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How to create a Colourful Summer Travel Capsule Wardrobe

Planning a vacation this summer? Learn how to create a summer travel capsule wardrobe with a few stylish and colorful key pieces you can mix and match to create so many outfits.

Capsule Wardrobe 2024

Few days ago I shared a minimalist summer travel capsule that was based on neutral colored items. We are talking black, cream, white, beige and brown. Whilst I really love the capsule, I am someone who always craves color and believe that we can embrace colorful clothes, even with minimalism. So, I’m delighted to share with you a colorful but minimal travel capsule you can adapt for your next sunny getaway.

What is a travel Capsule wardrobe?

A travel capsule wardrobe is a collection of versatile pieces that you can mix and match to create multiple outfits, saving you space and indecision! It encourages you to pack light and smart for your sunny getaway. I’m a big fan of creating capsule wardrobes. They are great if you want to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. They are also superb if you have a wardrobe bursting with clothes and do not know what to wear.

This capsule will inspire you by showing you how you can mix and match key items you already own, as well as where to buy essential items you need to create gorgeous outfits.

With fewer quality clothes to choose from, you’ll spend less time rifling through your closet and more time doing the things you love.

Summer vacation capsule wardrobe pieces

How many pieces are in this capsule wardrobe?

There are 9 pieces in this capsule wardrobe excluding accessories. The key items are 3 bottoms, 4 tops, 2 dresses. However, depending on how long your trip will be you can double (2-3 weeks) or decrease by half (a weekend) these items.

How can you build a travel capsule with colors that is both stylish and practical?


1. Neutral Button-Down Shirt

First things first, a neutral button-down shirt. It’s a classic! I love mine in linen because it’s super comfy and breathable, perfect for those hot days exploring a new city. Plus, it doesn’t wrinkle easily, which is a lifesaver when you’re living out of a suitcase. You can even throw it on over a tank top for a more put-together look in the evenings.

Nic +Zoe Breezy Shirt

Saks Off 5th Band collar shirt

2. Patterned top

A patterned top is a key essential in this capsule, as it adds some dimension to your wardrobe. It’s perfect for layering under your button-down, or on its own. Choose a flattering cut like a square neck. The bow detailing on the top in the capsule makes it look so pretty and suitable for activities where you want to look polished.

Cider Knotted Bodysuit

3. Colorful dressy tops

No colorful travel wardrobe is complete without pretty tops. These tops are chic and can dress up a pair of shorts or jeans. So long as these tops are not in the same style, you are good.

Saint Lauren One-shoulder Knitted top

Sweetheart top


4. Neutral tailored shorts

I love having a pair of tailored shorts because they are great for exploring, lunch or even a fancy dinner if you dress them up with a nice top and some heels. They’re comfy, stylish, and won’t wrinkle easily, which is a major plus when you’re on the move.

Banana Republic Shorts

Avec Les Filles Shorts

5. Breezy skirts

Skirts are a great way to add colour to your travel wardrobe. They are so versatile. I love to throw them on with a simple top for a casual day trip, a stroll down the beach, or dinner. A great alternative to pleated skirts would be this satin midi skirt. Satin skirts are also great for every occasion.

Berna Pleated Skirt

Old Navy Satin skirt

6. Linen pants

A comfy pair of linen or casual trousers is another great essential. Pick a trouser that is lightweight and breathable. The black trouser in this capsule can be dressed up with a blouse for a more formal occasion. Plus, the relaxed fit is perfect for the airport as well so you don’t need to pack any airport outfit.

Ralph Lauren trouser

Stradivarius linen pants


7. Go-anywhere dress

Every travel capsule needs a go-anywhere dress that is comfortable, versatile, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. I like to pack one black dress, for every trip. You can wear it with sandals for a daytime look or add a statement necklace and heels for dinner.

8. Second Dress

The second dress in your colorful; travel capsule should be in a bright summer color – yellow, orange or multi coloured. Just go for a color that suits you.

The dress I chose for this capsule is very colourful and dressy and is to be used for a night out/dinner.

Shop pretty little thing dress

Linen Mini Dress in Orange

Cupshe Front twist dress


9. Sun Hat

The first essential is a sun hat for chilling at the beach or pool side. Choose a style that suits your face shape and personality – a floppy hat for a relaxed vibe, a straw fedora, this wide brim hat with faux leather, or a visor would make great picks.

10. Trainers for walking around

Comfy shoes are a must for any traveller. You need a good pair of trainers or walking shoes for all that walking you’ll be doing. I love how comfy Adidas Samba is. I took it with me on my recent trip to Spain that involved a lot of walking, and my feet were happy. Definitely worth checking the reviews if you love less chunky looking trainers.

11. Slide sandals and Dressy Sandals

Pack a pair of dressy sandals for those evenings out. They’ll instantly elevate your outfit and make you feel confident and stylish, no matter where your travels take you.

Gucci Interlocking G Slides

Wedge slides

Butter yellow slides

12. Straw Tote

Finally, the holy grail of travel – the carry-all bag! This isn’t just any bag, it’s your travel companion. Choose a spacious tote that can fit all your essentials – your wallet, phone, sunscreen, water bottle, and maybe even a light scarf for chilly evenings. I really like this Loewe bag but it costs > $800. A great alternative is this bag by & other Stories which is under $120. Equally spacious and stylish.

Loewe Bag

& Other Stories straw Tote

Summer Travel Outfits

How to build a summer travel capsule wardrobe with colourful pieces

Final Tips

  • Ensure you choose pieces that can be dressed up or down and worn together in different combinations.
  • It’s always great to have tops, bottoms, and a dress. 1-2 items within each category should be your accent colour (i.e. the bright color). You can also have at least one item in each category which is still neutral i.e. black, white, navy, khaki, beige, etc. These will make the mixing and matching more fun and easier.
  • Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and chambray. These will keep you cool and comfortable in the summer heat.
  • Consider quick-drying materials for swimsuits, cover-ups, and anything you might get sweaty in.


Creating a travel capsule wardrobe is fun. It’s all about choosing versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create endless outfit combinations. If you’d like to travel with more neutral colored items, then head over to our popular travel capsule post that features timeless neutral pieces.

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