Here is a succinct and stylish packing list to help you feel organized, prepared and good to go for your summer holiday! Each piece on the list will mix and match with each other and give you at least 6 different outfits (more than enough for a week or two away). This robust list will also ensure you have the perfect outfit for every holiday occasion: sightseeing, relaxing, evenings out and more! Once you tick off the pieces you already own from the list and work out what items you need to buy, you can check out my suggestions for the best eco pieces available online.
1) casual top
2) dressy top
4) skirt or shorts
6) casual dress
7) evening dress
9) light jacket
Shoes and Accessories
11) scarf or pashmina
13) pretty sandals
14) comfortable shoes
15) optional: beach sandals or evening shoes
A sleeveless top in white or any other light color is invaluable. You will feel lighter and more refreshed and will also enjoy the fact a white top will go with every color and pattern of skirts, shorts and trousers.
Beaumont Organic have a stunning Beaded Halter Neck Top – Beaumont Organic £75 (made in portugal / organic cotton). Available in Natural and Brown.
Your second top should ideally be colorful and in your favorite and most flattering shade. It’s a fun and easy way to brighten up you and your wardrobe. I would scour vintage stores for a silk or rayon top as this fabric looks a little more luxe and would work brilliantly for any dressier occasions on your holiday such as dinner out or catching a show.
A lightweight blouse with sleeves will come in handy for times when you want a little coverage from too much sun or cooler weather perhaps
Skirt or Shorts
I say one or the other because not every girl is comfortable in shorts. Skirts can be more accommodating thanks to their varying lengths of long hippy style, knee length or mini. Of course, shorts also come in different lengths but they do not always look as attractive! Anyway, once you choose what is best for you, you can then enjoy having one more option other than trousers to mix and match your tops and blouse with.
I couldn’t dream of vacationing without a good pair of lightweight trousers. I’m more of a black trousers girl, as I find it easy to throw on any top or shoes with them and I like how they can still manage to look casual or formal depending on the occasion. White trousers would work equally well and look lighter for summer.
I say casual but I really think the maxi dress is the way to go. They are comfortable, flattering and so easy to toss on for a stylish look!
A glam little evening dress won’t take up much room in your luggage and will be quite a godsend for when you dine out at chic restaurants or get last minute tickets to a show! Of course, a black dress would be fine but since it is summer, why not keep your look colorful and fun with a dress such as this Orange Vintage 1950s Party Dress.
The weather can still be unpredictable during summer so it’s a good idea to pack a light cardigan. I can’t recommend cardigans enough! They are the perfect layering item for tops, dresses and underneath jackets. Frank & Faith have adorable cardigan styles in various colors but the cardigan above caught my eye in particular. Frank & Faith Bethany Cardigan – Adili £21.50, was £43 (made in UK / organic cotton). Available in four colors.
A light jacket is great for any holiday that involves a lot of sightseeing or active pursuits in weird, wonderful and remote locales. I’ve finally learned to always pack a light jacket after suffering in cities within New Zealand and Scotland where the weather can fluctuate between balmy sunshine to suddenly being wickedly windy. This Drop Waist Perfect Trench by Emily Katz would have shielded me from the weather while still making me feel stylish. The charcoal is made from recycled poly/hemp denim and the marine color is made from hemp/organic cotton.
Finding a glam eco swimsuit is becoming increasingly easier. This Lina Rennell Tie Swimsuit from Beklina $184 (made in california / organic jersey) is a gorgeous and unique one piece to have.
Pashmina or Scarf
Ah, the pashmina and scarf. Any supermodel or A-list actresses best friend when travelling the globe. They are great as blankets for cosier flights or travel, perfect for wrapping up during chillier weather and wonderful for draping elegantly over the shoulders during evenings out. Manumit is the place to go for raw silk scarves as their selection features many beautiful colours which are made fair trade and the raw tassel silk is also suitable for vegetarians.
What is a holiday without a pair of sunglasses? If you don’t already have a classic pair of sunglasses, you can try the iWood sunglasses (made in usa / fsc certified wood) or why not see what Etsy or nearby vintage stores have to offer? Just remember to pick the right style of sunglasses for your face shape.
Round face: square frames
Long face: wider frames
Heart shape: wider frames like aviator or butterfly glasses
Square face: round frames
Those with pale skin, may want to try tortoise colour sunglasses over black for a softer and less harsh look.
Try and find a pair of open toe sandals that are both comfortable and pretty that will go with your trousers, dress and skirt / shorts.
My feet and I have learnt the hard way that it is near impossible to walk the cobblestone streets of Europe in cute shoes. Unless you are on a private tour of Florence, being ushered around by car or vespa, then I’m afraid you will have to succumb to ‘the comfortable shoe’. Don’t be too frightened though, as long as the rest of your outfit looks sleek and stylish with elegant jewellery accents here and there, you should still feel confident walking amongst the impeccably dressed and groomed European women. Don’t be tempted to dress around the trainers and think, ‘well, since my feet are comfortable, I’ll just wear a t-shirt and shorts’. You can still do comfort the glam way!
Autonomie Project Ethletic All White Sneakers – Nimli $58 (made in FLO certified factory in Pakistan / organic cotton, FSC certified rubber).
Evening Shoes / Beach Sandals
Depending on your type of holiday, you may need a pair of heels for parties, concerts and frequent fancy restaurant stops or you may only need simple sandals to slip in and out of for traipsing between beach, bar and spa!
A flamboyant sun hat is not to be forgotten. The wide brim will provide valuable protection from the sun and will make you feel extra stylish. Etsy and Oxfam have some great vintage sun hat options but the one above was my favourite with it’s bright swirl of lush colors.
trousers + any top + cardigan + pashmina + pretty sandals
1) top + shorts / skirt + sandals
2) blouse + shorts / skirt + sandals
At the Beach / Chilling Out
casual dress + beach sandals
top + trousers + trainers + pashmina or cardigan (good for covering shoulders when you enter churches etc.)
1) evening dress + heels or sandals + pashmina / scarf
2) blouse + trousers + heels or sandals