|Not everyone like streamlining their packing....|
I am off on my jollies to the South of France shortly and packing looms on the horizon. There are those who believe that the simple approach to dressing works equally well on holiday. There's simple and simple. Pack 10 T-shirts in a suitcase, throw in some swimwear and flip-flops and that's about it is not what I ascribe to. I believe that you will have a better time on holiday if you feel right. Clearly "feeling right" differs from person to person and holiday destination to destination. That said, there are some guiding principles that can help to up your style ante on this year's summer break. I'm leaving it to you dear readers to think laterally and adapt to suit. I should add that a large amount of my suitcase space always ends up being occupied by books. Note to self - must invest in a kindle.
• Have an airport/travel look that comprises of warmish layers and your heaviest holiday shoes. This is especially key if travelling on budget airlines that have small weight allowances. This is not the time to channel Angelina Jolie in a black silk mini dress and skyscraper mules. You'll be cold and grumpy and desperate to buy a bad cardigan from a second-rate high street duty-free shop in no time. Instead, this is the time to wear a rolled chino, a light knit, knockout sunglasses and a pair of leather sandals...also possibly a hat so it doesn't get squashed in your suitcase.
• Speaking of footwear, unthinking loyalty to flip-flops is a style copout. It takes minuscule extra effort to choose a pair of sandals to take away with you, yet they add a style dimension to even the most basic shorts-and-vest holiday look. Also pretty ballet pumps. These are my style staple and I will taking a pair of silver and gold metallic quilts and leopard ponyskin with red edging (both French Sole).
• Don't have a holiday wardrobe, have a holiday style philosophy instead. One that means you wear your usual summer clothes but in a crafty holiday-ish way. Not only does this save cash and time spent in badly lit changing rooms, it is the fast track to looking more stylish. This means admitting that the summer dress you bought for a party can easily be your sightseeing dress. A blouse you normally wear with jeans will look good with shorts for an alfresco lunch. This isn't wardrobe downgrading, this is wardrobe multitasking. And your holiday snaps will thank you for it. Promise. Also it will save you the insane Topshop/Whisltes freak-out panic buying session.
• Take into account your holiday pals and the kind of look they will be rocking at the check-in desk. In terms of how right you feel on holiday, it's up there with reading an accurate weather report ahead of time. Also if they're packing a hairdryer, do you need to take one? Things like this help with allowance weight too.
• No one of any style repute actually wears a sarong. A beautiful, floaty kaftan that you can throw on is all that is required - heck, maybe even a couple. Think about how you're spending your days. If you're going on a beach holiday and lounging around is a big factor you need less proper clothes and probably 2 or 3 cover-ups. Again, they're also light!
• There is no need to buy a dedicated beach bag, unless it is along the lines of a Marc by Marc Jacobs bright canvas shopper: ie, something that you will want to shake the sand out of and use again in actual real life. Failing that, use your Monday-to-Friday leather bag, provided it's a decent size. It gives the impression that you are more nonchalant about beach style and is infinitely chicer.
• Jewellery in the form of overly fancy earrings or a big, shiny bangle will add kick to your style quota but almost nothing to the weight of your luggage.
Lastly, have a super time! X