Packing your own clothes for a holiday when you are also packing for your children and also family essentials like phone and Kindle chargers, nail clippers, ibuprofen and headphone splitters just seems like one horrific task too many.
You can end up packing shitty clothes just because you are too tired and overwrought to contemplate packing anything vaguely nice or smart. “My life is just fucking drudgery,” you think to yourself, and pack mulchy stuff, crapola denim shorts, not one single necklace and forget your hairbrush.
The good news is that, in fact, you hardly need to take anything on holiday – and you probably have most of it already. You just need to focus and take the right things.
PACK BY ACTIVITY
Yes okay, this is the most obvious piece of advice ever, but it is true. Finding the physical and mental space to even contemplate the activities and appropriate clothing is the hard bit.
But if you can just shoo your husband away for the evening, even if he takes the piss out of you for packing 48 hours before you go, (just tell him he’s a c*nt from me), get those kids in bed and stay off the white wine for 45 minutes you will be able to do this.
1 JOURNEY THERE
You will wear your chinos, boyfriend jeans or culottes with trainers and a t-shirt. Your tassel necklace and a scarf if you really want to wow Terminal 5. No matter how early your flight is, do not wear a leather jacket. It will be a complete pain to look after for the whole holiday. If it’s really chilly on the day of your flight, take a denim jacket.
2 POOL AND BEACHTIME
I only take 2 pool or beach dresses because they always get completely trashed, covered in sweat and ice cream and suncream and god knows what else. I’ve got a blue and white striped big shirt dress and then some trashy white embroidered beach dress and that’s it.
I’ll bet you’ve got 2 perfectly good beach dresses in your cupboard somewhere. Take those. If you really don’t, or really want to modernise, I think the following are really good. They could also perform the function of the Sundowner dress (see below).
And last but not least this is very nice from White Stuff
And what is that crap that people talk about taking things that you can “dress up” for evening? I can’t imagine anything more disgusting than putting on at night something I’ve been wearing all day in a hot country. What is wrong with these people. Am I supposed to wash it in the sink? Send it away to the laundry? Honestly fuck right off.
I don’t take denim shorts because I try to avoid taking any denim on holiday at all – except maybe a denim jacket to travel in. It just says British. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country and my fellow countryfolk, but denim shorts are really just for slopping about at home in. They’re not for holidays, not for dreamtime.
Take 3 – one on, one drying, one dry. I don’t mean to be unhelpful, but buying swimwear and bikinis is such a nightmare and so different for everyone that I can’t even begin to make recommendations.
Please, Spikers – help. You have been so brilliant at making your own recommendations for things you have bought that suit your body shape and type – leave tips in the handy comment box below!
Personally I buy something – only ever navy or navy/white – from Heidi Klein about once every three years and try to look after it so it doesn’t go saggy.
4 SUNDOWNER DRESS
This is a long, floaty cover up that you only ever wear after your evening shower while you’re getting the kids squared away and before you get dressed for dinner. It could also be a light dressing gown if you’ve got one of those. Anyway take something like that and designate it your Sundowner dress and keep it only for that for the week so it doesn’t get covered in sun cream and snot and crap.
I actually take quite a lot of evening wear. Dinner is the one time when I rather mind how I look on holiday and I want options. I take every light black dress I own and a ton of jewellery in its own bag and operate on the principle that more is more.
This is when to pack that slashed-to-the-navel emerald green maxi dress, or the slip dress that needs a complicated bra, or those fondant pink floaty trouers or that playsuit. Bring all the mad impulse buys you never normally wear because of the kids and then wear them!
I take 1 pair of trainers, 1 pair of flip flops, (if your Havaianas are shabby and rotten, replace them), 1 smart sandals – and this year I will also be bringing my Zara tie-up wedge espadrilles.
I’m very excited about taking my Panama hat on holiday this year as mentioned in Accessories. As a reminder – Davina Mulford gave me mine and Spikers get 15% off at checkout.
