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Whenever I talk about a capsule wardrobe (and we do talk about a capsule wardrobe A LOT around here), I do so not to limit what pieces you might have in your wardrobe but to offer up a little structure.
Why structure? With a little structure, thought and mindfulness, it’s so much easier to build a wardrobe that works for you – for the everyday, special occasions and travel.
The lovely Wardrobe Wingbirds at birdsnest know their way around a lifestyle capsule or two (check out the birdsnest capsule wardrobes HERE).
They know that mastering the capsule wardrobe concept is about simplifying the “what to wear” question. Birdsnest capsules are shoppable by style personality and lifestyle.
The birdnest Wardrobe Wingbirds set me a challenge to create a 9-piece summer holiday capsule wardrobe, a mix of pieces that can be packed for just about any holiday escape this season.
This challenge could not have come at a more perfect time for me. We’re heading away after Christmas for two weeks at the beach – in two different locations, one of which includes a road trip.
Space will be at a premium – and that’s when a travel capsule wardrobe really comes into its own. With a little forethought and planning, you can use that tight packing space to your advantage.
In this post, I’ll talk you through how I create a capsule wardrobe. I’ll share why I’ve chosen these nine pieces – all from birdsnest’s own labels – and I’ll give you the opportunity to win $250 towards a summer holiday capsule wardrobe of your own.
9-piece summer holiday capsule
Whether you’re holidaying at the beach, in a city or in a regional part of Australia, effortless and relaxed are key to our summer holiday style.
The hot weather usually dictates this but it’s also that feeling that (almost) everyone is taking a break. It’s like we get to take a collective sigh and let out the breath we didn’t know we were holding all year.
Easy-care; easy-wear garments are key. It’s all about the loose and lovely with a little bit of relaxed structure for shape.
1. bird keepers The Mid Length Tee dress $69.95 (I’m in 12 – for a less streamlined look stick to your regular size)
2. that bird label Theresa Off The Shoulder dress Magnolia $149.95 (I’m in 14)
3. bird keepers The Pintuck Back tank $39.95 (I’m in 14 but could have worn 12)
4. boho bird Cruising Cotton shorts $69.95 (I’m in 14)
5. boho bird Secret Garden blouse $129.95 (I’m in 14)
6. bird keepers The Drawstring Chambray skirt $79.95 (I’m in 14)
7. bird keepers The Waist Tie pant $79.95 (I’m in 14)
8. boho bird Runaway top $39.95 (I’m in 14)
9. boho bird Crazy About You kimono $139.95 (I’m in 14)
How to create a capsule wardrobe
Whenever I’m creating a travel capsule wardrobe, I start with my tried-and-true formula of:
- 2 x dresses
- 3 x tops
- 3 x bottoms
- 1 x outer layer
Then, I add in accessories, shoes (for summer, I suggest a slide, a pair of sneakers and a sandal/wedge) and destination-specific items (like a swimsuit) to work back with those pieces.
Any capsule clothing selection I make is not random. It’s a finely tuned jigsaw puzzle. It’s usually based on a neutral colour palette, with one or two accent colours. The foundation pieces are wardrobe basics but I always include a show-pony piece or two for interest.
The key to having those nine pieces all work for you – especially when away from home – is that they all should work with each other. Another key to having a capsule wardrobe go the distance for you is choosing pieces that can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the shoe or accessory choice.
All the tops need to work back with all the bottoms. This in itself gives you nine different outfit combinations. Add in the dresses and you’ve got a multitude of combinations to work with. I’m sharing six of those looks below.
6 outfits for your summer holiday
A summer holiday calls for basics that keep you cool. This striped tank and cotton shorts outfit does just that. I love that each of these pieces can also be dressed up. Add the kimono jacket and swap the sneaker for sandals for an out-to-lunch look.
I’m loving this show-pony piece below. It’s a clever top that will work back with all my chosen “bottoms” but it brings colour and interest to the capsule, thanks to the embroidery. I’ve shown it here with the skirt but add it to the shorts or navy pant with a sandal and it’s immediately dressed up.
I love a cami/kimono combo for summer. The kimono offers both outfit interest and a little sun protection without the sweat factor. I’ve worked the combo back here with my fave pant style from bird keepers. I’ve got these pants in white and the cut is just so flattering. They work with sneakers or heels/wedges too.
I do love heading out for dinner or a long lunch when on holidays and that calls for a show-pony dress. A maxi-style works for me on holidays, as it looks as dressed up without heels as it does with them. Undo the tie on this beauty and add a slide and you’re set for a relaxed but stylish lunch.
A t-shirt dress is always there for you. Throw it on over your swimsuit. Dress it up with a statement necklace or earrings for dinner. Pop it on with sneakers to do a coffee run. I tell you, the tee dress is a trooper.
You can even take it out for evening cocktails. Add a kimono and heels and you’re good to go. Or use it as a skirt with the embroidered top worn over it (see extra looks below).
Here’s a look at a few more outfits I created from my nine-piece summer holiday capsule wardrobe.
Birdsnest has one $250 gift card to give away to one Styling You reader to put towards her own summer capsule. To enter, leave an answer to the following question in the comments’s section below:
Tell us what would be in a capsule wardrobe that suits your lifestyle and personality? What would you call that capsule?
Entries open on Friday, November 24, 2017 at 5am (AEST) and close on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 5pm (AEST). Australian entries only, sorry. The winners of the “answer the question” competition will be judged on originality and creativity. The winners will be emailed and their name will be published here. Entrants must include an email address when the filling in the commenting system below to be eligible to enter. Full terms and conditions here.