My Summer staycation capsule wardrobe

Staycations are looking to be the buzz word of the summer, again, with most of us going on one I thought I’d share what I packed for mine.

We went to the Cotswolds for 5 days at the end of June and stayed in a lovely cottage rental in Chipping Camden. For context we have a very energetic 4 year old boy. We have been to this area a few times over the years and love it so our plans consisted of lots of days out exploring the country side, pub lunch’s and a farm visit.

This capsule wardrobe would work for any UK break and I’ve added notes and additions to show what I would of packed if the weather had been a bit more like actual summer.

Our Holiday rental in the cotswolds

The phrase “capsule wardrobe” gets used a lot and I think it’s important to explain that in this case, I’m using it to illustrate that I’m taking a small selection of items that will all work with each other. We all know with the great British weather we have to be prepared for 4 seasons in 1 day. So I’m focusing on layers that work together so I can mix and match outfits and take off and add layers according to the weather

Why take a capsule wardrobe?

  • To make it easier to get dressed whilst I’m away, if I have items that all work easily together this makes deciding what to wear very simple and multiple outfit choices.
  • To make sure I have all bases covered by choosing items that layer well together I can be prepared for what ever the British weather throws at me.
  • To reduce the amount of packing and allow more space for other needed things in precious car space
Me on staycation.. in a pub beer garden

I’m going to show you what I packed in categories, of course depending on where you are going, the weather and your plans, you can tweak it here or there.

Where my item is no longer available I have given you a current alternative, I always try to pick one that is as close as possible to my own but also in stock, being sale time this is a bit tricker. However these are for visuals only really I am not here to sell you things, just to show you how to use items you have in your wardrobe already to pack for a staycation.

My packing list

Jeans / trousers/ shorts

Your bottoms need to work with all your top options and cover your range of activities. Jeans are my style and my go too’s most days but if you are more of a trouser or a dress girl then you can adjust the number of items in each category, just remember the important of each item being interchange with all the others so you have maximum outfit options.

  • A couple of pairs of blue jeans- these are perfect for summer, one straight leg one skinny, having these two styles allowed me to make the most of my tops.
  • A pair of khaki trousers -These could also be chino style trouser, they are basically your casual alternative to jeans. Mine were from DP’s a few years ago, the ones below are really close in style.
  • A smart/ casual summer trouser – I can wear these as a going out alternative to jeans, and easily dress up or down for a nice lunch or casual dinner out where you want to feel a bit nicer
  • Extra additions -If the weather forecast had been warmer I would of packed my khaki chino style shorts, a pair of denim shorts would also work well.

Notes – If I was going to the coast I would swap/ add in some off white or white jeans. Also if planning to be going out more dressy swap the blue skinnies for black skinnies as it gives you more going out options.

Straight leg jeans
Blue skinny Jeans
Khaki trousers
Smart/ casual trousers

Jackets and layers

With the weather being very unpredciatable layers that work together are your safest option. Our forecast was for showers the whole week and I wore mostly my rain coat and leather jacket and on the dry warmer days I had on my light knit or Shacket. Depending on the forecast you can of course tweak this but being a British staycation i found myself needing different jacket and layer options throughout the day. I went out each day with my rain coat and either my leather jacket or hoody in case I was cold.

  • A Rain coat/ Mac/ coat with a hood – My go to khaki rain coat is an old Topshop, lots of the options that were around have sold out. Khaki is a good colour as it goes with everything, all the neutrals. Looks great with black, denim, animal print and floral
  • A leather jacket – Either over tee with your jeans or worn over your dresses, for chilly days or the evenings it’s a really easy to wear item and a packing essential.
  • A white shirt – A lovely light layer for warmer days, wear open over a top and jeans, over dresses, as a beach cover up. Or dress up with jeans or trousers for a more polished look
  • A hoody – I have chosen a light neutral colour, great to wear on cooler days or evenings also good for traveling in.
  • A light knit – here you can easily introduce a bit of colour or pattern as long as it works with the majority of your bottoms. I took a striped knit that is a few years old that has a bright yellow slogan on it, I wear it will all my denim’s and khakis. A slogan sweat top would also work here.
  • Extra addition is a Shacket – The perfect in between layer, either in khaki or another neutral that goes with the rest of your items. I didn’t take one, but I’m adding one in as an alternative with the warmer weather this might be a good option. I would suggest if you are taking a shirt you wouldn’t also need a shacket also, as they do the same job.

Notes – Of course weather forecast dependant if your forecast was for much warmer sunnier days you would probably not need the rain coat (lucky you!!) A denim jacket is also a great easy to wear item that you could switch leather for if the weather forecast was for sunshine.

