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ULTIMATE Coastal Capsule Wardrobe

ULTIMATE Coastal Capsule Wardrobe

Our ultimate Coastal capsule wardrobe is filled with amazing coastal grandmother outfit ideas so no matter whether you are heading to the beaches in Europe, New England, Caribbean or further afield this is the guide for you.

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But before we get onto the specific items we put in our favorite coastal capsule wardrobe items, we first thought it would be a good idea to tell you the things you should be considering as you put together your coastal grandmother capsule wardrobe.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

To know what a coastal capsule wardrobe is, it is worth outlining what a capsule wardrobe actually is!

Generally speaking a capsule wardrobe is a method of limiting the amount of clothes you buy or what you pack for vacation by creating more minimalist packing lists, and thus preventing you from overpacking or buying unnecessary wardrobe items.

Any capsule wardrobe uses a few key pieces of clothing to make up several mix and match outfits. Basically meaning that every piece of your wardrobe, can be used in multiple outfits to create completely different outfits.

So now you know what a capsule wardrobe is we will turn our attention to the coastal capsule wardrobe or coastal grandmother capsule wardrobe items

What is a Coastal Capsule Wardrobe?

Woman in white shirt and beige pants sat on a rock next to the sea
Coastal Capsule Wardrobe / Coastal Grandmother Outfits

A coastal capsule wardrobe is a capsule wardrobe that celebrates seaside color palettes, laid back and polished casual looks.

There is also a new trend towards coastal grandmother capsule wardrobes which celebrates the look that are often seen in the movies of Nora Ephron such as by Diane Keaton’s character in Something’s Gotta Give.

How to put together a Coastal Capsule Wardrobe

Whenever I am putting together a capsule wardrobe I always start making my wardrobe in the same way using a couple of considerations these are:

Color palettes

Having a clear color palette is essential for creating any successful capsule wardrobe. Coastal capsule wardrobes are usually inspired by coastal and seaside palettes.

Therefore you tend to find lots of:

  • white, beige and sand colors
  • blues,
  • and sometimes a splash of color like yellow.

Plan out your outfits in advance

Whenever I am packing my capsule wardrobes, I always lay my clothes out and plan my outfit combinations.

This way you know that everything you have goes in your outfits and can be used multiple times. This is why I like the sudoku method as it is the easiest method of laying out outfits.

Casual Silhouettes

Woman enjoying sunshine on the beach
Coastal Capsule Wardrobe / Coastal Grandmother Outfits

Casual silhouettes and loose and flowing outfits are a big part of coastal casual outfits.

Natural Fabrics

Natural fabrics are a big part of coastal outfits. Cottons and linen are perfect for coastal grandmother looks.


And if you plan to use the coastal grandmother capsule wardrobe on vacation you will also want to add some swimwear to the list.

I usually take at least 2 pieces of swimwear and 2 covers with me on a wee- long vacation so I can always have one piece to wear and one that is drying but you may want to add some more.

Just try and select covers and 2 piece swimwear (if you want this style) that can be mixed and matched together for different beach looks.

Coastal Capsule Wardrobe Essential Items

So now you know the principles of how to put together a coastal capsule wardrobe we will look at some of our favorite pieces to include no matter the destination.

This guide has been split by pieces for easier navigation but if you use the items we lay out in this guide you will have enough outfits that can work for beaches, daytime sightseeing and restaurants and evenings out next to the beach. So no matter whether you are heading to a city beach, an all inclusive resort or a tropical island this is the packing list for you.

Best Pants for Coastal Capsule Wardrobes

Usually when I start putting together my capsule wardrobes I start with the pants / trousers first. I generally speaking own more tops than bottoms, therefore I like to pick our the pants first as I have more tops to play with.

The essentials on your coastal capsule wardrobe list are:

Linen Trousers / Linen pants

Linen trousers are a great pick for coastal capsule wardrobes especially those who are leaning into the coastal grandmother aesthetic.

We like to pick linen pants in a neutral color such as cream, beige or white as they work well no matter the color you pick for your capsule wardrobe.

