I’ve been on enough holidays in my life-time, that I know what my core capsule holiday items are. Especially since becoming a mum (where our baby definitely gets the majority of luggage allowance!), it’s been even more important to do some more smart packing, as I like to call it. Less is more – that’s for certain, and the key is to pack really versatile pieces, which are easy to mix and match throughout the holiday, as well as items which can easily be dressed up, or down. The below items are all my wardrobe must-haves which I never go on holiday without…
1. FLATTERING SWIMWEAR
Swimwear is definitely not my favourite item of clothing, but an absolute essential if you’re heading somewhere hot! I mention ‘flattering’, as this is one item of clothing which is crucial that you feel good in. Unfortunately, flattering swimwear is not something which is very easy to find (in my opinion), so do your research, order and try on different shapes and sizes (I always size up one or two sizes in swimwear), and invest in a style with the perfect fit and long-lasting quality. If you’re only packing one or two pieces, I would go for either something in white (which is my favourite – looks great with a tan) or a darker colour, in black or navy. Keep it classic and neutral, especially if you’re travelling with hand luggage and space is limited.
2. BEACH COVER UP
Although I say I try to pack smart, I also have the tendency to overpack (with dresses in particular), when in reality I usually just end up wearing simple and easy beach cover ups most of the time. The key is finding a style and shape which you really love, easy to wear, lightweight and can work as a day-to-night piece as well (just in case). As you’ll be wearing it during the hottest hours of the day, opt for something in lightweight cotton, silk or linen (stay clear of any synthetic materials), and choose easy and breezy shapes, in either a maxi or mini (and don’t be afraid to play with a bit of colour and prints!).
3. DAY-TO-NIGHT DRESS
So I’ve already mentioned I tend to overpack on dresses, and although I’m slightly more restrained as of late – it’s still my weakness category. So for me now, the core criteria for each dress which comes with me on holiday, is that it has to be easy to dress up (as well as down). Which means I can stay out all day, and still sporadically decide to go for dinner somewhere, and it won’t look like I’ve just come from the beach. This means I can really narrow down my dress selection when I’m packing. I like all different shapes here, withe maxi, midi or mini – in either classic colours or soft, feminine summer prints.
Denim is always a winner on holiday, and I tend to bring a few different options with me. I either wear my denim skirt or shorts, and as well as being great for day-time outfits; I also love teaming denim together with a silk blouse for the evening, to add a bit more of an edge to a feminine outfit. In terms of colours, I personally prefer really light and naturally bleached denim, as well as white, which can look so fresh for summer. I don’t tend to spend too much on this category, the high street have such an amazing denim selection at the moment!
5. FLOATY BLOUSE
Another essential item in your holiday wardrobe (which is also really versatile piece), is a feminine floaty blouse. Either in a neutral colour to ensure that it goes with everything (I love cream and white, for that boho vibe), or in a soft print to add a bit of colour to your look. I would suggest investing in a lightweight material; either viscose, silk, soft cotton or linen – something which is breathable and breezy during holidays.
6. FLAT SANDALS
I never wear heels on holiday. I always pack one pair (*just in case*), but I never end up wearing them. Being on holiday is all about being comfortable and casual, and personally, I think wearing a super chic pair of flat sandals, can look just as elegant as a pair of heels. If you’re only going to pack a couple of sandals with you, then I would opt for one really neutral pair, in either black or nude (or even animal print) which will go with everything, and another more luxe style, which can easily be worn at night with a floaty dress.
7. PANAMA HAT
If you’ve seen any of my holiday photos on Instagram, you would have noticed that I always wear a Panama straw hat. Not only can it be a really chic addition to an outfit, it’s also really essential if you like me, want to hide your face out of the sun in order to avoid further pigmentation and wrinkles. I always make sure I bring a relatively wide one on holiday, and as always in a neutral colour way, in either natural straw or white (but black can look super chic too).
8. STRAW BAG
As well as a straw hat, I can’t go on any beach holiday without a straw bag! The bigger the better, something which can fit suncream, towel, book, hat, snacks, water. There are so many amazing styles out there now; I really love the monogrammed styles, as well as the styles with pom poms, and bags with more sturdy leather detailing (to make it that bit more luxe). The choice is endless.
9. CROSS BODY BAG
Come evening and I’m sure you’re ready to ditch that beach bag, opting for a more lightweight and luxe alternative. A simple leather cross-body bag is always a winner, in either black or nude, something which goes with every outfit. Perhaps a style with either brass or silver hardware, to make it that bit more elegant (and helps dress up a simple and relaxed evening look).
Last but not least, you can’t go on holiday without a pair of sunglasses (or 5-8 pairs which is what I usually do, oops). As much as I love a classic black pair (always oversized or cat-eye shape), I also love white/cream, as well as tortoise print – to really add that bit of statement to your overall look.
Love your post and styling advice Annalie. Your taste is classy and elegant as well as fun and vibrant.
I now look forward to reviewing my holiday wardrobe
Ah thanks Antonia!
You are absolutely brilliant