Monday, 14 July 2014

Summer Series - Poolside Chic On The Cheap

If like me you live in an area where the kids don't break up from school for at least another week and are heading off to the sun sometime during the six week holidays but haven't given a thought to your holiday wardrobe, now is the time to take action!

With the summer sales starting earlier and earlier each year, it's so easy to forget about buying for your holiday wardrobe and even harder if you need pieces that will take you from day to night due to luggage restrictions when the shops will be filling up with coats and knitwear by the time you head off to the Airport!

I always keep things like swimwear and cover-ups in a holiday drawer so it's pretty easy to see what I need or what needs replacing. I have a rough idea on clothes and footwear, it will just be an extension on what I took to Marbella in May but that was only for three nights whereas our end of August break is for nine (but virtually 11 days due to flight times) and we are still only taking hand luggage only, so it will take some very canny planning. On that basis I thought I would compile a list of holiday essentials that are either super cheap at full price or heavily reduced in the sales. A compliation of items you simply can't leave home without, but also a few multi tasking pieces that will double up from day to night with ease, if like me, you are only taking a carry on but with up to 70% off in some stores, sizes are selling out fast, so it's time to get organised!

1. Butterfly by Matthew Williamson shorts now £10.50 Also in White here.
Shorts in all sizes are really hard to find but Debenhams is probably the best website at the moment because they have more styles available. Opt for a classic colour like beige, white, black or navy and remember a smarter style can be worn out in the evening with sparkly flats or wedges and a pretty top but dress down easily with t-shirts for lunch or day trips.

2. Black Crepe Floral Kimono £12.99 New Look.
It's only since buying one I realise just how invaluable they are. You can wear it to the Airport over jeans and a vest top, with your shorts for daytrips, over block colour dresses in the evening and demote it further into your holiday as a swimsuit cover-up. Although this one isn't on sale it's still cheaper than those that are and New Look certainly have a good priced range available. Top Tip: buy one that fits with the colour of other clothes you intend to take.

3.Straw Beach Tote £12.50 Marks and Spencer.
A neutral coloured straw beach bag will go with all your outfits and can double up as your carry on.

4.Purity Bikini Top was £45 now £31 and Bottoms was £40 now £28 from Sweaty Betty. 
Get more looks but less packing with reversible swimwear this summer. Great if you still wear a two piece not so easy to find in a costume. This grey stripe with pink trim bikini from Sweaty Betty is plain grey on the reverse. Check out other reversible ranges at Simply Beach (which includes a Moontide Tankini in black and white) here and at Next here.

5.Beach Collection Sunglasses at Debenhams was £16 now £8.
If I had a pound for every client who leaves a pair of sunglasses in my beauty room throughout the year, I swear I would be rich and it at least makes me understand why some women won't pay a lot of money for summer eye wear. Me, well I treat my sunglasses as if I have just given birth to them and would be utterly distraught if I lost any but you can still look ultra glam on the cheap with a pair of large black "Jackie O" style sunnies and these Debenhams ones even have a diamante feature at the temples to crank up the glam factor in a very Bvlgari esque fashion! They have a great selection of styles at similar price points here.

6.Janet Reger Natural Floppy Hat was £19.50 now £15.60.
The floppy hat really seems to have overtaken the Panama and Trilby in the beach hat steaks this year. Far more glamourous to look at and offers a lot more protection and coverage to your face, hair and neck. Look like a A-Lister as you carry yours around the Airport, or wear it if you are young enough to not look and feel like a complete fool! Top Tip: If you need to pack your, fill it with underwear or swimwear and put in upside down as you get near to the top of the case, pack around it, leaving the brim free and flat so that it will be the only thing touching the lid of your case. 

7. Jigsaw Mandarin Silk Maxi Dress was £179 now £107 available here and here.
If you only take one dress, make it a maxi in a simple style that will dress up with jewellery for evening but look equally as good during the day or as a swimsuit cover up later in your holiday, If you've been in store and seen how stunning this Jigsaw maxi dress is, it will need no explanation at all. Such a bright and beautiful colour it would look amazing with a tan. Budget friendly options include this fab dress from Debenhams for £23.70 (scroll down page for full range of colours available).

