European summer holiday fashion

Illustration by Holly Wiggins for The Market Herald

What to Pack For Your Next European Summer Holiday

The classic European summer holiday is back, and thanks to happy-snapping influencers and celebs, we’ve been able to see what fashion-forward holidaymakers are wearing while island hopping in the Mediterranean. Jealousy aside, we’ve spotted a trend or two when it comes to what Instagrammers pack in their luxury suitcases.

Characterised by comfort, sophistication and versatility, the ultimate European summer capsule wardrobe in 2022 features linen co-ords, crisp white button-downs, tailored trousers and floral summer dresses. Exuding coastal classiness, these summer holiday wardrobe staples take the fuss out of choosing an outfit while on holiday.

Crisp Co-ords

Creating an outfit has never been simpler and co-ords are the ultimate suitcase staple. Worn together, a matching set has the power to make you look put together and classy, while also offering endless potential as separates. This summer, we’ve seen our fair share of lightweight linen sets and terry towelling co-ords that are just made for traipsing the French Riviera or Amalfi Coast in.

Deiji Studios Washed-linen Shirt and Shorts Set

Pre-washed for softness, Deiji Studio’s relaxed white linen set has that effortless yet chic relaxed look that is sure to keep you stylish and cool during the hot Mediterranean summer. With an elasticated waist band, the shorts are perfect to slip on after a day of swimming or a long lunch.

Deiji Washed-linen Shirt and Shorts Set
Deiji Washed-linen Shirt and Shorts Set, A$281.25 | Source: Net-a-Porter

Terry Cruise Shirt and Shorts

Made from hand-dyed custom towelling, this matching shirt and shorts set from Terry is perfect for beach days. With its absorbent double-sided towelling material, this Terry co-ord can be worn over bathers or on hot days spent exploring cities.

Terry Cruise Shirt and Shorts
Terry Cruise Shirt, A$220 and Shorts, A$210 | Source: Terry

Versatile White Shirts

Versatility is the aim when packing for a summer holiday. While trendier pieces are perfectly fine, a classic white button down or flattering white t-shirt can work with any style of trousers, skirts or shorts and will never go out of style.

Ralph Lauren Drawstring Poplin Bishop-Sleeve Shirt

Putting a modern twist on the classic Ralph Lauren button-down, this Drawstring Poplin Bishop-Sleeve Shirt is a Euro summer essential. Paired with a silk midi skirt or a tailored pair of trousers, this balloon-sleeve shirt strikes the balance between comfortable and classy.

Polo Ralph Lauren Drawstring Poplin Bishop-Sleeve Shirt
Polo Ralph Lauren Drawstring Poplin Bishop-Sleeve Shirt, A$209 | Source: Ralph Lauren

St. Agni Tuck Shoulder Tee

Made with 100 per cent organic cotton, this versatile Tuck Shoulder Tee offers versatility and a high-fashion silhouette. Tucked in with trousers or linen shorts, this St. Agni Tee can pull any look together.

St. Agni Tuck Shoulder Tee
St. Agni Tuck Shoulder Tee, A$149 | Source: St. Agni

Tailored Trousers and Shorts

Timeless, sophisticated and wearable, tailored trousers and shorts are a must-have in your travel capsule wardrobe. Teamed with a crisp button down or classic white tee, a pair of culotte-style trousers or classy pleated shorts will always look and feel great.

Nanushka Rima Pleated Slubbed-twill Shorts

Inspired by traditional English tailoring, these classic cream shorts feature forward-facing pleats and are made from slubbed twill. Pair with a classic polo top or crisp button down and you’ll nail the sophisticated traveller look.

Nanushka Rima Pleated Slubbed-twill Shorts
Nanushka Rima Pleated Slubbed-twill Shorts, A$482 | Source: MatchesFashion

Shona Joy Ligia Linen Asymmetric Wide Leg Pant – Navy

Crafted from 100 per cent linen, these wide leg trousers from Australian designer Shona Joy exude summer holiday vibes. Featuring an asymmetrical fly front zipper and cuffed bottoms, the Ligia pants balance a relaxed aesthetic with fashionable features.

