Further to my Instagram post about how to pack for a UK stay as opposed to warmer climbs is different, in that you need less, but the approach you take, the time you take before hand should be the same.
No leaving it until the night before, or the morning of your flight, carve out that time to prepare, it will make all the difference. Have shoes re helped. Cleaned. Pieces dry cleaned if necessary, buttons fixed.
Ensure the underwear you have to take, works with any dresses, tops you wish to take, simple, neutral , most importantly it's comfortable.
The best way to consider what to take, is to consider the activities you'll be doing, the travel you'll be taking. It's fair to assume a beach / pool side break in warmer weather, the height of summer, will include perhaps, the odd sightseeing trip, relaxing at the water, dinners. I've pulled this approach with these thoughts in mind. To highlight the behaviours and how these pieces can serve you, I've kept the choices here quite simple. neutral. For the maximalists among you, you can introduce colour, print, texture as much as you feel comfortable. But. Please make sure the fabrics are considered, especially if those pieces are vintage as they will lend themselves, likely, to more polyester based fabrics, which. In warmer climates. Are not the one.
Cottons, Linens, Wool, Silk, Denim. Easy to wash, Quick to dry if needed, hard wearing, easy to wear, fabrics that feel beautiful against the skin in warm weather, cool evenings, comfortable but that lend themselves to being tilted from an easy, relaxed feel to a dressed up energy with a simple introduction of jewellery, a change in the shoe.
There's alot to digest here, get comfy and / or . Bookmark this to come back to.
A breakdown of all the pieces selected is here, and a brief explanation as to why I've turned to them.
A C C E S S O R I E S
A great wearable size, not too cumbersome, but enough to hold essentials. A neutral tone in parred back detailing allows it to feel elevated enough to not look misplaced worn across the body with denim, casual basics. Or worn in the evening on the shoulder.
The ideal, throw it all in for the beach, pool, some shopping, snacks, an anything bag, is to be functional, easy to keep clean, comfortable to carry, and something, that when not needed takes up little space. Practical, but in beautiful tones that allow it to still be an interesting element, not appear an after thought, but that serves it's purpose. effectively.
Worn hair up or hair down, Kelly has some beautiful subtle, delicate yet impactful pieces that lend themselves to stacking really well, or worn alone. The linen dresses, or the basics with a beautiful trouser takes on a whole different energy with a touch of considered jewellery.
Peep Eyewear, I was introduced to through The Re:directory , an incredible concept of restoring and sourcing incredible vintage eye wear, skilfully done to give your sunglasses, frames individuality and longevity.
A bar sandal, with a medium to low heel, makes for a wearable shoe, particularly if navigating tricky surfaces to walk to dinner, or in a location near a marina, cobbles old streets, gravel. Vintage shoes are likely to need a re heel or heel strengthening as for some can degrade and crumble over time, so allow yourself time to check them over. The metallic here is deliberate, Show that gorgeous sun kissed skin, feel special and that touch of femininty without trying too hard. Stacking or layering other pieces, either at the neckline, ears, wrists or hands. Not necessarily all at once will continue that tone, without being too matchy matchy.
You need a wearable, Comfortable. Is the key here flat shoe that will work with dresses, shorts, trousers, whether that be a neutral trainer if that feels better for you, or a mule such as these from Toast. This is not a shoe for you to be wearing for the first time, you need to know you can rely on these for walking, travelling in.
To wrap around your shoulders in a cool evening, over your knees under the table for dinner al fresco, for comfort when travelling, a lightweight blanket scarf, with a pop of print, colour, in a cashmere or lambswool can be a really effective piece to take on holiday with you. Granted, it doesn't seem an obvious choice, but again, think to occasions where you it may prove a useful piece to have rolled up in your bag, particularly in the evenings, and especially when you're in the journey itself.
A given. A practical, necessity when out in the sun. I often suggest to clients to look to the mens section for a classic style, a Panama for instance. The details tend to be more simple, the fit more
generous, if that's what you're drawn to. I have a Lorna Murray piece, it's like a work of art more than a functional item, but its great because the nature of its deign allows you to fold it down completely, and enjoy wearing it various ways. A really impactful piece that will bring a presence to the most simple of looks. If a hat doesn't feel right for you, consider here a silk scarf to protect your hair, head from the sun.
