This is not yet another repetitive packing list of generic items. You already know that sandals and a bathing suit(s) are essentials for heading south – or to pack a toothbrush, first aid and sewing kit and of course the most important – sunscreen. But as a fashion designer and Personal Brand Enhancement Consultant, I can tell you about the unexpected items to pack for a vacation that have saved me.
A Light Weight Menswear-inspired Dress Shirt
You won’t regret packing this. It pairs perfectly with a pair of light-weight pants, denim or dressy shorts, and even over a bathing suit, like a cover-up. Have fun styling it, too. Tie it around the waist, add a belt, or have a relaxed off the shoulder look. We all tend to feel a bit sexier on holidays , and this piece will definitely inspire you to dress a bit more sultry. Think of a pop of color if you want a more statement look.
Sunglass trends? Go classic and chic – a pair of oversized Jackie-O inspired shades – not to mention keeping the sun away from your eyes. Save the John Lennon, cat-eye, wayfarer, aviator, styles for your summer purchases, and go big or go home for holiday sunglasses. Worried about the tan lines? Your beautiful face should always have sunscreen!
As much as you plan your vacation outfits, you never really know what you’ll feel like wearing until the day of. Enter white shorts. The “must have” of vacation packing. They go with every top, shoes and bag you packed. They’re perfect for a beach front sunset dinner, pool-side lounging, afternoon drinks and so on. In fact, you might want to pack more than one pair – keep in mind the length for a more formal venue.
A little white dress is a saviour on vacation. Linen, eyelet, light cotton are some fabric suggestions. Pack this little number, and you have an outfit for any occasion. A packing tip: when you are folding this precious item to place in your suitcase use the dry-cleaning plastic you were probably going to discard. Place the dress inside the plastic and fold carefully to avoid too many creases not to mention that it keeps it clean and unmarked. This is a must for me for almost everything I pack.
A Gorgeous Sunhat
The sun feels amazing, but it can also wreak havoc on your skin. From burns to premature aging, you want to limit the amount of sun that hits your face. Invest in a flattering sun hat with a brim that’s long enough to cover your ears and the back of your neck – tough spots to reach to load on the sunscreen.
As women we tend to over-pack when it comes to shoes. If you want to save a bit of space in your luggage for some destination shopping, then a nude pair of strappy heels or a not “too chunky” wedge should be on your packing list. Not only will they go with every outfit you pack – from a cocktail dress to dressy slacks to those white shorts – they’ll also elongate your legs. And that you won’t regret.
And now for some practical advice…..
No, no don’t worry you will not be doing laundry on your vacation, BUT do take care of your beautiful garments. I like to pack a small container of detergent, especially to rinse off my bathing suits after a day on the beach. Salt water, sand, sweat are all part of the warm destination vacations. It could also be that a little something spilled on your favorite piece – this can and will be a savior.
Most hotels have irons in the rooms, but from personal experience I learned that not all do! Sometimes, you have to send the items for pressing (at a cost) to the house-keeping department – or wait until an iron is sent to your room. Call ahead and make sure your room comes with an iron for you to use – otherwise bring a small portable steamer. Five stars or not, hotels don’t always have this prized possession.