‘The Essential’ Holiday Suitcase List.

Location : Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. 

We all do it. We’re used to winter weather; layering is a skill and trousers are a safety net. We all have AT LEAST three coats we change between, and know exactly what to wear for ‘girls night out’ when its -2 degrees outside. I know that I personally have a wardrobe filled with ANYTHING I fancy wearing when I wake up in the mornings, but what happens when I have one suitcase for three weeks away, and the weather is too hot for jumpers and jeans, and I have the dreaded weight limit?

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This sounds like the ultimate ‘first world problems’ post, but let me explain. It’s now the last few days in Australia – I’ve lived (somehow) in bikinis and denim shorts, black playsuits and satin vest tops, jersey maxi dresses and plain tees. Every holiday, I always strip back my wardrobe, take the same pieces every time – I’m really not a holiday shopping person, at most, I buy a new pair of flip flops. When it also comes to swimwear, I’m not stranger to the triangle bikini and plain black swimsuit – I’m not a fan of odd looking tan lines, so simplicity is definitely key.

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But with now working as a Stylist and thoroughly appreciating a good outfit put together (and I can’t say no to a good outfit post), how can I create THE PERFECT holiday wardrobe / suitcase, that will see me through a good few years?

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This post is aimed at putting together the perfect pieces for a holiday – from swimwear choices, to day time essentials, to going out in the day, to the dinner and drinks in the evening. Easily wearable, easily washable, and still can be worked together and layered when the last few days hit. This suitcase full is about keeping numbers to the minimum, keeping costs down, and still giving yourself plenty of options, that can withstand the suncream and sand. I have tracked down a few of my favourite pieces from online high street stores, with every image taking you straight to the product page. Happy shopping!

Day Time Essentials. 

What I have found the last few weeks, is that I have really relied on vest tops, shorts, playsuits, tees and loose flowing trousers. Multipack buys are definitely something to consider for this – why spend £30 on one basic when you can buy three different colours (cough, neutrals) of the same versions for less?

The Vest Top – Asos is a god send for multipacks. 

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The Denim Shortsremember, these have to last through suncream, sand, salt and water. We can’t be too happy-go-spendy.. I’ve also found that wearing high-waisted denim shorts are perfect for holding everything in and not feeling like you’re flashing when you have to pick your beach bag up. Just saying. 

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The Playsuit the best friend for the lazy days, and when you feel like sunbathing but don’t fancy sitting in itty bitty bikini bottoms. Girl, I got you. The best kind of playsuit is the jersey playsuit – easy, comfy, easy to clean and can withstand a wet bikini.

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Jersey Shorts – great for chucking on at the beach if you feel like the denim shorts are too uncomfortable. Take it back to the 90’s for a bit of old school gym class heroes look, or keep it simple (and neutral). The Jersey short is even great to wear for dinner and drinks – team with a slouchy cashmere jumper, and heels, you would give Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen a run for their money. 

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Loose Trousers – I have one pair from Boohoo that I wear non-stop. They are lightweight, very loose, and work great with a vest top as a cover up, as well as for dinner and drinks. This post is all about transitional pieces right? 

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Swimwear Essentials. 

I am no way a big fan of weird tan lines, and I have found, having a bit of an odd body size, the triangle bikini with a tie back is always my reliable style. As well as the triangle, for water sports I bought a swimsuit (and not the mumsy kind). The swimsuit really has been a lifesaver,  avoiding the famous ‘bottoms-falling-down’ moment like the plague.

The Bikini as I mentioned, triangle bikinis with a tie neck and back are the best. When you are a size that doesn’t fit into the normal size category, this is the best bet. I always find as well that by the end of the holiday, I end up mixing and matching bikini bottoms and tops, so you don’t always have to buy a matching two piece bikini. Mix it up and have fun! I have also found that you don’t always have to go by your dress size when it comes to swimwear – try on as many styles as you like, and go by how it fits and feels, not the size. (p.s. going for a bikini with inserts is a girls best friend.)

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The Swimsuitlike I said, if you plan on going to waterparks, surfing, paddle boarding and snorkelling, YOU NEED A SWIMSUIT. When I was told that I had to buy one, I cringed. But with the classic swimsuit coming back into fashion, it is suprisingly flattering when you choose one with a low back and a high leg. Simplicity is key, we don’t have time to balance out odd tan marks). Again, if you can find a swimsuit that has an insert panel inside, or a facing inside, you’ve hit a corker.

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The Cover-Up – this is definitely one of those essentials on every holiday. When you’re going to get quick smoothie from the beach bar and just want something to cover your shoulders instead of getting your clothes all sandy, this is the perfect throw on, especially if they’re a little see through – we still want to show off our bikini that we just bought! 

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Evening Wear Essentials. 

Night time is the time to have a little fun with what you wear – whether it’s a new restaurant, cocktails, wine in a bar, you can do no wrong with the perfect maxi dress, jumpsuit, silk cami and structured short. Have no fear, the supersaver-yet-stylist guide is here.

The Maxi Dress – teamed with a heeled Sandal or a wooden wedge, the maxi dress is definitely a must. It can also be worn during the day with a white vest top to add a more casual look. 

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The Jumpsuit – You can do no wrong with a Jumpsuit. Like the maxi dress, it can be worn with a tee or a vest top for during the day to add a casual spin, layered underneath that lightweight knit you wore on the plan, for a relaxed cocktail by the beach… I’m also partial to a bit of stripe and minimalism when it comes to jumpsuits (eye-catching, slimming, leg lengthening.. you won’t find any florals here I’m afraid)

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The Silk Cami – now this is one of my favourite piece when it comes to wardrobe essentials. Yes, there’s 100% silk camis on the market, which will cost more because of the fabrication, but there are definitely high street alternatives, that look the same. Paired with a pair of lightweight trousers, or tucked into structured shorts, the silk cami is perfect for any occasion. If the body of the cami is too long, and you’re 5ft3 like me, the cami also looks good pulled up and tied at the side. 

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The Structured Short – This kind of short is the perfect choice for there whole ‘stylist yet effortless yet classic yet tomboy’ look… we all know what I mean. Having lived in a few different cities, I know how amazing ‘the city short’ style is, as well as a tie-waist style is. They’re both styles I would personally choose because of how understated yet stylist they are. These kind of shorts look great with a pair of heels or laced up sandals to add a contrast to the silhouette. 

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So there we have it – what I feel are all essential parts of the holiday wardrobe, all at an affordable price. All pieces can be mixed and matched whether it’s breakfast by the beach, drinks in the local bar, a night out in a club or dinner with your parents. All you need to go with these is one clutch bag, a straw bag, a pair of flip flops, a pair of heeled sandals and a pair of heels.. but I’ll leave that to you!

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Websites :

Asos

H&M

Topshop 

Missy Empire 

Boohoo

In The Style 

New Look