If you’ve been following me on Instagram (I’m @caroline_joy) you know Aaron and I are currently on vacation in Miami, or more specifically South Beach. We’re getting some much needed down time + adventure time together.
I thought you might like to peek into my suitcase. Cue Will Smith and check it out!
GREY CASUAL TANK (similar) | This tank, paired with jean shorts, makes a perfect swimsuit coverup. Or I’m also pairing it with jean shorts + panama hat + day sandals for a casual sightseeing outfit.
WHITE CASUAL TANK | While this tank is casual in nature, it’s actually really easy to dress up. I’m pairing it with dressy shorts + dressy heels + statement bracelet + day purse for a fun happy hour look.
GRAPHIC TEE (sort of similar) | The fit of this tee is so loose and comfortable. Yet it’s also easy to dress up. (See a theme here?) I’m wearing it casual with jean shorts + day sandals — or I can go dressy with dressy shorts + dressy heels.
BUTTON UP SHIRT | This shirt is perfect for brunch, paired with jean shorts + day sandals + panama hat + day purse. It also doubles as a swimsuit coverup.
CASUAL MAXI DRESS |The dress pictured isn’t the exact maxi dress I have, but it’s similar. Basically, I never travel without a maxi dress. I can dress it up or down, and it’s the easiest one piece outfit to throw on.
COCKTAIL DRESS | This one’s reserved for our fancy date! You haven’t really seen any of my fancy dresses because they aren’t included in my capsule wardrobe, but this is one of three fancy dresses I’ve been investing in over the past few years. I struggled for a while when it came to cocktail attire. I would always buy little Forever21 dresses … but I am not forever 21 anymore. So they just looked … sad. I finally invested in this beautiful number that’s sexy (short) and playful (fringe!) but totally demure at the same time (covered up top).
TWO SWIMSUITS (similar floral and similar leopard) | I’m way into the retro style swimsuits these days.
BEACH + DAY SANDALS | These are shown in black up there, but I actually have the cognac pair. (I just couldn’t find a picture of them in cognac.) These guys do double duty as my beach shoes and my around town sightseeing shoes.
DRESSY HEELS | Also for our fancy date! These pair with my dressy shorts, too — the perfect dinner outfit. Again, you haven’t seen these yet because fancy shoes aren’t included in my capsule wardrobe. But these are my one and only pair of fancy shoes, and they are so versatile — they do it all!
JEAN SHORTS | No beach vacation is complete without a pair of cutoffs. I’m wearing them to the beach as a swimsuit coverup, and around town when we’re out sightseeing.
DRESSY SHORTS | Wanna know a secret? These can actually go dressy or casual. They pair with every single top I brought. And they are super comfortable.
BEACH BAG | I don’t have a dedicated beach bag, so I brought our canvas reusable tote we use for our groceries. Makin’ do! It’s also doubling as my carry on bag for the plane.
DAY PURSE | Why did I bring such a tiny bag, you ask? Well, because it goes with my both my casual outfits and my fancy cocktail outfit. And I also just like carrying a smaller bag in general.
PANAMA HAT | While this guy takes up a lot of room in the suitcase, it’s worth it. I’m wearing it every day!
STATEMENT BRACELET | The bracelet shown up there isn’t the exact one I have, but it’s similar. I know this sounds crazy, but this is the only piece of jewelry I brought with me. But imagine it with every outfit I’ve mentioned so far. Perfect, right? Necklaces don’t work with either dress I brought … but this little cuff does. It also goes a long way in adding some style to my super casual outfits.
OTHER STUFF | Toiletry bag, one set of workout clothes, an extra beach coverup, Kindle, journal, and a blanket (that I can spread out on the beach or actually wear if I get cold).
So, are you going anywhere soon?
Thank you for this! I’m going to Turkey in two and a half weeks, for a fortnight and have been pulling my hair out trying to think of a way to stay chic and put-together without having to buy a whole new ‘holiday wardrobe’ but this gives me a million ideas for ways to use what I have to create a capsule beach holiday wardrobe! Perfect timing! Thanks again!
I’m hopefully going to Copenhagen next month, but I don’t think the weather will be beach appropriate there :p
I absolutely love packing for vacation! My mother is always an overpacker and I try to not be like that. Instead, I try to make several outfits with fewer pieces. I love this post because it’s exactly the way I would pack things! haha.
Love love love this! Thanks Caroline. I’m actually going to South Beach for Labor day weekend, so this is perfect!
One follow-up question. I’m packing two shorts that I can dress up/wear to the beach as cover-ups, too. But I’m wracking my brain thinking about how I’ll wear them during the day for sight-seeing (the next day or day after that) after they’re all grungy and wet from sand and salt water. Do you have any tips for how you extend your jean shorts for the beach week?
I’m from Miami–no one cares what you’re wearing when you’re sightseeing. It’s hot and no one really wears clothes anyway. Put your shorts in your beach bag once you get onto the beach and the sand/saltwater won’t even be an issue. Don’t leave the beach ’til you’re dry and then put clothes back on once you’re back on the sidewalk. Don’t rinse off (use a towel or your hand to slap sand off) or you’ll just get everything wet, wait ’til you get back to wherever you’re staying. If you happen to get dry sand on them, it shakes off super easy– it’s the water you don’t want on your stuff.
Can you walk through your non capsule wardrobe items? How does that work with having a capsule wardrobe? Is it like you keep certain special occasion items in their own mini capsule and don’t include them in your actual capsule because of how infrequently you wear them? I was just wondering this the other day because I was starting to do some planning for my own fall capsule and wasn’t sure if I should/had to include a dressy dress and dressy shoes that I will certainly need once or twice in that 3 month time period but would never need day to day or even week to week!
Seconded! Curious as to how you (Caroline) deal with out-of-season or fancy items that may be required. Though, that said. I don’t think there’s any “have to’s” involved. I wouldn’t keep shorts in my winter capsule (I’m Canadian) just in case I go somewhere warm in February, it makes sense to break the rules for occasions such as these (and special occasions) :)
Erin L. says
I just stumbled across your blog via The Small Things Blog, and I’m so happy I did! Your capsule wardrobe idea is fascinating, and I love how you explain your decisions for certain pieces. I’m a shopaholic so I’m excited to incorporate this into my closet eventually. Thank you for your wonderful posts!
i just found your blog and man – i am in love. i’ve been trying to pare down my wardrobe into classic, go-with-everything pieces i love, and you are so inspiring! i’m traveling to san francisco in a couple of months, during october, when the weather can be kind of unpredictable, from what i’ve heard. i imagine i’ll be packing lots of layer-able pieces.
This is perfect!! I’m going to Cabos San Lucas next month and this reminds me to keep it simple and light! After all, most of the time will be spent in a bathing suit. Glad you are enjoying Miami! :)
loving those suits! so cute!
Love this! I’m actually in pretty good shape for fall, but need ideas for Christmas in Hawaii and a destination wedding in Guadalajara. This is perfect.
I wish I had found your site earlier this year. I managed to pack a mind-blowing 18 kilograms for a beach vacation in june. Low point. ;)
Since then, I have enganged in my own minimalist journey and come quite far. Still, I love to look around and see how others do it and your site has become a constant source of inspiration for me. Thumbs up for looking fab with less!
Julia Wheeler / Gunn & Swain says
Thanks for including us! LOVE your blog! xo