8. Moda In Pelle Sandals available in gold, silver or pewter was £59.95 now £49.95
I know I would struggle to pack just one pair of shoes even though I only ever take hand luggage. I like my Haviana's for the pool and they pack easily enough. I also like to take a wedge for evenings but if you are really restricted and can only fit one pair in your suitcase, then opt for an embellished or metallic sandal that can be worn round the pool, on day trips and also for evenings out. 
Also love these from Boden if you prefer your sandals more streamlined and without a toe post, such a fab bargain too! Top Tip: Keep things streamlined by wearing silver jewellery with silver sandals and gold with gold etc 

9. Kin By John Lewis Vest Top was £35 now £17.
The go with anything top is a wardrobe essential whether at home or abroad. Wear yours with denims shorts, chino's, harem pants, the list is endless. Will also work under your kimono. Budget friendly options are available from New Look where a jersey cami top starts at £2.99 and three packs start at £7.50 here.Top Tip: Go for a floaty style in a luxe looking fabric as these work better for evening.

10. Gold Lace Effect Collar was £12.50 now £8.75.
Sometimes all you need to lift a holiday outfit from day to nightwear is a pair of heels and a statement necklace and this season I have picked up some great bargain jewellery from Wallis. Their Opaque flower pendent is a homage to the Banana Republic one I can't afford and their silver link necklace is very J.Crew, also without the extortionate price tag. Shop all necklaces at Wallis here. Top Tip: Don't forget to match your costume jewellery to the colour of your metallic sandals.

11. RJR John Rocha Ikat Printed Trousers was £35 now £17.50.
Printed Trousers or Harem Pants also serve as a great holiday piece especially if you opt for silky lightweight luxe fabrics that work for both day and night. I tend to wear trousers in the early days of a holiday when my legs aren't quite as tanned as I would like. They pack easily and could double up to form part of your travel outfit if you don't want to arrive at a hot destination wearing jeans. Top Tip: Opt for a monochrome print so that you can wear them with various colour tops and cami's to get more looks, just imagine these worn with cobalt blue, red or orange, simply stunning!

12. Accessorize Lotus Flower Clutch was £32 now £22.
Ever since the Accessorize breton stripe embellished clutch hit the headlines back in April, every fashion editor and blogging worth their salt snapped one up and naturally it is now out of stock! A pretty more feminine alternative is the Lotus Flower Clutch featured above but you might try your luck by ringing your local store. Top Tip: If taking a box clutch or larger bag on holiday, save on space by filling it will knickers or swimwear before you pack it.

Have you grabbed any sales bargains for your holiday or in a panic because you haven't yet?


  1. Love that red dress Sharron & I'm in awe of you taking hand luggage for a 9 day holiday. I plan to start thinking about what I'm taking away with me next weekend when I will no doubt either declare I haven't got anything suitable or realise I've brought too many things for one holiday!!
    Jane xx
    My Midlife Fashion

  2. Loving the jigsaw maxi similar to my J crew one which I so enjoyed wearing on my holiday. Xx

  3. Packing perfection....I am with Jane, can't believe you can manage to squeeze everything into hand luggage enough for 9 days! Hat's off to you Sharron, these are some very savvy packing light picks! xx Love the kimono in particular, but then I seem to be loving everything New Look are doing at the moment! xx

  4. I love the basket tote and the maxi dress - just perfect for the summer. Gorgeous picks here. Lynne x

  5. Love those sunnies and the bikini Sharron (although not sure I'd have the guts to wear it!). Can't believe you can fit everything in a carry-on - the thought of it makes me sweat! I can't even think about holiday packing until they finish school - will do next week and then probably start to panic! xx

  6. Great picks Sharron....wish I was going away again,bloody weather awful here at the minute! Enjoy your week:)
    ~Anne xx

  7. That dress is fabulous! Too bad that the taxes for deliveries to Norway are so expensive.....I'm in the progress of planning my holiday wardrobe as I'm going to Greece for 2 weeks in September, and I'm making good use of the sales :)

  8. Love the kimono, such a great idea for a cover up on holidays, I will be packing one this time!
    Abbi x

  9. Fab picks love that dress! I would love to be off to Marbs again :) x

  10. What great buys, I do love a kimono too and the one you picked out is gorge! I am away soon so the panic is setting in..I really hate packing! xx

  11. Such a gorgeous selection Sharron! I can't believe those shorts are only a tenner! I've only just started to wear them again & I think I'm going to get a bit obsessed! Ax


Let me know your thoughts, all comments are much appreciated, I know it takes time and effort xx