Style Bee - Easy Summer Packing with HDH



I often get asked about how to pack for summer travel and for me a good packing list is a balance of essentials, comfort and versatility. I swear by carry-on only travel but I also love having options. This means I need to keep my list concise and include pieces that can work for lots of different looks.

Cue the Hackwith Design House Summer Capsule, a collection of 5 pieces that can be mixed and matched and easily packed up for a trip. Each style comes in a selection of summer ready fabrics, a full range of inclusive sizes and they’re all made sustainably in the Hackwith Design studio in St. Paul, Minnesota. To celebrate the summer capsule launch, the HDH team kindly sent me a capsule of my own to test out and use to build a bunch of different outfits to help inspire a packing list for your next trip!

In today’s post we’ll be exploring:

  • The 5 Summer Capsule Pieces + a few additions I’m using to style them.
  • How I decide what to pack.
  • 10+ Looks I created with the Summer Capsule.
  • How they all fit into a canvas tote!
  • My thoughts on each of the 5 pieces + a swimsuit.

Let’s dig in!


*Enter code at checkout. This post was produced in partnership with Hackwith Design House, a brand I love to work with and have supported for many years. Style Bee earns a commission on sales made using the reader code (at no additional cost to customers). Valid through June 10th.

Style Bee - Easy Summer Packing with HDH


I’ll be going into more detail on these pieces below but if you’re keen to explore them first, here are the links:






CHECK THE FORECAST: When I’m deciding what to pack I always start by checking the forecast for wherever I’m going. This might be travel 101 but it always helps me narrow in on exactly what I need. I’ve made the mistake of only paying attention to the highs while ignoring the lows. Now I make sure I know what the lows are going to be too. This way I know whether or not to bother with extra layers.

CHOOSE LUGGAGE: Then I pull out my luggage so I have a clear sense of the space I’m working with. For a long weekend this might just be a tote bag but for a week or more I’ll get out my carry-on suitcase.

REVIEW ITINERARY: Next I review my trip itinerary to see whether it’s going to be a bit dressier or super casual and how much activity we’ll be doing. If I have a few nice dinners or special events I’ll pack fancier pieces than if I’m just hanging at a cottage or staying in smaller towns. This step can be really helpful to quell the urge to pack those fantasy outfits that you won’t actually need.

ASSEMBLE: Now it’s time to pull together all the pieces I want to bring and see if they’ll fit. 9 times out of 10 they don’t all fit in my luggage so I begin the editing process. First to go are the 1-off items that I can only wear once or that don’t mix and match super easily. Next are the shoes I won’t need or that aren’t comfortable. Shoes take up a lot of space so I try to keep the options minimal. I reserve my bulkiest items for the plane (like sneakers and jackets) and I check where I’m staying to confirm that a hair dryer and other typical amenities are available.

IDENTIFY OUTFITS: Once I’ve edited my choices down to what will fit in my luggage I start making note of the different outfits I can create. If there is time I’ll try them on and take a mirror selfie, but that’s extremely rare. Usually I just make a few notes on my phone. This helps me remember what I can do with my options and helps to stave off the FOMO on pieces I’ll be leaving behind.

Using the HDH Summer Capsule pieces shown above, here are some of the MANY outfits that could be created for a summer adventure.


{Click any photos above to enlarge the gallery}

These outfits will be great for a summer holiday because they’re ideal for warm weather, lounging by the beach or pool, wandering city streets, al fresco dining, site seeing and lots more. Not to mention, they’re all made of breathable and packable fabrics!

Depending on where I’m going and for how long, I might also bring a couple of summer bags, basic tees, a pair of comfy sneakers and perhaps a sweater to really round out my options.

I love how this colour palette came together with soft, neutrals and a few black pieces to anchor it. A couple of styling tricks I love to use in the summer are:



You bet they do! Here’s how I’d pack them:



Now that we’ve covered packing tips and outfit ideas, we’ll take a closer look at the HDH Summer Capsule pieces. I’ve kept the review portion of this post concise but covered the key info I felt was worth noting on each item. If you have any additional questions, please let me know in the comments.


