Packing Is My Ultimate Flex—8 Chic Staples Going in My Suitcase This Summer

Scrolling through countless holiday snaps on Instagram can fool you into thinking everyone has grand summer plans. If we're lucky, a dream getaway to the Amalfi Coast or the Maldives might come along every now and then, but most years, a road trip to a pretty coastal town or remote cabin somewhere across the country is a touch more realistic. Not just realistic, but a local sojourn can be just as enjoyable and even more relaxing, free from airport-related stress and the like.

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @theannaedit

(Image credit: @theannaedit)

A staycation packing list is refreshingly simple compared to the extensive checklist needed for a trip overseas. There's a temptation to bring half your wardrobe to a new place, unsure which pieces best suit the ‘vibe’—while British weather is changeable, we know what to expect closer to home. Better yet, you probably already own all the items you need, preventing a last-minute scramble to find the perfect bikini or sandals that can handle Positano's steep side streets. Panicked impulse purchases, no more!

Whether you're headed to the Cotswolds or Cornwall, the following eight pieces deserve a spot in your suitcase. And if you don't already own them, we've included some easy-to-shop examples you'll continue reaching for long after your staycation.


1. Loose Jeans

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @theannaedit

(Image credit: @theannaedit)

Style Notes: A good pair of jeans is the perfect balance of comfortable and chic. Choose a versatile cut you can dress up for dinners out or pair with a sweatshirt for a countryside stroll.

Shop jeans:

2. White Cotton Separates

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @bubblyaquarius

(Image credit: @bubblyaquarius)

Style Notes: Packing a matching set is a smart way to optimise your holiday wardrobe. White cotton goes with everything, and a top-and-skirt combo can be easily mix and matched with other pieces.

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3. Slouchy Knitwear

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @taffymsipa

(Image credit: @taffymsipa)

Style Notes: It's sensible to always have a jumper or cardigan on hand when holidaying in the UK. Choose a style you can toss in a tote bag or tie around your shoulders in case of a sudden gust of wind.

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4. One-Piece Swimsuit

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @lucywilliams02

(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: A dip in the North Sea isn't quite as appealing as a swim in the Mediterranean, but it's sure to wake you up for the day. Make the most of mornings that don't require a wetsuit with a stylish one-piece (packing for bikini weather might be too optimistic).

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5. Simple Sandals

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @styleidealist

(Image credit: @styleidealist)

Style Notes: Shoes tend to take up the most suitcase space, so pick one pair of sandals you'll be happy wearing all weekend long. If you have room for a second shoe, we'd suggest a classic sneaker style.

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6. Linen Trousers

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @_jessicaskye

(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Style Notes: Linen trousers are a non-negotiable for any holiday. Comfy, breezy and unbeatably versatile, they're likely to become the most worn item in your suitcase.

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7. Raffia Tote

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @thandimaq

(Image credit: @thandimaq)

Style Notes: Your holiday handbag should: A. Have enough space for a book, a cosy knit and plenty of road trip snacks, and B. Complement all your planned outfits. Enter the raffia tote.

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8. Relaxed Button-Down

Staycation capsule wardrobe: @monikh

(Image credit: @monikh)

Style Notes: A relaxed-fit shirt can be layered over a swimsuit, tucked into jeans, tied at the waist... the list goes on. With limited packing space, a multi-faceted piece like this is a clear winner.

Shop shirts:

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.