Summer holiday capsule wardrobe 2018: Boho Brights

summer capsule wardrobe 2018 holiday travel 20 pieces

Thinking about your holidays? Me too! Taking a really good mix and match capsule wardrobe away with you means that there’s no excess baggage in your case, and everything you bring along gets used to its fullest extent so there’s no wasted purchases either. That’s a win-win situation on the style and bargain fronts as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve put together a 20-piece Summer capsule wardrobe for sunseekers that really works, so you’ll be looking effortlessly Boho Bright on the beach, by the bar, and on your sightseeing trips. It differs a little from the usual working week capsule wardrobes because you need to include swimwear, sunglasses and a sunhat for the sunshine along with the usual suspects such as tops, bags and footwear.

As usual, the tops can be all be fully mixed and matched with the trousers, shorts and skirts, so any combination will look great. There are also a few versatile items included such as sarongs and button down shirts that can be worn in more than one way to create extra options.

Ready to jet off? Pack some of these…


Swimwear and beach cover ups

Capsule wardrobe summer holiday 2018 bikinis swimwear beach cover ups sarong

If you’re having a beach holiday, you’ll need more than one bikini (even if you do a bit of hand washing here and there). It’s also smart to be sun safe and take along some cover ups, and they might as well look good at the same time. From left to right we have:

  • Topshop yellow bikini top, £10.00, and bikini briefs, £10.00. They also have high waisted briefs and longline tops in the same fabric if you prefer more cover, plus fuller bust sizes in their yellow swimwear collection so there’s something for most people.
  • Marks & Spencer pink mix floral print bandeau bikini top, £10.00, and tie-side hipster bikini briefs, £8.00. There’s a large range of shapes and styles in this collection so you can mix and match to suit your body shape and preferences. Sizes 8 to 24.
  • Joe Browns blue halter tankini top, £19.95, and blue mid leg tankini bottoms, £9.95 (buy 2 items, save £5 at Joe Browns website). This is from a massive collection of mix and match swimwear, but these specific featured items have been chosen to give you a swimsuit that you can do some proper swimming in, and they can also be worn as outerwear or combined with the pink mix print bikini from M&S. You can find them at Next and Debenhams too.
  • F&F tassel kimono kaftan, £18.00. Looks a lot like a designer piece that costs several times the price. Snap this up fast before the shop closes down at the start of July.
  • Phase Eight Lulu Ombre Sarong, £39.00. A beautiful versatile beach cover up that you can throw around your shoulders to keep the sun off, or twist and knot into a large headscarf, bandeau midi dress, halter neck mini dress or maxi skirt. Look out for regular short term discounts and offers at Debenhams and House of Fraser to bring the cost down. Alternatively there are pink sarongs on Amazon for £9.99 and £13.99 that are nice budget options.


Accessories and bags

Summer capsule wardrobe holiday 2018 accessories bags boho bright Penny Golightly

Grab a great pair of shades and a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, and make sure you bring along a beach bag and some pretty jewellery too.

  • Accessorize packable crochet mirror trim trilby hat, £22.00. [sorry, now sold out] A clever straw hat you can chuck into your suitcase or beach bag that won’t lose its shape, plus it has a little sparkle and a brightly coloured trim. The shell bead trim straw hat from Matalan, £8.00, might fit the bill too, although it’s only available in one size.
  • Topshop lunar rimless preppy sunglasses, £20. This season’s round glasses with a retro vibe and a pop of blue. [EDITED TO ADD: now sold out, alternatives at ASOS and Oliver Bonas].
  • Butterfly by Matthew Williamson beaded tassel pendant necklace, £14.40 (currently 20% off). A beautiful boho necklace in blue and gold for a touch of affordable designer glam.
  • & Other Stories woven straw pom pom tote, £49.00. The ultimate 2018 beach bag with two sets of carrying straps. For a cheaper alternative with a tassel feature, try this £15.00 bag from Peacocks.
  • Next natural leather macrame clutch bag, £60. A lovely bag with striking macrame fringe and a detachable cross body strap, the right size for sightseeing and nights out. If that’s too spendy, New Look has a simpler alternative tan cross body bag with a double fringe for £15.99.


