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Holiday Outfit Packing - Love it or Hate it?

Updated: Jun 27

We all love a holiday, its what we all work for isn't it? I do anyway! I also know that many of you get the fear about packing! Taking too much, taking too little, what to even take at all!!!!

Working with clients and sharing tips on my socials about holiday packing and outfits, I have started to finally listen to my own advice. For the last couple of years my packing is now minimal with a focus on what I will truly wear so it suddenly feels stress free, I enjoy the challenge of packing as little as possible! I can get quite smug about it to be honest!!!

In the past I have never given it the time, dreaded it, done it quite last minute and it usually would involve taking far to much! Id just throw a bundle of stuff in and assume some of it would work! Many items, particularly footwear, I wouldn't even touch all holiday and I would find myself packing back up at the end literally shocked by the amount I had brought with me that I hadn't even touched or considered let alone physically worn!

The frustrating thing with this is it does mean you are wasting valuable time packing and unpacking unnecessary things and I usually still have to wash it when home as everything gets that suitcase/holiday wardrobe smell, so again more wasted time washing and ironing things that haven't even been worn. We don't want that!

I decided this had to be easier and I can share that it really is! Honestly! If you give yourself time to pack with thought, think about the length of time you are away, the type of holiday you are going on, teamed with the reality that some evening outfits may only be on for a few hours and can therefore be worn twice then you can really focus what you take, get a capsule holiday wardrobe sorted and have a really light suitcase to carry! Gone are the days of the big red "heavy" label.

I always feel such a sense of achievement at the end of the holiday when I realise I have worn everything I packed, some things twice and I have spent minimal time packing and unpacking meaning I've had longer to enjoy my holiday! I also do not stress each evening with what to wear as I haven't just packed it all and know exactly how it work together.

I am hoping this blog will help you to think about how to make it a bit easier, hopefully a bit more fun and ensure it makes the holiday experience a pleasant one! Then you can just get stressed about moving on to then pack for the other half and the minis too!

Just to highlight this can vary slightly depending on your holiday type but this is based on a standard warm, sunny, hotel holiday for say 9 evenings!

Get the Basics Sorted

Your holiday capsule wardrobe needs to be built exactly as your main capsule wardrobe is built (you are probably thinking..."ekk...I haven't even nailed my main capsule wardrobe yet" but that's fine we can still pull it together!)

The easiest way to do this is to pull your monochrome and neutral pieces out that are Summer type items as essentially these will go with everything! Using my own wardrobe mine looks something like this.....

  1. Crochet Top

  2. Monochrome Short Dress

  3. Cream Cami Top

  4. Black Denim Shorts

  5. Cream Waistcoat

  6. Bleach Wash Denim Shorts

  7. Crochet Kaftan

  8. Monochrome Long Dress

  9. Cream Biased Skirt

  10. Striped Stretch Dress

These are all very neutral things that I love to wear on holiday already, Summer pieces I enjoy wearing and are all very neutral and versatile. There are 3 dresses which is fine but ensure you do have tops and bottoms here to allow mix & match!

The footwear is all easy to wear and neutral too with some poolside thongs.

Wedges and heels were something I always packed for evenings but in all honesty I just never wore them. I am now true to the fact that on a family holiday flats are enough for me, however, you may still want a pair as part of your capsule holiday wardrobe so if the style works for you that's what should be packed.

I would have travelled using my day large bag so for the evening I have just gone with 2 classic clutches, one smarter one more relaxed that will go with everything!

All these basic pieces alone would create a few mix and match options for some evenings but we need some fun! This is when we add the colour layer!

Choose a Colour Palette

This may sound slightly daunting but its this element that will keep your packing focused, will ensure mix & matching is super easy and essentially makes the packing short & sweet! This palette can change from holiday to holiday, whether you are abroad, a city break, a staycation or simply visiting family for a period of time as you want it to all work together!

With all organisation comes that messy bit and this is the messy bit! Go through your wardrobe now pulling colourful pieces that again you love to wear in the Summer or on holiday usually. At this point don't worry about just one palette, just pull it out and try and dump it in piles....... you may be neater than me through this process but as I did it I formed these 3 dumping piles!!!!

You can see each pile does form a bit of a colour story.

The plan isn't to take all this but its to do the process to see perhaps what is the colour palette with your favourite pieces in, or the palette you are most drawn to and you can decide to roll with that one to add into your neutrals you already have lined up!

You may want to add some colourful footwear here too! Saying that though I do think 3 pairs of Summer shoes is more than enough!

When you have decided the palette you want to go with pop the other stuff away and lets work on that pile!

Adding in Your Colour Palette

Now you have decided on your highlight colour palette you can select items from that selection to add into your neutrals to really build on the outfit combinations that can be created. Any colour palette you select will work with your monochrome and neutrals and all your neutrals will work with that colour palette so suddenly you have even more mix and match.

Here's how my three colour palette combos look hanging, these on their own would create limited outfit combos but as soon as you join them with the basics the mix & match possibility becomes quite endless and because you have nailed the 2 palettes, Monochrome + Colour = you barely have to think about, it will just work, trust me!!

Here's how each colour palette blends in with the neutrals:

Here is where I have added in Orange & Green to the Monochrome Basics.

Lilac & Yellow options have been added to the Monochrome palette here.

The Pink palette has been added into the Monochrome palette here.

How many Combinations?

Now that the monochrome and highlight colour palette is combined you can begin to count up combinations to roughly get an idea of how many outfits can be created. There is highly likely to be more than you need so this is when you can try and be strict with yourself and remove some items, maybe a couple of dresses or one bottom?

So give this a try, it may just be a different approach to how you pack your outfits that you hadn't thought of before that makes it feel a little easier and less overwhelming as I appreciate when you open the wardrobe you are faced with a huge selection thinking "where do I even start?????"

Let me know how you get on!

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