I know I keep on going on about this, but if you are going on a hot holiday this summer with any children under, say, 10 – you need a black tank dress.
(If you are one of those women who believes the world will implode if you wear a dress without sleeves, then I’m sorry and I will attempt cool-dresses-with-sleeves suggestions soon. )
I don’t mean wear a black tank dress all the time. Not as your best, best, best dress that you will scrabble to wear on the first night when you realise that you have accidentally booked yourself into somewhere really chic.
This will be your saviour dress. The one you roll up in your bag and change into at the airport after you land and realise that you have accidentally flown to a country where it is 38C at all times.
It will be the one you wear to the pool or the beach and it doesn’t matter if it gets covered in ice-cream and snot and suncream and god knows what else.
It will be the one that you will wear – along with a pair of stout tan sandals, new sunglasses and a sunhat – (I really feel like we’re all getting the hang of hats this year) – to the pharmacy in town when the toddler gets a mysterious bite/rash.
It will be the one at the end of the bed that you can pull on when the doorbell unexpectedly goes or you have to quickly rush outside with the kids because there is one of those fire-engine seaplanes zooming overhead, heading out to sea to scoop up loads of seawater.
It will be the one you look at at the end of the holiday and think to yourself “Why didn’t I bring two?”
Don’t forget your accessories!
Search and search for a good, light panama-style hat that suits you that you can fold or roll up and pack (you will never make it from the UK to your holiday destination with all your bags and the buggy and the hat). Most hats, even if not strictly packable can be sorted out after a rough ride in luggage with a sprinkle of water an a cool iron.
Wear your tank if you must with a long necklace or a collection of necklaces once there are no small children to yank on them and a smart pair of sandals when flip-flops are no longer required.
Here’s one from Toast
And from good old Hush
This might not work on everyone but I like the idea of black broderie anglais – from Next
Size up on this for that “all you can eat” feeling… from Gap
And H&M one – of course it does.
This one (size up for comfort):
A quick note, unrelated to black dresses: approach the vast number of “shirred” bandeau dresses around at the moment with caution as “shirred” is basically “smocking” and on the over-10s it can look terrible. The models wearing them look terrific because they are all very skinny and flat-chested – anyone over a B cup might want to take a view. I’m not saying no, I’m just saying, you know, not definitely yes.
Another note: I am coming across a lot of people singing the praises of these plain bandeau tops from Topshop – yes of course, not to be worn by anyone with a massive bust, but I am a good 34C or something and I can wear one.
NOT ON ITS OWN OBVIOUSLY but under a sheer shirt or a ratty band t-shirt that I have cut the sleeves off. I don’t know what it is about holidays, but they make me really really not want to wear a bra.
Bear in mind that the model in that linked pic is 5’9″ so the top looks like a belt on her – in fact the tops are quite long. I have one in white and when I wear it with a pair of high-waisted culottes the two edges of material meet perfectly neatly.