Packing Light with Summer Style

Next week the U.S. will celebrate our independence (although these days it doesn’t seem like such a good idea what with our own Mad King) and that means lots of weekend getaways! With the July 4th Federal holiday smack dab in the middle of the week, lots of us are taking advantage of an extra long weekend.

Normally, I would use 5 days to hit the road but, since I have yet to find suitable in-home care for my darling dog in my new city, I will be staying in town playing #backyardtourist. Whether you are heading out of town or staying close to home, I’ve put together a versatile and minimal travel wardrobe, perfect for summer sightseeing almost anywhere. My selections are simple, classic staples that work to create timeless looks that are equally at home from Boston to Brussels to Brisbane.

First up, the individual items. As always, when I post about style, please keep in mind my opinions are my own. The color palette is my preference and you may want to adapt the list to your style. I am not a trendy dresser. I prefer timeless styles but will look for some items that put a spin on a classic cut. Find what works for you because when you feel good, you look good. All right, now that all the warm fuzzies are out of the way, let’s get to it!


  • Black silk camisole – This can be layered for warmth or worn alone and, when paired with the black joggers and some great statement pieces, can be worn to a nice restaurant.
  • Black tee – A wardrobe workhorse, this black tee is from Target about 8 or 9 years ago. It’s a rayon/modal blend making it light with a great fit. There is not shopping link because these are everywhere. Worn alone or layered under the cardigan or blazer, this can be dressed up with a bib-style necklace, if that’s your thing.
  • White ‘boyfriend’ shirt – A perfect shirt for summer, this has a boxy fit with little touches, of tone-on-tone stripe and rolled cuffs, that take it a few notches above basic. This can be a stand-alone top, worn over the camisole, or even over the dress and knotted at the empire line.
  • White Oxford – A perfect white shirt with just enough crispness to make me feel special but a relaxed fit to be worn beyond the suit. I love this shirt! It can be worn as an outer layer, alone, or over the dress giving the appearance of a shirt over a skirt.
  • Striped tee – Another ‘wear it all the time’ piece, mine is St. James from almost a decade ago. It’s a linen/cotton/rayon blend with almost a slub-like feel. It works with both pants and can even be worn over the dress on a cooler day.
  • Black cardigan – You have a cardigan in your closet, right? If not, why not? A great top all by itself or, of course, as a layer. Mine is a washable merino wool (older version) because I find that to be cooler than cotton and I can get more wears between washes. The fit is key – with the slouchy nature of the pants, I chose a cardigan with a little slimmer fit to balance proportions which keeps casual from looking sloppy.
  • Black blazer – Not pictured. I am a blazer gal and wear one almost daily, even if I am just walking the dog. I love how a well-fitting jacket elevates even a dog-walking outfit and they almost always have pockets!! I have two black blazers – a lightweight wool suit jacket and a rayon/modal ‘boyfriend’ blazer. The latter is the one I’d pack for this list. The over-sized silhouette lends a current vibe while still keeping me in my comfort zone.


  • White jeans – Never in a million years did I think I was a ‘white jeans gal’. It turns out, I just hadn’t found the right ones. These are a great way to add brightness and summer vibes to my otherwise dark wardrobe. When worn with the white boyfriend shirt, you get a great monochrome look that screams chic.
  • Black joggers – Another never – me in athleisure. The word alone makes me want to stick a fork in my ear! I am not a fan of athletic wear outside the gym but I tried these pants on a dare and fell in love. These are light as air making them perfect for hot weather. Styled with the right shoes and accessories, these are surprisingly upscale. In fact, I wore these with the silk cami, pointed-toe loafers, and a shell pink blazer to an art opening last weekend and felt right at home among the ‘cocktail attire’ crowd.


  • Black day dress – I am not a big dress wearer but come summertime, I love the slip-on-and-go nature of a dress. Good shoes and earrings and I am out the door. This dress is a perfect drapey jersey with a flattering cut. My only issue is that the empire waist is banded making it look a little too casual. I’ve solved this by wrapping an obi belt or long skinny black scarf around it. Wear it under the striped tee or white shirt for a fun separates look. Knot the waist of the shirt at the empire line for a play on proportions (all leg, anyone?).


  • Classic tennis shoes – I love me some Tretorns! This classic tennis shoe has a slimmer silhouette that Converse or Addidas and so reads a bit less ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. Depending on your destination, these work with both the pants or the dress. I got the White/White/Night which means the swoosh is a dark navy and can read as black making it even more versatile within my wardrobe palette.
  • Perfect summer sandal – Logos annoy me, I feel that they date an item but the logo on the Tory Burch Miller sandals is less about the brand and more of a design element as it forms the bib of the sandal. I got the Vintage Vachetta which is a cognac color and matches the strap of my straw crossbody bag perfectly (yay!) Wear these with white jeans and a black tee, slip on some shades and you are channeling 1970s Jackie O in high style!
  • Espadrille wedges – An espadrille is all about summer. A wedge is all about summer. Combine them and you get a huge POW of summer style! I can’t remember where I got these but I got them in natural linen as well a black. The cognac ankle strap adds to the versatility. They work with the jeans, joggers, and dress and add a bit of dress-up to any outfit. I’ve linked to a pair that is similar to mine.


  • Straw crossbody bag – I am not a purse person; I have three satchels, two clutches, and a crossbody bag but I really wanted a quintessential summer bag – that means straw. I can’t remember where I got this but I use it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s surprisingly roomy and easy to carry.  The bag linked to is nicer than mine since it has a top handle. But since this is such a limited use item, I am fine with it.
  • Black crossbody bag – Or is it? Since I like to match my shoes to my bag, I needed a black bag. The problem is that I don’t like black bags so the search was especially challenging. I wanted a very specific bag – black, not a lot of hardware (except for a chain strap), seasonless, classic shape, and functional. I actually found it!! Not only did this tick ALL the boxes, it can easily become a clutch by slipping the chain inside. Win-win-win!

Other pieces

There you go! 10 clothing items, three pairs of shoes, a few accessories and tons of options to get through temperatures from 55°F to 100°F (well, this would get me through that swing). If I was planning on a beach getaway I’d add a bathing suit, a cover-up, and a larger hat. If I was going to the mountains/lake, I’d leave the white jeans at home in favor of traditional denim and swap out the espadrille wedges for my seasonless flat or low-heeled booties and add a cotton anorak jacket.

Your reward from making it through all that narrative? Visuals of the items in action!


These are the individual pieces described above.


15 outfits and you could easily find more options! Plenty for a 5-day getaway!

I hope this gives you some ideas on creating your own minimal travel wardrobe with maximum style for a summer getaway weekend. I’d love to know what you have planned for the holiday, so leave me your thoughts in the comments and thanks for stopping by!!

Peace, love, and travel!

2 thoughts on “Packing Light with Summer Style

    • JavaAndJunket says:

      Hi, Tina! Thanks for your comment! Black and white is one of my favorite summer combinations and I’m glad you appreciate it. I didn’t add a bathing suit because this list is aimed at a city getaway but you could easily add one! Have a great weekend! 👙🕶☀️


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