Every Style Staple to Add to Your Travel Wardrobe This Summer

16 Summer Style Staples to Add to Your Travel Wardrobe

Stay cool and in style with these travel wardrobe must-haves!

Summer means three things: blue skies, lots of sunshine, and higher temperatures. So, time to put away those sweaters and thick jackets in the meantime. Bring out your light, flowy pieces that’ll help you beat the heat. And hey, just because you can’t layer much this season, doesn’t mean you can’t step out in style. It’s all about putting together the right outfits! So, how about shopping for new style staples to upgrade your summer wardrobe?

When travelling during the summer, it’s best to be armed with clothes that look both stylish and comfortable. And as much as possible, stick to breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, denim, and chambray. From colourful statement pieces to fresh neutrals, here are 16 style staples you have to add to your travel wardrobe this season!

Also read: 12 Travel Style Ideas for Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2020

Summer style staples for women

1. Eyelet blouse

Nothing says “fresh summer look” better than a white eyelet blouse. It’s a great choice for when you’ll be walking a lot during a summer trip abroad, thanks to its light and breathable cotton material. Opt for a wrap top variant, which flatters any body shape. We’re also digging the side bow fastening of this piece, which makes for a cute cherry on top! I recommend pairing it with denim shorts or cropped khaki trousers. 

2. Poplin shirt + Crop top

style staple

Image credit: Zara Official Website

Not gonna lie, we’re obsessed with this two-in-one set! A crisp poplin cover-up and a cute crop top for the price of one — how can you say no? Apart from the enticing deal, you can also wear this combo in three different ways: shirt open (perf for the beach!), shirt wrapped around (for summer in the city), and crop top over the shirt. But hey, if you’re feeling extra creative, you just might come up with more ways! 

3. Kimono cardigan

Whether it’s lounging by the pool or a day out in the park, this style staple is all you need to complete your summer look! Opt for one in a jacquard fabric that’s wrinkle-free and therefore saves some prepping time. Keep the rest of your outfit neutral-toned and minimalist — unless your kimono cardigan comes with matching bottoms. Then, by all means, go all out! 

4. Puff sleeve blouse

style staple

Image credit: Bershka Official Website (left); Zara Official Website (right)

Puff sleeves have become a style staple in recent years. There’s something about it that evokes both power and femininity. And with the right flattering neckline, you can easily take your look from the office to the beach. Maximise your summer look by picking out a cropped version in floral and/or pastels. You can never be too girly with the right well-structured puff sleeve blouse!

5. Linen cami dress

Linen cami dresses have become a style staple not just during the summer, but even all year round. This is super true for countries with a tropical climate! Whether it’s a beach trip, an afternoon in the museum, or simply a sunny day out, linen dresses make you look effortlessly chic. Never mind the wrinkle-prone factor; it’s part of the aesthetic! I recommend a clean, straight neckline to avoid looking sloppy, no matter how chill your look is. 

6. Short dress with pockets

Image credit: Zara Official Website

I don’t know about you, but for me to consider any dress a style staple, it has to have pockets! No, not those fake pockets that deserve a place in fashion purgatory. I mean real, functional pockets that can at least fit my phone. (Seriously though, why is this not a norm?) Aside from functional pockets, opt for an above-the-knee cut and light neutrals that’ll help ward off the summer heat.

7. Short jumpsuit

Similar to most dresses, I like how jumpsuits can make you look chic and put-together without even trying. No need to think about what else to wear — well, except your shoes and some accessories, of course! So, for your next summer look, go for a sleeveless and short jumpsuit in soft, earthy tones. Pair it with strappy sandals and delicate gold jewellery, and you’re all set! 

8. Bright-coloured trousers

style staple

Image credit: Zara Official Website (left); Sfera Official Website (right)

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you have to keep pants out of your travel wardrobe. To keep your look fresh and sunny, opt for cropped trousers in bright colours. You’ll surely stand out as you walk along the sun-soaked streets! For those who are hesitant about vibrant hues that make trousers look bigger, I suggest a straight-cut (not skinny fit) pair in a crisp fabric with minimal to zero pleats. Don’t forget to roll it up for a more relaxed vibe! 

