7 Cheap But Expensive-Looking Vacation Outfits to Copy This Summer

When we're on vacation, our daily outfits look a little bit different. It's not like our style changes drastically, but we do have more fun and feel more freedom to assemble unique, off-the-wall outfits. Whether we're taking a beach vacation or traveling to a specific locale, our out-of-office mindset is reflected in the bold colors and prints that we mix, the proportions that we play with, and the accessories that we layer. Assembling chic outfits, just like everything else while on vacation, just seems easier.

The best part is that vacation dressing can be easy on our budgets, too. We don’t have to spend thousands (not even hundreds) of dollars to dress well. In fact, some of our favorite vacation outfits are based on just a few affordable pieces. (We’re talking about pieces that are $150 or less.) Keep scrolling to see seven cheap but expensive-looking vacation outfits to copy this summer.

Duster Dress + Boater Hat

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Jade Munson's breezy black maxi dress and wide-brimmed hat make us want to spend our summer weekends dining on pasta and sipping wine in Tuscany (or at least Napa Valley). It's an outfit that pairs fashion with function. Sure, it's super chic, but it also keeps you cool and comfortable. 

Matching Two-Piece Set

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An outfit set is a no-brainer for vacation packing since it's basically like three outfits in one. Wear the two pieces together, like Brittany Xavier does here, or separate (the top with different bottoms or the bottoms with a different top). The tropical floral print feels very on theme.

Gingham Top + Denim Jacket

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Not only does Erika Aguilera share our love for a classic summer print, but she also shares our love for a classic black-and-white outfit. Do as she did, and pair a gingham crop top with a black denim jacket. While you're at it, you might as well add a structured hat, too. 

Dual Snake Print

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If you're looking for a vacation outfit that's comfortable enough to walk around in all day while exploring a new city, wear one inspired by Erika Boldrin's mock-neck T-shirt and paper-bag shorts. Sure, it's casual, but thanks to the elevated snake print and matching accessories, it's dressy enough for stopping into a high-brow café for lunch. 

Matching Knits

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Who doesn't love a neutral monochrome two-piece outfit? We sure do. This one is by H&M and will only set you back a combined $43. That's not bad for an entire vacation outfit that you can separate and mix-and-match with other pieces. Plus, it looks insanely comfortable.

Cropped Shirt + Culottes

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For a timeless summer look, pair a knotted button-down shirt with white denim culottes. Just make sure the button-down is short-sleeved. After all, this is summer vacation we're talking about, and we want to stay cool and comfortable throughout. 

Band Tee + Bucket Hat

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Kristen Lam's knitted bucket hat, which is from Urban Outfitters, gives her outfit a cool, textured detail, while her graphic band tee provides an edgy, vintage-inspired vibe. It's the perfect outfit for wearing on your most casual vacation days, whether that means walking a beach boardwalk, grabbing a relaxed lunch, or shopping for souvenirs. 

Next, check out the 43 affordable vacation pieces to buy when you're bored. 

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.