This is one of my selfish posts. I’m going on holiday in just over a week and am already thinking about what Summer holiday essentials I need to pack. Most of these items I already own, or something very similar, so you will have seen a lot of this before. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Clothes are there to be reworn, not discarded after one outing. Plus, if you really like something you will want to wear over and over again.
What I’m trying to avoid this year is the emergency-pre-holiday-shop-up. That mad dash around somewhere cheap like H&M or Primark, buying a load of shite that literally only gets worn on that particular holiday. I’m ashamed to say I have been guilty of doing in that in the past, but not this year. This year I’m only taking things that I love. I read a good post by Alyson Walsh on her ‘That’s Not My Age’ blog where she advocates the ‘Take Two’ approach, whereby you just take 2 of everything. I like that idea, but I know in my heart of hearts I’ll be taking more than 2 dresses. Summer dresses are my weakness.
I have narrowed it down to the 6 things I really love and ALWAYS take on holiday with me though. Of course I’ll supplement this with a couple of T shirts and a pair of undies for every day, But these are the main items I’ll be taking with me. Just to note, we are not going on a seaside holiday this year, so I’ve not included those beach cover up things or a multitude of bikinis. Although it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever catch me a bikini ever again, I’ll take a properly reinforced full swimming costume thanks very much.
Number one on my packing list is shorts. Ideally Linen or Cotton shorts as you need your most breathable fabrics when you’re about to go wandering around Italian Cities in 30+ degree heat. I have a VERY old pair from Zara that I always take, and this year I invested in a second pair from the ‘Holly Loves’ M&S collection. They are the perfect length, nice and loose and come in 3 colours. I’ll also take my trusty Boden Santorini Swimsuit. Don’t ask me to recommend a different one, because this is literally the only one I’ve found that I actually like.
1. M&S Pure Linen Utility Shirt
2. Edit 58 Raffia Tote Basket Bag
3. M&S Linen Blend Belted Shorts
4. Boden Santorini Swimming Costume4. Boden Santorini Swimming Costume
5. Birkenstock Arizona Two Strap Sandals
Always my go-to for summer. The classic cotton midi/maxi dress is an absolute must. I’ll be taking my Monsoon gingham, Which is the exact same style as this blue one, it’s very flattering as the waist is high so the skirt skims nicely over the belly and the hips. Giving you a shape but hiding the wobbly bits. I shall also pack my Justine Tabak gingham (yes, more gingham) as I just love it. Will also probably take my blue printed Day Dress, and let’s face it, inevitably a couple more. These dresses are perfect for sightseeing as they are all light and airy and work equally well with trainers or with sandals. We’ll get to sandals later.
KHAKI TROUSERS & COTTON SHIRTS
The Khaki Trousers I always pack for holidays are a pair of linen ones from Gap that I got 6 years ago. Unfortunately they don’t make them anymore, but this pair from M&S are the closest I have found. Even if you’re off somewhere super hot, a pair of lightweight trousers are good to pack for the evening. Keeping your legs covered helps minimize the chances of mosquitos getting at them. The cotton shirt I swear by is from H&M. Mine is about 5 years old but they make a similar striped one every year. Very thin and light, so perfect for hot climates. Of course my Vans will come with me too. Still my most comfortable wandering around shoes.
1. H&M Conscious Organic Cotton Loose Fit Shirt
2. M&S Linen Blend Khaki Ankle Grazer Peg Trousers
3. Modern Rarity D Frame Sunglasses
4. Laura Adele Zodiac Wheel Medallion Necklace
5. Arket Red Leather Flap Bag (on sale)
6. Vans Original Slip On Checkerboard Trainers (on sale)
Unless you’re planning on going somewhere super fancy while away on holiday, the only jacket you’ll need is the trusty classic Western style Denim one. It will go with your dresses, your shorts and your trousers. If you’re off somewhere hot you won’t need to take your jeans anyway, so that will avoid the double denim disaster area. But if you are insisting on taking a pair of jeans, why not try white ones? If you can’t wear white jeans on holiday then when can you?
1. Studio B Vow London Biodegradable Sunglasses
2. MiH Jeans Cotton and Flaxseed Red Dress
3. New Look Bleach Wash Denim Jacket
4. Kirstie Le Marque Pave Diamond Chain Bracelet
5. Top Shop Hazel Flat Leather Leopard Print Sandals (on sale)
Finally, my new favourite shoes. Ok, you might think that Birkenstocks are pretty comfortable, and they are, I don’t dispute that, but these ones are on a different level altogether. I guess you can call them trekking sandals. I assume they were originally made for this purpose, but have recently mutated into a fashion shoe. Teva make the originals, they are great but the selection is fairly small. If you want the same style but fancy a bit more interest, then try the Nanou Beachwear wrapped versions. Super cute and ultimate comfort for all day walking. What’s not to love?
1. & Other Stories Embroidered Smock Dress
2. South Beach Straw Bag with Fabric Handles (on sale)
3. Teva Universal Aztec Print Sandals
4. Nanou Beachwear Liberty Print Wrap Sandals
5. Teva Universal Mid Form Red Leather Sandals
Only time will tell if I can pare down my packing to just these things, but whatever happens I’m determined to avoid the Emergency Primark dash this year.