Air-conditioning can make holiday rooms really quite chilly at night. I am insanely in love with my pineapple print pyjamas from asos.
I can’t even explain how soft and beautiful and featherlight they are. I put them on and feel instantly as if embraced by happiness and calm. Not too hot, not too cold. I don’t understand why they are only £28. I would pay £150 for these pyjamas.
Alas the pineapple ones are sold out now, but I have studied carefully the video for this pair of cactus pyjamas below, also by asos and I think they are absolutely identical to my pineapple ones in fabric and fit, just a different – but also awesome – print.
Plenty of sizes left, mine are a 12 for sweft and roominess. Sweft isn’t a word, but it describes these PJs perfectly. They have ideal sweft.
9 1 SMART DAY DRESS
Only one, mind. I’m talking about this kind of thing.
This one above is the kind of thing Julia Stiles wears in Riviera – with a lot of gold jewellery and the sleeves rolled up it would look super.
This is just in case, you know, there’s an unexpected thing that requires a smart day dress. It does occasionally happen and you really don’t want to get chatting to the British ambassador to Spain – (Simon Manley CMG) – in the buffet queue and get invited to a smart lunch, (kids also welcome, they’ve got a bouncy castle and an entertainer?), only for worry and fear to cross your face because you only brought the cactus pyjamas and the beach dress.
Some other practical things
I never go anywhere without my micro fibre hair turban. If my holiday is going to plan, my hair ought to be wet quite often. This little thingy, with its loop-and-button closure system is just entirely awesome at keeping wet hair up and out of the way, with a magnificent touch of Margo from the Good Life about it, while you chase your kids around the villa and clamp them between your knees to apply suncream. (“Come here you little *@@ @%^ * £()$ !!!*%*) ….
Not sure if the model below is real or computer generated?? Anyone else feel sometimes like they’re in Blade Runner?
I also never go anywhere with my kids without
- a pair of rubber gloves
- 1 bin bag
- my own tea bags (PG Tips)
- 2 Ziploc or press-seal medium freezer bags
At some point in every holiday, I’m afraid, you will just need those things and if you’ve packed them you will just, like, fall to your knees and be like *weep* I can’t believe *weep* I actually packed these *weep weep*. Particularly the teabags. I’m an addict, what can I say.
What unconventional essentials do you take on holiday? Please leave a comment in the handy box below.
SEAFOLLY is my go to for swimwear, amazing quality and flattering – on the expensive side but worth it.
Instead of denim I have a sort of French cotton jacket from a brand called Mousequeton that is great for travelling… Absolutely agree on zip lock bags and disposable gloves but I also take the bigger ones and a tiny bottle of dettol….
Corkscrew/bottle opener (packed to avoid all the blades on flights issues). self catering chalets never ever ever have ones that work properly!
Ursula M says
I agree that Seafolly swimwear is top notch. I found some at my local TKMaxx last week (in random colours) but super cheap- they also have them on their website. Thank you Esther for the well-timed post, I am packing to holiday on Saturday and I’be just enough time for a couple of next day delivery items! X
All i can say is your holiday sounds blissfully like you might get grown up time?!
We are doing another “drive to a gite” holiday, rendering the need for evening/dinner wear pointless (no nice dinners out here!), I will be packing an apron (because i still get to cook and clean on hols – wtf have i signed up for?!)
Otherwise Love your list!
Yes we get grown up time between when the kids go to sleep (8.30pm) and when we go to bed (9.15pm) in order to get up with Sam (0600). BUT IN THAT TIME I AM GOING TO WEAR A NICE DRESS GODDAMN IT
Treat swimwear like underwear and go to the department of a large store and get advice. Especially if you are over 40 or have had more than 2 children. I recently blew a fortune on Seafolly in this way but I am so happy with what I got.
I always take a roll of black bin bags and some masking tape to make black-out blinds in any room children sleep in. And nail clippers as its the only time I notice how dreadful the kids toenails are.
