Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Pack like a Professional

After almost thirty years of holiday packing, firstly for myself, then for the whole family, I finally feel as though I have this holiday packing thing down to a "T", which is the reason I got nominated to  pack my daughters case yesterday for her Ibiza trip, and as I realise that for many it still poses a complete and utter nightmare, a chore that is put off to the last minute, I decided to share my top tips with you.

Last minute packing often leads to excess baggage charges and a suitcase full of clothes that are either inappropriate to your destination or that you never get round to wearing, so my packing mantra has to be "Never leave packing to the last minute!  Be organised and take exactly what you need". Simple.

Firstly you need to think about all the essential items you really can't do without, not just clothing so I use a Packing List and although you can write your own, I find this invaluable as it means you won't forget anything! Alternatively you get print one off from Travellerspoint here.

A mix and match capsule wardrobe isn’t just about day to day or going out clothing, where you should work on the theory of 3-4 tops for each bottom. When it comes to holidays, it is a great idea to create a capsule collection of swim and beachwear.
One of the easiest ways to limit the amount of garments you need to take away with you is by mixing and matching plain pieces with either florals or stripes.  Warehouse have a great range of bikini's with pieces starting at only £3 each in their sale and I have used two of their styles, one in a plain and one in a pattern to show you how to create 4 different looks from 2 bikini's!

(not the best job of cutting & pasting bodies you will ever see, but you get the idea!)

All Swimwear by Warehouse.

How to pack like a Professional

Lay all of your holiday clothes out on the bed or hang on a clothes rail and then see how items can be mixed and matched or dressed up or down with accessories, for either evening or daytime looks.

So nice of Claudia to dump it all on my bed!

If you are going away once the kids have broken up, mid July or August, hopefully you have been able to identify any items that you need for a stylish getaway and grabbed some holiday essential  bargains!  Check out my top holiday buys in my "Stuff your suitcase with Style" post here.

Think about your time of arrival when packing.  If its p.m. - make sure either your going out clothes or pyjamas and toothbrush are packed last, or for a.m., your swimsuit, beach towel, flip flops, sunglasses and sun cream and leave these to one side.

Bikini Top £7 & Bottoms £5 from Warehouse.

Starting with an empty case, pack the longest items first such as maxi dresses, trousers, palazzo pants etc.  Fold each item in half and lay flat so that the ends are hanging over the suitcase edge. The end result will be that you bring the ends in,, over the rest of the suitcase contents which will stop these items from creasing.

Middle: Now put in your folded items such as Tops and shorts.

Stuff your shoes with underwear.

Top: The heaviest items go in last as they will help to keep everything else in place, so now pack your shoes, toiletries, beach towel etc.  Fill in gaps with your underwear, swimwear and accessories.

How to pack a Hat.

Sunshine headgear has been increasing in popularity over the last few years, first with the cowboy style and more recently with a panama or trilby.  If you don't wish to wear yours for the journey, packing it can be hazardous and cause your hat to either get badly squashed or lose its shape, so first fill your hat with bikini's or underwear and pack in the centre of your case quite near to the top.

Pack folded items of clothing around it, filling gaps with smaller items.

Wrap any garments with either embellishments or sequins in tissue paper before packing as this will help to prevent damage to surrounding garments.

Shoes that have already been worn or new ones like these that the glitter comes off of, should always be put into bags before packing.

Its not always possible to unpack immediately on arrival at your destination, so hang any garments that may be creased in the Bathroom where the steam from the shower will help them to drop out.

Heading to the Sun from September onwards? Make sure to buy swimwear, beach towels and shorts now, as they are not so easy to find on the High Street once the Autumn and Winter collections start hitting the rails and the Sales are over.

You might also be interested in "panic free holiday packing" to help you get the best out of your holiday wardrobe, read here.

Net-a-porter (UK)

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Oranges & Lemons in the Big Apple and Iconic Halston in Essex

Yippee!  filming of the next series of Gossip Girl has started in New York City and southern belle, Leighton Meester aka Blair Waldorf  was seen on set wearing a combination of bright summer colour in the form of orange and lemon, perfectly teamed with a Stella McCartney skirt, a lust worthy ostrich leather bag and sky scraper heels - I am beyond excited, although you all know I only watch it for the fashion and Rufus and Lily, I have no interest in say, Chuck Bass ahem.....

Talking of my favourite programmes, I can't leave out the cast of "The Only Way is Essex" and the lovely Samantha Faiers, who was seen out at a summer party along with other members of the cast wearing the iconic white Halston Heritage Dress made famous by Sarah Jessica Parkers characther Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City sequel.

Sam even teamed her dress with gold peep toe heels just like SJP!

Steal their style with another Halston Heritage design with a sequin sleeve trim from theoutnet , a girls gotta love a dress that looks good at every age.

My youngest daugher (left) with Sam Faiers at her Essex Boutique last month.

THE OUTNET.COM - The Most Fashionable Fashion Outlet.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Havianas - whats new and whats cool

I was amazed to find out that the Haviana flip flops have been around since 1962 and were originally based upon a Japanese sandal made of fabric straps and a rice straw sole, which is why every pair has a textured rice pattern on the footbed as one of its many unmistakable features.

It was only a few years back that I first became aware of the brand as it seemed to be the fashionista's summer flip flop of choice and I invested in two pairs, both of which are still going strong.

During the warmer months, I actually wear one of the pairs in place of slippers, they are just so comfortable and I was more than a little excited to grab a bargain white "slim" pair for only £6 in the Matches sale the other week!  They come with either a normal width strap or a newer slightly thiner style called "slim".

Two boxes, well I had to get a pair for Uni Girl at that price!

The brand has recently expanded its product range with the introduction of Wellington Boots, a funky alternative to the traditional British Hunter and an absolute must have for this years festival goers with some styles exclusive to Office.....
£50 from Office.  View their full collection including flip flops, espadrilles & Wellingtons here

Although I am not usually a fan of designer collaborations, I have to make an exception now that Havianas has released a range in conjunction with Missoni, one of my favourite swimwear brands.  If you can't afford a bikini, crank up the poolside glam with the Italian brands iconic zig zag patterns on the footbed of your favourite flip flops, now on sale at net-a-porter.

Net-a-porter (UK)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Beauty Bargains at Space NK

Its so rare to get decent beauty or skincare bargains from sought after brands, the best I ever do is a few perfume gift sets left over from Christmas and picked up in the January Sales, so it was with much excitement that I read the email from Space NK informing me of their summer sale consisting of massive reductions off of skincare brands such as Zelens, Rodial and Nude, make-up items from Laura Mercier and By Terry along with haircare from Frederic Fekkai.

The perfect beauty travel companion by Laura Mercier consisting of 3 eyeshadows, 2 blushers and 3 lip colours, was £42 now £20.
Zelens is a range of skincare that I could normally only dream about being able to afford but I have treated myself to the DNA protect cream usually topping the £150 price bracket but now only £15! I might even display it on my coffee table, shame to hide it in the ensuite!
Tinted Moisturiser is a summer must have and Laura Mercier is often voted top of the beauty polls in Magazine beauty awards, so for only £20 (reduced from £42) you get a set containing one full size product, one travel sized and a primer to form the perfect base.

View all the Sale including some great Space NK perfumes from only £5  and gift sets to make the perfect presents (its never too early to start stocking up for Christmas at bargain prices) here.

Space NK Sale - Up to 75% Off