First up we’ll look at the Button Up Blouse, which I think is one of the most versatile pieces in the capsule. I really like the shape of this top because it’s wide but slightly cropped, making it ideal for French tucking, front knotting and wearing loose over shorts or jeans. It’s simple and breezy making it perfect for hot days. Oh and it’s totally reversible too!

Favourite detail: The sleeves. I love that they’ve got a bit of volume and are gathered into a nicely finished seam. This special design detail takes it up a notch for sure.

To note: I chose this top in the same material as the easy shorts to create a little set that could be like a faux romper when worn together but you could opt for another fabric if you prefer.

  • Available in these fabrics: Black Cotton Lawn, Blue & White Stripe, Sandstone Stripe (shown), White Cotton Chevron
  • Sizes: XS – +4 – I have a size Small in this piece. For reference I’m 5’7 and about 125 lbs.
  • Price: $150 USD $135 USD with ‘STYLEBEE10’ (you save $15 USD)
  • Shop the Button Up Blouse


Style Bee - Easy Summer Packing with HDH

The Button Up Jacket Dress surprised me in the best way by being super fun to wear and easy to style. The length keeps it practical for work and pockets make it functional too. This dress is really comfortable and elegant in a laid-back way, which I think it could be great for the office or traveling.

I chose it in the cotton/lyocell blend, which is the same fabric as my Easy Tapered Pants that I love. It’s sturdy and has a bit of structure to it while remaining soft and breathable. I wasn’t sure if the cream would be transparent but I’m glad to report that it’s fully opaque.

Favourite detail: Convertible design. I love a dress that can double as a jacket and this one does exactly that! Worn buttoned with a belt it’s a chic summer outfit but worn open over a tank and jeans it works as an in between version of a sweater and a jacket. It’s also a great cover-up for the beach or cottage making it a versatile travel piece.

To note: The cotton/lyocell blend is a bit of a thicker material than a linen or 100% cotton so it might not be ideal for very hot climates.

  • Available in these fabrics: Black Cotton Gauze, Blue & White Stripe, Sandstone Stripe, Cream Lyocell/Cotton (shown)
  • Sizes: XS – +4 –I have a size Small in this piece. For reference I’m 5’7 and about 125 lbs.
  • Price: $205 USD $184.50 USD with ‘STYLEBEE10’ (you save $20.50 USD)
  • Shop the Button Up Jacket Dress


The Easy Shorts are true to their name and being the only bottoms in the capsule they definitely open up lots of outfit options. I’ve been looking for a light neutral short like these that were an easy pull-on style, had deep pockets and simple design that would work with basic tanks, bodysuits and more structured layers as well. They’re a great answer to what I’ve been after!

Favourite Detail: Deep hem & low profile pockets. You can wear these shorts with the hem cuff or unrolled for a longer inseam, which I think might work best with a silky fabric. Since I chose a mini stripe cotton that has a little more structure I like the hem folded once (I just ironed them to help it stay put).

I’m particular about my pockets and don’t love it when they add volume. These ones however, are totally sleek and low profile. So much so that I didn’t even notice them at first! They’re side seam integrated so they lay nice and flat but they’re deep so there’s plenty of room to stash anything you might need easy access to like your keys, phone or dog treats.

To note: Go for the Black Tencel if you’d prefer a bit less volume as it will offer more movement and drape.

