A Weekend Capsule Wardrobe & An Overnight Packing List

Packing for your next weekend jaunt, SORTED

Oh hello there! How was your weekend? Great. Yes, ours was spent making 76 trips to the bin to unload five week’s worth of builder’s dust from our Dyson as we finally waved goodbye to the builders, peeled the plastic covering off our floor and resumed normal service in the flat (me barking at Mark that the recycling is full multiple times a day as he rolls his eyes at me). I’m writing this blog post sat at MY DESK – I know! – and it feels glorious. So although the weekend was knackering and I never want to look at a hoover ever again, it’s been nice to finally put all the puzzle pieces of our flat back together and to be able to go to the loo whenever we want to. Home renovation part two video coming soon, obvs.

Speaking of weekends, our next one should be slightly more enthralling than last because we’re off to Amsterdam to visit friends who relocated there last year. In fact if anyone has any Amsterdam recommendations then I’m all ears – holler in the comments. Seeing as come mid-week I’ll be dusting off my suitcase and packing up for a long weekend away I thought today it made sense to discuss how to travel for short-term trips without feeling the need to pack the kitchen sink; so here are my top tips, my capsule wardrobe suggestions and if you scroll to the end, there’s an overnight packing PDF for you to download too…


If flying to your destination, be mindful of your bag situation. Either stick everything into a tote that you can use throughout your whole trip (WELL DONE YOU DESERVE A MEDAL), or go for a cabin bag suitcase with a small handbag that can easily be slipped into your suitcase if you’re challenged on the whole ‘one piece of luggage per person’ thang.

I mean it goes without saying that rolling your clothes in a revelation, especially when you’re packing into a smaller vessel than usual.

Your destination is a swanky hotel? Take as few toiletries as possible as the chances are that they’ll have a lot of your needs already covered. Shampoo? Conditioner? Shower Gel? Leave ’em at home and take full advantage of the bathroom mini bar.

If your hair is flat as anything, but pretty cooperative like mine, then style it before you leave – add a little dry shampoo in the root and hairspray in the lengths – then just rake through it with your fingers or comb the following morning to cut back on the need for styling supplies whilst you’re away.

DON’T FORGET YOUR PHONE CHARGER. Just try and remember it, it’s a pain in the arse if you don’t and you’ll have to spend at least half your weekend trying to locate someone who will be able to serve you in the Apple store.


2 PAIRS OF SHOES. Depending on what your weekend is shaping up like you could downgrade to just the one pair – something like a flat chelsea boot will see you through pretty much every situation (even when you rock up in a muddy field and instantly regret your Sunday stroll suggestion). However I usually end up with two pairs; a casual trainer for actually travelling to your destination and doing the bulk of wandering in once you arrive, then a heeled boot as something dressier for your big night out or a Sunday roast the morning after.

1 SHIRT. You can’t go wrong with a shirt. Roll up the sleeves and lob your hair into a bun and you have yourself laid-back Parisian chic right there. Or leave it untucked and partner with some leather trousers for more of an evening-appropriate combination. Silk options always work best for me because I don’t profusely sweat so much in them and the creases are easy to remove with some shower steam if needed.

1 JUMPER. I mean really you just need something extra for layering here – I’m talking to you, Northern Hemisphere peeps! Make sure the fabric is cosy, is going to keep you warm and is in a colour and pattern that goes with everything else that you’ve packed in your bag. Added bonus: you can put your shirt underneath it if you’re freezing your nips on and channel some preppy vibes (I’m not sure that anyone has said the word ‘preppy’ since 2008?).

1 COAT. Obviously. Something that’s actually going to keep you warm, especially if you’re on a city break that involves a lot of walking (come to think of it, which city breaks don’t?). I have a big ol’ Whistles pea coat number that’s perfect for going away with because it’s smart enough to wear to dinner, but casual and cosy enough to wear out during the day, but won’t make you melt when you shuffle yourself inside.

2 PAIRS OF TROUSERS. It might seem like the more obvious choice to bring a load of top options and keep your bottom half the same – and if you fancy that, then be my guest – but I quite like bringing a pair of jeans to wear during the day, that I’ve stretched out to the point of actually being comfortable to travel in, and then pack a pair of leather trousers for the evening to mix it up a little. They’re quite the conversation starter, let me tell you…

ACCESSORIES. I don’t take much in the way of accessories, other than what’s actually required. I’m guessing that Amsterdam is going to be rather chilly so I’ll be packing the toasty essentials – hat, scarf, gloves, multiple layers of thermals. Then for my bag I take something that caters for all events (how many times can I dress that sentence up in a different way, eh?) – Loewe Puzzle Bag, I’m looking at you.


If you’ve scrolled down the bottom to find the print-out, downloadable PDF packing list, specially created with shorter trips in mind then you’re in luck – click here for the link. Safe travels all, and remember I’m down for any Amsterdam recommendations you have – restaurants, brunch spots, museums, shopping districts, you know the drill – HOLLER!

Photos by Lauren Shipley

Photos shot at the Artist Residence Brighton