Daisy Newman says
Genius idea for the blackout blinds laura! I’ve got those travel ones but they never quite cover enough so a roll of bin bags sounds much more sensible! Thank you! Xx
my pleasure! It does make the room look like a crack den but it really does work xx
Hannah Bond says
Do the PJs crease horribly? I really like them and am about to buy them and then got suspicious looking at them and wondered if they were the sort of thing that looks like it needs ironing after five minutes of wear. I want PJs nice enough to wear first thing in the morning around the house when we are holidaying with another couple, you see.
Hannah no, I have not noticed them creasing horribly, but we may have different standards…
Hannah Bond says
Trust me, my standards on this are as low as can be. I don’t even own an iron. Hence avoiding anything that looks like it needs ironing.
Swimwear for Pears: I get mine from Boden. Halter neck, boy leg to cover the ample derrière. Haven’t looked this year (don’t need anything new) but they usually have a good selection of costumes and also mix/match bikinis.
Lots of Boden swimwear in the current sale. Bought a new cossie and a rather fetching kaftan. Starting a capsule wardrobe for next year.
Great tips thanks Esther! I try to remember my Tangle Teezer brush
Michaela Gardner says
No advice on swimwear brands, but do vary the shapes to avoid tan lines.
I take 1 fairly sturdy one-piece with a detachable halter for throwing the kids about in the communal pool without boobs falling out, and two bikinis of different shapes, usually one triangle and one with more boob support.
Separate holiday tip: put sunscreen on the kids as soon as they take their pyjamas off. Then it’s all nice and dry by the time you’re ready to put swimsuits on and they’re not breaking their necks to get to the beach or pool
I just discovered Pour Moi swimwear…I have bought a red spotty and blue spotty swimsuit already and love the fit .
Ziploc bags always….Yorkshire tea,sometimes my own thin pillow,which enables to me to sleep on a log..anywhere…and I try everything on before I pack just in case and it seems to work and the last few holidays I’ve actually worn every single thing because it all fits and works together… oh and lavender oil.
I love that H&M dress – I recently ordered a similar style from Next but the fabric was thicker than I thought and swamped me and it was in a pale pink that didn’t suit me and all in all I looked like I’d come in to turn down the beds and leave a mint under my own pillow (it might look better on someone else). That material looks lovely though.
Speaking of Next, if you’ve got a small back size but big boobs they are pretty good for sizes in bikinis compared to some high street shops. I got a 32E from there and it doesn’t look like a big frumpy underwired bra, it looks nice and you can’t see the scaffolding.
I would cry and make everybody else cry if I had to go a week (a ^day^) without PG tips so with you on that one.
I commented below, but ASOS also have a decent selection of small back-big boob bikinis = I think down to 30 in the back and up to FF in the cup.
Thanks – to be honest I probably need smaller back/larger cup going by measurements but I end up fudging it a bit the other way. Who knows what they’re doing with bras? I try them on till I get bored then leave the shop with whatever I land on.
Thanks Esther, that’s so helpful. Just ordered myself two sundowner dresses from the sale at next to try (I get a sale preview) Excellent idea, as I normally try and run around in a towel, much better idea! Also got a lovely smart day dress in the sale from Hush which I feel lovely in. I’m determined to do capsule this year instead of the usual crap that I pack that doesn’t go together or fit or that’s from 1995 (in a bad way)
What about a groovy waterproof? That is an essential for me. I don’t know how I manage it but it has rained during every single holiday I’ve ever had, and no, I don’t go to Cornwall every year!
Look at Rains or Stutterheim x
Belle Stennett says
My own feather pillow and 1 white Egyptian cotton sheet. I am fed up with having to make do with nasty bedlinen and lumpy pillows. It should be obligatory that all villas ( Riads in my case) have these essentials. I can hear you tutting. Well tutt away as you lie sweating and swearing. I shall be cool as a cucumber cocktail. Incidentally this is my new fave summer drink. Delish. Oh and my mornings do not begin until I have drunk at least 2 cups of Lapsang Souchang ( loose tea) made in my dinky little travelling tea infuser from Fortnums.
