It’s been a long time since I packed for anything other than an overnight stay in the UK; my passport expired almost ten years ago (shocking, I know!) and the last time I actually left the country was to go to Venice in 2004.
I’m definitely of the opinion that you can have just as nice a time at home though, especially with the beautiful weather we’ve been having lately – Ali’s got a week off in August, so we’re going to try and head off somewhere for a few days, which means I’ve been thinking
a bit absolutely endlessly about packing. When you’ve got two kiddos, scooters, bikes, balls and beach equipment, it doesn’t leave much room for clothes – and I’m definitely not the capsule wardrobe type (I’ve tried and failed, many times). If you’re like me and you really can’t imagine limiting yourself too heavily, you have to just be smart about what you do take – choose things which can be worn in different ways, and accessories that are multi-functional, and you’ll be grand. Using a website or app like Lyst can help you pick and curate your holiday wardrobe with just a few clicks; it’s ridiculously easy to use and caters for all budgets (so you can mix up your A.P.C with your ASOS at the touch of a button).
You can search via designers, stores or items, and then filter according to budget, colour and fabric, making creating a cohesive collection super-easy. I used it to find my ten key pieces for a holiday wardrobe (above), and was pleasantly surprised to discover some brands and labels weren’t as expensive as I’d previously thought – I also stumbled across some great new finds, which suited my pretty limited budget. Happy days!
1. The Maxi-Dress
A maxi-dress is one of the best things you’ll ever take on holiday, simply because it can go from day to night with a quick change of accessories – and it’s great if (like me) you’re not keen on shorter hemlines.
White Stripe Bardot Maxi-Dress, £35, River Island
2. The Oversized Clutch
I’m not talking so big you need a trolley to wheel it along, but a decently sized bag that could easily hold all of your essentials for either the day or the evening.
Clutch Bag with Flap, £16, Zara
3. The Sunglasses
The sunglasses shape of the year this time around is most definitely the cat-eye (again!) – choose simple black with a hint of metal to make sure it works everywhere from the beach to the restaurant and beyond.
Gold Metal Cat-Eye Sunglasses, £15, ASOS
4. The Espadrilles
Espadrilles are one of the best types of holiday shoe, because they work absolutely everywhere; with a bikini and kimono by the pool, culottes and a cold-shoulder top for sightseeing and with your best holiday evening dress for dinner.
Ankle Strap Espadrilles, £17, Lost Ink at House of Fraser
5. The Denim Dress
If you only pack one thing (well, apart from your swimwear and undies!), make it a denim dress. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a shift, a dungaree-dress or a maxi-dress, denim is beautifully versatile – wear with a light jacket and sneakers during the day, and then add some statement jewellery and flat sandals for evening.
Light Blue Denim Shirt Dress, £19, River Island
6. The Tote Bag
I rarely ever use anything other than a tote, because I tend to carry so much stuff around with me, and they also seem to go with most outfits. Holiday-wise, they double brilliantly as a beach bag and also a day bag for sightseeing – plenty of room for everything from your suncream and guide book to beach towel and novel.
Striped Jute Tote Bag, £22, The Beach People
7. The Hat
Who doesn’t love a big hat on holiday? Great for keeping the sun out of your eyes, hiding messy hair in photos and most importantly, preventing heat stroke. The bigger the better, I say!
Multi Stripe Sunhat, £15, Banana Republic
8. The Kimono
One of my favourite things to wear in the summer is a kimono; great when the clouds roll in, or for an evening outfit after the sun has gone down, they keep the chill off without making you too hot. Tassels are pretty much essential (well, I always think so!)
Denim Style Cotton Jacket, £40, Mango
9. The Scarf
A good scarf is the best accessory you’ll take on holiday, I swear; as long as you make sure it’s a perfect square, you can wear it as anything from a headscarf or sarong to a top. You could even actually wear it around your neck!
Black Cotton Tassel Scarf, £19, & Other Stories
10. The Sandals
Wherever you’re going, it’s a good idea to have some slightly more formal sandals or footwear, just in case you end up going to a nice restaurant, or somewhere that needs something other than espadrilles or flip-flops.
Franco Double Buckle Sandal, £42, Topshop
Many thanks to Lyst for partnering with me on this post.
Images courtesy of Unsplash.