20 Things That You Absolutely Must Pack For Your Summer Vacation

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20 Things That You Absolutely Must Pack For Your Summer Vacation

Words by The MR PORTER Team

26 May 2023

So, you’re going on vacation and you’re absolutely buzzing. Sunshine, swimming, SPF – these are the three ingredients for the perfect holiday. But you might need a few more items. Like shorts, perhaps? A watch to shift to a different time zone. Sunglasses, obvs. And a wash bag, in which to stash your toothbrush and toiletries, would hit the spot as well. Below, we’ve selected 20 things that will stow away nicely into your suitcase. Bon voyage.


The easy-to-read Carl F. Bucherer watch

Given all the complications, this elegant timepiece by Carl F. Bucherer isn’t one to wear to the beach. And, while the 30m water resistance should see off an accidental splash, you wouldn’t want it in a pool. Where this refined watch would come into its own is at dinner in an establishment to match. And wouldn’t that blue sunray dial, shiny stainless-steel case and beige canvas strap look better on a sun-kissed wrist?


The relaxed Mr P. blazer

With a limit on luggage and, no doubt, numerous scenarios built into your itinerary, every piece you pack has to earn its place in your suitcase. This cotton-twill blazer should be your vacation go-to – you should even consider wearing it to the airport. It will hold its own dressed up with a shirt or dressed down with a tee. More importantly, its unstructured look should set the tone as you begin to unwind.


The versatile J.M. Weston loafers

Slides, sandals and mules deserve their moment in the sun, but perhaps no piece of summer footwear is as adaptable as the loafer. Celebrated French shoemaker J.M. Weston’s smart suede take would pop on the end of some breezy linen tailoring. Equally, you could see them paired with shorts or – gasp – even socks.


The luxurious Stòffa polo shirt

Nothing says you’ve stolen the identity, girlfriend and 42ft sailboat of the scion of a shipping magnate quite like an open-collar polo shirt in a neutral tone, in this case “sand”. New York label Stòffa is renowned for employing the finest fabrics, as the mouliné cotton used here demonstrates. Watch light dance off this piled yarn like ripples in the Tyrrhenian Sea.


The Succession-approved Jacques Marie Mage sunglasses

If only Succession weren’t bowing out this summer, perhaps we’d have had the chance to see Kendall Roy sulking behind these Jacques Marie Mage racing-style aviators. That’s because, as true heads will already know, it’s only our favourite nepo baby’s go-to sunglasses brand. Surely copping a pair is the most fitting tribute?


The check-out-my-gams Burberry swim shorts

No points for guessing who created this standout pair of swim shorts. Heck, even the most casual fan of fashion would spot that iconic Burberry print a mile off. Admittedly, these won’t be for the guy who prefers not to draw attention to himself by the poolside. However, if your goal is to turn heads – you worked for those abs, after all – then do proceed to snap these up swiftly.


The dreamy POLITE WORLDWIDE® pearl necklace

Menswear’s love for all things pearly is showing no signs of abating this season – at least not if POLITE WORLDWIDE® has anything to do with. Here, the environmentally minded LA label has created a classic-with-a-twist take on your grandmother’s necklace that’s ideal for adding an unexpected touch of elegance to a laid-back, grungy fit.


The breezy SMR Days drawstring trousers

The words “beachside dressing” typically bring to mind bright hues and splashy prints. However, SMR Days takes a more “quiet luxury” approach to warm-weather clothing. These lightweight Malibu drawstring trousers are a perfect encapsulation of the brand’s minimalist philosophy – and, as the name suggest, are designed with balmy Californian summers in mind.


The slick SAINT LAURENT sandals

SAINT LAURENT’s sandals are the kind of summer shoes that work well with casual shorts and tailored trousers alike. Which means that they make for a clever holiday option when the baggage allowance is limited. Just be sure to store them in the accompanying dust bags while travelling.


The Elder Statesman tie-dye sweater

Whether you have a city break or a beach getaway on the cards, The Elder Statesman’s sweater is perfect for slightly chilly summer evenings. Nothing says “vacation” quite like a tie-dye piece, after all. The hand-loomed, mid-weight cashmere knit is warming yet slim enough to be layered beneath a lightweight jacket.


The elevated Brunello Cucinelli sneakers

Going on an adventure? Comfort and versatility are key, and Brunello Cucinelli has all the answers. Look no further than the flexible rubber soles, padded collars and neutral uppers on the brand’s luxe leather sneakers.


The western-themed RRL beach towel

If you’re hitting the beach, but don’t want to be that guy, who packs a standard hotel bathroom towel in their beach bag, then consider investing in this piece by RRL. The western-inspired motifs are a nod to Mr Ralph Lauren’s Colorado ranch.


The smarter shorts by Incotex

A shade dressier than those chino shorts you’ve been rocking for the last few summers, these Bermuda shorts from Incotex are cut from a lightweight poplin cotton material that’s sure to keep you feeling cool when the mercury rises. (Just ask the gentlemen of Bermuda, who’ve been wearing them in the heat of summer for years.) Make the most of those belt loops and pair them with a woven-leather belt.


The Art Deco Métier wash bag

We’re not going to get into the contents of your wash bag – that’s a whole bag-within-a-bag conversation for another day. But what we will do is point you in the direction of this fine example from London luxury travel brand Métier. Handcrafted in Italy and decorated with a chic Art Deco-inspired print, it’s the most stylish place a man can stash his toothbrush.


The LOEWE beach-to-bar shirt

A shirt you can wear both on the beach lounger and at the bar is an essential part of any holiday wardrobe. Try this one from LOEWE’s latest collaboration with Paula’s, the legendary boutique on the Balearic island of Ibiza. With a boxy fit and a wide, 1950s-inspired collar, it channels the louche, laid-back vibe you should be aiming for this summer.


The quietly luxe Loro Piana baseball cap

Loro Piana’s logo-embroidered cashmere baseball caps are the embodiment of understated luxury and a long-standing favourite here at MR PORTER, but they’re not ideal for hot weather. We’d recommend going for a lighter, more breathable cotton and linen blend in a light colour that won’t absorb too much of the sun’s rays.


The Zegna evening-ready hoodie

Even some of the warmest places are prone to breezy evenings during the summer. Which is why it’s wise to pack a comfy-cosy hoodie that you can pull on when the sun goes down. For this cotton-cashmere option, Zegna has dispensed with the drawstring in favour of a single snap, meaning you never have to worry about losing the cord ever again.


The elegant UMIT BENAN B+ silk shirt

You’re on vacation. Now is the time to dispense with stiff and structured clothing and slip into something more comfortable. This pyjama-inspired silk shirt from UMIT BENAN B+ is the ideal crossover piece, sitting firmly on the line between day and nightwear. Just want you need when you depart the rigid confines of regular life.


The nautical Orlebar Brown striped T-shirt

Wear this stripey cotton-terry shirt poolside or drop it into a beach bag for post-sea swims (it doubles as a towel in a pinch). This tee wouldn’t look astray on the deck of a small – or large, for that matter – yacht. What we’re saying is that this simple piece from swimwear maestro Orlebar Brown is best worn near or on a body of water, making it the platonic ideal of a warm-weather tee.


The Gucci day-tripper bag

Venturing out of your hotel/Airbnb/resort? Good for you. It takes some effort to pry yourself off the beach chair, stow your book away and put on some shoes that don’t flap on your heels. If you’re heading into town, you’ll want to bring a few items to keep you going (water, SPF, said book), so you’ll also want a bag to store them in. This leather-trimmed monogrammed messenger bag by Gucci is as snazzy as such a bag gets. Wear it with pride.