My Travel Chic Capsule Wardrobe: Summer 2016 Roundup

Travel Chic Capsule Wardrobe Summer 2016 Roundup Poster

Summer 2016 is going by quite fast. Since I started, time simply flew between our travels, writing blog posts, posting on social media, and most importantly, my mom duties. It's been fun and I've been enjoying this project, and I'm working on some exciting things that I'd love to share with you in the near future!

This Spring/Summer season, I've gone everywhere with pieces in this Travel Chic Capsule Wardrobe, both away and at home, on vacation and on staycation. We've taken trips including two-day weekends to two-week sky-land-sea adventures this season, and I've relied on these same pieces on our travels. I'm glad to report that by mixing and matching and layering, I was able to cover most occasions and most weather conditions with this capsule wardrobe. Furthermore, everything fits neatly into a carry-on luggage, it's so easy to pack and unpack.

These pieces are classic, comfy basics in neutral colors with just a dash of bright color of your choice (mine is red). I haven't listed undergarments, jewelry, scarves, belts, or bags here, as those are more personal items. Since we have a simple and neutral palette as a working base, you can be as simple or as elaborate as you like when it comes to accessories. Accessories can work wonders, so just have fun with them.

I use a lingerie travel case, a toiletry bag, and shoe bags to keep everything neatly packed, I highly recommend them.

Here are my thoughts on these basics:

White button-down shirt

You can't go wrong with a white button-down shirt. Dressed up with pearls and black trousers, dressed down as an open cardigan on hiking trips, the sheer shirt even served as an improvised sunshade on our Las Vegas-Grand Canyon road trip!

Seen in the picnic post and the Sedona post.

Travel Chic Capsule Wardrobe Spring  Summer 2016 Roundup - White Shirt Sunshade

Denim chambray shirt

Classic casual or western rebel, it's up to you. Wear it with statement necklaces and lace skirts to be feminine, wear it with darker jeans for some tomboy-chic, or wear it as a cardigan for extra warmth. The denim shirt is just so versatile. I guess it can also serve as an improvised sunshade... 

Seen in the denim three-ways post.

White boatneck top

We'll always need a white top. It's perfect for summer, brightens up your face, and sort of acts as an UV barrier... I like longer sleeves for that reason.

Seen in the Calistoga post and in the Baylands post.

Striped top

Whether you call it marinière or Breton stripes or navy stripes, this clothing item has reached universal uniform status. It's a classic, and comes back in fashion with minor tweaks every season. I fell for the off-the-shoulder style this summer, as you've seen in this post.

Panama Hat

The ones I've been wearing are not the authentic Panama hats made with toquilla palm straw from Ecuador. If you want that, get it here. It's on my wish list.


Personally, I like them oversized for better sun protection around the eyes and less disturbance in the visual field. I've yet to find a pair like that with polarized lenses.

Bright-colored shorts

Another splash of color in the otherwise neutral set. Seen in the Bodega Bay post.

Denim shorts

We wear denim always and forever. In summer, we need shorts. Put the two together and we get denim shorts. Seen in the fishing post.

High-waist bell-bottom jeans

High-waist gives more control and shaping in the mid-section, which I find quite helpful after having babies. Bell-bottoms are boho and '70s, and they make thighs appear slender. I've had this pair for more than seven years. Because of the four-way-stretch knit, they've stood the test of time and countless careless washing. The updated version is this pair. Seen in the Sterling Vineyards post.

Black cigarette pants

Call them cigarettes or toothpicks or skinnies, they embody Parisian chic. Seen in the Coppola winery post.

Bright-colored bikini

Personally I like orangy-red swimsuits because they contrast very well with blue (pool, lakes, ocean, sky). For a quintessentially chic investment option, go for Chanel Group-owned French brand, Eres (top/bottom), they are well-cut and last a very long time. For less dent in your wallet, go with these (top/bottom).

Seen in this Napa Valley post.

Navy-striped dress

Get casual chic in 30 seconds flat. Mine is an old one that I've had for years, but you can find some nice options every season. Seen in the What to Pack for Hong Kong post.

Bright-colored tank dress

A travel-light solution. Wear it as a dress with a belt, tucked in as a tank top, or what I often do, wear it as pajamas. Seen in the Pacifica post.

Little Black and White Dress

I explained my fascination with this dress in the LBWD post. It's basically chic in 30 seconds when you wear it. This is the exact one that I have, I like that it has a nice stretch.


The most comfortable shoes ever. I got mine in silver for more fun. Mine are from a previous season, these ones are similar and are on sale.


A summer staple, espadrilles are feminine, light-weight, and really easy to walk in. I really like these ones I got this season, they've kept up quite well, even after many trips.

Tan sandals

Sturdy tan leather sandals are great with everything, and you can walk on those European cobblestone streets AND on the Californian beaches at ease.

Black pumps

For work or formal occasions, you will always need a pair of black pumps. I like the gloss of black patent leather.


My little shopping secret...

I love stocking up end-of-season final sales/clearances for next year. Especially since the clothes I fall for and end up wearing are usually the classic pieces. So now's the best time to snatch up some summer pieces for the rest of summer, the potential Indian summer, or next year!


Hope that you've been having a lovely summer. We still have about a month before Fall officially starts. But lately in the mornings and evenings we've definitely started to smell Fall, and I've started to put pieces together for my Fall Travel Chic Capsule Wardrobe.

 What are some key wardrobe pieces you've been wearing this summer? Leave a comment to let me know!


Stay Chic and Travel On,

Melody xx