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Welcome to Everyday Refinement. Here I write about dressing well, but sensibly. Where beauty and utility inspire authentic style and a better wardrobe.

The Summer Packing List

The Summer Packing List

What’s the fun of summer clothes if these can’t take us away from the city to destinations far or near for relaxation & recreation?


In the spirit of traveling, I’ve put together a thoughtful edit of travel separates to pack for a hiatus from the city and to getting away for a summer escape and relaxation.

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The Suitcase Files

a simple packing list for summer get aways

My summer packing list is assembled around classic warm-weather staples fabricated from beautiful, durable textiles.  The color palette rotates around a spectrum of rich, deep neutrals, as these hues are the building blocks for a modern travel capsule and abundant outfit options. I like to travel with pared-down, unfussy pieces in fabrications of absorbent linen, durable denim, crisp cotton poplin, liquid silk, and iconic denim. I favor simple silhouettes that fuse form with functionality, as well as, comfort and breathability.

Comfortably cool linen separates, lightweight cotton tees, and liquid silk camis are my go-to-staples and practically go-anywhere pieces for summer dressing.  These garments are indubitably packed as units in my travel capsule. My must-have fashion pieces to include on the summer packing list are wide-leg trousers and slip dresses. Both are classic silhouettes that evoke late 20’s and early 30’s boudoir dressing. When these fashion pieces are fabricated from gauzy linen or med-weight silk crepe, I have singular styles that take me from city to coast, from strolling to shopping, or from morning to midnight. The bonus — gauzy linen and silk crepe embody movement, fluidity, simplicity, and elegance!

My black and white travel color palette

My black and white travel color palette

Some may consider silk too fussy of a fabric for a travel capsule. However, it is one of my favorite year-round textiles. Silk has thermal stability attributes, meaning it is both breathable and insulating.  I can wear my silk garments during the peak of summer heat and it will cool the body by absorption and evaporation without the stickiness or moistness of other fabrics. I select my silk garments in soft, fluid silhouettes that float away from the body.  These shapes make silk super wearable and comfortable for travel capsules and easy summer dressing.  Because of silk’s luxurious matte texture, it can be worn by day with the most casual denim and cotton poplin separates or by night coupled with the dressiest accessories. My favorite brands for the acquisition of silk separates for travel and easy summer dressing are Cuyana and Elizabeth Suzann.

As for linen, it is one of summer’s hardest working textiles. It, too, is highly absorbent and superb at wicking moisture away from the body without feeling damp or moist.  Linen fibers have a natural resin that prevents the growth of bacteria, thus keeps linen smelling fresh and odor free. New linen pieces can often feel coarse and a little scratchy during the first wear or two, but it softens and supples with each washing and wearing. Much like my silk garments, I select linen separates in soft, languid cuts.  Semi-fitted to loose shapes allow movement and breeze. Favorite brands for linen garments are Elizabeth Suzann and J Jill.

It is the sun-seeking accessories that enhance my travel capsule with transformative styling solutions: from utility to vogue, from understated to glamorous, or day to evening.  I have a sweet spot for straw hats, large-rimmed sunglasses, canvas totes, weightless pareos, and thong sandals.

My blue, yellow, and white travel capsule

My blue, yellow, and white travel capsule

My summer travel capsule revolves around a minimal number of low-key pieces that mix and match, style up or down, and go from morning to midnight. Upon arrival at my travel destination, I really don’t have to think too much about what I will wear. The cotton tees + denim pieces can accommodate most daytime activities such as sightseeing or flea market trekking.  When enjoying a day at the water the swimsuit + cover-up take me from lounging at the beach to lunch at a bistro. The wide-leg trouser + silk tank are ideal for an afternoon at a museum, dining al fresco for two in the evening, or lounging at the hotel with a good read. If the evening itinerary is dancing or open-air theatre, a simple slip dress in luxe silk fits the bill.

The garments and accessories on the summer packing list can easily be adjusted for style preferences and comfort. For example if you’re not comfortable in shorts, linen or cotton poplin capris can easily stand-in.  Or if you’re not keen on wearing silk items during your summer escape, substitute linen or featherweight cotton tanks, tees, and camisoles.

What indispensable travel pieces are on your summer packing list?

Header Image courtesy of unsplash.com



A Season of Outside Dressing

A Season of Outside Dressing