  • Available in these fabrics: Black Tencel, Blue & White Stripe, Sandstone Stripe (shown), Cream Lyocell/Cotton
  • Sizes: XS – +4 – I have a size Small in this piece. For reference I’m 5’7 and about 125 lbs.
  • Price: $160 USD $144 USD with ‘STYLEBEE10’ (you save $16 USD)
  • Shop the Easy Shorts


Style Bee - Easy Summer Packing with HDH

The first word that comes to mind about the Circle Dress is, ‘delight’. It’s such an enjoyable piece to wear and in this floaty cotton gauze it’s cloud soft and super light. It’s reversible so you can wear the neck high or low and I love the low neck to the back for an unexpected element. It’s the kind of piece you could easily dress up for a more formal event or even a wedding with a block heel and some thoughtful accessories. With a removable sash belt it’s easy to create an hourglass shape or leave it loose on a hot day to keep the air circulating.

Favourite Detail: Circle Hem. This dress is made for twirling and dancing thanks to a generous skirt that falls beautifully and curls into itself. Usually I prefer a straight hemline but this one bounces and moves in a special way that makes it so enjoyable to move and walk in. 

To note: The arm holes are quite open, which will be great over a fitted tee in the cooler temps but means you need a low profile bra if you’d prefer it not be seen.

  • Available in these fabrics: Black Cotton Gauze (shown), Cream Lyocell/Cotton, Blue & White Stripe (Straight Size Only), Sandstone Stripe (Straight Size Only)
  • Sizes: XS – +4 – I have a size Small in this piece. For reference I’m 5’7 and about 125 lbs.
  • Price: $180 USD $162 USD with ‘STYLEBEE10’ (you save $18 USD)
  • Shop the Circle Dress


The final item in the HDH Summer Capsule is this cute little Rib Knit Baby Tank. I think it’s a great addition to the capsule but also to any closet because it serves as a perfect elevated basic. I had the pleasure of testing out the reversible v-neck top from the HDH basics line and fell in love with the ribbed fabric. The reversible design is a welcome option but similar to the midi dress I prefer the higher neckline to the front.

Favourite Detail: The cropped length. I really like the length of this tank and it’s unique within my closet. Long enough to French tuck or fully tuck into a high waist short or skirt but cropped such that you can easily wear it loose over vintage denim for a fuss free combo. 

To note: this top is slightly transparent but when worn with a nude bralette there is no issue.

  • Available in these fabrics: Ivory Rib (shown), Black Rib, Gray Rib
  • Sizes: XS – +4 – I have a size Small in this piece. For reference I’m 5’7 and about 125 lbs.
  • Price: $65 USD $58.50 USD with ‘STYLEBEE10’ (you save $6.50 USD)
  • Shop the Baby Tank


The final item of note is the Double-V One Piece. I have two HDH Swim sets in my closet (bought by me) and love them, so I was really excited to try out a one-piece. The design is a lovely balance of elegance and daring with a plunging neckline and full coverage elsewhere. Of course it’s made for the beach or poolside, but I REALLY like it as a bodysuit worn with jeans, shorts or a skirt for a fun adventure or night out.

Favourite Detail: Plunging neckline. I don’t wear a lot of revealing pieces but I am so glad I took a risk on this style. The deep v has been thoughtfully constructed so it fits like a glove and never feels as if one of the girls might escape. In addition to the top being secure, the double lined bottom half feels almost like shape wear in the best way. It just really ‘holds’ you in and has a smoothing effect.

To note: I have the size Small in this suit and the bottom is a bit on the tight side but it’s still very comfy.

  • Available in: Chestnut, Black, Thistle (Lilac), Valentine Red & White (all made from a blend of recycled poly and spandex)
  • Sizes: XS – XL – I have a size Small in this piece. For reference I’m 5’7 and about 125 lbs.
  • Price: $142 USD $127.80 USD with ‘STYLEBEE10’ (you save $14.20 USD)
  • Shop the Double-V One Piece

Style Bee - Easy Summer Packing with HDH


I had a blast putting this one together for you and I hope you’ll find the packing tips helpful and take inspiration from some of my styling ideas!

Of course, if you have any questions about the HDH Summer Capsule pieces, don’t hesitate to ask!

Big thanks to Hackwith Design House for being a longtime partner and supporter of Style Bee.