Err Belle you are amazing
I always take my own pillow!
Oh my god Belle this is amazing! You’ve just reminded me of the horrific polycotton (why? why?) sheets we had on our last holiday. Sweating and swearing indeed – I’m definitely doing this from now on. You’re a hero x
I’m buying those cactus PJs right now. That is all.
Swimwear: ASOS have a surprisingly decent selection of cheap bikinis for the larger boobed, especially if you only want/need mild support rather than the full engineering treatment. It’s the only place I’ve found to do a decent DD+ halter neck on the cheap.
If you have a long torso and short legs and don’t like wedgies, Boden do swimsuits with a ‘long’ option that are quite life-changing.
My holiday packing essentials include:
a 4-socket plug extension thing so you can charge up phones, iPads etc in one place (and off just one travel adaptor if abroad)
1 spatula and 1 small sharp veg knife of self-catering
a big scarf, preferably leopard-print from Lily and Lionel, for when you’re a bit chilly on the plane/out for dinner but not cold enough to put on the jacket you’ve needlessly lugged about, or when your child needs a ‘blanket’ in order to sleep on the plane or a beach sun lounger and all towels are damp, and for covering up random bits of sunburn.
a kikoy will also do most of the above, and double up as a sarong, or something to mop up spilt drinks
Get a docking station then it’s a multiple charger, phones, iPads, etc, they’re not expensive and don’t take up much room e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/JZBRAIN-Charging-Station-Docking-Cellphone/dp/B06XG99YKM/ref=lp_1499984031_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1499966613&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1
Emma D says
that is fucking genuis. Ordered
I know that’s what I was thinking x
That’s fucking life changing Jo. Ordered.
I second Boden for swimwear, especially their wrap front swimsuits, although I would add opt for the ‘long’ size, even if (unlike Esther) you don’t consider yourself having a long torso. Noone wants to be slightly hunched with a cossie digging in your shoulders and ruching up your fanny.
Yeah, grown up time…. We learnt from our past mistakes and this year we’ve booked the in-house babysitter. I am taking my mad skirt (gold, pleated, midi M&S) as per instructions in capsule 3 for the occasion!
Jets are my go to for swim wear. If you look after them (rinse after pool swims, hand wash…) they last for at least 3 summers and look great on. Don’t be put off by the plunging neckline choices, I’ve owned 2 of them and they are comfortable and practical- nothing falls out at the wrong time (I’m a size 12 with a small-medium chest). Also… I stay away from white for swimwear and beach cover ups as sunscreen stains them. Black, navy or red are my staples. I buy one good quality swimsuit per year (I’m Australian and my family lives at the beach in summer)- it’s worth the investment if it makes you feel good while your on kid watch!
Portable blackout blind! We have a baa baa blind from a few years ago – looking at Amazon reviews the ones they are selling now are maybe not so good. Alternative Gro Anywhere blind also seems to have mixed reviews. Still, might be worth a shot if your kids (like mine) are inclined to wake up as soon as light gets into their room.
Liz B says
J Crew do a longer length option in swimsuits which is vital for me. Am 5’10 and long in the torso! Have also managed to get some Boden to fit me by sizing up.
Yes to a blackout blind being essential. I have a great (I think) tip for if you ever find yourself somewhere without one though. All you need is some tin foil and a damp kitchen sponge. Wipe down the window you want to cover and then smooth on sheets of foil. It darkens the room and reflects the sunshine back out so keeps the bedroom cool. Looks a bit like a drugs factory from the outside though.
