What to pack for a warm-weather getaway
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Excitement levels ahead of a weekend getaway can be clouded by one daunting task: packing your carry-on. Especially when it's been months since you've stayed anywhere but your home. Even with a trendy Airbnb booked and you your itinerary planned like a pro, your packing skills can still make you feel like an amateur when it comes to travelling. And we get it. The thought of planning how many outfits you’ll need and squeezing everything into your hand luggage is enough to make you consider a staycation instead.
Fortunately for you and your non-refundable booking, our stylists are experts at putting together a fuss-free capsule wardrobe for any type of holiday, and your weekend getaway is no exception. So which items do they recommend prioritising when you have a limited number of days and space in your luggage?
"The most versatile items in your wardrobe can seem boring, but they’re usually the things you wear the most,” says stylist Luke McDonald. “So if you’re going away for a short time, they’re probably the pieces you’ll reach for first.” Think comfy, easy, and versatile basics that will improve your dressing in a way that more statement items can’t, as each piece will work with everything else you’re packing. “A weekend getaway is the perfect opportunity to practise capsule dressing without the commitment," Luke says. "Consider items that can be styled in various combinations to make your life easier."
Comfort is the top priority for your travelling outfit, as you’ll need to plan for changing temperatures and lots of time waiting around. “The temptation to go ultra-comfy in sweatpants, or too far the other way so you look smart for your arrival, are flawed ideas when it comes to dressing for travel,” Luke says. Instead, find a happy medium that will see you through the rest of your day once you’ve arrived at your destination, and that won’t look bedraggled if you’re delayed.
“A cotton or linen work jacket is like tailoring, but more relaxed," Luke says. "It’s soft, breathable, and has handy pockets for your passport.” Work jackets look smart buttoned up, or more casual worn open over a comfy plain t-shirt. If you want to smarten it up, add a light scarf, which provides extra warmth as well as some texture and colour to a simple outfit.
When it comes to trousers, go for something comfortable and stylish, like Gramicci trousers. A favourite amongst California mountaineers in the 1980s, this style has a simple shape and drawstring waist that makes them a great alternative to your smarter chinos. “Gramiccis are the perfect mid-point between unstructured casual trousers and sweatpants, which feel semi-smart despite their comfortable shape and relaxed feel,” Luke says.
Finish the look with Clarks desert boots, which are lightweight and casual, but still look good with smarter outfits. “The soft suede folds up easily for packing, and they’re quick to take on and off: all in all, they’re the ideal travelling shoe,” Luke says.
When you’re exploring the sights in a new city, your outfit should be practical for facing the elements, yet presentable should you end up staying out for the evening.
A navy blazer goes with darker jeans for a smarter look, which is enhanced by a fresh pair of white leather trainers. They’re a classic choice that’s easy to pack, goes with everything, and will stay comfortable on days when you’re covering a lot of ground. And don't overlook accessories, too.
“Pick smarter accessories that don’t take up extra packing space, and still work with your outfits,” Luke says. A lightweight tote bag is durable, water resistant, and easy to fold up, so you can carry extra layers and everything you need for a day out, without scrimping on style.
For long afternoons in botanical gardens and outdoor museums, you’ll need an outfit that’s loose and comfortable, with a touch of sophistication.
A camp collar shirt is comfy and casual style that has a holiday feel to it. The texture of the navy the cotton-linen brings interest, but is easier to match with other items than a bold patterned shirt. It looks smart worn open over a tee, while the sweater around the neck works as an easy yet practical accessory.
“This is a great example of smart styling that pulls your look together without loosing the overall casual feel,” Luke says. Comfy white trainers balance the smart and casual elements of the look to give the relaxed chino-style trousers a more dressed-up feel.
Evenings out on holiday are an occasion to dress a little smarter than you might when staying in.
The matching dark tones of the jacket and jeans makes a burgundy knitted polo stand out. Jewel tones lend a statement feel without being too bold, and they look smarter under a work jacket than your casual t-shirt. Ideal for an evening out, desert boots add to the smart yet relaxed look – plus they’re incredibly comfortable and durable.
All of the elements of this outfit – from the cotton-linen in the jacket to the raw denim of the jeans – combine to create a textured look that takes note of the small details, rather than highlighting one standout piece. Because when it comes to being a tourist, blending in for the right reasons is better than standing out for the wrong ones.
Words: Ella White
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Luke McDonald