As I travel between two cities for work and grew up on the coast the skill of purposeful holiday packing is one I’ve mastered. These days I rarely find myself bringing things I don’t actually use.
Follow this holiday capsule wardrobe checklist and five tried-and-tested tips to get your packing down to a fine art too:
The holiday packing check-list
A sheer blouse or kimono
3 bikinis or swimsuits
Sandals or espadrilles
SPF & lip balm
A hat – go for wicker or straw
A pretty towel
Five tips for stress-free packing
1. Go straight from the beach to dinner
Denim shorts, a sheer blouse and easy to slip on for gelato runs and a simple floaty white dress will see you from the beach to dinner in style – the brilliant white will contrast beautifully with your new tan too.
2. Be selective with swimwear
I always prefer classic swimwear styles – in monochromes, Breton stripes or a pretty floral print. Three is really all you need – after many a beach getaway toting 10 or more bikinis with me I found only ever wore 3 of them at most.
Make one of your pieces a swim-dress (a swimsuit dress hybrid) to ease you into that first day on the beach. Suddenly going from fully clothed to almost naked can be daunting – and this slightly less revealing option is a good way to build up your swimwear confidence. You waited too long for a holiday to sit on a towel, too shy to swim!
3. Put your best foot forward in comfort
As for footwear, flats, always – a pairs that is as easily slipped on as it is off. Espadrilles never leave my feet in the summer. For the evening just swap the flip flops or flats for a dressier pair of strappy sandals.
Healthy skin is your best accessory
Keep jewellery, make-up and hair products to a minimum on holiday so your beach bag is light and easy to carry. All you really need to complement your holiday clothing is some good quality SPF, a lip balm, your favourite pair of sunglasses and a wide-brimmed straw hat to help protect your skin and keep it skin looking healthy and fresh.
The only other thing I throw in my beach bag is a clutch to keep my cash, iPhone and camera zipped up from the sand and sea.
5. Don’t overlook the essentials
A towel can help you make as much of a style statement as your bikini. I cringe when I see old, threadbare or stained terry cloth stretched out on the sands. A pretty one doesn’t cost much and a simple solid colour or stripe can complement your swimwear.
And there you have it, as easy run down of everything you need for your holiday wardrobe. Have you planned your next beach getaway yet?