One of the best things about living in the UK is arguably our proximity to the Mediterranean. It may still take a short flight or a rather long Eurostar to get there, but in the grand scheme of things, those bright-blue seas are just a moment away. It’s so easy, in fact, that it makes the perfect destination for a quick, restorative week or even a long weekend away. The dream, of course, would be to while away weeks driving up and down Italy or hopping around the Greek Islands. I’m pretty sure I could spend months on the French Riviera. But since most of us have the reality of jobs to get back to, we’ll settle for a mini break for now.
The hardest part about going away for a short time, though, is knowing what to pack. Cutting down your usual summer rotation into a capsule of pieces that you can mix and match and ideally fit in just one small carry-on case is always a challenge. Luckily, the likelihood is it’s going to be nice weather, especially if you’re heading off in the height of summer, so a few light, breezy items and some great accessories should do the trick.
Whether you’re planning on sunning yourself in Sifnos, sipping Aperols on the Amalfi Coast or taking in those famous Ibizan sunsets, below you’ll find that I’ve done the hard work of figuring out what to pack for you. I’ve been keeping a close (albeit envious) eye on all the fashion people who have already been on European getaways this year and pinpointed the 12 key pieces that have made their holiday wardrobes so effortlessly cool. Of course, I’ve only focused on those timeless buys you’ll wear summer after summer, holiday after holiday, and most are so classic you’ll probably already own them. Keep scrolling to see my suggested capsule, and if you’re looking to fill any gaps, I’ve added links to these great summer investments as well.
Shop the Mediterranean Mini-Break Capsule
1. White Dress
No matter where you're heading, a simple white dress will take you from days to evenings effortlessly—and work just as well back home.
2. Linen Trousers
No 2022 holiday would be complete without a pair of linen trousers, and once you've found the perfect pair, you'll wonder how your summer capsule ever lived without them.
3. Beach Shirt
Whether you opt for a long-sleeved linen, a crisp poplin or a printed silk short-sleeved number, a shirt is the versatile beach cover-up you never knew you needed.
4. Something Crochet
Fashion people aren't picky; any crochet item will do this summer. From maxi skirts to halterneck tops and beach dresses, there's nothing else that will make your holiday wardrobe feel more elevated.
7. Black Swimsuit
Black swimsuits aren't just universally flattering and perfect for that first day in the sun, but they're also completely classic, and they're much less likely to fade or discolour, so you can wear them for years.
10. Underwired Bikini
The bikini shape fashion people have been turning to for a good few years now is the underwired bra style. The return of the triangle may be offering up a pretty good challenge, but if you prefer a bit more support, don't miss out on packing one of these classic swimwear pieces.
From oval cat-eye to oversized styles and rectangular acetate frames, your eyewear is the accessory to have fun with. The one rule? Anything goes.
12. Fun Evening Dress
There's just something special about dressing up for dinner on holiday after a long hard day by the pool, isn't there? A fun dress to wear on those balmy evenings is a summer-capsule wardrobe piece you'll be grateful for. Backless, slip, bright or strappy—take your pick.