What to Pack for a Stylish City Break, Whatever the Destination


(Image credit: @lenafarl)

Summer is on the horizon, T-shirt weather is underway, and lately I've been spending more time on SkyScanner than any other website to make myself feel better. Except maybe Airbnb. As soon as it starts getting warmer and brighter in the UK, I start panicking about warm days coming to an end, eager to make the most of it and go out with a bang.

It's this kind of thinking that leads to me booking an end-of-summer city break almost every year, even if it's just for one night and UK-based. Looking around, it seems I'm not the only one experiencing these jet-setting urges, with many of my friends already booking holidays. We might as well extend the sunny season for as long as possible, eh?

Exciting as they may be, short breaks are often the hardest to pack for, as they usually involve trying to squeeze all your outfits into just one carry-on. So to save you from that struggle, we've created a city starter pack ahead of summer. Mastering a two or three-day city getaway is all about having a robust capsule wardrobe, and the below four outfits, or twenty-five pieces including accessories, will work whether you're escaping to Rome or Edinburgh, Paris or Barcelona. Keep scrolling to shop our suitcase essentials.



(Image credit: Who What Wear UK)

Style Notes: On the first day of your city sojourn, you'll most likely want to hop on an open-top bus or tag onto a walking tour. With hours of sightseeing ahead, comfortable footwear is key, as are easy layers that you can take off and add on as the temperature changes throughout the day.

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(Image credit: Who What Wear UK)

Style Notes: It wouldn't be a holiday without a riverside meal and either after-dinner drinks or a show (Moulin Rouge, anyone?). Swap your sneakers for slingback heels and your jeans for a slinky slip skirt to achieve easy elegance.

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3. Boutique Browsing


(Image credit: Who What Wear UK)

Style Notes: No city break is complete without an afternoon spent browsing the best shopping haunts. Pull your sneakers back out, and opt for a knit instead of your coat since you'll be spending a lot of time indoors. The goal here is to feel and look carefree, especially if you're known to take the occasional mirror selfie.

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(Image credit: Who What Wear UK)

Style Notes: Whether your journey home is a long or a short one, make comfort a priority. Think stretchy leggings, thick socks and a soft sweater. Oh, and some sunnies to conceal your tired eyes. City breaks can be pretty exhausting, right? All the more reason to set yourself up for a cosy sleep on the plane...

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This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Freelance Fashion Editor

Bébhinn Campbell is an Edinburgh-based fashion and lifestyle writer and editor. She started her first blog at age 14 and went on to intern at print and digital publications in Berlin and London, including Dazed & Confused and Indie magazine.

A job at a fashion startup took Bébhinn from Ireland to Scotland in 2019, where she now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter covering everything from travel and interiors to styling advice. As a contributor to Who What Wear, Bébhinn always keeps her eyes peeled for emerging trends and looks worth writing about. She prides herself on her ability to cut through the noise and identify solid investment buys, exciting new brands and fresh takes on classic design.

In her spare time, Bébhinn enjoys perusing Edinburgh’s best vintage shops, working through her out-of-control book collection and watching dog reels on Instagram.