Travel fashion made easy with this stylish holiday capsule wardrobe guide



When it comes to travel fashion, you’re either a “less is more” kind of person or a “more is more” enthusiast – there’s not much in between. I have to admit; I’m usually more on Team “more is more”! Who doesn’t love having all those “just in case” options ready to go, right?

When you’re on vacation, it’s not just about seeing the sights but also about feeling good in your skin. For me, that means having a variety of outfits to choose from. But even maximalists need to be organised. So, I’ve learned the art of loosely planning my outfits before I hit the road.

Let me tell you, it is a game-changer! Getting ready becomes a breeze when you know what you’re working with. And even if you need to switch things up, deciding on the perfect look will only take a little while. Plus, it’s a real lifesaver when you’re just itching to start your adventure without wasting time staring at your suitcase.

Antler Luggage- Travel fashion guide
Credit- Antler Luggage

Staying organised during your vacation means less stress and more fun. You don’t have to constantly worry about what to wear when there’s so much to explore and enjoy! So, take it from a transitioning maximalist – plan your outfits loosely, be ready for anything, and make the most of your fantastic journey without a care in the world.

Creating a stylish holiday look doesn’t require dragging half of your wardrobe with you—the secret lies in a well-curated capsule wardrobe. With just a few essential pieces, you’ll have plenty of stylish outfits to elevate your travel fashion on your holiday.

Handy tips to help you build your dream holiday capsule wardrobe.


The destination is hands down the most critical factor when it comes to your travel fashion. Think about it – will you be basking in the sun’s warm embrace or bracing against chilly winds? Understanding the climate and environment at your destination is the key to packing the right clothes.


Another important factor to consider is the duration of your holiday. The length of your trip can significantly impact your travel fashion choices, as it directly relates to the number of activities you’ll be engaging in and, consequently, the number of outfits you’ll need.


Think about what aesthetics you want your travel fashion to embody during your trip. Do you want to channel your inner “rich aunty,” rock the look of a “stylish tourist,” or perhaps embrace your inner “bougie fashionista”? Picking a theme allows you to curate a wardrobe that reflects exactly how you want to look and feel during your vacation.

Pro Tip

Consider creating a mood board on Pinterest to make it even more fun and organised. You can gather inspiration, visualise your desired looks, and identify gaps in your current wardrobe. If there are missing pieces, you’ll know whether you need to do some extra shopping to complete your fabulous vacation wardrobe.

While a notes app on your phone is great for making lists, we want to make things even easier. We’ve highlighted versatile pieces that won’t weigh down your bags but still give you enough outfit options to work with. Our goal is to take the stress out of packing, so you can focus on enjoying your holiday to the fullest.

Travel Fashion- Holiday Capsule Wardrobe


Kandie J- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Kandie J in Berska jeans

Denim pants- Mom/Boyfriend jeans

A travel wardrobe without a trusty pair of denim pants is like a day without sunshine! In my humble opinion (and you can trust me on this), opting for a more loose-fitting style is the ultimate way to go. After all, comfort is the holy grail of travel fashion, especially when exploring new places.

Denim pants are the ultimate travel essential because of their versatility. With just a few pairs, you can create many stylish looks by pairing them with carefully selected blouses. Whether going for a casual day of sightseeing or a fancy dinner out, denim pants can be your go-to option.

Dress them up with a classy pair of heels, and you’re ready to hit the town in style. Or keep it effortlessly chic by pairing them with comfy flats or trendy sneakers for those long walks and adventures.

JariatuDanita- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Jariatu Danita in Maxi Denim Skirt

Denim skirts

Denim skirts are a must-have for your holiday capsule wardrobe. They are trendy, super cool and offer a surefire way to incorporate the hottest summer fashion trends into your holiday style.

With their timeless appeal and versatile nature, denim skirts blend fashion and comfort effortlessly. You can pair them with a variety of tops, from casual graphic tees to flowy boho blouses, creating endless stylish combinations for all your holiday adventures.

Whether you’re strolling along the beach boardwalk, exploring quaint markets, or sipping cocktails at sunset, a denim skirt will keep you looking chic and feeling fabulous throughout your vacation.

Tolu Aribisala- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Tolu Aribisala in Denim Shorts

Denim shorts

When you’re jetting off on a summer holiday, it’s the ideal time to let your legs soak up the sun and show off their natural glow. Shorts are the go-to fashion piece for this season, and they offer incredible versatility and convenience, especially when you’re out exploring as a tourist.

The beauty of shorts lies in their simplicity and ease of wear. They’re perfect for casual outings, beach days, or even dressing up for a fun night out. Pair them with a cute tank top or a flowy blouse for a laid-back beach look, or dress them up with a stylish off-shoulder top for a chic evening outfit. The options are endless!

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Styletitude by Ada- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Styletitude By Ada in Black Crop Top

Basic Tops

Basic tops are an absolute wardrobe staple. I firmly believe you can never have too many tees, crop tops, camisoles, or bodysuits. They serve as the foundation for countless stylish outfits, allowing you to create fabulous looks effortlessly.

