Like Dita, I always travel light.
No. The jig is up. Shockingly, I am not one of life’s light packers. In fact I always pay for extra baggage because nothing ruins my holiday mood quicker than a wardrobe crisis. A trip away is the perfect excuse to showcase my favourite vintage outfits and I find it emotionally distressing having to choose between my dresses. But even if you’ve forked out for extra space in the luggage compartment, strategic planning is required. Writing your packing list is like putting together a capsule wardrobe. You need to predict how you’ll be spending your days and nights and select your outfits accordingly.
If you’re very organised you can decide on a colour palette you know looks good on you and ensure all your items fit the scheme. This will make it easier to mix and match and you’ll get more wear out of the clothes you bring. If you’re anything like me though, you will love the idea of this but still want to take ALL THE DRESSES. Here’s a rundown of the items I take that I actually wear.
Swimwear and Separates
My swimsuit soulmate is a 1950s one-piece. Elsewhere on the blog you can read my guide to vintage style swimwear and see my top picks this summer. As well as being fabulously flattering, one-piece swimsuits become sexy halter tops when worn with separates en route to the beach. Pencil skirts are great for this look.
Top of the packing list for my next jaunt is Glamour Bunny’s wrap skirt. Talk about effortless sophistication, there’s no need for undignified wriggling around on the beach in this.
If the possibility of a VPL is too much stress for your holiday, you can go for a circle skirt instead.
The other thing I wear over my swimsuit is a pair of 1940s high-waisted shorts.
Tara Starlet are especially brilliant at making these. I find their sailor shorts to be the most flattering to my considerable thighs. I’m wearing them in white above and they’re currently available in red and navy.
They also do some knockout patterns. My proportions look a lot better in the sailor shape but these prints are pretty hard to resist.
A couple of retro tops are useful to wear with separates. I like to flash a bit of tanned shoulder in gypsy styles like these.
Full-skirted retro sundresses give maximum comfort and minimum sweatiness of thigh.
Evenings out are a chance to wear your slightly dressier summer dresses. Hawaiian styles like these always put me in the holiday mood.
Neutral accessories that go with everything are always a good idea. 1950s rattan and bamboo handbags go with every outfit and occasion, day or night.
I’ve found the perfect beach bag for kitsch mid-century style. It’s big enough to hold all your bits and the handle clips shut to keep everything in. Obviously I want this in every girly colour going.
Wedges or mid-heeled peeptoe slingbacks are the perfect holiday shoe to lend a little pin up cheekiness to your ensembles. I take them in white, black and nude.
I always pack a bunch of corsages and scarves. They camouflage beach hair, don’t take up much suitcase space and they instantly give you retro glamour.
My last holiday essential is a comfy dress in a fabric that doesn’t crease – perfect for your flight and for arriving in style.