Fashion: Lighten up for the holidays

A case for self-control: save those shoulders and slim down your summer packing

Try these travelling tips for a stylish holiday

We’ve all been there: lugging the heaviest suitcase in the world through the airport, crossing our fingers as the numbers tick ever-closer to the kilogram limit, pulling it up and down subway steps, and up stairs to the top-floor apartment for the holiday of a lifetime, during which we will wear the same cut-off shorts over the same swimsuit with the same sandals for the full seven days.

Our suitcase will return home with us weighing slightly more than it did when we left – give or take a few grains of sand and some handmade fudge for mother – and we will unpack, placing 70 per cent of the items we brought with us back in the wardrobe, still clean and smelling of Bold.

At some stage, we have to learn a lesson from this error in suitcase-packing and actually go on holidays with clothes we will wear. It might even be an idea to leave space for some halfway-decent presents, instead of attempting to shop in duty free, buying only items we can ram into our hand luggage. But it’s a tough task: you don’t want to be stuck, miles from anywhere, with nothing to wear and no souvenirs to buy that may ease your pain. So what are the top tips to successful suitcase-packing?


Ease up on the shoes


No matter the length of your holiday, you most certainly do not need more than three pairs of shoes. One pair for the beach or pool; a pair for walking in; and another for dancing, should the mood take you. This means packing two and wearing one.


One swimsuit only

Sure, they pack up small, but only Brazilians change bikinis from one day to the next. Although you may bring six, you will wear only one – the one you can eat lunch in and not worry about your midriff.


It helps to pack items that can be worn with one another, like those fun pages in magazines with headlines like “10 items, 3,123 outfits”. Think about tops that can be worn with shorts, skirts and over sundresses; dresses that double as beach sarongs; and T-shirts you can wear for two days and then sleep in.

Forget about washing

Unless your holiday is longer than a fortnight, you should get away with light handwashing only – of swimwear and tops that you’re likely to sweat into. Everything else will survive two, three or four wears before being repacked for the homeward leg of the journey.

There’s always Zara

Those of you going to




, or indeed most of Europe, must remember that you are in the land of the cut-price Spanish retail giant, and you can always pick up a relatively affordable replacement.