Pack a punch with your holiday outfits

Eric Bompard long-sleeved linen shirt, �45 (
Eric Bompard long-sleeved linen shirt, �45 (
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It’s officially time to pack for the great escape.

And whether you’re driving to the British coast or jetting away to foreign climes, it’s set to be a glamorous getaway.

We spend as much on our holiday wardrobe as we do on a package getaway deal.

For Europe-bound Brits, the average suitcase is packed with £580 worth of stylish clobber, according to recent research by

“A summer holiday represents the perfect chance to showcase a hot summer wardrobe,” says Julie Donnelly, head of womenswear at the website.

But as airlines restrict the luggage weight you’re allowed to take, it’s important not to go overboard and risk losing your spending money in excess fees.

Pack a capsule wardrobe to impress with our practical guide.


Never leave your packing until a few hours before you’re due to check in.

If you are last minute you’re likely to make snap decisions and add highly impractical pieces, while forgetting the essentials like underwear, swimwear and your comfy shoes.

A bit of pre-vacation planning will actually save you time when you get there, too.

It will make pulling holiday ensembles together a breeze.

Think carefully about the luggage you’re taking, too.

“Aim for streamline,” advises Rachel Zoe, American stylist to the stars and author of Style A To Zoe.

“Go with cases you can haul effortlessly by yourself and resist over-packing them.”

Think about where you’re going, for how long, what you’ll be doing and, most importantly, the weather outlook.

Think accessories aplenty and assess how travel-friendly fabrics are and how they’ll fare after a stint in the suitcase – nobody wants to be thinking of doing any ironing on their holiday.

Fine knits, chiffon and denim travel more easily than linen, silk and heavy cotton.

glamour on the go

You don’t have to pack everything but the kitchen sink to look vacation-chic.

The trick is to select versatile pieces that have more than one purpose.

If your destination’s hot, hot, hot, try sheer dresses that you can wear over swimwear by day and over a slip teamed with heels for sunset evenings.

Zoe suggests: “Look for tunics, kaftans and sundresses that can serve as dresses or tops.

“A fabulous belt can turn a sarong into a dress, so pack one that sits on the waist, in leather or raffia, or a coloured woven or gold chain.”

You’re on holiday so ditch the black and dark colours and aim for a suitcase of white and lighter, brighter shades that you usually wouldn’t dare to wear at home or in the office.

When it comes to accessories, sandals in pretty metallics, espadrilles and open-toe wedges can be worn for day or night.

“Clothes might be minimal, but not jewellery,” Zoe suggests. “Stock up on hooped earrings, anything ethnic and bangles.

And buying island cheapies at your destination can be a great addition.”

Best of order

Say bon voyage to chaos and hello to order when you’re packing; it will make for a super-stylish vacation.

Zoe has these packing tips:

Don’t overstuff your case. Clothes and even shoes can end up badly creased.

Start with shoes on the bottom. Protect their shape by stuffing them with socks or tank tops. Protect any favourite shoes in drawstring cloth bags so they don’t get scratched.

Add your denims in a layer, folded in half.

Layer in everything else, trousers, sweaters, dresses and tops, laying items flat with as few folds as possible.

On top, place anything chiffon, beaded or sequinned. Turn these items inside out so they won’t get snagged, or wrap them in protective plastic or tissue paper.

Keep jewellery and other valuables on board with you.

Always unpack your bags as soon as you arrive at your destination so clothes and shoes can air and regain their shape.