Swimwear for plumptons: go for a busy pattern, the busiest you can find. Polkadots, stripes or a plain ruched bit over the tum will not conceal the wobbly bits; insane tropical paradise pattern will confuse the eyes so much (your own included – do not underestimate the value of self-delusion re: swimwear) any wine/cake related chub will disappear. It worked for WWII battleships, it works for me, it will work for you. I spent a LOT of time this spring sorting out a new swimming costume. Also, you don’t have to really like the pattern that much. The first load of cozzies I ordered were all ‘nice’, but the second lot were much more ‘aggressively lurid? Fuck it, let’s have a go’ and were far more effective at camouflage. I found Figleaves were great for a variety of choice/price/styles but beware, the bust support on the longer-length swimsuits was not up to my 36E tits, and the normal length cup-sized suits were too short for my long torso’d 5’10”. I loved the Fantasie Agra and Lanai swimsuits but for half the price I went for a Pour Moi suit (from somewhere else- can’t remember), hoping to get a blue Lanai in the sale before I went away – bah, now sold out ….
Esther, thank you so much. This series is so good for focusing the mind on the basics. I found myself fondling khaki shirts yesterday (army child – this trend historically leaves me so cold, like anything resembling my school uniform) and considering formal joggers … what are you doing to me????? #Stockholmsyndrome
Plumptons ❤️ Lovely word xxx
Sophie, THANK YOU for your recommendation of Pour Moi swimwear… I’ve just taken the plunge (so to speak) and ordered a couple in a couple of sizes and praise be, they fit AND flatter! Amazing!
Kathy Sandison says
I’ve just arrived in my holiday so this was a bit late for me (bad one). This isn’t something to wear but I always bring one of those cotton hammam type towels. You can get them from The White Company or Boden and they can be towels, sarongs, wraps, blankets etc and the more you wash them the better they get. Brilliant with kids.
Happy holidays Esther & Spikers X
Found these in TKMaxx just this week!
I am an absolute slave to Joe Browns for holiday and occasion wear, as I am a) skint most of the time and b) tall, fat and MASSIVE BOOBED. I have never before found a shop where I can just…buy clothes and not worry about having to squash my boobs in or hoik the shirts down every two seconds. A lot of their stuff is hideous or whimsical and Not Capsule though (good long sleeved t shirts aside).
Anyway, if any Spikers are tall, fat and big boobed (which…you’re all size 8, right? I’m talking to myself here?) and want a skirted swimming costume, I recommend JB’s. I have a halter-neck one piece with ruched waist and a drop waisted skirt. I don’t recommend it so much for swimming because the skirt-fabric is quite heavy when wet, takes ages to dry, and it’s a bit gross to have it swinging round your legs. BUT for lounging about on the beach with one’s cellulite and stretch marks covered up, it’s lovely, PARTICULARLY post-baby. And you can breastfeed in it.
Ah, I love Julia Stiles, ’10 things I hate about you’ being the pinnacle of films in my mind. I nearly fainted with excitement watching Riveria when I spotted she had the same evening bag for the ‘ball’ as me. And that dress! Where did she get it?!
Loving the capsule series.
My mother in law gave me this swimsuit from Eres (would have never paid this insane price myself) in dark green; ideal for tummies that have see less flabby times and very stylish and minimalistic.
So, actually worth the ridiculous amount of money. Of course I treat it with the utmost washing respect, even while camping (i.e. I don’t wash it).
If you are vacationing in France, get a sundowner dress from agnes b. They have the best sales in summer and since all French people are tiny, there are a lot of medium and large sizes left. Stuff like this:
The part about the denim short is very insightful. I am not British but it is just not right. I was standing with some denim shorts in my hands in H&M the other day and just thought ‘wrong’. Didn’t know why but after reading this, I know. Plus, I am 42. What was I thinking??
I will be camping, so I hardly need to bring anything, because evening wear is basically my fancy Eres swimsuit with a towel over it.
My tip would be find 4 bottoms that you like including a skirt, floaty/linen trousers, some sort of 3/4 trouser and a pair of shorts and then be ruthless with finding 4 tops that go with EVERY bottom and you instantly have 16 outfits then throw in the odd dress for day/evening. Should get you through a 2 week holiday providing you don’t mind doing a bit of washing. I did this last year for Italy and got everything into carry on!! Still came home with stuff I didn’t wear.
