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Triumphs & Tragedies Of A Holiday Wardrobe

No I'm not back from my hols yet and I wouldn't normally blog when we're away but we've been hit with a summer Caribbean thunderstorm this afternoon so I'm whiling away a couple of hours on the terrace.

As it's been a few weeks since I last blogged, circumstances that have irrevocably changed my life, I thought I'd do a light hearted post this time and then bring you up to date with other stuff next time.

So, we had to cancel our hol at very short notice due to my mum taking a turn for the worse and then quietly in the background, Husband set about reconstructing it (no mean feat I'll tell you; 4 planes, 5 hotels, 1 hire car and several booked trips) for a week or so later. Let's not talk about the cost implications of doing this (gulp).

Meanwhile I threw a few bits (scrub that). I threw as much stuff in to my suitcase as the zips and expander panel could bear and off we went.

Of course mistakes were made. This lack of planning malarky isn't in my DNA. But it hasn't been a complete disaster. So, with this in mind and the fact that many of you still have your hols to look forward to, here's my run down of the good and the bad bits.

Triumph #1 

The Holster Sandals

Honestly I've not been sponsored to talk about these (again). But they really are the most useful pieces of footwear I own for a holiday. I think the best way to describe them is an intelligent jelly shoe with style. Ha! That sounds like a great strap line.

Perfect for the pool and beach. You can rinse sand from them very easily and they're good to go in the evening too.

Here I am earlier today in the Clear Leopard Glamour ones.

Holster Australia Leopard Glamour in Clear

They are also excellent for speedy exits when monsoons hit suddenly. Eat your heart out Usain Bolt, I'd have given you a run for your money today. The arch supports make them pretty comfortable so have been my footwear of choice for sight seeing days in the States. Currently less than half price at £19.99.

My other pair are the silver Trendsetter also reduced to £19.99. Loved alternating between the two styles.

Triumph #2

Beachwear Cover Ups

I've accumulated quite a few of these over the last couple of years and it's one area of my holiday wardrobe that pleases me. You know what I mean, you look forward to getting up in the morning and choosing which one to wear that day.

I packed more than I needed for a week in the sun (last week was devoid of sunbathing as we toured the West Coast of the US. They're a mixture of M&S, Jovonna, Glamorous and a couple from boutiques in Marbella. I've stuck to a palette of white with a navy one and patterned one thrown in for good measure. Nb. I'm a total freak head and don't allow any of my family within the space of 3 feet of me when I'm wearing white and under NO circumstances are they allowed to share my bag when it goes in there. So if you're slightly less chilled than me, you may want to consider a more forgiving colour.

I tend to wear dress style cover ups as I feel happier walking around in these than sarongs and they provide better coverage against the sun. Also ideal to throw on for lunch or a spot of impromptu shopping when you've had enough sand for the day. Few more of these to go before the end of the hols.

And still some nice ones out there if you're still searching.

Lucky & Coco (TK Maxx) Now £19.99

Very Marbella-esque. You wouldn't look out of place at Nikki Beach in this. Strappy gladiators and a straw bag and boom, ready to pard-y with the in-crowd. Just don't tell them it's from TK Maxx, they'll never know.

M&S Pure Modal Embroidered Kaftan £35

Cute! Again, strappy gladiators and straw bag and hat to give you an effortless look (they don't need to see the effort that you've gone to in the bathroom that morning).

Next Black Kaftan £25

This would have been mine had I spotted it before I left. Love everything about it. The nod to the glamour, the peep shoulders and lovely drape without voluminous amounts of fabric.

Pink Printed Beach Dress By Lascana (Swimwear 365) £42

Ok, so I'm not feeling the Xanadu headband but the dress is a contender. We can do short on holiday can't we ladies?

Triumph #3

Simple Black Dresses

And I make no apology for wearing black on my holiday when it's not even in my colour palette. Let's throw the rule book out of the sun roof and say that with a tan, we can wear just about any colour. Actually no, I wouldn't do an icy lilac. Ever. But black looks great with a tan. The reason? Well, black doesn't cast shadows so much on deeper skin tones so go forth and buy!!

You can do so much with a black dress.

This Ichi maxi (past season) with a lace trim front is perfect for teaming with neutrals AND colour.

Worn the other night with leopard print and a simple Rafia bag (both old). And then again on another evening with a bright pompom clutch (Hero Online last season) and bracelet.

Or a shorter black dress that I teamed with red sandals

It's easy to mix it up with different shoes and accessories.

A few dresses that have caught my eye.

ASOS Akasa Pom Pom Back Beach Dress £18

Ignore the reference to Beach Dress (although it could be relegated to beachwear next year). This could be a really useful little piece and would work with any of the accessories above. My only worry. The price! Is it going to be a one wear wonder - definitely worth ordering to check out the quality.

Denim & Supply By Ralph Lauren Embroidered Boho Dress £145

Ok, so we're not worried about quality with this one!

Lots of bargains to be had at Hush.

