The best wardrobe essentials to pack for a weekend away in the UK or abroad

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Whether you’re jetting off for a long weekend abroad or planning a relaxing staycation this summer, knowing how to pack for a shorter trip can sometimes be stressful, especially if you’re trying to travel light. Luckily, I’ve rounded up the best fashion essentials to include in your overnight bag from the high street.

The key to not overpacking for a weekend trip is clothing items that are versatile and can be worn more than once but styled differently. Packing these fashion essentials for your next summer mini-break is a great way to save space in your luggage, and you won’t be weighed down by millions of outfits you don’t actually need.

John Lewis ANYDAY Tiered Jersey Broderie Midi Dress £34, an elevated basic like this dress is an ideal item to pack when going away on a short trip because you can dress it down during the daytime with a pair of sandals and chic sunglasses, or dress it up at night for dinner with a gorgeous pair of heels and a clutch bag. 

The broderie detail on this dress makes it so much more than a plain black dress, and the poplin waist is bound to flatter whoever wears it. Additionally, it is made from pure cotton which is great for keeping cool in the summer months.

Schuh Tish Suede Buckle Sandals in Tan £29.99, if you’ve got a weekend planned on the beach, or you’re gearing up for a few days exploring a new city, a comfortable yet stylish sandal is the perfect footwear option for you.

Even though they’re super comfortable, they still look effortlessly cool, and would still jazz up any evening time outfit. The rope detailing on the sole is a lovely touch as well as the fact the buckles are adjustable.They’re also currently in the Schuh sale at 40% off, down from £50 at the moment, making them even more affordable.

New Look Gini London Cream Plissé Wide Leg Loungewear Trousers £32, trousers that look classy and put together but actually require very minimal effort are one of life’s greatest pleasures in my opinion, and this pair are no exception. The plissé material is bound to keep you nice and cool if you’re planning on sailing off to sunnier climates and paired with a basic black or white top, a beach bag and your favourite pair of sandals, they practically style themselves.

If you’re a fan of a co-ord, the matching shirt is also available online at New Look at £32, you could wear it buttoned up or wear it open with a vest or t-shirt underneath. Either way, the collared neckline gives the impression that you’ve dressed up, while the slouchy and oversized fit allows for maximum comfort in hot temperatures.

River Island Navy Textured Whipstitch Swimsuit £38, finding the right swimsuit can be very tricky, a bit like when you’re on the hunt for some new jeans. But when you do find that right one, you never want to wear anything else. This plunge neckline from River Island looks super high quality because of the contrast stitching and textured fabric.

It’s also got a very classic look, and I always think that a one piece is way more versatile than a bikini. You could easily throw on a little skirt on top of this and wear it as a bodysuit for those moments when you rush out of the pool and head straight to lunch or for a drink in the nearest bar.

M&S Collection Tote Bag £25, no holiday look is complete without an essential tote bag, and this one from M&S is not only trendy but also practical because of its removable lining. The string or net shopping bags have been trending for a while now, but this bag looks sturdier than most I’ve seen and looks as if it will hold its shape as well as all of your holiday essentials.

It’s also available in four different colours. Natural is my favourite because it just looks so classic, but you can also shop the tote bag in a simple black, vibrant green and striking orange too.

Ruby Watson is a trainee journalist for NationalWorld. If you liked this article and want to read more, you can follow Ruby Watson on X here.