Off on holiday? Here's the ultimate carry-on capsule wardrobe

It only takes eight items (and a few standard basics) to see you through a sun holiday in style. Forget the drama of dragging an over-stuffed suitcase to check-in. Simply carry-on your perfectly curated capsule wardrobe instead. Here's what you need to look super-stylish in the sun.

Colour co-ordinated bikinis are the bedrock of your capsule holiday wardrobe. They'll take up minimal space in your bag and can be mixed and matched for a fresh look every day. Include a couple of tankinis too, as they can serve as cropped tops for evening.

Bikini top, €48 at Cos

High-waisted bikini bottoms, €29 at Cos

Pack one exquisite item, such as a silk dress, for evening. This can be layered over tank tops and worn with a sarong wrapped around it to create different looks. The fluid cut of this pleated dress will offer real drama when you walk around.

Pleated maxi dress, €49.95 at Zara

A kaftan will multi-task for you; it's a day dress, a top if you tie it at the hem, evening wear when glammed up with accessories and a beach cover up during the day..

Open weave kaftan, €45.95 at Zara

It may be a capsule wardrobe cliche but a sarong can multitask as a scarf, belt or even a towel. Google how to tie a sarong and you'll find a multitude of different outfits can be created around this humble garment.

Leopard print cotton voile sarong, Eres, €215 at

One piece of statement jewellery can transform your look from day to night. I love these multi-coloured earrings as they'll work with anything.

Drop earrings, €17 at

Whether you're heading to Sydney or Sardinia bring a knit for evenings. Invest in a featherweight cashmere or a merino wool; they'll look super-chic for evenings and will see you through winter too.

Cashmere sweater, Cashmere In Love, €463 (reduced from €579) at

Forget about buckling and untying shoe straps. Go for a versatile, no-fuss pair of mules instead. Then make them multitask by opting for a metallic shade or metallic detailing that will work for day and night.

Gold weave sandals, €32 at Topshop

Choose a beach bag that can weather the tidal wave of sand, sea and sun lotion. This raffia-effect tote is water-resistant so ideal for bringing to the beach. Take it on the plane with your carry-on and pack it with a couple of glitzy mini bags for evening.

Striped raffia-effect tote, Truss, €236 at


Holding shot: River Island


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