I’ve just come back from a lovely holiday to Phuket, Thailand, and again, I used my capsule wardrobe strategy. While I would love to travel like days of yore, with steamer trunks full of divine fashion, given that it is me and my husband carting our luggage around, and not some unfortunate porter or servant, travelling light is definitely the way to go!
Phuket is basically a tropical island, so the plan was to take lightweight clothes that are cool in high humidity. While you could probably get away with fewer clothes than I took, I am not a fan of humidity and like to change at least twice a day, especially if we’ve been sightseeing and are hot and sweaty. I also handwashed some of my items while we were away and everything I took was able to be handwashed and airdryed without needing an iron after.
The first step when creating a capsule wardrobe, whether for holidays or everyday life, is to decide on a colour palette. It is pretty essential to limit each capsule to 2-3 main colours, so that all your pieces mix and match, and I personally prefer to limit prints to just one or two pieces; this is not strictly necessary, if you select your prints carefully. For this holiday, I chose a palette of black and white, with accents of wood and gold. While black and white is not traditionally associated with a tropical island holiday, I decided on those colours since black is flattering to my (currently) larger size, and the white, wood and gold helps to lighten it up somewhat.
This is a mix of the actual garments, and some representations for the pics I couldn’t find on polyvore. The pants (both from Flower) are both made from a fabric called cupro, a man-made from natural materials fibre that looks and feels like washed silk, but doesn’t really crush and is super breathable. Even the long pants were very comfortable to wear in the heat and humidity. The two dresses from TS14+ are layered over a sleeveless tank dress (shown underneath). The black and white dress is a satiny material that also doesn’t crush, while the solid black crushes easily but looks even better crushed. The underdress is made from a great breathable fabric so feels lovely and cool and (TMI alert!) wicks away the sweat. The last basics were three light vests, one in a very loose weave knit in a greyish natural colour, and two mesh-type fabrics, one white, one black. I love that Eileen Fisher-style layering, and have been doing that a lot lately. I find it so flattering, and the vests are almost an accessory on their own. These three are so light weight that they don’t feel like you are wearing an extra layer. The one other item above is the black long-sleeved tee which I wore on the plane there and back, since I always seem to feel chilly up in the air.
These are the accessories (or similar) that I brought along with me. I mostly wore the horn and the wood bangles during the day, while the gold cuff added a glam but not over-the-top element to evening outfits. I also brought along my favourite House of Harlow cocktail ring, made from black leather and gold. I can honestly say that every man in my life hates this ring, but I love it! t would probably fit in well on The Man Repeller! The black sandals are the comfiest sandals I have ever owned, and these were worn every single day of the trip, from walks on the beach, to hanging around the resort, to riding on elephants! The beaded sandals (mine were from Talbots last season, and the leather was a metallic champagne colour) were great for evening – like the cuff, I think they add a touch of casual sophistication, especially when worn with the dresses or the cropped pants. I interchanged between the scarf and the wooden beaded necklace. The scarf was a very light cotton voile so didn’t feel too hot in the heat. For the bags, I bought my trusty Marc by Marc Jacobs nylon tote as it is very light weight, but fits heaps and heaps in it. I reminds me a lot of Mary Poppins carpetbag – I can just keep pulling things out, which is always a good thing when travelling with young children! The last thing I brought with me was a black and natural coloured clutch. Mine was a bit more structured than the one above and also had a long chain strap. I found this clutch so useful around the resort – it fit my phone, some makeup and our room key and was much more convenient than my larger bag when I didn’t need all our “stuff”.
So there you have my summer holiday capsule wardrobe. This was a great capsule and worked really, really well while we were away, so it will definitely be in regular rotation once the warmer weather hits here in Oz.