Fashion Clothing These 15 Pieces Are All You Need to Pack For Cute Vacation Outfits Travel light and look great. By Julia Guerra Julia Guerra Julia Guerra is a freelance contributor with over six years of experience writing beauty, health, wellness, style, parenting, and food content. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on September 20, 2022 @ 04:52PM Pin Share Tweet Email In This Article View All In This Article 1. A Cropped or Traditional White Tee 2. Cropped Trousers 3. A Bucket Hat 4. A Multi-Faceted Mini Skirt 5. A Pair of Blue Jeans 6. Cutoff Shorts 7. A Sundress 8. A Linen Button-Down 9. A Statement Accessory 10. Rope Sandals 11. A Swim Coverup 12. A Wicker Tote 13. Birkenstocks Sandals 14. Your Favorite Sunglasses 15. A Colorful Kimono Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images Once the flights are booked and the spa treatments are reserved, all that is left is the hard part — packing your vacation outfits. It wasn't too long ago that we couldn't even leave our houses, let alone jet-set off to a tropical resort. That only fueled our excitement for travel. If you thought planning that long-awaited trip was a challenge, however, you clearly haven't started packing. While the last couple of years may have taught us a lot about the fashion choices we make on a daily basis (i.e. that bras are actually optional and wearing tight pants that look good but feel restricting is actually outrageous), it taught us virtually nothing about packing for vacation fashion. However, if we've learned anything from refusing to pay for excess luggage, it's that you don't need to overpack in order to have a ton of options. What you need are a few key pieces that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. Below, we've rounded up a list of must-have vacation fashion items recommended by renowned stylists. Together, their picks create the ultimate vacation capsule wardrobe that allows you to save room in your suitcase and have a ton of day-to-day options to choose from, no matter how long your stay. 10 Cute Summer Outfit Ideas to Wear All Season Long 1. A Cropped or Traditional White Tee Getty Images When packing for vacation, celebrity stylist Tara Swennen tells InStyle you want to choose neutral colors for the base of your looks, and a cropped or traditional white tee is a perfect example. "These pieces can be layered as much as possible go with just about anything - knit pencil skirts, drawstring linen pants, overalls, high-waisted jeans… the list goes on and on," Swennen says. "They are truly the most versatile and lightweight piece to bring!" 13 White T-Shirts for Women to Style With Everything 2. Cropped Trousers Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to pack bottoms of every shape and color when going on vacation. To keep things simple, Swennen says she likes to stick with three pairs of pants in three basic colors, so that she can mix and match them with other neutral or fun pattern tops throughout her stay. "A black, white and neutral pair will carry to just about anything and can be styled day to night by simply swapping a thing to a heel," she tells us. "I like linens, crepes, or a stretchy fabric that don't wrinkle easily and therefore can carry you through a few occasions!" 3. A Bucket Hat Edward Berthelot/Getty Images Let your vacation wardrobe be inspired by the '90s, starting with the bucket hat — aka, the perfect accessory to block out the sun or to add a bit of panache to your polo shirt and trousers, according to fashion stylist Mickey Freeman. "Bucket hats are giving men and women of all ages and walks of life shade while keeping them 'cool,'" he tells InStyle. "It's once again getting its time to shine — while blocking it of course!" 4. A Multi-Faceted Mini Skirt Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images for The Extreme Collection Raise your hand if you've ever worn a mini skirt as a shirt. If not, celebrity stylist, Britt Theodora, highly recommends giving this (brilliant) hack a try. "I love two-in-one pieces especially if you are packing a carry-on," Theodora says. "I would style [a skirt] with linen high-waisted pants if I were wearing it as a shirt. If wearing it as a skirt, I would style it with a tie-at-the-tummy button-up shirt!" 5. A Pair of Blue Jeans Christian Vierig/Getty Images Blue jeans and white tees go together like pool bars and bay breezes, but Swennen assures InStyle that a pair will get much more than one use on your vacation. "Blue jeans are extremely versatile. Wear them with a loose-fitting blouse, a T-shirt, a duster for an early evening stroll, or with a sexy, tight, knit top for a night on the town," she says. 6. Cutoff Shorts Getty Images While we're on the subject of denim, cutoff shorts are another great example of a piece that can easily be dressed up or down. To do this, Freeman suggests using cool accessories like stacked bracelets or necklaces to your advantage. 7. A Sundress Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images By simply swapping flip-flops for a pair of sexy strappy heels or even a boot, Swennen says that sundresses can be your perfect done-in-one day-to-night piece for a summer vacation. "Pair with a belted blazer, layer with a fun sweater or wrap for evening or silly keep it casual wedges and a fun tote! It's a summer must!" 13 Fall Dress Trends That Actually Work For Summer, Too 8. A Linen Button-Down Getty Images Button-downs make for great tops, but they also make for great accessories as well. Theodora says she loves throwing an oversized men's fit "over bathing suits, with jean shorts or unbuttoned over a dress for when it gets cooler at night." 9. A Statement Accessory Getty Images While you may not need to stuff five pairs of shoes into your suitcase, according to Swennen, a statement accessory that demands attention is non-negotiable. "This could be as simple as a vintage chain Chanel belt or an amazing collar necklace," she tells us. "This will be the one thing that helps elevate your daytime look to a fun evening occasion." 10. Rope Sandals Getty Images Speaking of footwear, as far as Theodora is concerned, rope sandals should be a staple in your vacation wardrobe. "These Isabel Marant shoes have been a staple for me this summer. They are incredibly comfortable and can elevate your go-to jean shorts and tank tops this season," Theodora tells InStyle. "I love styling pops of colors with my outfits and these shoes are great for mixing it up!" 14 Pairs of Chic Sandals for Every Occasion—Each for Under $150 11. A Swim Coverup Getty Images The one-piece to pack for any warm-weather vacation would have to be a coverup, says Aerie director of styling, Erin Collins Rittling, who suggests a colorful option as the perfect pick. "Designed to take you to the beach and beyond, the right coverup is perfect to throw over a swimsuit during the day or can be dressed up for a night out by adding a touch of jewelry or embellished headband." This $26 Beach Dress From Amazon Is Going to Be Everywhere This Summer 12. A Wicker Tote Getty Images Straw totes have been all the rage the last few years — and your upcoming trip is the perfect time to carry one. According to celebrity stylist, Tyler Minor, wicker totes are the "it" vacation back because they're so versatile. "These handbags are great to hold your towel and SPF at the beach or throw a fun scarf around the handle and take it to a fabulous lunch." 13. Birkenstocks Sandals Getty Images Love them or hate them, Birkenstocks are back and Freeman is vouching for them as a vacation must-have. "Now available in new and fun monochromatic colorways, this lightweight and comfortable sandal is a perfect way to balance out a sexy swimsuit with a semi-sheer cover-up to achieve comfortable sexiness," he says. 14. Your Favorite Sunglasses Getty Images Don't forget your sunnies! While any pair and style will do (whatever makes you feel the best), Freeman tells InStyle he gravitates towards Aviators "because they provide maximum coverage, which protects you against those unrelenting sun rays, and can also bring a hint of masculinity to the colorful looks people tend to gravitate towards while on vacation." InStyle and AOX Teamed Up to Create The 'It' Sunglasses of Summer 15. A Colorful Kimono Getty Images As far as this writer is concerned, Kimono-like styles aren't talked about nearly enough in the fashion realm, and clearly Minor concurs. "Kimonos are great for summer vacations," he tells InStyle. "They can be worn at the pool or you can pair them with a bralette and some cut-off denim shorts for a day of exploring."