Shirts, blouses, camisoles, t-shirts

Summer capsule wardrobe 2018 holiday travel beach boho brights tops Penny Golightly

There are four tops pictured here, but don’t forget that you can wear the tankini top as a halter top too so it’s actually five in total. The different shapes and colours give you plenty of variety to play with. From left to right:

  • Warehouse pink angel flared sleeve tee, £26.00. A pop of colour, plus flowy sleeves for an airy feel. Just right for slipping on over a bikini when the sun’s too intense, or brightening up your evening look.
  • Debenhams white cotton blend embroidered detail camisole, £12. Simple, breezy and available in sizes 8 to 26.
  • Boden chambray blue embroidered bell sleeve shirt, £70.00. Wear it buttoned up as a top, or open as a light jacket for a beach cover up to show off the gold braiding on the inside. Sizes 8 to 22. There’s a cheaper alternative from Heine without the embroidery that’s £27.30 at Kaleidoscope.
  • Matalan yellow floral ruffle cold shoulder top, £9.00. A fun, feminine and bright top at a great price. There are several other items available in this print, if you’d like a different style.


Skirts, shorts and trousers

Summer capsule wardrobe 2018 holiday travel beach bottoms skirt shorts jeans boho brights Penny Golightly

There are three bottoms in the picture above, and you can also wear the sarong tied into a maxi skirt and the tankini bottoms as short shorts – so that’s five options.

  • La Redoute short striped skirt, £23.40. A fresh, easy to wear cotton blend that will take you from beach to bar with a touch of French chic.
  • Matalan yellow floral frill hem shorts, £8.00. Wear with a simple tee, or match it with the yellow top above to make a playsuit.
  • Mango ripped girlfriend jean, from £21.20 at Very and Littlewoods. Just right for a relaxed, casual look. Or just take a pair of your old jeans and cut off the hems, then distress them with a pumice stone or large metal file.


Shoes, sandals and flip flops

Summer capsule wardrobe 2018 holiday travel beach shoes flip flops sandals Penny Golightly

And last, but not least there are some treats for your feet. From left to right we have:

  • Matalan raffia pom pom flip flops, £5.00. Playful pops of colour for walking on the beach or lounging by the pool.
  • Cath Kidston Island Bunch classic navy espadrilles, £16.00. These have a padded sole so they’re extra comfy while also looking great.
  • New Look yellow suedette wooden block heels, £19.99. Give your look a little lift with these seventies retro inspired block heels that are high enough to lengthen your pins but still walkable (handy if you’re staying near a shingle beach or going up and down winding streets. If you prefer the killer heels version, try these higher yellow £21.00 heels from Nasty Gal.


Now let’s put the whole capsule wardrobe together to see how you could start mixing the twenty pieces up. I’ll put some outfit ideas up on the site tomorrow to give you some more style inspiration.


Summer capsule wardrobe 2018 holiday travel beach shoes flip flops sandals Penny Golightly


What’s your favourite piece out of all these bright beauties in the picture above?

Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!


Similar Posts


  1. Dear Penny, I love very much the kimono. Will try to sew one like this. Unfortunately can’t afford to go shopping for a summer capsule wardrobe. Will shop in my wardrobe instead. Already started to go to the charity shop, found a lovely Hello Kitty bikini for 1£ and another one Galeries Lafayette bikini for 1£ as well, some sandals and 1 pair of shorts. One of my friend gave me a big summer bag and a very nice hat. Look forward for these nice summer days to come.

  2. Hi Patricia, yes, that kimono is super cute isn’t it? I love it too.

    Some of the things in my personal capsule wardrobe are from sample sales, or vintage or thrift shops but I try not to include one-off items because my readers tend to prefer it when things are accessible. People don’t seem to like it if they can’t get one for themselves 🙂

    To solve that problem I look for similar clothes and accessories that are easy to find in the UK, but feel free to use it as inspiration to customise and make use of anything you already own.

Comments are closed.