7 Items to Include in a Southern Europe Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Planning a vacation to Europe? Here, I’m going to share with you a list of items that are essentials in my Southern Europe summer capsule wardrobe, but I've kept them pretty general so that you can tailor them to you. Let's get started!

Wearing cotton or linen in the heat

1. Cotton or linen

Go for anything in cotton or linen, or a blended cotton linen fabric if you prefer. These are natural fibers and will keep you cool. 

Wearing linen in the summer

A caveat with linen is that it's going to wrinkle no matter what, so if wrinkled fabric bothers you, then don't go for linen. A cotton linen blend or a silk linen blend could be a better choice as they carry the properties of cotton and silk, while providing cooling properties and a nicer drape.

Chic swimwear for a summer vacation in Europe

2. Chic swimwear

Even if you have zero plans of going to a beach or a pool on your hot weather European vacation, you never know when you will stumble upon a seriously amazing beach or a random hidden lagoon. 

Warm weather Europe capsule wardrobe

Here, I’m wearing a navy blue bikini made up of 78% recycled nylon. I love this style because it's got the perfect amount of coverage versus cute for a bikini.

Comfortable walking sandals

3. Comfortable sandals or sneakers

Normally I am not a sandal person, but there is a certain point when it gets really hot and the aeration of my feet is my top priority. If you're going to get a walking sandal, make sure it's got a nice thick sole that is malleable and will give you good stability.

Packing light sneakers for a trip to Europe

In terms of sneakers, I would look for those with interesting details. These ones have a really cool vintage vibe and an interesting colorway that works with my travel capsule. I would also look for sneakers that are breathable and have mesh detail so that they’re nice and light. 

Vintage-style sunglasses

4. Sunglasses

I tend to bring two pairs of sunnies with me on vacation, in two different styles. This round pair feels vintage and laid back, with nice gold detail. 

Glam Dior sunglasses

I’ve also got my Diors which are sharper, bolder, and more glam. By switching out your sunglasses, you can really change the vibe of your outfit.

Europe travel capsule wardrobe

5. Hats

In the same vein: hats. I bring two different hats: my ball cap and a classic straw fedora. I love the versatility that these allow me with my limited travel wardrobe. 

European wardrobe essentials

They both go with everything and similarly to my sunglasses, as soon as you switch out the hat it gives a completely different feeling to the outfit. 

What to pack for Europe

6. Bags

Bags, sunglasses, and shoes are the trifecta of good European style. Bring at least one really good bag; something that works with everything and not something that feels like a last-minute throw-on.

It doesn't have to be the trendiest thing, and it doesn't have to be the newest or the most expensive, but it has to look intentional. Make sure it's in a colorway that suits your capsule, so it will feel chic no matter how or what you're wearing it with. 

What to wear in Europe in the summer

Of course, it also has to be functional. I love how I can swap out the straps on my vintage bag and carry it two ways.

A bag or purse can change the way you walk. If you've got a crossbody or something that hangs on your shoulder, your hands are free for taking vacation photos. If you're holding a handle, it's more of a feminine evening look.

I would look for a bag that has at least two different ways that you can wear it, or perhaps look for an attachment that will give you that versatility for a bag that you already own.

Tip: In hot weather, we wear loose and relaxed clothing, so going for a more structured bag can bring that sense of polish.

Southern Europe summer capsule wardrobe

7. Backpack

On this trip, I have two backpacks with me. I have a very functional one that is canvas and padded, so it's great for all of my technical equipment, and then I have a leather backpack that is convertible so works on the shoulder as well. I think which backpack you bring entirely depends on the kind of vacation you plan on having.

Southern Europe summer capsule wardrobe

I hope you enjoyed this Southern Europe summer capsule wardrobe style guide, and this list of essentials helps you feel ready for your next warm weather vacation.

Bringing the right clothes and accessories with you on holiday will allow you to feel comfortable and look put-together, stylish, and ready to go!

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