PARTNERSHIP DETAILS: The Summer Capsule Pieces were sent by HDH as part of this collaboration for me to review, style and wear in the future. Style Bee earns a commission on HDH sales made using the reader discount code (at no additional cost to customers) through June 10th, 2019.

I always strive to give information that is helpful, honest and as accurate as possible to help you add pieces you’ll love wearing long-term. Thanks for your interest in supporting the independent brands that support Style Bee!

Leave me a comment here!

  1. AlEx says:

    Wow! I absolutely love this post and the items featured. Thank you so much for making such awesome content ☺️

  2. Margo says:

    Hi Lee — Question about the blouse. When you say fully reversible do you mean “turn inside out” or “front to back”? (I’m giving away my age here)! At one time it meant two-sided, usually with a different fabric on the inside.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hey Margo! Ah yes, I know what you mean, sorry for the confusion! I intended ‘reversible’ as in you can turn it around and wear the buttons to the back 🙂 The neck has been designed to work both ways. You can see how that looks on here. Hope that helps! xo

  3. Jess says:

    Hi Lee! I’ve been looking for shorts with a stretchy waistband and deep pockets and these look great! Would you say that the leg openings are wide enough to be comfortably loose for people with bigger thighs?

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Hey Jess, Great question and yes, I think they’d be great! I measured the size S that I have and the thigh opening is about 28 inches around. May be worth measuring a pair of shorts or pants you like the fit of for comparison. The Easy short goes up to a +4 and with the waist being stretchy you could size up for the fit you want in the leg and the waist would probably still be good. Hope that helps! xo

  4. Anna-Lena says:

    Wow! I really want to commend you for such an elaborate post. So inspiring and helpful. I’m going on holiday a week from now so this couldn’t have come at a better time. Always find packning stressful, I bring too many things.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thank you Anna-Lena! I really appreciate the feedback and I’m so glad the post was helpful. I hope it eases some packing stress for you. xo

  5. meryl says:

    What an amazing post and lovely outfits. Especially love the pink set. It suits you so well!

  6. Sarah Winton says:

    I love this capsule. All of the pieces are so wearable. I think I agree with you that the button down top is my favourite, although I also love the black dress!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks for checking out the post Sarah! That is a great way to describe the capsule because it really is ‘so wearable’! The dress is REALLY fun and so perfect for a warm weather trip. xo

  7. Laura says:

    I love these pieces and they make such beautiful outfits. The colours and fabrics look spot on for summer. I think I might be adding this brand to my “go to” list.

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks Laura! HDH is definitely a go-to for me 🙂 They’ve got a great eye for fabrics and details that make a simple piece special. Thanks for reading! xo

  8. Andrea H says:

    Hi Lee! Loving those shorts so much! Could you share the inseam? And possibly the total garment length? xx

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks Andrea, you bet! 6 in unrolled and about 4.25 in when cuffed. They look pretty cute uncuffed with a loose jacket or tunic length top 🙂

  9. Hanusia says:

    What a great post! I’m about to pack for a trip home so this came at the perfect time. 🙂 And I always gravitate towards the pieces you share from HDH- they are definitely on my radar to invest in when I can. One question: how does the Easy Short compare to the Elizabeth Suzann Clyde short, if you’ve tried that one? Thanks!

    • Lee the Bee says:

      Thanks Hanusia! So glad the timing worked out 🙂 I haven’t tried the Clyde Short but having had the Clyde pant I’d guess that the two are somewhat similar. I find the Clyde waistband to be a bit heavier and not terribly stretchy, which can feel hot in the summer. The waistband on these is quite flexible and the light cotton is soft/comfy. The pockets on the clyde shorts wrap around to the back so there is an added layer of material. Since they open from the top (rather than along a seam) they’re not concealed and fall away from the side slightly, which is an intention of the design. These have a longer inseam (6 in uncuffed) so you can opt to roll them or wear long, which is a nice bit of styling versatility. I hope that helps but ultimately both are a great summer option. Enjoy your time at home! xo