Moving on to the clothes themselves, the reasoning to my thought processes here, and some considerations I'd encourage you to think on, in terms of pieces you already own.
Lets got from Left to Right.
Blue Christian Dior Cotton Shirt
Cotton will feel beautiful to wear in warm weather, but comforting when you feel the chill in the air and want to cover up. To wear is as intended as a buttoned up shirt with trousers, jewellery in the evening, with denim shorts for the day time, or, worn open as a poolside / beach cover up is a great option, and a really deliberate move. Should it get wet using it this way, it will dry really quickly in such a lightweight cotton The pale blue, feels less predictable than a white may do, but still crisp. light. Such a masculine orientated piece worn so effortlessly on the female frame is hugely powerful.
Also look to Ella Griffee for her made to order pieces using headstock linens for a similar oversized relaxed feel, so beautifully made, to your specifications, if this is a piece you're really drawn to, the investment is worthwhile.
The best cut offs you'll own are the ones you already have. In your current denim, or in some pre loved denim that you can cut to the desired fit, length. Shorts in the high street are cut to a standard length, with neat fold ups possibly, that aren't always what feels good for you, comfortable around your hips, waist, legs. If you have a pair of jeans where the knees are on their way out, or that you are happy to give over to some scissors to make shorts. I have a step by step guide on my highlights for you. It's so straight forward to do, A denim cut off is great with swimwear, a simple basic, layered with a knit in the evening, hugely wearable, comfortable and versatile.
And / Or. Looking slightly right to the tailored shorts whilst we're here.
These vintage Escada tailored shorts from Vintage Sister are a beautiful tone, cut and length. Hugely flattering on a petite frame particularly. If denim feels too relaxed for you, a short like this is a beautiful alternative, if you like to feel more polished but still relaxed. Enjoy them in the same way, If you like the idea of these over a cut off. Look to tailored trousers in the same way as I'd suggested looking at jeans to make the cut offs. However this isn't a DIY task. For a beautiful finish, please, take the trouser to a seamstress for around 20-30 they'll be able to make a great alteration for you,
Moving back across to the Linen Dress
Just a couple of options to alternate is absolutely fine. Mainly with the evening in mind, but can also be enjoyed as a cover up, as easy to throw on over your beach wear, or roll up into your bag.
Linen is an exceptional fabric, extremely hardwearing, natural, easy to care for. Everything you need for a holiday dress, it will behave beautifully, feel good against your skin and work with your body temperature. Quality linen pieces are an investment, but we're talking years, upon years or wear, not solely for the height of summer, there are layering opportunities here, if the shapes are kept simple, as these are. 1 - 2 dresses such as these will serve you so much better than 5-6 high street summer dresses at 40 - 50 each. I assure you.
You'll know I'm a bit advocate for mens here, a relaxed fit, beautiful high cotton content is what we're looking for here, to allow you to tuck into the shorts, whichever style you choose to enjoy, to allow the fabric to fold and drape over the waistband, accentuating your shape and creating an interesting moment at that part of your frame. Very simple, but so impactful. This brand is carried in Cissy Wears in Coal Drops Yard if you'd like to physically see the quality and fit.
This particular piece is a Hugo Boss Mens Charcoal Lambswool Cardigan, its an XXL for a super relaxed fit, and length, it's light weight so not cumbersome to carry, but the natural fibres in the fabric will work efficiently to keep you warm. If you have sensitive skin, look to merino silk blends, cashmere blends that are less likely to cause you irritation. This element to your packing, doesn't need to be a cardigan, it can be a crew neck, a sweatshirt even if that's more indicative of what you're drawn to. But something like this, to support you with the travelling, the cooler evenings is a great piece to remember to take.
A big fan of Colourful Standard for basics, Great size inclusivity and colour ways to be experimental with. beautiful fabrics that will be long lasting, something we need more of from our basics. To layer, wear alone, with a trouser and a heel for the evening. With shorts for the day time, when not in swimwear. A really simple piece to take, you'd likely only really need one, if you're willing to possibly hand wash a couple of items while away for the duration of your time. If not, just a couple of pieces like this will be enough.
