I Spent Two Weeks in Greece—Here’s Everything I Packed and Wore

I will bravely admit it. Among my family and friends, I do not have a reputation for packing light. Just ask my long-suffering partner. As someone who is regularly guilty of going over my baggage allowance, I made the decision a while ago to make my next trip a well-planned one, and that would mean making sure that every item I packed would be entirely necessary and relatively light. Yes, I wanted to keep cool, but more importantly, I wanted to dodge the additional charge. 

It just so happened that my first vacation in three years would be a big one—15 days in fact—and before having a packing meltdown, I set about building a capsule wardrobe that would create as many outfits as possible with as few pieces as possible. (Although, you will have to allow me changes of shoes.) And for the first time ever, I perfected the formula for holiday dressing, and the secret is… swimwear. 

With a forecast of nearly 90 degrees every day, my main focus was pieces that would stay cool and look good, and it turned out that, with the exception of a couple of light and airy dresses, bikinis and one-piece swimsuits would form the basis of everything I wore. Whether paired with shorts, under skirts, or, of course, on their own, it turned out that all I would require in my case for a fortnight of island hopping would be a few changes of swimwear, cotton separates, a couple of cover-ups, and my favorite jewelry

Below are some of the looks I chose for my trip, with each piece able to mix and match with another. There’s also a very handy scarf-styling tip for those extra low on space. So consider this a maximalist’s guide on what to wear in Greece with minimal fuss.   

Style Notes: Is there anything more versatile than a light slip dress? I wear them throughout fall layered up under a chunky knit with knee-high boots, but summer is when they really come into their own. This bold-colored dress with ruching and tie details was the perfect option for an easy day-to-night outfit that kept me cool too. 

We already called it, but this dress is proof that tangerine orange is the It color this season. 

Every holiday wardrobe needs a pair of flip-flops, but investing in a leather pair means you’ll get plenty of wear out of them for many summers to come. 

When it comes to bags, the bigger the better. A large tote like this is ideal for travelling, as it doubles up as a carry-on and beach bag. 

I’m a sucker for statement sunglasses, and Poppy Lissiman covers every shape and colour, so there’s a guaranteed style to suit everyone. 

I’ve been wearing a Monica Vinader Signature Bangle every day for the last five years, and it still gets compliments. 

Style Notes: It’s official—the shirt-and-shorts coordinating set is the best thing to happen to our summer wardrobes since Birkenstocks. Not only does it make an easy cover-up straight off the beach, but it’s also smart enough to wear back in the office. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about this co-ord from the moment I saw it, and as I’m someone who never wore hot pink before, consider me a convert.

After trying this on in-store, my advice is to size down if you’re ordering online. Oversized really is oversized, and I tried on a true size and found it far too boxy.

A flexible, soft fit that feels so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing anything at all. 

There’s nothing “ugly” about chunky sandals, and the outfit options are endless.

My Loewe raffia tote comes with me on every holiday. It’s a timeless classic that has reached icon status for good reason. 

Style Notes: Gone are the days of the basic caftan. Cover-ups are now so chic you’ll want to wear them off the beach too. Amp up the drama in a billowy maxi that’s light enough to keep you cool and looking good while doing it.

Act quickly, as this particular dress keeps going in and out of stock, but for a similar look, I’ve got my eye on the Cut Ties Cover-Up Midi Dress too. 

Prefer underwire? This wide-strapped top is perfect for a fuller bust. 

Ankle-tie sandals, whether flat or heeled, are a proven favourite among our editors.

If there’s an outfit that doesn’t look exponentially better with a pair of simple hoop earrings, I haven’t found it yet. 

A bag big enough to hold everything from your SPF to your beach towels (and a couple of books for good measure). 

Style Notes: If you also find dressing for muggy evenings difficult, allow me to suggest a one-shoulder dress. You can’t beat this level of ventilation, and an asymmetric hem only makes it cooler (in every sense of the word). It’s perfect for those special evenings when only dining al fresco will do. 

Not only is this available in a full size range, from 6 to 26, but it also comes in tall, so you can guarantee an even better fit with the right hem length.  

A surprisingly roomy clutch that comes in a zesty lime green as well. 

Ancient Greek is the crème de la crème of gladiator flats, so start here if you don’t already have a pair in your wardrobe. After all, when in Greece…

Some serious arm candy that looks just as good stacked as it does alone. 

It’ll take a lot of convincing to try and tell me that cat-eye sunglasses aren’t the superior shape. Just think of their face-sculpting prowess! 

Style Notes: You can save on space in your suitcase by getting creative with what you pack. One large silk scarf ended up being a headscarf, a top, and a neckerchief on this trip. The best part? It’s light as a feather, so there’s no need to worry about that baggage allowance. 

As part of Pret A Manger’s designer collaboration with Ashish (yes, you read that correctly), all proceeds from this tongue-in-cheek pasta-salad scarf will go to The Pret Foundation, supporting grassroots charities in local communities. 

The best thing about the ’90s revival? The column skirt. Here’s an easy stretch-jersey style that will go with literally everything in your wardrobe. 

Upgrade your everyday hoops with a special (and sparkly) detail like a white diamond stone.  

A ’90s-inspired skirt calls for well-matched accessories, and what’s better than a sleek mini baguette? 

You know you’re on to a winner when passersby ask where your shoes are from. These are the comfiest sandals I’ve worn in ages, so my only decision now is whether to buy another pair in white or brown. 

Style Notes: The sun is setting, and whether I’m wrapping up my evening or just getting started, a breezy maxi dress is my vacation go-to. Wear with macramé accessories and beaded jewelry to channel a boho spirit with a polished edge. 

Bring the sunshine in this sheer and lightweight gathered dress with the ultimate summer maxi silhouette.

A classic black swimsuit never goes out of style, and I wore Casa Raki’s under dresses, in the pool and as a top with a white midi skirt. This was one of the most important pieces in my suitcase. 

Marks and Spencer has significantly upped its accessory game, and alongside some seriously impressive shoes are some hidden handbag gems like this one. 

Good vibes by name and good vibes by nature. This is mood-boosting jewellery if ever I’ve seen it. 

Pool slides don’t get more luxurious than this. 

Next: Zara Just Debuted a $70 Version of the $450 Shoes French Girls Love.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.