9. High-waist shorts

High-waist shorts have always been a style staple during the summer season. But how about taking it up a notch by choosing vibrant candy colours for a change? And then from there, you can decide which fit to go for. For those who want a clean silhouette, I suggest a straight, tailored fit that gives a slimming effect. Want some volume or at least more details? A paper-bag style with a ruffled upper trim will do the trick! 

10. White pleated skirt

Channel preppy, off-duty tennis ace with a crisp white pleated skirt. While some tend to shy away from wearing white bottoms, this one deserves to be your next style staple for its versatility alone. I particularly like how it makes you look both sporty and sophisticated, which not every piece can do! Balance it out with a dark-hued top for a nice contrast. Don’t forget a cute woven bag to complete your summer look!

11. Rope slide sandals

Bored with your usual slide-on sandals? Well, it’s about time you give this style staple a well-deserved summer upgrade. Choose a pair with rope details in sunny hues that totally screams “tropical getaway!” I also like how these sandals have a subtle nautical vibe going on; very vacation-appropriate indeed. Let your footwear take centre stage by wearing it with a minimalist sundress, linen shorts, or frayed jeans!  

12. Woven tote bags

Summer is arguably the best time to bring out those woven tote bags! I love how they’re lightweight, which adds to their laidback, semi-bohemian vibe. And while those circular woven bags (especially popular in Bali) are far and many, I recommend going for something different and a bit edgier. Case in point: these two multi-coloured pieces in unique shapes. These definitely make for good conversation starters!

Summer style staples for men

13. Linen jumpsuits

Who said jumpsuits are only for girls? These stylish linen pieces say otherwise. Take your pick between pants-style or shorts-style — either way, you’ll surely stand out despite the effortlessly minimalist look. Best to stick to neutral tones, since you probably don’t want to overdo it! Top it off with bohemian ‘mandals’ or preppy white sneakers, and you’re good to go. 

14. Striped short-sleeve shirt

Image credit: Zara Official Website

Take your usual easy-breezy casual buttondown up a notch by opting for an unusual striped design. It doesn’t necessarily have to be flashy and ostentatious, if that’s not your jam. Sometimes, all it takes is the right colour palette and unconventional placement of details, like this one! It’s perfect for both a stroll on the beach or a tour around a sunny foreign city. 

15. Bright buttondown

style staple

Image credit: Muna Project Official Website (left and centre); Uniqlo Official Website (right)

How about a sorbet-hued buttondown for a change? After all, summer is always a great time to go beyond your usual wardrobe palette. Feel free to try one with a mandarin collar or stick to a classic chambray piece with a camp collar. I suppose your holiday style inspiration here would be Jude Law’s character in the 1999 thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley. Renting your own Italian seaside villa is optional, of course. 

16. Two-toned velcro sliders

Give your Birkenstocks (or other go-to mandals) a break with these double-band sliders. It features interestingly contrasting hues, plus velcro fastening straps that hug your feet well. While it’s a sure style staple for a beach vacation, the colours are sleek and suave enough for a tour downtown as well. Or hey, you can even take it out for a short and chill hike, if the occasion calls for it! Don’t forget to put on sunscreen and your good ol’ sunglasses. 

Also read: 15 of the Best Travel Shoes to Add to Your Travel Essentials

Ready to step out in your best fashion this summer? Get a head start on planning your travel OOTDs with these style staples that’ll keep you literally cool! Or, who knows — maybe you already have some of these in your closet. But either way, happy shopping! 

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. There’s no denying that storytelling runs in her veins — from penning her first “novel” at age seven, to her initial marketing career with several global lifestyle brands, to going back to her first love that is writing. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin (or ten).

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