I tend to use these as day to night transition pieces and in nearby towns andon the beach. Personally I think wide legged linen pant work best for coastal grandmother outfits as these can work well with a bikini top, jumper or a skinny fit t shirt.


Shorts are a definite must for beach destinations. Personally I like to avoid denim shorts as I find these more uncomfortable on sand. Instead a chino short is a better pick.


Although for tropical beach destinations jeans are not a great pick. But for the New England style coastal grandmother jeans are a good addition. To fit into this aesthetic we recommend selecting a light blue wash pair in a thinner denim.

Also as you are going coastle looser silhouettes are more fitting than skinny ones.

Dress / Skirts

For a coastal capsule wardrobe we like shirt dresses and dresses made of natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.

Click here to shop Summer dresses.

Best Tops for beach vacation Capsule Wardrobes

So now you know our favorite bottoms for your coasal capsule wardrobe we will turn our attention to tops.

And our first pick has to be:

T Shirt

A basic t shirt is a great staple and an essential of any season capsule wardrobe. You could add some beige and blues however I don’t think you can go wrong with a plain white tee.

For a year round capsule wardrobe we recommend having a mix of short and long sleeve tees.

Click here to shop basic tee shirts.

Blouse / Shirt

A shirt or blouse is a great addition to a coastal capsule wardobe. Again I stick with tops in natural fabrics such as cotton and linen to reduce sweat.

Personally I think an oversized linen blouse is a staple of coastal outfits.

Click here to shop blouses.

Best Layers for your Coastal Capsule Wardrobe

Coastal capsule wardrobes have layers that are great for each season.

My favorite layers are:


Chunky knits and loose knit cardigans in neutal colors are a great addition.

Click here to shop cardigans for the beach.


A nautical or long sleeved sweater made of merino pool is an essential for shoulder season and winter coastal looks.


A lightweight hoodie is great for casual venues and dress codes on the coast.

Click here to shop hoodies for travel.

Best Swimwear for Coastal Capsule Wardrobes (Optional)


We always pack at least 2 pieces of swimwear for coastal vacations one for wearing and one for drying.

I tend to stick with one piece swimsuits but you should pick the stle you feel most comfy in.

On top of swimsuits I also think all beach packing lists should include:

Beach Cover

Again I usually pack two of these for beach vacations for wearing walking to and from the hotel pool or beach, and for using at beachside bars and restaurants.

I like the kafkan style ones but this is a personal choice.

On top of these you may want to add

  • a rash vest – especially if you plan on snorkeling or doing watersports.

Shoes for Beach Capsule Wardrobes

I often find that shoes are the easiest item to overpack. However, for Summer I recommend packing just two pairs of shoes. They are:


A sandal is perfect for coastal look. Depending on how much walking you plan on doing depends whether you need something with arch support. We like an easy slip on and slip off sandals.


No capsule wardrobe is ever complete without a sneaker. Some of my favorite travel sneaker brands are Hoka and All Birds. But my favorite sneakers of the moment are the Addidas Cloud Foam. These are white sneakers which are very versatile as part of a coastal capsule wardrobe but also are very comfortable for walking long distances.

On top of sneakers I also recommend adding:

Flip Flops

These are great for all beaches.

Best Accessories for your Coastal Capsule Wardrobes

Everyone knows that good accessories can transform an outfit and can really help elevate a capsule wardorbe. For coastal looks the accessories we recommend selecting:

A Pashmina

Pashminas are so versatile as a great layering piece and are always part of my perfect coastal capsule wardrobe. They can be used as an extra layer in the cooler weather and of course they are a great day to style an outfit differently for a day to night transition.

Click here to shop pashminas.


Jewelry in coastal wardrobes is usually more minimalist but it is worth having a couple of pieces with you particularly for evening looks.

Beach Bag

An essential for taking books, towels, sunglasses and sunscreen down to the beach with you.


Hats are an essential for coastal wardrobes. We like a wide-brimmed hat that can protect your face from the sun.

Click here to shop beach hats for travel.

We hope this has helped you put together your own coastal Capsule wardrobe! And we would love to hear about your coastal grandmother looks in the comments below.