Shona Joy Ligia Linen Asymmetric Wide Leg Pant - Navy
Shona Joy Ligia Linen Asymmetric Wide Leg Pant – Navy, A$260 | Source: Shona Joy

Flowy Summer Dresses

If there’s ever a time to don a flowy summer dress it’s while on a scenic European holiday during the warm summer months. As well as taking up little space in your suitcase, a silky summer dress offers a versatile outfit that can easily be dressed down with sneakers and a cardigan or dressed up with comfortable heels and statement jewellery.

Christopher Esber Triquetra Front Tie Shirt Dress

Secured with adjustable ties, this delicate dress with central front openings takes the classic shirt silhouette and refines it into an elegant silk maxi dress. Perfect for evenings spent sipping an Aperol spritz while watching the sun set, this flattering evening number is sure to get plenty of wear on your summer trip.

Christopher Esber Triquetra Front Tie Shirt Dress
Christopher Esber Triquetra Front Tie Shirt Dress, A$890 | Source: Christopher Esber

Reformation Tayler Dress

Evoking Monet’s water lilies, picnics and fields of flowers, this feminine midi dress from Reformation presents a great outfit option for exploring museums, galleries and little-known dining spots. Cinching in at the waist with a bodice-style silhouette and then flaring out into a flowy skirt, this floral number is a great piece to have in your summer holiday rotation.

Reformation Tayler Dress
Reformation Tayler Dress, A$400 | Source: Reformation

Comfortable Flats

When it comes to long days spent exploring cities or small villages on foot, the last thing you want is to wear a pair of uncomfortable shoes. However, if you’re not willing to sacrifice style for the sake of running shoe-level comfort, there are some chic yet comfy options available.

Veja Campo – Unisex

This classic pair of elevated white sneakers from sustainable brand Veja delivers on comfort and style, making it a suitcase essential.

Veja Campo - Unisex
Veja Campo – Unisex, A$210 | Source: The Iconic

Alohas Marshmallow Bicolor Sandals

Inspired by the 90s, these double-layered sandals from trendy footwear brand Alohas take on a versatile brown and white colour way, making them a great holiday staple. Featuring a criss-crossed front hold and buckled back strap, these Alohas will support long days spent on your feet.

Alohas Marshmallow Bicolor Sandals
Alohas Marshmallow Bicolor – Brown and White Leather Sandals, A$186 | Source: Alohas

A beach Bag and Everyday Crossbody

For afternoons spent by the pool or on the beach, you can’t go wrong with a tote bag. Offering plenty of room for all the essentials, including your holiday read, sunscreen and towel, a coastal-inspired tote is the way to go. As for everyday wear, a crossbody bag ensures you can explore with ease while keeping your belongings as secure as possible.

STAUD Mercato Raffia Tote Bag

Featuring a central embossed leather strap, this woven raffia design from STAUD presents a classic beach bag with an elevated look.

STAUD Mercato Raffia Tote Bag
STAUD Mercato Raffia Tote Bag, A$414 | Source: FarFetch

Saint Laurent Lou Camera Bag in Quilted Leather – Dark Beige

Featuring an adjustable leather strap, the iconic Lou Camera Bag grants you plenty of room to keep your everyday essentials. Crafted from calfskin and finished with a quilted look, this crossbody bag is sleek and stylish.

Saint Laurent Lou Camera Bag in Quilted Leather - Dark Beige,
Saint Laurent Lou Camera Bag in Quilted Leather – Dark Beige, A$2,150 | Source: YSL

Vintage-style Sunglasses

This summer, 70s-style square sunglasses have been making a comeback. Great for adding some eclectic flair to a more simple and refined look. These Gucci shades take the 70s-style to another level with oversized boxy frames. Of course, you can opt for something more classic, like Jacquemus’ tortoise-shell frames or add a subtle pop of colour with Gentle Monster’s Linda sunglasses.

Gucci square sunglasses
Gucci Eyewear Square-frame Sunglasses, A$644 | Source: FarFetch

Now you summer holiday wardrobe is planned, you just need a sustainable suitcase to pack it all in.

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