Last night we had our first snow of the season.  It wasn’t much, just some slushy, sloppy stuff, but it snowed nonetheless.  In addition to this, it’s supposed to get SUPER cold by week’s end.  Having lived in the northeast my entire life, at this point, you would think I would be used to the weather that comes with this time of year, but I actually just find myself with less and less patience for it as time goes on.  If I had the funds on hand, I’d be booking a trip to somewhere tropical and warm S.T.A.T..  Let’s see what the New Year brings.

You may not know this, but designers and retailers typically start showing resort wear right around now.  When I was a designer, our December/January delivery for stores was always resort-inspired that included a small winter getaway wardrobe capsule for those who take a quick trip to thaw out.  That’s right, you can actually stock up on bathing suits now.

If you are planning a vacation during these upcoming cold months, take a look at this tropical winter getaway wardrobe capsule for ideas on how to build one yourself and what to pack.

Tropical Winter Getaway Wardrobe Capsule

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

With the capsule above, that can easily fit in a carry-on, I managed to create 26 outfits, plus bathing suits (much more than anyone would need for a quick trip), which you can see below.  Before I show you the looks, here are a few tips on building your own.

  • Build your capsule off the colors of a print My first tip is to start with a print, be it in a scarf, bathing suit or key wardrobe piece.  Using the example of the capsule above, I started with the print in the swimsuit which is navy, purple, pink, coral and aqua.  This is my palette.  If you don’t like prints and plan on packing all solids, start with two neutral colors and choose at least two complementary accent shades that harmonize together.  The second print I chose for this winter getaway wardrobe capsule is the pants which have some of the same colors as in the bathing suit print, navy and coral.  While you will never wear the printed bathing suit top with the printed pants, there being some cohesiveness between the two colors guarantees that everything else that I packed for the capsule could be mixed and matched more easily.
  • Choose shoes that can dress up and dress down outfits Be sure to know what you will be doing on your trip.  Will you be walking a lot, lounging around at the pool or beach? Do you have shoes to dress up daytime looks so you can wear them to dinner?  In the capsule above, I packed three shoe styles, one for a day at the pool or light walking, a sturdier pair of walking sandals, and gold wedge sandals.
  • Try mix and match bathing suit styles Whenever I go somewhere tropical, I make sure I have at least one bathing suit for lounging and one for more active water sports or activities.  Know how you will be spending your in the water and try mix and match styles so you can get more with less.
  • Pack a scarf and a white button down I never go anywhere tropical without a large pareo and an oversized white shirt.  I use both for the beach, as a cover up, but the shirt can also be used if you need to protect your shoulders from the sun and the pareo can be used as a wrap for cool evenings or for coverage during the day.
  • Consider your carry-on tote as your beach bag You can check out this post I wrote about how your carry-on tote bag can be used once you get to your destination, including as a beach tote.  I also always recommend this and then suggest a small metallic wristlet or crossbody that can be used for days or evenings when you need something smaller.  These are all the bags you need.

Okay, let’s move on to the different outfits for this winter getaway wardrobe capsule for further ideas and tips.

Bathing suit looks #1

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

Starting with this tankini top from Lands’ End, I chose these three bathing suit bottom options, the purple high-waist, smaller bikini bottom in matching paisley, and aqua skirted style.  You can pack all of them or just the styles you need that will flatter your body.  I love that you have several bottoms to choose from.  For cover, I used this men’s button down shirt from The Gap and large scarf in soft blue from Nordstrom, flip flops in coral from TKEES and nylon tote in navy from Calvin Klein.

Bathing suit looks #2

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

Using the same bathing suit bottoms, I swapped out the tankini top with this smaller bikini top from Lands’ End and used this bright purple cover-up from Echo Design, nylon Calvin Klein tote and coral TKEES flip flops.

Casual shorts outfits

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

If you’re going somewhere tropical, there is a good chance you’ll wear shorts at some point.  I kept it basic to ensure the most mix-and-match possibilities, using these khaki J. Crew shorts and denim Bermudas from Madewell.  Most of the looks are super casual, like the coral t-shirt, Birkenstocks, nylon tote and bracelet in the top left outfit, the navy tank, coral flip flops, soft blue scarf and nylon tote in the top right look, and dressed it up a little more in the looks on the bottom.  I styled this ruffled blouse in navy with the khaki shorts, gold wedges, gold wristlet from Vince Camuto and Argento Vivo earrings in the bottom left.  In the middle, I added this crisp white shirt with the khaki shorts, added the coral necklace from Kenneth Cole, gold Jack Rogers wedges and Vince Camuto wristlet.  In the outfit on the bottom right, I used the denim shorts, crisp white shirt, navy Birkenstocks, Argento Vivo earrings and navy nylon tote.

Printed pants outfits

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

These printed pants from Banana Republic can be dressed up and down which is what makes them so perfect for packing tight.  In the first look I kept it more casual by styling them with the coral shirt, nylon tote, Birkenstocks and earrings.  The second look also works for daytime with the navy tank, lariat necklace, Birkenstocks and nylon tote.  The third look can be used for daytime as well as dinner out when styled with the Jack Rogers wedge sandals, ruffle blouse in navy, wristlet and earrings.  Lastly, I styled the pants with the crisp white shirt, wedge gold sandals, nylon tote and coral necklace.

Easy tank dress outfits

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

This Theory dress in dark teal isn’t a color that is part of the rest of the capsule, but it is a shade that complements the colors found in it making it easy to accessorize using what has been packed.  Dresses are typically standalone pieces so it is more important that the accessories work with it than it is the rest of the clothes do.

I styled the first dress with the gold Jack Rogers wedges, the gold wristlet, the lariat necklace from Lilly Pulitzer and bracelet from Kendra Scott.  In the second look, I used the gold wedges, the coral necklace and the gold wristlet.  Both looks can work for evening.  Yet, this dress does not have to be limited to that.  In the last outfit I used the comfortable Birkenstock sandals, the wristlet and the Argento Vivo earrings.

Navy wrap dress outfits

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

I love this navy wrap dress from Tory Burch for it’s simplicity and for how easy it is to change up.  I styled it in a dressier way but it would certainly look great with flip flops or casual sandals for daytime.

The first look three looks I styled with the same gold wedges, soft blue wrap and wristlet.  The only change I made was the jewelry.  In the first outfit I used the earrings and bracelet, the second look I used the coral necklace and the third outfit I styled the outfit with the gold lariat.  Wanting to add some variety, I created a more casual look in the fourth outfit using the Birkenstocks, nylon tote and earrings.

White maxi dress outfits

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

This next dress from Elie Tahari is a little less versatile but I think it is important to pack at least one special piece, like this one.  Despite the dress being a little more novel, I could still style it up and down.  In the look on the left, I added the gold wedge sandals, the gold wristlet and the lariat necklace.  On the right, I dressed it down with the Birkenstocks, soft blue wrap, the wristlet and the earrings.

White denim skirt outfits

winter getaway wardrobe capsule

Knowing not everyone is a shorts person, even on vacation, I wanted to style a few looks using a denim skirt.  I used this white style from J. Crew with the navy blouse, gold wedges, wrap scarf, braceletwristlet and earrings for a dressier look, the coral t-shirt, flip flops, nylon bag and earrings for a casual look, and the navy tank, Birkenstocks, blue scarf, coral necklace and nylon bag for the third outfit.

If you are planning a vacation during these upcoming colder months, I hope this tropical winter getaway wardrobe  helps you pack with ease.