Tailored - Relaxed -Wide Leg Trousers
Olive Green - Linen Weave - Poetry
Not necessarily both, it depends on what feels good for you, what you're more likely to opt for over a dress. But. A beautifully cut wide leg, relaxed fit trouser is such an underestimated piece for a summer wardrobe. So elegant, so easy to wear with either footwear [just check the hem lengths are good with both shoe options for you]
Look to a wide leg, mid to high waist, as it will feel comfortable to sit in, as well as creating a beautiful silhouette. Straight cut, minimal fuss, just allowing the fabric to be the detail here, a linen, or a silk, or lyocell fabric will feel gorgeous, fluid, in your movement and look great with the oversized shirt for super relaxed feel. Or with a fitted basic for a 'dressier' feel. Also. Im a huge fan of enjoying something like this with your swimwear. Treat your one piece like another basic in this instance.
Finally. The all important Swimwear.
Look to your swimwear sooner rather than later, to make sure the fabric is all still intact, depending on how they've been washed and stored some fabrics can fray, degrade quite quickly. Make sure the clasps, fastenings are working properly, and the fit is what feels good for you. If you need to invest in a new piece. There are some incredible options available, with some smaller brands doing amazing things with technological advances in fabrics to allow for a more considered sustainable alternative to the high content poly based fabrics.
I've gone for a one piece here for versatility, If you have a minimal once piece, whether that be in a print or a block colour, make sure the fit across the bust feels secure, and it's a piece you can confidently wear with your shorts, trousers, on day trips, with the shirt as a cover up. Treat it like a base layer. It will feel comfortable, Be ideal in the heat, and feel secure.
You don't need to opt for black and a load of structure to feel confident, or a swimsuit to be flattering. Look for simple necklines, a substantial, well made fabric, lined. You can be playful here with colour, The Lilac for instance, would look beautiful with a brown linen trouser and jewellery. As well as against many skin tones worn as it is. the swimwear market is huge. But. Many aren't even built for purpose. Love island has a lot to answer for.
If you intend to play in the pool, sea, go to a water park. I highly recommend a long sleeve one piece, or a zip up like this one from Finsterre that you can wear as your main swim suit of course. Or over the top of an existing one, for extra sun protection, and if you're fuller busted it will allow you to feel really secure and allow you to feel relaxed to be in the moment. They also look. great.
I hope this insight into my thought process of approaching what you actually need to take for a week or two in the height of summer sun, helpful. Always look to what you already have that could serve the same purpose, will always be the most sustainable option. If you are missing some pieces that you feel would be beneficial and would work for you, I hope some of these suggestions have proved helpful.
I've pulled together some 'looks' for various holiday scenarios to illustrate just how these pieces can work cohesively, and be versatile for you, from day trips, to poolside, to dinners, to the flights. Everything has a job to do and everything should support each other, not compete with each other.
I genuinely believe approaching packing for any trip, just carving out a little time, which I appreciate can be difficult. But it will save you money, stress and time, while you're away. After all, isn't that what you're there for? To enjoy valuable time, not stressing about what to wear, rifling through so much stuff but not having anything that works together. To just allow yourself to consider what you're doing while you're away, to have options for different occasions, events. But that it's all beautiful, reflective of who you are, feels comfortable and just. works. Is what you need.
There's SO much noise around being summer ready, so much pressure, so many link heavy 'wish lists, must haves, top picks in our phones. Breathe. Think on what serves You. The height of summer, is so short lived in our climate that is simply doesn't warrant huge levels of investment. And when it is hot, it's intense hot, [Hi climate crisis] , so to feel instagram fancy isn't a priority. It's about feeling comfortable.
There's alot to digest here, I get that. Come back to it if you need to
If when you're packing you need some guidance, message me. send me pictures. I'm more than happy to help.
Thank you. So much for reading through, hearing me, my methods and for making these all important incremental changes to our learned behaviours. I assure you, accumulatively, they do make a difference.