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Style Advice

Your staycation capsule wardrobe

Your staycation capsule wardrobe

Holidays this year are set to look a little different, but that doesn’t mean we’re not just as excited by a staycation as we would be about a jetsetting resort holiday. And although we don’t have to take carry-on luggage into consideration this time around, we’re still here for packing light and making the most out of a cohesive capsule wardrobe. The trick is not to limit your packing by the restrictions of a few pieces, but to explore the wider possibilities of picking interchangeable pieces. Sounds complicated? You might find it’s a smoother process than you think. To help, we enlisted Thread stylist and packing extraordinaire Toby Standing to break down his top tips for building a capsule wardrobe you’ll actually want to wear this summer.

Take a structured approach

“It’s easy to think of a capsule wardrobe, or any cohesive collection of items, as boring,” Toby says. “But that doesn’t have to be the case.” If you like prints and colours, make them the centerpiece of your selection and find other pieces and tones that work around them. Picking clothes you’ll actually want to wear – and not just the pieces you think work exclusively together – will make the mix-and-match element of a capsule wardrobe feel fun rather than restricting. And if you’re guilty of always wearing the same items as an outfit, this is the perfect opportunity to expand your wardrobe’s horizons.

Pack for occasions not days

“A top tip is not to plan your look by day, but by what tops and shoes go with your trouser choices,” Toby says. A pair of jeans, a pair of chinos, and a pair of shorts will easily have you covered for days and nights out in town, beach days, and long walks whether you’re away for a long weekend or two weeks – all you have to do is swap in the appropriate top. 

Stick to pieces that fall in that versatile gap between super-casual and formal to make adaptable pairings that much easier. For example, a striped shirt and jeans could be worn out for dinner or for a day out. Chinos will dress the shirt up if you’re going to a fancier restaurant, and shorts dress it down if you’re heading to a beach bar. This way, you’ll probably end up with even more outfit options than you need, while maintaining the minimal packing element of a capsule wardrobe.

Pick your accessories carefully

It can be easy to overpack on footwear and accessories, so select one pair of sunglasses (you know that’s all you need), and one tote bag you can carry out for the day or pack with your beach stuff. When it comes to shoes, just pick a couple of pairs that will have you covered for the beach and walking around town, as well as nice restaurants – trainers and sandals should do the trick as long as they're not scuffed up.

Consider your colours

Choosing colours that work together and interchangeably with the other pieces in your wardrobe is an easy way to bring personality and interest into a small collection of clothing. And if you stick to colours and prints on top and basics on the bottom, it will be even easier to mix and match. 

Oranges and blues are a great complementary colour match for warm weather, and they’re easy to wear across most types of clothing. Blue is always a useful starting point as you’ve instantly ticked off jeans and a nice shirt. Then all you need to do is pick a second colour that works for you (and will almost certainly go with blue), and choose the patterns you want to wear on top. But the main trick to nailing a capsule wardrobe? Just don’t overthink it.

Words: Ella White
Styling: Toby Standing