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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Fashion notes: A lesson in travelling light and in style

We all know how difficult it is to know what to take on holidays, here are some tips on travelling light and making certain we have the necessary fashion options at our fingertips.
Altuzarra spring/summer 2015. Getty images
Altuzarra spring/summer 2015. Getty images

Let me describe the shameful appearance of my bedroom when I’m in the midst of packing for an upcoming trip: there’s a suitcase, at the foot of the bed — and it’s overflowing. Pieces are all folded neatly, mind you. The problem is, stacks of clothing are towering out, not allowing the zipper to close — and there’s no way that I’m within the stingy 23kg weight limit set by British Airways.

I start panicking. With the suitcase already at maximum capacity, how will I fit in all of the shopping I plan to do on my holiday? There’s no way this will work. That’s when I make myself a cup of tea to calm my anxieties, sit by the heap of clothing and start to edit down. I know that there are some women who just pay for extra baggage and fill up a second suitcase, but really, I don’t need to take half my wardrobe with me on my summer getaway.

For a 10-day trip, there are some pieces that will prove to be especially useful, starting with a pretty white dress. Whether it’s a boho maxi or off-the-shoulder lace number, it’s nice to have one feminine day dress in your suitcase. As well, a cotton printed jumpsuit or romper makes a chic and versatile holiday outfit, and with some accessory switch-ups, can easily be taken from day to night. A pair of comfortable blue skinny jeans is another must-pack piece, along with three to four T-shirts, plain, graphic or striped – my personal favourite.

Make sure to include some prints – you may regret sticking to solids when opening up your suitcase to a dreary, lacklustre palette. A floral skirt is a summertime staple, and can be paired with one of the tees you’ve already packed. If T-shirts are too casual for your liking, pack two or three breezy button-down shirts that you can wear tucked in or out, or tied in a cutesy knot at the waist. A shirt dress or trendy tunic are versatile summer style staples, and can be worn with a straw hat over your bikini at the beach, or with a skinny leather belt and chandelier earrings for a casual dinner date or exploratory day trip.

Throw in a neutral cardigan or two for unforeseeable chilly evenings outside or heavily air-conditioned shopping malls, along with a light duster jacket (or trench, if you’re heading to London!) – they’re now available all over the high street, and won’t take up too much room in your suitcase. You can even wear one on the plane for a chic, jet-setter look.

On a related space-saving note, leggings are often overlooked while packing, and deeply missed when forgotten. Add in one or two basic black pairs in cotton and leather or lurex.

When eyeing your handbag collection and wishing you could take the whole lot, think about what’s practical. Crossbodies and clutches might look really cute, but are they really going to fit everything you need to carry? A foldable Longchamp on the other hand, makes a perfect daytime carryall. In terms of footwear, I like to travel in my Nikes, and pack a pair of comfy flats, poolside flip flops, wedge heels and two new-season sandal designs for the rest of the trip. You could throw in more heels, but I’ve found that they become a major waste of space – unless you plan on having an active nightlife on your trip, it’s nice to kick back and relax while on holiday, without having to book a foot massage at the hotel spa for your sore feet.

hlodi@thenational.ae