Hot Tropic – 5 Capsule Wardrobes for Steamy Locations

For looking hot (but staying cool) when you hit your hot location destination, our editors have put together some inspiring capsule wardrobes for your daytime out and about, fun beach fits and sexy night-on-the-town outfits.

Whether you’re wandering among the whitewashed walls of Santorini, swimming the crystal blue waters of Bali, or adventuring through the archipelagos of Zanzibar, if your tropical destination is coming up soon, it’s time to get your wardrobe assembled.

Here at ShopLikeHer, we love a good capsule wardrobe. They’re a fantastic way to keep the dreaded outfit “analysis paralysis” from happening. By editing down your looks to pieces that work harmoniously with each other, you now have more time to focus on the fun of whatever the day (or night) brings.

For our capsule creation, we like to focus on the tropical vacay 54321 rule. This idea has been around a while now, and there are plenty of variations, but the main goal is to itemize what you wear into a hierarchy of most rotated to least rotated. For instance, you rarely wear the same top every day, but you probably wear the same watch, right? So it stands to reason that you’re going to need to pack more tops.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

Capsule 1: Quiet Luxury

Looking for a capsule that reads quiet luxe? Start by focusing on a neutral color palette. You’ll want to choose items that read quality but not showy. Logos should be minimal at best, because the idea is to let the caliber of the clothes do the talking. For our look, we pull together a series of creams, browns and greens. Olive green specifically, is one of the cornerstone colors of quiet luxury, and this classic crew from Mott & Bow with its combination of premium Modal and Pima cotton delivers the luxe in style (and being a slub tee, it breathes beautifully). To this we add Love, Bonito’s smartly tailored paper bag shorts in a toasted almond, which can easily be switched out for casual dinner with Boston Proper’s equally tailored, latte-colored cargo skirt. Summersalt’s iconic one-shoulder style swimsuit is full on old hollywood vibes, but given a new, fresh look when paired with Blender’s Falcon sun shields in Awesummer. The cool blues and greens of the polarized lenses and the neutral, champagne-toned arm frames make these sunnies a match for anything in this capsule. Accessorizing continues with a pair of crisp white and brown Matisse platform sandals and Dooney & Bourke’s supple Italian Florentine leather tote. And for your signature necklace for the whole vacation, Zoe Lev’s 14k gold initial necklace, complete with a tiny bezel diamond for added interest.


Capsule 2: Old Money Aesthetic

While they’re definitely in the same camp, OMA (old money aesthetic) and Quiet Luxe are different trends. Both focus on higher quality over quantity and downplay being overly showy, but where quiet luxury abstains from logos and bling, old money loves a curated showing of high end items. Our capsule inspo shows this difference well. The Tory Burch white eyelet shirt and Ambra Maddalena orange print skirt starts simple, but when you rotate in a super limited edition Mansur Gavriel tote (only 100 editions currently available), a pair of Tod’s slide-in espadrilles and Burberry’s classic cat eye sunnies, those light touches of couture elevate things immediately. Satya jewelry’s lush malachite and 18k gold medallion necklace adds a spot of decadence that pairs with every outfit. And of course, a classic black suit with Versace’s iconic key print cannot be mistaken. Of course, everyone loves a gorg, well-made wrap around skirt regardless of price, but finding this Lygia & Nanny one on sale for 45% off? Don’t mind if we do…


Capsule 3: Resort Wear

Stylish and comfortable, Resort Wear is all about lightweight fabrics, vibrant colors, and relaxed silhouettes. Naturally, the primary purpose of resort wear is to offer a chic and easy-to-wear wardrobe whether lounging by the pool, exploring a beach town, or dining at a resort restaurant. Resort wear has no problem embracing color, or masterfully mixing patterns. Whereas other trends make a point of looking “put together”, resort likes to give (at least in appearance) the idea of “I just threw this on and looked immediately fabulous”. Our capsule inspiration starts with Sugarlips’ floral maxi which plays so well with Beek’s earthy slides and Cato’s equally organic wood statement earrings. As for poolside, Summersalt’s teal, high-waist bikini (with chic chain details) enjoys equal pattern play from Dooney & Bourke’s water resistant tote and color punch, from Blender’s purple-hued beauties called Flash Riley (part of their North Park X2 collection). And when you’re ready for a quick jaunt into town? Boston Proper’s twill 5-inch short is on in no time.


Capsule 4: Sustainably Focused

Looking to take your eco-friendly lifestyle on vacation? So many brands these days offer more sustainable options, you really can have a fun and fashionable wardrobe that leaves a lot less carbon footprint. Check out our amazing, all eco-friendly capsule inspo below. We start with a super cute striped bikini set by Vitamin A. This brand was one of the very first to start using recycled nylon fibers in their swimwear, and they are still leading the charge in going green with their use of organic cotton, recycled cotton and Tencel. Next we have Summersalt’s lightweight poolside pant (which works just as well non-poolside). It’s made from Voile fabric that’s been sourced from sustainable forests. And for when you’re ready to explore around town, Patagonia’s 5in short will keep you cool with its quick drying nylon (62% recycled). The fit is stretchy but it keeps its shape and resists wrinkling. Of course, you’ll need something to carry all the cool things you find, plus your needed essentials. Dagne Dover is one of our favorite brands, not just because their bags are so durable, and stylish, but because this women-owned brand uses a variety of recycled and upcycled materials in all their bags. Their Air Mesh Dash tote is made of 100% GRS Certified Recycled Air Mesh. To keep your sole happy (and your soul too) Reef’s Cushion Vista sandal has a natural cork footbed and cushy EVA made from Brazillian sugar cane. The leather is also 100% vegan. Mott & Bow’s super soft, sleeveless slub tee in crisp white is the perfect one and done top, and as we’ve mentioned before, the company’s business model is direct and ensures no unnecessary waste in the manufacturing process. Finally, Aurate NY’s fine jewelry is made from 99% recycled gold and their diamonds are ethically sourced as per the Kimberly Process.


Capsule 5: Budget Conscious

For many of us, saving up for tropical destination travel leaves us with a lot less in the pocketbook. But with a little shopping savvy, you can still look amazing. Our capsule inspo for this includes a combination of great sales finds, as well as focusing on items that can pull double duty. This pretty floral bikini set from Cupshe is reversible into classic nautical stripes, giving you four options of wear in one. We found this chic Jenni Chan tote on sale that has a very cool trick – it’s expandable! Zip it down for use as a daytime purse, then unzip and it’s perfect for a beach tote. These on-sale sandals by Melissa Shoes are – surprise! – water safe for the pool and beach, but pretty enough to wear out to dinner. We also found a cute babydoll dress at Target that’s pretty enough to wear out to lunch and makes a great beach coverup. Finally, this adorbs necklace set by Don’t AsK can be worn together or separately, and the chain and pearl choker can be double wrapped around your wrist as a bracelet.


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