What to pack for a stylish summer holiday

Whether you’re going to be lazing by a pool on a tropical island or spending your break at the beach, be prepared this summer by packing the ultimate holiday wardrobe. You need to look good when you get out of town, but in an easy breezy way. Here’s what to pack for head-to-toe summer-break chic.

Hats
Nothing says summer like a jaunty chapeau. A straw panama in either a block colour or check weave is a super-chic topper. If you opt for a neutral-coloured version, customise it with a headscarf, feathers and beads for a more personal take on the trend. An oversized straw hat offers a little shady-lady mystery for the fairer-skinned among us, while a sleek neon visor gives eye-catching sun protection for water sports and other active pursuits. 

Daywear
Swimwear is the foundation of all summer break wardrobes. Pack several bikinis and mix tops and bottoms so you’ll never tire of your poolside options, and will always have a dry version ready to go. A black one-piece looks great layered under palazzo pants with an open silk shirt for evening, and also goes well with denim cut-offs and leather sandals for day. Two or three simple cotton shifts and a couple of kaftans and beach cover-ups are all the dresses you need; just add a pair of cute shorts, a breezy skirt and a few classic T-shirts and button-down shirts to sail through a week or two of fun in the sun. 

Evening wear
A silk maxi dress is the definition of easy elegance. Dress it up for evening with a sleek updo, jewellery and make-up, or dress it down for day with flats and a ponytail. Channel the more casual holiday vibe with a playsuit or jumpsuit for an original night-time style statement. As versatile and practical as they are alluring, both options will turn heads on the beach and at the bar. For added evening versatility, try using your beachwear as ready-to-wear by pairing an ornate one piece with a pretty tiered skirt. Your beach cover-up can also do double duty on balmy nights: for day, wear it unbuttoned over your bikini, then for night, button it up, belt it and add some statement jewellery. 

Shoes
Wear Grecian sandals wrapped around your ankle during the day, then tie them up the leg after dark for an edgier look. Italian leather sandals are cool and easy from dawn to dusk, while a jewelled or embellished pair of sandals are perfect for balmy summer evenings. Striped or block-colour canvas espadrilles make for a bold and affordable vacation footwear statement, while classic white tennis sneakers are appropriate for holiday sports or a day of yachting, if you’re lucky enough to be invited on board. 

Accessories
The key to maximising suitcase space is to use your accessories in a clever way. Throw a clutch bag inside your beach bag for an easy evening transition; sunglasses and headscarves are an easy way to change up your look without taking up much room in your case. Jewellery transforms a look from day to evening with ease, but remember to leave room for buying some locally crafted or ethnic designs rather than packing everything you own. A gel pedicure and manicure before you leave will ensure maintenance-free fingers and toes, leaving you free to focus on fun times. The best accessory of all? SPF50 sunblock. 

Inspiration for your next holiday break...