Words by Monikh Dale
A week away from the office and that 6am alarm is a total dream. The diet is on hold, the gym trainers are thrown to one side, and our faces are already brighter with the premonition of vitamin D, but then, all of a sudden that panic sets in.
We panic because most of the time we think we need a whole new holiday wardrobe, a wardrobe that screams palm trees and factor 50. And I was like that until all my money started to go on that lovely extra luggage charge. So, I quickly learnt that packing everything but the kitchen sink just wasn’t going to work.
I needed to learn not how to pack light, but cleverly. What was it that I was actually going to wear? What could I bring from last season and what did I need to buy? What I realised is that we actually need staples, and these staples are ones you can wear back home if chosen carefully. After a couple of trial and error trips, I ended up creating a 1-9 check list of classic pieces that would carry me through my entire holiday, so shop below, save that luggage money for the daiquiris.
1. The flat rope shoe
A cool flat shoe is key for holiday, and one like these beige rope sandals, is the current cool way to do it. They quickly calm down any outfit, as well as making the look a little rustic too, which is ideal for when walking along the white stoned streets of Mykonos.
Shop now: Fiesta Flat Rope Sandals for £30 from Topshop
2. The wedge
Be honest with yourself, do you actually wear heels in the evening on holiday? No you don’t. So don’t waste space. Pack a pair of wedges instead, they’ll give you that little sassiness you’re looking for, without losing that relaxed holiday vibe.
Shop now: CASTAÑER Carina canvas wedge espadrilles for £80 from Net-A-Porter
3. The swimsuit
A swimsuit is key. And a comfortable one is crucial. I took a Hunza G one on my last trip and it was the only thing I wanted to wear. I felt covered, yet a little sexy, but in a cool ‘I’m wearing a swimsuit’ kind of way.
Shop now: HUNZA G Seersucker swimsuit for £120 from Net-A-Porter
4. The day dress
You need to run to the store for a big bottle of water (we all know how expensive water is in hotels…), or you’ve decided to head into town for lunch – well you need the perfect day dress. Something that’s fuss free and light. For that I would look at Realisation Par. An LA brand that creates silk slips and wraps that will come out every Summer. I’ve had some of mine for a few years now, and I love them so much. I’ve worn them all over the world, to various occasions, just make sure you have your silicone nipple covers to hand for the family occasions. Also, Rixo is a huge contender, they have similar materials and their cuts are oh-so flattering!
Shop now: The Jeet dress for around £162 from Realisation Par
Shop now: RIXO LONDON Abigail floral-print silk-crepe wrap dress for £255 from Net-A-Porter
5. The everyday bag
A bag that is your airport bag, the bag for the beach, the bag for the boat, the bag for town. I love to pack bits just in case, so I need a bag that can carry it all, plus I don’t think I’m the only one who has my other half throwing the odd bit in too. Luckily, it’s all about the oversized basket bag this summer, and they don’t have to be expensive either. I have practically every size from Wood Grey, with their large being my holiday go to.
Shop now: Market bag for £26 from Wood/Grey
6. The evening bag
What to do for the evening when you love that relaxed basket bag look? Enter the Dragon, a brand of wax coated weaved bags, in all neutral colours. I shouted with joy when I came across the white bucket version last week.
Shop now: DRAGON DIFFUSION Cannage woven-leather bucket bag for £250 from MatchesFashion.com
7. The perfect co-ord
Be clever, take a killer set with you, one to be worn for that one special night. After that you can mix and match the top or shorts with other things to create more looks.
Shop now: INNIKA CHOO Floral-embroidered peplum linen top for £239 from MatchesFashion.com
Shop now: INNIKA CHOO Floral-embroidered bloomer shorts for £164 from MatchesFashion.com
8. The holiday accessory
You need a ‘look at me’ holiday accessory. That can either be a new necklace, hat, hair slide. Something’s that’s going to lift that Instagram picture and make it look a little more special. For me it’s all about shells at the moment, so pack as many as you can.
Shop now: Shell hoop earrings for £17.99 from Mango
9. The night dress
An evening dress that you can wear twice in one trip is basically what dreams are made of. I mean, to use your styling know-how to look completely different while saving on space, pat yourself on the back (one night with your wedges and evening bag, the other as a day to night look with your raffia flats, beach bag and every shell shaped jewel you can find).
Shop now: MARA HOFFMAN Mei lace-up organic hemp dress for £430 from Net-A-Porter
Obviously other pieces need to be added, a few basic bikinis, dresses, tops in between, but the above is critical. Also (minus the swimsuit), they’re all pieces you can wear once back from your dream trip, something that is music to our ears with this heatwave firmly in place for the next couple of weeks.