bring pants with you depending on the weather but we don’t advise bringing more than one pair. You can wear pants anytime and on holiday you’ll going to want to wear more beachy clothes - be honest with yourself, those pants will be worn once if at all! But if you must, opt for stretch palazzo pants, culottes or leggings, comfort is key in the hot weather! Either a solid color or a flirtatious print will both work well here. 


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The kimono is the new cardigan this summer and they look so much more fashion forward. Traditional kimono sleeves both long and mid length are great for covering up at night and butterfly sleeves are great for daytime and keeping the harsh sun off your shoulders, particularly if you’re prone to burning. Avoid silky fabrics that might look too nightwear-esque but chiffons and cottons are great lightweight, breathable options. Definitely try a bold print or chunky stripe for an impactful look. 


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This is another area we all tend to go overboard on when it comes to bringing our most treasured pieces on holiday. Depending on what kind of holiday you plan on having will ultimately decide how much jewelry you’ll need but we suggest a statement necklace, a fine jewelry necklace, one pair of earrings, one bracelet or watch and a few rings. Bare in mind which outfits you’d wear each piece of jewelry with and if you plan on being at the beach every day of your holiday, you’ll need less jewelry. Lounging by the pool or dipping your toes in the ocean wearing stylish jewelry looks flawless in ad campaigns but in real life, it feels heavy, sweaty and will ultimately be destroyed by your sunscreen, the chlorine or the salt from the sea - I’m afraid it’s time to be realistic if you want to pack smart. 

Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai

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