And it’s Yorkshire tea bags for me…can’t function without my morning cup of tea.
As a total aside, I had heard rumours of this fascinating and cool show ‘Riviera’ and in my pregnancy-addled mind I just assumed it was on BBC1. I had no clue what it was about, only that it involved fabulously dressed women, so typed it into iPlayer and promptly sat down to watch Richard E Grant touring said Riviera and admiring famous paintings… I shan’t tell you how long I watched it for, thinking, huh, this isn’t what I thought it was going to be AT ALL, I wonder when all the lovely dresses are coming on, but I feel like I can fess up here and not be too harshly judged!!
In other news, bought a long necklace today AND am packing for holidays TOMORROW. May need a hat…?!
Mama, console yourself with the thought that any time watching Richard E Grant do anything is time well spent xx
Mama:: that made me laugh!
Amy Bridge says
But what if you aren’t going to the beach? Capsule ideas for city vacations, please!
I missed everything at Pompeii (wanking man, even) because I suddenly sprouted one of those coarse devil hairs on my chin and had forgotten to pack my tweezers. Spent the whole day trying to pull it out with my nails. Day ruined. Yuck. Always carry tweezers.
cindy fried says
Too late for me, Esther – am already in Puglia and gone troppo by buying a necklace in Accessorise at the airport before I read your post. But I love it and I could be 16…if I wrote my age backwards.
Never forget, Spikers, that once you get on the beach no-one gives a stuff about ‘beach bodies’. Every year that fear that apart from me everyone will be a supermodel parading around is laid to rest as I see that all different shapes and sizes look great given a bit of confidence and a tan.
Off to order those jimjams now – need a package to look forward to next week!
I keep getting the Aspiga catalogue through the door. Clearly an awful lot of crap in there BUT the ruched twisty swim suits look tempting. Anyone ever ordered anything from them??
Quite note about SeaFolly that I forgot about earlier – the bottoms are cut ridiculously small but go up 2 sizes and then they are fine.
Freya do great swimsuits and bikini’s for the bigger cupped, I’m 5’9 and a 12/14 with a longer torso (but not long back syndrome) and they do not cut you in half, ride up, fall down or expose you in anyway. Not cheap but often on sale on very.co.uk, Anyone who wants an extremely glam look the Hollywood swimmer icon herself, Esther Williams had a range for years, I got mine new off ebay, perfect for a Dita Von Tease look if that’s your thing – India Knight has raved about them which is where I think I first heard about them, again, fab for those with bigger boobs, tummy rolls and hips/bums like me http://deadlyisthefemale.com/official-uk-stockists-of-esther-williams-vintage-style-swimsuits/ or look on ebay, not cheap new but an investment. Both my Freya and Esther Williams cossies are in their 4th summer and going strong. Happy Holidays
I bought a mini dress with all this crazy embroidery on it when I was in Mexico last year and have got a million compliments on it. It is the very first thing I put in my beach holiday suitcase. I wear it with flat sandals so not to look too slutty.
And a night light- the kind you plug in. Either bought there so you don’t have to deal with adapters or battery operated; stumbling around in an unfamiliar house in the middle of the night is not fun.
Daisy Newman says
I’ve got some swimsuit thoughts but I was waffling away so before I edit them down I’ve realised a more pressing question – wtf do I take on a holiday in England?! I’ve rarely done it (sorry I like a sun and a pool) and never with a toddler. What do I take? Help please!! Thanks spikers xx
Hi Daisy, We’ve been to Cornwall ten years in a row and I’ve always needed a decent waterproof coat, just in case. Shorts are better than jeans if it rains (wet denim is the pits) and nowhere in England is particularly fancy so evening wear can be minimal. If on the beach I always take a bobble hat for post-surfing cold and am the envy of the beach in my bobble hat and wetsuit drinking hot chocolate. The summer is looking great this year so you should have a super holiday!
