January for me is the most depressing month in the UK, which is why every year I attempt to seek out some winter sun. The problem? You need to violently change gear when it comes to fashion. You’re in the depths of cosy knits and winter boots and suddenly you need to be thinking about beach-appropriate dresses and bikinis.
A first-world issue I know, but what’s more, there’s not much in the shops to inspire you at the moment but if you invest in some key pieces, you’ll be ready to jump on a plane no matter the season.
An ode to the co-ord
If I could wear a co-ord everyday I would. They’re chic, often adorned with fun prints and they make you look effortlessly put together. They’re also incredibly versatile given you can mix and match with other items in your wardrobe, which is why they are essential for a hot holiday, especially if you’re looking to save space in your case or are travelling hand luggage-only.
This Free People set ticks all the boxes and would be perfect thrown over a bikini as well as dressed up with a pair of heels.
The perfect denim shorts
No hot holiday is complete without denim cut-offs, however that elusive great fit is often difficult to find. For me, the dream style is tight on the waist but slightly looser on your leg so that you’re not too restricted in the heat.
This pair from Levis is that fit for me, I love this versatile blue denim but it also comes in ecru and black. Style with sandals, a bikini and cover-up for the day, or dress up with a silk shirt, heeled mules and jewellery for the evening.
The cute mini dress
A printed mini is a must on a hot holiday and perfect to take you from day to night. For me, holidays are all about maxing out on colour and fun prints, so I’m always on the look out for anything that looks like holiday cheer. This Kitri dress with it’s palm tree, surfboard print immediately went in my basket last year and I’ve loved wearing it time and time again.
The wicker bag
Nothing says ‘holiday’ quite like a wicker bag – especially one shaped like a shell. I borrowed by sister’s shell bag for years until I found one of my own. This is the ideal size to take on a night out or have inside your bigger beach bag for when you want to pop to the bar. Big enough for your essentials but small (and robust enough) enough to stow away in your hold luggage.
The chic cover-up
If you’re going to be in the sun, a cover-up is an essential. It’s a must for protecting your shoulders and back from the sun, or to throw on over a bikini when you head from the beach for a long lunch.
A linen shirt looks stylish as a cover-up, but I’ll always opt for a long kimono – when else do you get to wear something as fabulous as that? This Free People piece combines a bold sunset orange colour with a bohemian tie-dye pattern which will catapult you straight into the holiday spirit from the moment you hop off the plane.
The glam trousers
I’m new to packing trousers for a holiday. Previously, I wanted as much skin out as possible to take advantage of that vitamin D, but nowadays I’m never without them. They look super classy, particularly in the evening, and can help to hide dreaded sunburn or mosquito bites.
Go for silky fabrics and light colours for a summery feel – this pair by & Other Stories are high-waisted and lightweight silk so they’ll go with everything. Style with a silk cami, slicked-back hair and some gold jewellery for the ultimate straight-off-the-yacht look.
The versatile shoes
My choice may seem a little bit basic, but hear me out. The humble Havaiana flip flop has been my most packed and reliable shoe over the years. When I’m hanging out reading by the beach, this simple flip flop is all I want on my feet.
If you go for the slim style they’re really discreet and will go with pretty much any outfit. You also have so many colours and prints to choose from so there’s something for everyone. Despite all the amazing sandals out there, the Havaiana would be my desert island shoe. There, I said it!
If you haven’t got the picture by now, I’m all about the fun side of fashion on holiday, and jewellery is no exception. The brand Beaches and Cream was made for your next vacation and there are so many amazing, affordable pieces to choose from.
I’m a huge fan of this starfish bangle, a statement piece that won’t break the bank and will complete any beach look.
I’m on a seemingly endless search for the perfect bikini: it’s never a particularly enjoyable experience and is really dependent on body type. However, as I was scrolling The Outnet one evening, I stumbled across the brand Vix Paula Hermanny. It does excellent resortwear: at full price, a two piece would set you back £300, but on The Outnet (Net-a-Porter’s discount sister site), you can get one for half the price.
For me this style of bikini was the perfect cut on the bottom and gave me support on top, whilst still allowing me to reveal some cleavage. The plain colour and subtle gold detailing makes it look expensive and means you can wear it year after year.