Hush Danielle Dress (was £75) now £25

And there's no reason why this can't sit in your all year round wardrobe!

Hush Lauren Dress (was £65) now £35

Love this one and would be perfect under a little blazer back home.

And not forgetting my beloved Baukjen (extra 15% off sale quote code DREAMY)

Baukjen Birkdale Dress (was £95) now £28 pre discount

I've said it before and I'll say it again Baukjen 'know how to dress women.

Baukjen Elston Dress (was £129) now £79 pre discount

Timeless! And cost per wear will be pennies.

Triumph #4

The Playsuit

Honestly, I really don't do shorts very well. In fact I have only one pair with me from J Crew (and I've forgotten my belt so they keep falling down). I just don't seem to look good in them. But a well cut playsuit feels more age appropriate somehow.

I bought this light chambray one a couple of years ago from the US and wore it last week to visit the Giant Redwoods just outside of San Francisco. It was comfortable to travel in and I felt so much more like 'me' in it. Possibly because it looks slightly smarter.  I think the trick is to avoid the over designed ones. Leave the cut outs and frills to the 19 year olds!

And a few that have caught my eye...

Top Shop Palermo Floral Printed Wrap Front Playsuit £45

Pattern is ok though! It's great for disguising lumps and bumps as is the wrap front design so win-win all round. This would make a perfect sightseeing outfit. Slightly smart but without looking as if you've tried too hard! Surprisingly difficult to pull off don't you think?

ASOS Vila Tie Waist Playsuit £32

Navy and white teamed with red or yellow or neutrals. I have a similar one with me that I'll wear before the holiday is over.

ASOS Utility Slouch Playsuit £32

Love this. On first glance, it looks like a dress. Hate the heavy boots with it though.

So there are a few of my triumphs. Want to know the tragedies? Of course you do...

Tragedy #1

Too many shoes!

These 6 pairs 

+ 2 pairs of flip flops

+ 1 pair of trainers

= far too many

In my defence, I bought the red ones over here but they would have come along with me anyway. Nine pairs for an 18 day holiday. Totally ridiculous. I just kept on slinging them in the suitcase until it wouldn't fasten and actually left 2 pairs behind. Mind you I resolved not to pack heels and I haven't missed them one iota. And have I worn them all? Well yes I have but truth be known, I'm sat here wondering if I could have got away with just 2 pairs (shock horror), the Holster sandals and yes I think I could. Well ok, maybe 3 pairs and a pair of trainers. Certainly I'll be ditching the flip-flops next time, as I've favoured the Holsters over them nearly every single day.

Traged #2

Suede Sandals (or any delicate fabric)

I'm sat here right now and it's bucketing down. It won't be for long, it never is but the Caribbean in July is wet. I'm not talking damp paving, I'm talking full on wading at times. Itching to wear my new sandals, I decided to chance it the other evening. I mean we only had a stones throw to walk to the restaurant.

Just before we left, I thought better of it and kicked them off and put on another pair. That was a good decision. It bucketed. So still unworn other than a brief outing for breakfast in San Diego (I deemed it safe for 45 minutes). And the rain isn't exclusive here, same problem in Florida and on the Med (occasionally) in my experience. Of course we're always miles away from the car or the hotel! So no suede will be coming with me again.

The sandals are current season from Steve Madden (Sweetyy). I can't find a UK link - sorry. But for US readers, there's 10% off if you sign up for emails.

Tragedy #3

Warm Clothes!

I put this down to a total lack of planning. And I should have known better. It can get a little chilly at night on the west coast of the US and San Francisco bay is much much cooler. I have my Sadie linen cardigan from Goose Collection (which incidentally has now been reduced to £49) and has been my total saviour. The linen knit is an ideal summer weight and I can highly recommend it.

But wearing it day and night for over a week, I was ready for something else. And, SF is freezing. At times, a parka would have been more appropriate. Locals could have been mistaken for skiers minus the goggles. Not a problem if you're in the bowls of Europe in July or August.

Tragedy #4

White Dress For Travelling

That will be a no on every level. I wore this white Ichi dress to travel between LA and Monterey. Lots of pit stops to take in the beautiful Pacific Ocean scenery. By the time we arrived, well lets just say that tomato based pasta and white dress are not a match made in heaven.

There are probably many more tragedies than I can remember but right now, the sun has come out and I'm off to dive back in to my Kindle and bag a glass of Prosecco.

Catch up soon.

3 comments on "Triumphs & Tragedies Of A Holiday Wardrobe"
  1. Lovely choices! You look great in all your holiday outfits. I love the playsuits and agree that black is a great summer colour. Fabulous accessories too!

  2. Thanks for sharing your holiday wardrobe and tips- some lovely bits and pieces! Would love to hear about your San Fran/West coast road trip as hubby and I are planning a similar one and would love some advice xx

  3. I've been following you on Insta and it's all been a triumph ... but I'd love to see the size of your suitcase!!! Tempted by those Holster sandals - how is the back strap? Do they need to be 'worn in'? Enjoy the rest of your hols x