Wenda James-Rowe founded Cardiff-based image consultancy the Style Team in 2004 after qualifying as an Image Consultant with Colour Me Beautiful in 2002. For more fashion and style tips visit her website: thestyleteam.com
By Wenda James-Rowe
According to a survey by Tripadvisor.co.uk, the British are the worst dressed on holiday.
To be fair to our nation, we’re not accustomed to long, hot summers, so our wardrobes aren’t geared up for warm weather. But with a little thought and effort, we can learn to be more stylish in the sun.
Think comfort AND style
- The body swells in the heat, so choose lightweight, natural fabrics, but don’t sacrifice style completely for comfort.
- Holidays are for relaxing but also for pampering and feeling good about yourself. Don’t get lazy and fall into the ‘baggier is better’ trap.
- Lighter shades and white can look great in sunnier climates but pastels and beige all over don’t work for everyone and can wash you out. Don’t forget to take your ‘good’ colours with you.
- It’s either good flip-flops or sandals – with no socks – but if you really don’t like them get some lightweight plimsolls and wear tennis socks that don’t go up the ankle.
What to look for
- Don’t assume that everything in your favourite retailer’s holiday range will suit you and that you will find your entire holiday wardrobe in one shop.
- Think about items that can be worn from the beach to the bar. A stylish below- the-knee kaftan in a good colour can easily be dressed up with a change of shoes and some accessories.
- Do treat yourself to a couple of good bikinis or swimming costumes/swimming trunks and a few good cover-ups.
- Do take some smarter clothes for the town or going out at night.
- Do follow the European style example and choose fewer, better quality items.
Key holiday pieces
- The kaftan Works for most shapes as the fabric is usually fine and glides nicely down both curvy and straight figures. Choose in a colour that really flatters you, and take care with size and pattern.
The maxi dress Even more popular this year. It can be tricky on petites (too much volume or length) or big busts with small hips, (sizes that fit the bust will be bigger elsewhere so can add unnecessary bulk) but shop around, as there are plenty to choose from. The skirt should be just skimming the floor, not halfway up your ankle or tripping you up.
- White trousers White is big for summer and is a fabulous holiday look. You can go head to toe white if it works for you, or instead team it with your favourite seasonal shades. Choose lightweight cotton or linen and wide leg, palazzo or peg cuts to keep you cool. Take care with the transparency factor and dreaded VPL.
- Utility, tapered, or harem pants Don’t panic! You don’t have to don the full army/masculine/desert look – there are simpler variations of these styles. They are airy, comfortable and can be rather elegant. If you’re wider on the hips or short in stature then minimise details such as zips, pockets, draping and volume and always wear with a heel. They look great in khaki, stone, grey or white, all of which are easy to pair up with colours or metallics.