Rain coat
Leather jacket
A hoody
White shirt
Light knit jumper
A shacket

Top’s and Tee’s

These are the backbone of your capsule wardrobe and each one needs to be wearable with each of the bottoms. How many of each variation is really down to your style, what you are planing to do, weather forecast and length of stay of course.

I took 7 tops in total.

  • A couple of Basic T’s- white is of course a go to summer tee but navy, black and grey are also good to mix and match. You could also add in some colour here as long as it goes with multiple of your bottoms it will work. Pink or coral is a nice summer colour that goes so well with denim and khaki. I also like a slogan tee or printed tee to add a area of interest into my outfit. A monochrome one would work will all of your other items.
  • The Breton top/ striped tee- because they go with everything and look stylish. I took a short sleeve and a longer sleeve to cover my bases.
  • A nice blouse – dress up or keep causal its an easy outfit for lunch or dinner outfit. This can be floral or patterned but needs to work within your holiday wardrobe. I took this lovely French Connection floral blouse to wear with my jeans and khaki trousers.
  • A Lux vest – I am a big fan of these simply as they are chic and stylish but oh so easy to to wear and mix and match in your wardobe. Mine is from Hush last year but the below one is also lovely and so timeless.
Basic tee’s
Photo tee
Slogan tee
striped tee
Breton top
A pretty blouse – mine is French connection but no longer available
A lux vest

Dresses and Jumpsuits

I took just 1 dress and 1 jumpsuit that both work with my layers and footwear, meaning I could dress up or down. We all need those items in our wardrobe that you can just throw on and the best thing about this category is that it is an entire outfit in one item. Throw in some colour and pattern at this point if you like as

  • Midi dress- I took an old animal print midi, as a neutral print it works with everything else and I can wear with all my footwear too. You basically want a dress you can wear day to night, something you feel nice in. I would go for a short sleeve dress at you can add layers easily if you need to, and so it doesn’t look too casual. A shirt dress style is perfect for this.
  • Jumpsuit – I have a Topshop one that is a dark florals shirred jumpsuit that I get so much wear out, looks good with trainers or sandals and is really easy to wear.
  • Extra Additions – a sun dress would be a good addition if you are heading to the coast or the weather was going to be hot! This can work as a day dress or a beach dress.

Notes -The number of items in this category you take will also vary depending on your personal style and lifestyle and indeed what kind of staycation you are going on. I have a little boy (4yrs) so there is a lot of running around I find i wear my jeans and a tee more than anything day to day, but you might be more of a dresses person. In this case you would switch the no of trousers and take more dresses. The only thing to remember when doing this as that ideally to stay within a capsule wardobe they need to work with the other items you are taking, so something you can wear with trainers and a light layer over it in the day or with nicer shoes or sandals for going out in the evening.

Animal print midi shirt dress

Shoes & Accessories

Your footwear, like the rest of your capsule wardrobe needs to practical as well as stylish and go with each of your outfits so they can be interchangeable. This is what makes the whole thing work and allows you as many options as possible once you are away. The weather will of course play a part I have shown you what I took and given you a few suggestions for if the weather is much better than I had it.

I took 4 pairs of shoes including the ones I wore to travel in, and 2 bags.

  • 1 pair of walking boots or wellies – We were going for a country side break, a farm visit and it was due to be wet so I packed my boots and I was very glad I did, Yes in June I wore my boots, this is what a British summer is all about.
  • Trainers – 2 pairs Max, I like a neutral/ animal print and a white so they go with everything. These converse are leather so great for wet weather too.
  • 1 pair of Sandals – practical ones I can walk in. Black is good as you can wear with everything and also for evening.
  • 1 day Day trip back / back pack – I’m a big fan of a backpack for days out with kids. A big basket bag you can fit your life in would also work well.
  • 1 handbag – a small cross body bag you can wear day to night
  • 1 pair of Sunglasses

Notes – Our forecast was for wet weather and not that warm on the evenings so when I went away so I took a pair of flat Chelsea style boots that I could wear with jeans or dresses on an evening for casual dinners. If the forecast had been for nicer warmer weather I would of taken my summer espadrille wedges instead as they go with everything and easily dress up my outfit.

Here are a few examples of options

Walking boots
Short wellies
Neutral trainers
Leather converse
Black sandals
Espadrille summer wedges
Salt water sandal
Basket bag
Ray bans
Travel bag
Back pack


There are so many outfit combinations within this capsule wardrobe, here are a few examples, including all outfits I wore on my staycation. Hopefully this shows you just how you can mix and match good key pieces to make multiple outfits that work for you.

I hope you enjoyed this blog

Thank-you for reading

Caroline x


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