Taking a break in Britain looks to be the best bet so if you’re having a UK weekend away or enjoying a late staycation, ESP’s fashion stylist Karen Miller talks you through what to pack…
The challenge of what to wear for a holiday in the UK when you’re more used to packing for guaranteed hot weather overseas is enough to strike fear into the best of people. Before I trained as a Stylist, I used to be one of those people who tried to pack their entire wardrobe into one suitcase (and if you’ve seen my wardrobe that was never going to happen!).
A capsule holiday wardrobe is the key to looking and feeling great while you’re away, so getting your outfits planned before you go may take a bit of effort, but trust me when I say it is so worth it, less to pack, less stress and fully prepared for our changeable weather.
As with any capsule wardrobe you want to ensure your pieces are interchangeable and can be worn in different ways to make up several different outfits. Packing mainly neutral colours with some colour and carefully chosen accessories will see you through your time away. Depending on the nature of your break and how long your going for will depend how much you choose to pack, however as a minimum you should aim to have the following in your suitcase:
A stylish cover up / denim jacket / leather jacket or a Mac, some pretty tops that are interchangeable a nice dress that can be worn either for the evening or dressed down for a daytime look, a couple of sweaters in case the weather takes a turn for the worse, shorts, jeans or a jumpsuit.
For the accessories think minimal, a day bag in an interesting colour that can be worn with all of your outfits, a belt, trainers if you like wearing them or alternatively flat pumps, sliders or espadrilles and for the evening a pair of wedges can be the most versatile shoe taking you to BBQ’s, gatherings with friends or a meal out.
A great umbrella, sunglasses, swimsuit and of course the obligatory face mask, (of which there are some great designs out there John Lewis have a great pack of three that are the result of a collaboration with Julien Macdonald, RIXO, Liam Hodges, a snip at £15 for all three, https://www.johnlewis.com/great-british-designer-face-coverings-julien-macdonald-rixo-liam-hodges-pack-of-3/p5065822 or Top Shop have some nice prints from just £6.99 https://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/bags-accessories-1702216/leopard-animal-print-fashion-face-mask-9989763
On our most recent shoot for ESP I wanted to give you an idea of how to change up your outfits to get different looks from them and therefore halve your packing (that’s got to be good right?). I’m not advocating that these outfits are suitable for all body types, however there are variations of these in different shapes, lengths and fabrics that will be suitable, I hope you enjoy the choices and get some inspiration on how to pack for your late summer staycation.
Indigo shorts – www.Sosandar.com £35
White and navy bardot top – www.Sosandar.com £45
Belt – Stylist’s own
Trainers – Air & Grace London £159
Sandals – Stylist’s own
Taking the classic shorts and t-shirt look and giving it a little extra glamour with this gorgeous off the shoulder top which can be worn tucked in or out, off the shoulder or on and the shorts are a lovely comfortable denim with a little stretch. Worn either with trainers or wedges for a more dressed up feel. The top is super versatile and can be worn with many different items, either trousers, shorts or jeans, whichever is your preference, the cut is also flattering if you’d rather wear it out giving a slightly ‘A’ line fit which skims over the tummy.
Sosandar.com is an online brand founded by two ex-fashion industry insiders who have focused on wearable, chic outfits for the weekend or work. They have some great dresses in lovely prints at a very reasonable price point, the quality is good and their delivery service is reliable (no worrying it won’t turn up in time for an occasion.)
Leopard print play suit – www.Sosandar.com £39
White cardigan – Top Shop £19.99
I’m loving this beautiful play suit from www.Sosandar.com, again I’ve tried to show with this item the versatility to change it up, by either adding the cream cardigan and espadrilles for daytime, or on it’s own or with a leather jacket for evening with a great pair of heels.
The play suit is super stretchy although seems to come up a little small, therefore I’d probably advise you size up if you’re thinking of purchasing it.
The cream cardigan can be worn with many different items, either a pretty top underneath or a dress and it’s just thick enough to keep you warm should the weather change while you’re out for the day.
Khaki Boiler Suit – TopShop £65
Wedges – Stylist’s own (Kurt Geiger)
The boiler suit trend has been around for a while now and for good reason, it’s a really nice alternative to trousers/ jeans and saves you hunting for the perfect top.
The belt on this one can be worn quite loose or pulled in, it’s ideal if you don’t like wearing belts because you can still get the effect without it accentuating the waist if worn looser and of course you can swap the belt to add a bit of difference.
I’ve paired it here with a great pair of wedges, but it could be worn equally as well with trainers, sliders or pumps.
Red dress – TopShop £39
Trainers – Air & Grace London £159
Belt & Wedges – Stylist’s own
This dress is such a beautiful colour and shape I couldn’t leave it out of my pick for this update, the sleeves on this can be worn long or rolled back, sometimes you find with this shape of sleeve there is too much material, however these are cut in a really flattering bell shape which elongates the arms without bulk.
The cut is ‘A’ line which tends to be flattering for most body shapes although it is a great option if you are a pear shape or carrying weight around the hips as it skims over them. You can see that by just adding and changing the accessories you can give it a different feel, either for day-time or evening.
Pale Blue Sweater – TopShop £29
Straight leg cut off jeans – TopShop £40
White Star Print Skirt Zara – £25
Loving this blue sweater from TopShop, it’s light (not scratchy) and the colour can be paired with so many other different colours. It’s a good alternative to the classic neutrals, a little more fashion forward but very wearable.
We created three different looks with this sweater, using the jeans and white skirt to help to illustrate that with the right basics you can create several outfits and again save space in your suitcase.
Lilac Oversized Shirt – Zara
White Star Print Skirt – Zara
Umbrella – Stylist’s own
Our final outfit is again using the same white skirt from Zara, adding this beautiful on trend oversized shirt which can be worn as I’ve styled here as more of a ‘shacket’ over the white T-shirt or as a shirt. One word of warning with the shirt, it comes up really large therefore definitely size down if you’re thinking of purchasing it.
The shirt would work equally well with the jeans also featured in this shoot, or the shorts, it’s light enough to wear as a shirt but thick enough to add a little warmth with the sleeves down if your feeling a bit chilly. I’ve styled it here with the wedges again just to add a bit of height and give a balanced proportion, but you could wear a longer skirt and trainers with it and tie it at the front to make it more casual.
Model: Gemma Royce
Photography: Chris Brudenell for ESP