It’s my favourite time of year. School is out and summer holidays are calling. We are off to Italy soon, to spend a week in Ischia, the sun-drenched Island loved by the glamorous jet set in the 60’s. I can’t wait to relax by the beach, to wear cotton dresses and sandals again, and of course, eat pasta and gelato every day. When I was researching our trip I came across the fact that The Talented Mr Ripley was filmed on the island. It is one of my favourite films, so I immediately decided to take the flawless style of Marge (played by a luminous Gwyneth Paltrow) as the fashion inspiration for my holiday wardrobe. From printed high-waist bikinis (like this) to full skirts paired with cotton shirts tied at the waist (like this), her casual elegance is exactly how I want to dress for summer.
I have to admit before I moved to London I never quite understood the concept of a ‘holiday’ wardrobe. I really only had one wardrobe in Sydney – during winter I would just swap my sandals for boots and layer over a knit or lightweight coat. Living in London has definitely changed that! I soon realised that, even in the middle of summer here, there aren’t many days you can throw on a floaty dress and strappy sandals (last year’s heatwave being the obvious exception.) It’s taken awhile but I have finally come around to the idea that storing pieces away until summer holidays is actually more fun than wearing them all year round. It definitely makes packing for a trip much more exciting. Also the fact that I wear some of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe only a few times a year, means they’ve become all the more special – they are imbued with happy memories of past trips. For this reason I don’t mind spending a little more on summer pieces, like a special basket bag like this by Muun or designer swimwear such as this one-piece (after two children I need swimwear that is well-cut and supportive!)
When I am planning what to pack for a trip away to warmer climes I always start with dresses. They are the building blocks of my summer wardrobe and perfect for travel as they are so easy and versatile. Find the right style and you can switch from a day at the beach to dinner out just by adding statement accessories. I would love to be able to invest in this style by Zimmermann or this by Three Graces London, but for now, this & Other Stories tiered ruffled number and this off-the shoulder design by Ghost are more in my price range. I also always take oversized earrings like these and these with me. They add instant glamour for evening and I will even wear them on the beach with a one piece (I have this) or a high-waisted bikini. I tend to keep the rest of my jewellery simple – dainty gold charm bracelets and coin pendant necklaces (love this one by Alighieri) or classic gold hoops for when I feel like a more understated look. This summer, inspired by Marge I am also adding this classic white shirt to my suitcase. I will roll up the sleeves and knot it at the waist and pair it with a full skirt. A voluminous midi skirt has always been one of my go-to looks, but at the moment they aren’t really on trend, so they are hard to find! However I did come across this pleated style and this floral print version. I never pack heels for holidays because after taking them away on lots of previous occasions I realised I never wore them. I much prefer strappy sandals like these, Castaner espadrilles or my go-to bow slides from my collaboration with Apiedi. Shorts are also something I will be adding to my suitcase – after years of not wearing them I have come around to their preppy appeal again. I like a tailored design with lots of room in the leg like this tie-waist pair. This year I’ll take hair accessories too – a vintage scarf I have had for years by Miu Miu to tie into a ponytail and headbands, in particular this raffia style from Born in the Sun and this printed design from Neeve & Noor. I never fail to include a few basket bags too. A large tote style (I have this) to take everything to and from the beach (after packing all the girls paraphernalia I barely have room for a tube of sunscreen) and a more structured style for evenings like this. I barely wear makeup on holiday however I do like a slick of bright lipstick in coral or orange red for a subtle stain on the lips and I have just bought this new lipstick by Gucci. I am a sucker for pretty packaging!
I have as much fun packing for the girls as I do for myself so watch this space for my children’s holiday edit. And whether you are off to somewhere sunny or holidaying at home this summer I hope you find something to love and wear for years to come from the below edit.