Maybe it’s got something to do with age, but packing for a beach holiday seems to have become less complicated. Time has proven that the maxim “less is more”, truly applies to travelling abroad.
My beach holiday packing list reads like this: for the beach or pool, a couple of bikinis, one swimsuit, two sarongs that match all the aforementioned swimwear and one kaftan, almost certainly white, as it will slip over everything.
I love the idea of adding a multi-purpose maxi skirt to my swimsuit during the day, (see my previous page on How to be a Beach Babe), knowing that I can wear it again in the evening with a funky t-shirt, like the one from Alexander McQueen or a pretty top like the ones by L’Agence.
Add to that two, perhaps three silky jersey dresses that can be worn during the day if you need more than a beach cover-up, but can equally be dressed up in the evening with glitzy flats or heels and some jewellery. These days I rarely pack skirts and tops – dresses are so much simpler to throw on and I find more elegant.
I am still wearing a much-loved Cathryn Avison navy chiffon bias-cut ankle length dress I bought 15 years ago. It comes on every holiday without fail. Don’t panic, even though winter clothes are about to start flooding the shops, there are still plenty of maxi dresses around. My favourites are by Issa, DVF and Mango. My logic is simple – how often do you get to waft around in a dress in the UK and not be reaching for a cardigan or jacket – so when you can, enjoy every moment of the ease of wearing a dress.
I haven’t featured them on the page but I do always throw in a pair of white denim jeans as well as a pair of white cotton trousers.
Even when I’m travelling to somewhere where the mercury rises above 30degrees I tend to throw in a lightweight cashmere cardigan, just in case… and for the same reasons I always take a lightweight pashmina-type shawl. I have ended up shivering in air-conditioned restaurants while outside it is sweltering, and been to France in August when it was 32 degrees the week before I arrived, then the mistral swept in and the temperature plummeted to 21 degrees.
When it comes to accessories, I throw in one pair of silver or gold flat sandals and one pair of strappy heels, plus a pair of flip-flops. Add one evening handbag that goes with everything – I take an old, but still stylish Anya Hindmarch gold and silver clutch bag. Don’t forget sunglasses and a beach bag.
Most of all relax and enjoy.