I shan’t be catching a plane abroad for holidays anytime soon and this article was written for people who were flying off to Spain, France and Italy but it is even more relevant now people will be holidaying in Scotland, Wales, The Lake District and Cornwall…
Q. Last time I went away, the airline lost my bag. So this time I only want to take carry-on luggage. However, I’m going for a fortnight. I need stuff for the beach and daytime, but we’ll also be going out to nice restaurants in the evening. What should I take?
The most important thing when you’re travelling light is to take one piece of really fantastic jewellery. A necklace, a stunning pair of earrings or a great belt. When you put that on at night, you’ll look wonderful even if the outfit is really simple.
If you’re going for two weeks, you won’t need any more than four bottoms at most. I usually take two pairs of wide trousers – one in white cotton and another in beige linen – as well as a silk skirt in a snakeskin print. One silk skirt will give you four, maybe five wears. The trousers you can wear during the day, but also they will work at night with the jewellery. I always pack four racerback vests, two in white and two in black. They work with everything. But you can also use a swimming costume and wear it as a body, if you’re really tight for space. A pair of wide trousers, with a vest or a swimming costume worn as a body, then the gorgeous necklace or earrings would be perfect for a night out.
You could take a silk dress. I’d take one in black, and wear it with a pair of pristine white trainers and silver-hooped earrings for an evening out to a nice restaurant. For me, a pair of white palladiums or white converse high tops take a bit of beating, but if you prefer buy a pair of quite glammy flat sandals, paint your toe nails bright red and that will work too. For the beach, just a cheap pair of flip-flops is fine. You can even buy them at the airport.
The one thing I would say is don’t buy stuff that’s just for the holiday. When buying, think: will I wear this again at home? And if you wouldn’t, don’t buy it. It’s a waste. And please god, if you have pale skin: no orange, pink, or yellow. If you burn, those colours will look awful against pink skin. Instead, think along the lines of black, chocolate brown, beige, khaki; and when you’ve got a bit of colour, white. If you want to wear shorts – as so many Brits do on holidays – I’d suggest getting a pair of oversized ones then pulling them in at the waist with a belt. Wear them with a vest in the day or a white cotton shirt for evening. Whatever you do, don’t squeeze into shorts that are too small. You will look slimmer if you make them baggy and define your waist.
I always take a leather backpack for holidays. It works at the beach, and also for evenings. But a good shopper will also work. If you have the space, you could tuck a small clutch into your case for evenings. And always big sunglasses – if you’ve got big sunglasses on, you don’t even need to bother with make-up. Finally, I’d say buy your toiletries at duty free, and only take three pairs of knickers. You wear a pair in the day, have a second to change into for evening and a spare, then you wash them out at night and hang them to dry. I think you could easily fit all that in the overhead locker and still look really stylish.