Don’t forget to pack that classic white tee, a cute crop top, and a perfect bodysuit or camisole. Depending on the length of your stay, having one of each should suffice. However, it’s always a great idea to be prepared, so consider taking two of each in versatile neutral shades and bold colours.

These basic tops are incredibly versatile and can be mixed and matched with various bottoms, be it skirts, shorts, or pants. They effortlessly adapt to different occasions, from casual daytime explorations to evening outings, making them a go-to choice for any travel itinerary.

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Jackie Aina- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Jackie Aina in Oversized White Shirt

Oversized White Shirt

An oversized white shirt is an absolutely important travel fashion staple! Its versatility makes it a go-to piece for various occasions during your trip. Whether you need a cover-up for a day at the beach, a chic layer over a cute tank top with shorts, or a sophisticated look tucked into a nice pair of pants for a tour, the classic white shirt has got you covered.

Its effortless style and timeless appeal make it ideal for creating casual and dressier outfits. You can easily dress it up or down, depending on your plans for the day. It’s perfect for exploring new places, a laid-back afternoon by the pool, or even dressing up for a lovely dinner at a local restaurant.

The oversized fit adds a touch of comfort and gives you that relaxed, vacation-ready vibe. Plus, the breathable fabric ensures you stay cool and comfortable, even on the hottest days.

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Teminikan- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Teminikan in Blue Slip Dress

Slip Dresses

Slip dresses are the epitome of allure and chic simplicity. Their timeless appeal is simply irresistible. As a vintage lover, I can’t help but adore these beautiful slip pieces, and their versatility in styling makes them a must-have for any travel wardrobe.

Picture yourself going for a romantic dinner with your partner or having a fun night out with friends at your destination – a slip dress is the perfect choice for both occasions. Its graceful silhouette exudes elegance, while the lightweight fabric ensures you stay comfortable and stylish throughout the evening.

What’s even better is that slip dresses are incredibly packable. They fold easily and take up minimal luggage space, leaving plenty of room for other travel essentials. It’s like having a fashion ace up your sleeve, ready to elevate your style game without weighing you down.

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Dimma Umeh- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Dimma Umeh in Ayaba Woman X DerinFromIsaleEko Pants

Cotton Pants

Cotton pants are a fantastic addition to your travel wardrobe, offering both practicality and effortless style. Opt for neutral-coloured bottoms that can be effortlessly paired with bold colours or fun prints. These versatile pants allow you to create multiple looks, making day-to-night transitions a breeze.

Rock your beige or nude cotton pants with a bold print unbuttoned shirt, a cute crop top, and comfy sneakers for a casual and chic ensemble. Explore the local sights, hit the markets, and feel entirely at ease in this stylish daytime outfit.

As the evening rolls around, you can easily elevate your look for a night out. Swap the shirt for a flirty and elegant top, and slip into a pair of strappy sandals for a touch of sophistication. Accessorise with some statement jewelry and you’re all set for a fantastic night on the town.

With a few simple changes, your cotton pants can take you from a laid-back daytime adventurer to a fashion-forward night owl. It’s the perfect way to maximise your travel wardrobe and ensure you look stunning at any time of the day.

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Jenee Naylor- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Jenee Taylor in McMullen Two Piece Set

Co-ord Sets

There’s something about a perfectly matched outfit that adds that extra holiday spice to your style. The best part is their incredible versatility – you can create many outfit combinations by styling the pieces separately.

With a matching set, you can explore bold colours and fun prints that may seem intimidating on their own. But once you’ve worn the set as a cohesive outfit, you’ll find that each piece pairs beautifully with other basics in your wardrobe.

The magic of good styling comes into play here. Mixing and matching the co-ord set with other tops, bottoms, or layers, you can effortlessly achieve up to 6 different outfit combinations from just one set! It’s like having a mini capsule wardrobe in one go, giving you endless possibilities to experiment and express your unique style.

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Angel Obasi- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Angel Obasi in Ako Africa Shift Dress

Stylish Shift Dresses

Not only do these dresses provide the perfect camouflage for any food babies, but they also offer a comfortable and effortlessly stylish option for your travels.

You can choose between a mini, midi, or maxi shift dress, depending on your desired theme and vibe. Each length brings its own charm and versatility, allowing you to curate the perfect look for any occasion during your vacation.

Consider cinching the waist with a stylish belt to add some flattering definition to your silhouette. This simple trick accentuates your figure and adds a touch of elegance to your outfit. Alternatively, style the dress without a belt for a relaxed and chic look, allowing maximum comfort while still looking fashionable.

The beauty of a shift dress lies in its adaptability. Layer it with a jacket for a more polished and sophisticated ensemble, or wear it as a skirt by pairing it with a cute tee. This creative styling approach lets you maximise the potential of your shift dress, giving you multiple outfits from just one piece.

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The Real Chi- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
The Real Chi in Alejandra Alonso Rojas Knitwear


Knitwear is an absolute dream for your travel wardrobe. Not only do they flatter your body beautifully, but they also offer unbeatable practicality. The breathable nature of knitwear ensures you stay comfortable in various climates and the best part? They don’t need to be pressed, making packing a breeze!

