Less is more! I don't often say those particular words as I prefer more is more in regards to my style, but for holiday packing less is more is a phrase you definitely want to keep in mind...
Packing for holiday can translate to packing for weekends away, work trips in fact anytime that you need to pack and don't want to lug around a 28 kilogram suitcase at the airport! I'm going to share with you today, how to pack less and wear more clothes on holiday and it's actually really, really simple! So here goes...
1. SWIMWEAR So first things first, I want you to think back to your previous holiday, which I know maybe a while ago and think about what you wore most often (I'm assuming that you're going on a hot summer holiday, like me!)? And actually it's your swimwear! Even if you're not swimming or you're not a big fan of going in the pool or the sea. So those are the pieces that you want to focus on. First off, they have a massive use as you can use bikini tops, tankini's and swimsuits as tops to go with shorts and skirts or underneath a strapless dress, for example. I often wear my bikini tops under a strapless top or dress for everyday wear simply because they're designed to keep you in and stay up when you're swimming in the water and I always buy swimwear that has good support (need it these days!)
So I actually pack quite a lot of swimwear because I'm going to wear it every single day. I'm going away for two weeks this year, so I have got six different pieces of swimwear - four bikinis and two swimsuits. And that's because I'm going to be wearing one or two of those pieces every single day. Also, if I'm going straight from the beach out for dinner, I might take an alternative swimwear piece and wear that for the evening as they don't crease and are easy to carry in your bag.
2. FABRIC The second element is to consider fabrics. Put out everything you want to take on your holiday and then go through and do what I call the 'scrunch test'. Screw it up and see how it looks. If it looks a mess just from scrunching it up it is not going to travel well. And therefore you're probably not going to end up using it very much or you're going to have to iron it/pack a steamer which may not be convenient. I hate ironing at the best of times, let alone when I'm on a holiday! So do the scrunch test and see how the fabric looks and feels - you can do this when out shopping too, and if it's not not cutting the mustard leave it behind because you honestly won't end up wearing it.
If you get really hot and/if you're going a particularly hot place, then it is worth looking at your fabric content as polyester is plastic. So depending on how it sits and if it's quite clingy, then that is going to make you hotter as it has no breathable qualities to it. Obviously breathable fabrics are much better for you - linen and cotton are natural fabrics so are breathable, although some cotton's can be quite thick. I personally don't particularly like cotton and linen as they don't suit my body shape and my style personality (find out more about those style services here ) but for some people it can be really, really lovely. I prefer viscose which is actually a breathable, natural fabric made from wood pulp. It does sound like it's a man-made fibre doesn't it! It has similar qualities to silk so can often look expensive and flows really beautifully on the figure - great for curvy girls!
3. COLOUR My third tip is to consider colours and look at overall outfits so that you can pack pieces that mix and match and that you can re-wear with other styles on other days. That way you're taking less items but you're still creating lots of great outfits. Less clothes doesn't mean less outfits! Sometimes when you have less individual pieces, it actually makes you more creative with what you have left. So please don't be worried about taking less with you. As long as you've done the planning beforehand, you'll be able to pack efficiently and have lots of use out of the items that you're taking with you.
So it may be that you want to take a couple of cardigans or layers for cooler evenings, though we forget how hot it is abroad! The heat often carries through into the evenings which we don't often get in the UK, heatwave excepting! It's really unlikely that you're going to need jumpers depending on where you're going in the evening but we probably find it reassuring to pack them. So just pack mindfully a couple that are going to go with all the outfits and that you can mix and match and wear one on the plane where it's often cold/cool depending on your flight times. For example I'll be taking my lightweight mint blazer which pretty much goes with everything I'm packing and I'll be wearing a little white cropped jumper/hoodie on the plane which I can wear with all my outfits.
4. ACCESSORIES Next up and equally important are your accessories. Hats are an essential for really hot weather, especially if you squint like me in the sunshine - I usually take two hats a large straw hat and a cap for more casual days and I will pack that in my hand luggage bag so I can wear it as soon as I arrive. I co-ordinate the bags with my outfits and will pack three or four which I can mix and match with many outfits. I will take my beach bag as my hand luggage bag and pop all my travel essentials in there so saving some space in my suitcase.
And then shoes, I know we all have these fabulous ideas about getting dressed up for dinner, but often we're walking to dinner along dusty roads or pavements which get slippery in the heat (yes you Lisbon!) so consider practicality as well as style! Wedges are a great compromise as they give you some height which can make you feel you've made an effort and help a maxi dress/jumpsuit hang better and they're pretty good for walking in. We tend to walk everywhere we can so I wear my trainers on the plane which are my heaviest shoes and then during the day I'll be in sliders/sandals. I will pack just one wedged shoe which has a variety of colours in the print so goes with everything plus they are really comfortable!
Then finally it's jewellery which is often the icing on the cake of an outfit. I don't tend to wear much of it in the day on holiday as I'm swimming with my kids etc though I love having some great pieces to wear for the evening so I pack lightweight, bold colours which compliment all my outfits and that I can mix and match throughout my holiday to elevate an evening look.
Once you've applied these four tools and tips, you should be able to see a really clear outfit pattern developing with the colours that you've selected. And it doesn't mean it's limiting. It just means you don't have that awful stress of getting to the airport and having to pay excess baggage! So this way, you pack less, wear more, travel lightly and have a fantastically stylish holiday!
Lots of love,