How to Pack for a Summer Holiday

How to Pack for a Summer Holiday

I was recently asked to write this article for readers over at I’m now sharing it with my own readers because, quite frankly, there are some damn good tips here and I just had to spread the love.

In this post I’ve also included my BUDGET Capsule Wardrobe with all the items available from Target.  I think you guys will really like that one. I’m pretty sure the legendary Gok Wan would approve of my selection too! Enjoy…

So, you’ve snagged a great deal on your airfares and have sourced an amazing luxury accommodation package. Speaking of which, have you tried for that yet? You really should!

Problem:  You’ve just realised your luggage limit is only 10kgs (insert expletives)! How on earth can you possibly go away to such a fantastic place for close to two weeks without at least your whole summer wardrobe?

Solution:  Relax. After all, isn’t that what a Summer Holiday is all about? Style Counsel is here to the rescue with great tips for stress-free packing for your summer holiday. All you have to do is follow the three-step plan and you’ll be good to go. Literally!

  1. Use a checklist (or steal the sample  provided below)
  2. Get yourself together a Summer Capsule Wardrobe (explanation below), and
  3. Organise your lift to the airport, get on that plane, order a drink and worry no more!

 (Cue Cliff Richard singing Summer Holiday)

We’re all going on a … summer holiday.

No more working for a … week or two.

Fun and laughter on our … summer holiday

No more worries for me or you-ooh

For a week or two…

1. The Checklist

I always say “Fail To Plan, Plan To fail” so using the checklist below as your guide and customising it to suit your own holiday, I can assure you that you won’t forget a thing.  Factors such as the location, the style of accommodation, the length of your stay, and the weather in your selected destination will all need to be considered.


2. Get Yourself a Capsule Wardrobe

Think of it like this: just as the pharmaceutical variety of pills or capsules are small, compact, powerful and fix a multitude of ailments, so does the Capsule Wardrobe. You pack less, but it does more. Everything mixes and matches to create a multitude of outfits. I’ve created a few for inspiration below, but first…

Some important points to remember: 

  • Shoes are key. Make sure you have a few at the ready to change your outfit from casual to active; beach to evening with ease.
  • Bags are important too! Be sure to include a beach bag or casual tote that can double as one as well as a compact cross-body satchel-style bag in a neutral colour that will have you hands-free by day or by night.
  • Light-weight jackets are a must to change your look from casual to dressed-up on cooler evenings.
  • Don’t forget the Signature Style Counsel formula. Pair any of your floaty summer tops under your cropped lightweight jacket/blazer. Add lightweight summer jeans (cropped to show your ankles) and wedges for a classy look by night or day. This combo can be mixed and matched endlessly if you plan ahead. Note: This formula (and the next tip) has formed the basis of my signature style for years as it never fails and creates endless combinations for any body shape.
  • Include light neutrals as the base of your wardrobe. If you have a mish-mash of bold prints and florals but not enough basic neutrals to anchor them, you will have a lovely wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear because nothing actually goes with anything!

Capsule #1


ALL of the items in this capsule were selected from Target! Who says you have to spend a fortune to look stylish on holidays? This one will leave you with money to spare for cocktails and shopping. Now that sounds like a plan to me!


Capsule #2



Style Tip: These four bottoms (or variations of the same) – dressy shorts, casual shorts, a skirt, and a pair of cropped jeans are all you need to mix and match with three or four different tops. The key is, as always, the shoes. See how just a simple change of shoes will change the overall look of each outfit?

One little dress is all you need for evening – choose your style or colour, print or plain – or even just team the wedges with the pants/skirt/silky shorts; add the floaty top and satchel and you have a few more evening options.  Getting the picture?

Capsule #3


Another fun way to create a capsule is to choose a theme or a colour and work around it – of course using a light neutral colour as your base.  In this capsule I’ve selected white is the base. We’ve gone for nautical (blue/white stripes) but I have thrown in a pop of pink to illustrate how you could do the same with whatever is your favourite colour.


Style Tip: When going nautical, you don’t have to think of the classic “red, white and blue”. Why not go for navy and white with a splash of yellow, peach, aqua (or whatever is your favourite colour of the season? Or try black and white as the base? Or even stone/neutral and white for a toned-down version?

3. Now Get Thee to the Airport!

As you can see, all you have to do is personalise your own Capsule to suit your existing wardrobe, budget and style personality. Then all that’s left to do is kick back and have a cocktail or two.

Now get packing! Bon voyage. You can thank me later…  

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