Just imagine those picturesque moments during your vacation, wrapped in pretty knitwear, with the perfect view as your backdrop. It’s like something out of a travel magazine – effortlessly chic and cozy at the same time.

The versatility of knitwear knows no bounds. Dress them up with heels for a touch of sophistication, or style them casually with flat sandals and a stylish hat for a laid-back beachy vibe. You can even wear them as chic beach cover-ups, making them the ultimate multi-functional piece.

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Lori Harvey- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Lori Harvey in Pretty Little Thing Bikini


A swimsuit is an essential item for any summer getaway, and the best part is that every body type is a summer body – you just need to find the perfect swimsuit that makes you feel fabulous! Your theme and destination will guide you in choosing the ideal print or colour for your swimsuit, allowing you to align your look with the vacation vibes.

No matter what style you go for, make sure your swimsuit is super stylish and flatters your unique body shape. The key is to feel confident and comfortable in what you’re wearing, so you can fully embrace the sun, sand, and sea without hesitation.

Remember to protect your skin by applying sunscreen while basking in the sun and enjoying the water. Sunscreen is a important for any beach or pool day, ensuring you can savour the joys of summer without worrying about sunburn.

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Bags- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Tenicka in Fendi Baguette // Marc Jacobs tote bag- Pinterest


Bags are an essential part of any travel fashion arsenal, and we’ve curated a short list of must-haves that will elevate your style game during your journey:

  1. Totes – These roomy and trendy bags are a travel essential. Perfect for the beach or running errands, totes come in various styles that add chic functionality to your ensemble.
  2. Baguette – The retro baguette style has returned and is here to stay. Its stylish and versatile design is a must-have for any fashion-forward traveller. Plus, they are easy to pack, making them an ideal addition to your travel wardrobe.
  3. Statement Bag – Add a splash of drama to your dinner looks with a stunning statement bag. These eye-catching pieces will undoubtedly turn heads and add that extra wow factor to your evening outfits.

With these bags in tow, you’ll be ready to conquer any adventure with style and practicality.

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Sandals & Strappy heels- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Alma in chunky sandals // The Real Chi in Aquazzara Heels


Shoes play a crucial role in your travel fashion, so opting for both comfort and style is a winning formula. Stick to the basics with some extra options to keep things simple and avoid overthinking your shoe choices.

White Sneakers: These are a must-have for any travel wardrobe. Versatile, comfy, and perfect for all-day exploration, white sneakers effortlessly blend with any outfit, from casual to chic.

Chunky Sandals: Embrace the trendiness of chunky sandals that provide support and add a touch of fashion-forward flair to your look. They’re great for strolling around and embracing those warm summer days.

Strappy Heels & Flat Slippers: For more dressy occasions, bring a pair of strappy heels in black or nude, offering elegance and sophistication. And for moments of relaxation, flat slippers are ideal for lounging by the pool or exploring laid-back locales.

Remember, sticking to these basic shoes ensures you’re prepared for most activities during your trip. However, you can also pack a pretty coloured pair of heels for those special occasions when you want to add an extra slay to your outfit.

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Charlie Kamale- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Charlie Kamale in Quay Eyewear


Sunglasses are a necessary accessory for your travel fashion, and my personal motto is “The bigger, the better”! Of course, everyone has their individual preferences and style, so choose the shape and size that suits you best.

Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s rays, but they also add a stylish and chic touch to your outfits. Whether you opt for oversized frames, classic aviators, or trendy cat-eye shapes, sunglasses are the perfect finishing touch to elevate your vacation fashion.

The great thing about sunglasses is that they’re not bulky and can easily fit into your accessory compartment, leaving plenty of space for other travel essentials. Plus, you can bring along a couple of pairs to switch up your look throughout your trip, offering even more versatility to your style.

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Accessories- Travel Fashion capsule wardrobe- Marie Claire Nigeria
Allyiah in Cartier & Van Cleef Jewelry // Charlie in Gucci Hat


Accessories are the magical touch that elevates your travel fashion, and having a mini jewellery box is a game-changer for easy packing and staying stylish throughout your trip. If you don’t have one yet, it’s worth considering as it helps you effortlessly organise and carry accessories for everyday and special occasions.

In addition to earrings and necklaces, remember the power of belts and hats in taking your style to the next level. Belts accentuate your waist and add a touch of flair to any outfit, giving it a more polished and put-together look.

And let’s not forget about hats! They are the perfect way to tie your outfits together nicely while providing practical sun protection. Whether it’s a chic wide-brimmed hat or a trendy fedora, you can instantly elevate your vacation looks with this fabulous accessory.

Now, you’re ready to go on vacation!

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  • Wumi 'Tuase

    Fashion & Beauty Editor. Wumi holds a PR major with over a decade experience in the media; from print to broadcast and now digital media. Fashion is her passion and she sees Beauty in everything. Some of her favorite things are: a two piece set, white wine, beach days, thrift shopping & cheesy romcoms.

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