Daisy Newman says
Thank you laura! Super helpful. The two things I have to factor in are posh (ish) lunch for my mum’s 70th and a champagne boat trip (on different days) so I need to find something that looks smart but I can also chase after a toddler in and not fall over / look like a twat! Should probably get shopping! Thanks for the tips really appreciate it xx
Voneron (@Voneron) says
I have now bought JW joggers, boyfriend jeans (been looking forever, those ASOS ones are great!), a tassel necklace. Smugly already own ALL jackets. Ordered the khaki shirt but my super womanly hips mean even the 16 doesn’t hang right so it went right back (it’s ok, have a reasonably thin khaki jacket from H&M that is half there). Two shirt dresses from &OS on the way. Struggling to resist grey platform espadrilles.
Now I am done and have no more money so I sincerely hope/don’t hope that your series is finished?!
you’re safe… no more womens’ clothes for a bit…
I always take Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo with us on summer holidays. My kids spend every waking moment in the pool and this stuff is the business at keeping their hair smooth and shiny after an 8-hour dunking in chlorine. It also smells AMAZING.
I have 3 Orlebar brown bikinis that have lasted 4 years (!!) and a few Heidi kleins which promise to be just as good if washed gently.
LEMLEM is indeed great for cover ups, and browse the Beach Cafe website for occasional deals on other brands.
I pack way more beach/pool dresses than you though- about 6. Stayed in a very swish Dubai hotel and didn’t want to be outdone while hanging out by the pool- turns out I can quite happily live in these. Sadly one has been binned with suncream marks. My sundowner dress is usually my crazy evening dress- totally agree with you on those. Dinner out with kids warrants dressing up as much as an adult cocktail night does when abroad. Metallica, neon, white… bring it all on.
Hat wise I committed a shocking crime. Straw visor. BUT LISTEN- you can lie back on the sun bed and still wear it! Liberating, even if I do look like a lost golfer…
Ps- bought dark grey chinos from Gap today for the flight- the girlfriend cut Ones are great. The jeans in same cut a disaster though. As for basic t shirts H&M have some great ones for about a fiver at the mo, which is great considering the suncream risk. I bought non-capsule neon orange. Oops.
Sonia you are very considerate to your fellow pool users to bring so many day dresses. I probably ought to make more of an effort xx
I once asked someone about their holiday and they told me how many times a fellow guest had worn the same dress to dinner, and was about to start on daywear until she was urged to “be charitable” by her husband. So I would pack with people like that in mind and take as few as possible.
jesus christ what a dick!
not you cindy
I second LizB for J Crew swimwear. Never buy it full price, as I have signed up for the emails and there are always plenty on the perma-sale as well. Especially good one pieces for the long-torsoed.
Also never leave without my panama, folding Ray Bans and La Roche Posay factor 50. And nail clippers- more than you think you need: family’s nails grow like weeds in the sun.
The trick with the dress that does evening and day is to wear it the night before first! Then it shouldn’t be sweaty or skanky and you can wear it in the day!
aha it all becomes clear. see even I need direction x
Yes yes yes! I always put on my outfit for tomorrow straight after my post beach bath on holiday. And then it’s not really dirty as I’ve only worn it for a few hours in the cool evening but I was able to slip into something non-sandy.
I have flash backs to the stress of having boobs sooooooooo big I needed to have a breast reduction 20 yrs ago. I am obviously programmed to be booby as I went from 36 DD after the operation and finally settled down to the 36 H I am now. I would cut off my arm rather than wear a swimsuit, BUT, Bravissimo do lovely swimsuits and separates, from frivolous ones to serious lap swimming ones and that’s where I’d look if I changed my mind about the whole beach/swimming/poolside thing
Sharon massive tits are a real problem – you have all my sympathy
tracey davies says
Agree that eres swimwear is amazing – often goes in nap sale. Jigsaw do some good beach kaftans most years and last year went down to £24 in the sale. I also like a white denim mini skirt for channelling la hurley.
fackin ell tracey white denim mini!!!!!!!! love it
Lucy John says
Thanks Esther! Useful stuff in the holiday capsule which I hope to put to good use one day… what with a two year old and a 10 week old I feel like I’ve been breastfeeding for eons and am living in a “temporary” Primani wardrobe until I loose the chub. But I am determined that I WILL start dressing like a grown up before I’m 40!
