City breaks packing guide

Your City Break Capsule Wardrobe

Paris, Madrid, Berlin, New York or London? If you’re heading away for a mini-break to a romantic city or a weekend sightseeing with friends this year, then we’ve got just the guide for you. Our city break guide includes his and hers capsule wardrobes, with all the important packing essentials, as well as all latest trends so you can avoid looking like a clueless tourist on your holiday. You’ll be ready for every activity with sophisticated and practical looks to take you from day to night, as well as some handy tips on packing. Depending on the city you’re visiting and the time of year, your capsule wardrobe will differ, but this quick rundown of the essentials should cover all your holiday needs.

Mens Capsule Wardrobe

Firstly, always bear in mind the places you are planning to visit whilst you’re away.

You may need to smarten up your everyday causal look, for example when visiting art galleries and museums, forgo your usual hoody and joggers combination for a more grown up shirt and jeans casual look. Pick out a couple of casual and smart shirts. Checked and stripy shirts are great for daywear as they are style staples globally. For hitting the bars or fancy meals out in the evening choose a few of your best smart shirts. It’s always better to be over dressed than underdressed, and you can always pair yours with a pair of jeans to causal it up. For a little extra warmth if you’re heading somewhere with a colder climate take some understated t-shirts, to use for layering underneath a shirt. Choose from a selection of plain tees from Onfire for as little as £2.99.

If your city break is on a warm climate then choose a selection shorts to take with you in a range of neutral colours that will go with the rest of your wardrobe. Chino shorts are great for a smart look or for something more practical choose a pair of cargo shorts ideal for carrying the essentials and avoid pick pocketing. Otherwise jeans and chinos are all you need to cover your holiday; a few pairs should cover day and nightwear.


You will want a light jacket for your city break as you don’t want to be carrying around weighty coats with you, which will slow you down. Choose either a bomber or a denim jacket for an on trend look.


This is the item that always takes up the most room in your suitcase. Keep your footwear collection as limited as possible. Choose a pair of comfy trainers for daywear as you will be on your feet a lot and do not want to be uncomfortable. Wear these on your journey to free up some space in your luggage. Take a smarter pair of shoes for the evening; this can be a pair of brogues, loafers or boat shoes or some smart canvas trainers depending on where you are planning to go in the evening.


Keep it simple with accessories all you need is a pair of sunglasses and a belt that goes with all your outfits.

Womens Capsule Wardrobe

Tops and Bottoms: For daywear you will want to be comfortable as you’ll be walking around and jumping on public transport a lot. Choose a selection of cute tops and trousers which you know you can spend the whole day in. Comfy pants from Only are ideal and add a splash of colour to an otherwise basic look. If you want something a little more girly mix and match a selection of skirts, from maxi to mini so you have something to suit every occasion. Vero Moda's selection of skirts includes bright minis, elegant maxis and pretty floral designs perfect for day and night.


Go glam in the evening with top designer dresses from Ted Baker and for a cute daywear look take a jersey dress from Superdry or Vila. Dress yours up or down with layers and accessories. The more versatile the dress the more use you can get out of it and less room is taken up in your suitcase.

Jackets and Footwear

Same rule as the guys here, make sure you pack a lightweight jacket that is easy to carry around with you and keep your selection of shoes to a maximum of 3 styles. A classic mac will go with everything, even your evening party dress. Take a comfy pair of shoes or trainers for the day and a fun pair of heels or sandals for the evening.

Packing Tips

You will need 2 bags for your weekend away, a luggage bag and a small everyday bag. Your everyday bag will need to be secure as cities attract pick pockets, go for one with zip fastenings and secret pockets to keep your valuables. To save money on your travels aim to use a small suitcase that will fit in the overhead storage so you don’t have to spend money putting it in the hold. Fitting everything you need in a small weekend bag can be a real struggle, so follow these handy tips to become a packing pro:

  • Roll your clothes: this is simple, fold the item of clothing in half and roll into a cylinder shape. This compact’s your luggage allowing you to fit more in. Added bonus: it also prevents your clothes from creasing.
  • Choose materials that travel well: manmade fibres are not only cheap but they also tend to be crease resistant. Nylon, polyester and lycra are all great choices.
  • Steam out any sneaky creases: get rid of any creases on your arrival buy hanging the clothes in the bathroom whilst you shower, as the steam from by the shower makes the creases drop out.
  • Wear any bulky items on your journey: if you’re taking a bulky coat, hoody or pair of shoes, free up some space in your luggage by wearing these on your travels. You can always take them off if you’re getting too hot.