TD Travelista: Five wardrobe essentials for your summer trips

The season for sunshine across the world is officially here, and travel beckons. In this month’s fashion column, we bring you the essentials that will make it easy for you to put together various ensembles to fit different needs on your journeys.

It is that time of the year when you go for a picnic in a park, take a road trip, and do all kinds of fun outdoor activities. Summer is officially here and, with that, most of us are getting ready to take a much-needed break. Whether planning a low-key out of town weekend getaway or jetting overseas for that dream vacation or spending the summer relaxing on home turf, you need a capsule wardrobe that can take care of all your on-holiday ensembles and the non-vacation city looks too.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
The basics are best for mixing and matching on your summer travels. Image: Shutterstock/

For starters, invest in a handful of key foundational summer essential pieces to create multiple looks, no matter what the occasion or destination. To make sure you have a chic summer, we have put together a list of must-haves sunny season staples that you can experiment with, mix & match and up your style game.

Timeless Tee

A t-shirt may be the most basic piece of clothing in your wardrobe, but it is also one of the most versatile. From solid colours to Breton stripes to graphic designs, there is no dearth of options.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
A tee sets you free! Image: Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi.

Casual: This is a stylishly safe route to take when planning a short trip look. Pair a solid colour tee with distressed boyfriend jeans, hoop earrings, sneakers, and a cross-body bag, for your drive or ride. Once you get there, swap the jeans with shorts, and switch the bag with an oversized tote before you head out to the local bazaar for shopping.

Retro: There are a handful of looks that always work. A striped t-shirt and mid-length skirt combination is one of them. Throw on a pair of ballet flats, style your hair in a high ponytail and you are ready for a day full of back-to-back meetings. Later, add winged eyeliner, red lipstick, and dainty rings for an evening of social mingling.

Evergreen Maxi Dress

Much like its short counterpart, a maxi dress is a fail-safe pick. A perennial piece, but an absolute summer season must-have. From a wealth of styles and silhouettes to choose from, a maxi dress is the backbone of your summer travel wardrobe.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
Maximise fun in the sun with a maxi dress! Image: Shutterstock/puhhha.

Beach: If there is one thing synonymous with sun, sand, and sea, it is a maxi dress. For a day lazing at the beach, opt for a pastel maxi dress, a floppy hat, and a carryall tote. Trade the hat with an abstract print scarf headband, add a light denim jacket, dangler earrings and mixed metal bangles for a sundowner party.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
A Lilly Pulizer Jane maxi dress when you want to max up the luxe. Image: Courtesy Style Charade.

Boho Chic: A maxi dress can give you the right amount of fancy without the extra drama. A kaftan style dress in jewel tones with embellished detailing is ideal for a seaside night soirée. Skip accessories and instead go with smokey eye makeup, neutral lipstick, and soft curls. 

Tailored Wide-Leg Pants

If you gravitate towards tailored pieces, look no further than the inherently sophisticated wide-leg pants that can transition smoothly between settings. From high flare palazzos to mid-calf length culottes, wide-leg pants are a day-to-night all-rounder that’ll look equally at home in the office as on a vacation.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
Making gaucho pants work when travelling for work in summer. Image: Courtesy Joie De Jude.

Work trip: A pair of dark shade gaucho pants paired with a crisp white shirt and printed linen blazer will effortlessly take you from home to a business meeting in another city and back home. And if you have time to spare, replace the shirt with a sleeveless cropped top, add colour-pop accessories and enjoy some leisure time before you catch your flight.

Glam: There are very few pieces that can instantly elevate your look. Palazzo pants top the list. Create a colour block look by coupling a fuchsia pink palazzo with a vibrant red or chartreuse yellow top. For a subtle, yet equally, classy look, swap the bright colour top with a white or neutral shade top, layer some chains together and complete the look with a pair of heels.

Stylish Shorts

Shorts have undergone an evolution and come a long way from their carefree childhood image and have now become a chic piece that women comfortably wear to the office, on dates and on a holiday. The trick to nailing the look is to pick the right style for the occasion.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
Summery shorts keep you cool and up your hotness quotient too. Image: Shutterstock/CastOfThousands.

Vacation: Whether it is by road, rail or sea, a pair of denim shorts will safely carry you to your next destination. Wear it with a cute print t-shirt, and sneakers for the journey. For a dip in the ocean, add it on top of your bathing suit or bikini and use a checkered shirt as a cover-up. Style it with an eyelet top, delicate bracelet, beach tote and flat sandals for shopping at the flea market.

Work: Where denim shorts have long been deemed classics, the structured ones are relatively newer inductees to the summer wardrobe. No longer limited to casual attire, there is a pair of shorts for formal occasions as well. For work, pick one that is sleek, has tailored details and isn’t too short or too tight. Pair it with a shirt and add a lightweight jacket and mid-high heels. Once you are comfortable and confident with this look, experiment with colours and prints and you can create a mini workwear wardrobe with it.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
Who said shorts are super casual? Try suede ones like these for a sophisticated look. Image: Courtesy My Showroom Blog.  

Classic White Shirt

The white shirt is one of the few garments that exude power and polish. A dependable wardrobe essential that seamlessly blurs the lines between on-and off-duty style. From workwear to street style and from basic to bespoke, the classic white shirt is being reimagined like never before.

Fashion Week: Create a statement-making look by pairing the shirt with printed pants and sneakers. For a more dramatic effect, add a contrast print blazer and spot yourself on all the best-dressed lists in whatever city you attend Fashion Week. Alternately, you can go with the tried-and-tested winning combination of a button-front white shirt and jeans instead. Add a sexy bralette, cat-eye sunglasses and stilettoes for impact. Make sure to keep your summery shirt unbuttoned enough to give a peek-a-boo of the bralette.

Summer, fashion, travel, essentials
A white shirt can be very versatile. Image: Courtesy Meagan’s Moda.

Relaxed: A white shirt and full skirt is a wear-and-go, fuss-free approach to styling this wardrobe staple for a summer trip. Pair it with a paisley print flared maxi skirt, chunky silver necklace and sandals for a lunch date with your bestie. Mid-length pleated skirts have their charm, and they look great with a cotton shirt. Knot the shirt at the waist and accessorise with a colourful scarf, sunglasses and stud earrings and you are ready for al fresco fun. For a family get-together, wear the shirt with a knee-length candy colour or soft neutral shade skirt, messy bun, and baguette bag. Finish this look with a bright shade of lipstick to add a pop of colour this summer.  

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