I can talk hats though. While I love a panama (I picked up a bargain a few years ago in Lewisham market – trust me!), I also never go on a sunbathing holiday without my visor (“vintage” Eddie Bauer circa 1998). They’re essential for sunlounger reading – although that kind of holiday seems a long way off with two rugrats. Please tell me it’s not…
My go to sundowner is a crinkle (or not, your choice) cotton long tunic from Boden. It comes with its own bag. I’ve had it for nearly 10yrs. Fab print. Just perfect for that in between time. Don’t know why they don’t do them every year. I always take a roll of sandwich bags and a couple of lidded plastic tubs for beach snacks.
Flippin love the capsule series Esther. Thank you.
Swimsuits- def navy but khaki also a winner. M&S gathered tum front one is worth a look and adjustable straps to avoid sag.
I would also concur with Spikers that hammamas replace all towels – dry in a flash and look q cool – my fave ones here;
If eating in places with wicker chairs/seats don’t wear shorts. Your thighs will end up looking like chicken wire (combined with cellulite not a good look). If caught out put a scarf on the chair before sitting down. Long, very fine wide trousers work for me in a few colours. Can be dressed up or down and keep the mossies and chicken wire thighs at bay.
Daisy Newman says
Spikers! I need your help please. Since you’ve all gone and bought the bloody ASOS pjs (so annoyed with myself they were in my basket and did I checkout? Did I heck) I need some alternatives! I currently divide my time between two horrible, battered nighties, fine at home, not so fine when you’re off on holiday with a load of family. I like classic pyjamas with a shirt and proper bottoms. I wouldn’t mind shorts but they seem to be so short (why?!) these days and no one, but no one needs to see my jiggly thighs over breakfast. So proper top and bottoms, made of cotton and nice and light but not so thin you can see your undercrackers. Any ideas wise spikers? Also ideas for packing for a UK holiday greatly received. Thank you thank you xx
Daisy I think these satin cropped trousers from Gap are pretty awesome (though haven’t seen them in person) http://www.gap.co.uk/browse/product.do?cid=57586&vid=1&pid=000902158000 – they have a matching top. If I was going on a communal villa holiday whatsit I’d get these x
Thank you Esther! These look great but I’m afraid I’m a cotton fiend (particularly in bed) so need to keep looking. And I’m going next weekend so better get a bloody wriggle on. And alas it’s not holiday villa whatsit it’s a house in Suffolk with the ‘rents, my brother and tiddlers. Definitely no Riviera chic dresses needed here. Unless I can wear one to my mum’s 70th birthday lunch…x
belle stennett says
This is not pyjamas BUT way more stylish, slipped on post sleeping, would cut a practical dash whilst bleary eyed preparing breakfast or sipping coffee.
Just wear a long cotton shirt to sleep in and then emerge like a crysallis in this natty little number. Suffolk can be quite chilly so this will be a great alternative.
Daisy Newman says
Thanks belle I can’t open the link unfortunately would you mind attaching again please? It sounds perfect! Who doesn’t need a natty little number to swan around in?
Currently trying to pack for a few days in bexhill. Nothing is dry so I’ve put the bloody heating on #fml
Belle Stennett says
Whoops Daisy I am a bit of a Luddite. So it’s Zara, dresses, midi, striped shirt-style tunic 39.99. Actually you could do your Ma’s birthday in this little number, it’s so versatile. Anyway it’s New In and I love it. Hope this helps.