Summer Holiday Packing Tips

 

The holiday had been planned a year in advance.  I had booked our flights in February, spent hours researching various places to visit and finding the right accommodation.  So how come, with all the preparation under my belt and time in hand I found myself on holiday with a badly packed suitcase?  Not planning my suitcase properly was a harsh lesson and one I didn’t enjoy, but it did re-focus my efforts going forward.  Now I’m sharing my Summer Holiday Packing Tips so you won’t make the same mistakes I did.  Please read on and have a great holiday.

Note: this post has been updated from its original posting Holiday Wardrobe Wars, May 2016.

 

So what went wrong?

Back in 2016, I had, or thought I had, quite a good wardrobe of holiday clothes.  Built over many years, I had gradually got rid of items that were passed their sell-by date, didn’t look as great as they once had, or were so out of fashion it aged me.  In my head I had what I  thought was a decent number of pieces that were perfect for a summer holiday.

So when the time came around for our trip away I gave shopping for new stuff a miss.  I just bought one gorgeous cover up in River Island and an on-trend one-piece swimsuit, like one of these  for those stylish boat trips, oh and a new hat.  That was it.  A busy period at work meant that I didn’t have the head space or energy to give it any more thought and anyway ‘I had a wardrobe full of clothes to get me through the holiday’.

I was also trying to lose a little weight.  However, I hadn’t got to grips with The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan that I had been following (review of that plan here) and was struggling to drop the pounds. I’m sure I’m not alone in looking to lose half a stone before a summer holiday (don’t leave me hanging here girls!) so I simply doubled down my efforts to watch what I ate and hoped for the best.

 

There Was Trouble Ahead

 

You don’t have to be a fortune-teller to know what happened next. Yep, I went on holiday with a bunch of stuff that I would literally carry on my back (sadly in a backpack) for the duration of the holiday and not wear.  It either wasn’t what I really needed, unsuitable for the trip, or worse still, didn’t fit properly.  Over the next two weeks I would curse my lack of planning and attention to detail on a daily basis.

 

Back home I vowed that this would never happen again.  I had a big wardrobe reboot (I can help you with this too) and made a list of items that I keep pinned in my closet which I refer to each and every time I am going away.  It gets altered to suit each trip and with new additions, but I know all the items I can choose from depending on whether its a city break, long haul exotic destination or a week in Europe.

 

The Not Givin In No-Nonsense Summer Holiday Packing Tips

Since the experience I’ve also studied as a personal stylist so I can add to my original list of tried and tested summer packing holiday tips.  So here’s my 2019 Summer Holiday Packing Tips.  I learnt the hard way so you don’t have to…

 

Don’t…

 

  • Don’t take the same colour garment that’s cut in three different ways.  You don’t need five pairs of beige shorts in varying lengths.  Don’t pack for just in case, pack for what you need.

 

  • Don’t take something you have in the wardrobe and always pack, but never wear. (I’m the Queen of this).   If you take it each year, but don’t wear it, you don’t really like yourself in it, so pop it in the charity shop and use the space in your suitcase more wisely.

 

  • Don’t take a suitcase full of heels if you can help it.  At 5 ft 3 (and a bit!),  I do wear heels constantly, but they can take the joy out of relaxing and aren’t great walking across sandy beaches.

 

  • Don’t bother buying a hat before you go. It’s a pain in the bum carting it around.  Particularly in departures when you need 12 pairs of hands.  There will be plenty of hats at your destination, that can be worn and left to a new owner.

 

summer holiday packing tips

 

Do…

  • Make sure you get your holiday wardrobe out for ‘investigation’ at least three months in advance.

 

  • First off, take everything you didn’t wear last time that you went on a similar trip to the charity shop.  Chances are it’s been building up dust for years.

 

  • Give some serious thought to where you are going and what you will be doing.  Look at your itinerary and think about how you will spend your days. If it helps I would write down what you will be need for each day. Or simply write down what you can wear under headings, such as day-time, beachwear, night-time and sightseeing trips.

 

  • Check that everything fits, comfortably (cause that holiday gelato-a-day habit will bite you in the ass).

 

  • Take a mix of holiday classics and perhaps buy a few new on-trend pieces to go with them.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to update your look so that it’s current yet sophisticated.

 

  • Plan how each outfit works together, include shoes and accessories.  You can see how these overlap and reduce items like (heavy) shoes as much as possible.

 

Help Is At Hand

 

So that’s my top tips for making sure you start your holiday on the right foot.  I hope it’s helped.  If however, you’ve still got concerns, I can help more with a Holiday Wardrobe Reboot or we can go shopping together to find the pieces you need.  Simply drop me a line info@notgivinin.com.

 

Wouldn’t it be dreamy to arrive at your destination, unzip your suitcase and have the best holiday wardrobe of your life?  Trust me, you can.

 

 

Gail x

 

 

 

Holiday Make-Up Made Easy

I look dreadful without make-up.  I’m not one of those women who wears make-up at night or jumps out of bed before her husband wakes so that he never sees her without war paint, but I know I need it during the day and I’m happier, more confident when I have a little ‘slap’ on.

 

I’ve recently reverted to ‘carving out time’ to put it on, as I did in my youth.  In my thirties, there was no time, or maybe I thought I didn’t need as much time, and my face was done in minutes.  Now, as I get older, I’m building up the drugstore again and I’m starting to think I might end up like Barbara Cartland as my bathroom overflows with colourful goodies.

 

Hopefully SP will stick around and forewarn me of graffiti-style war paint wearing as I get older, but that’s down the line and my immediate problem lies in the holiday make-up bag, which is a bone of contention between us.  It all started when we couldn’t carry anything over 100ml in our hand luggage and I couldn’t hide ‘all that stuff’ in a tote.  I know it’s for a good reason, but now all my make-up is visible in the shared suitcase (obviously where I’m going wrong) and ‘make-up control’ guidelines dictate very serious restrictions. The trouble is SP considers said make-up kit a luxury, I consider it First Aid.

 

Without make-up my head looks like a spud and it’s particularly worse when I expose my skin to the sun.  I do not have summer-friendly skin.  I’m naturally pale and really have to stick at the sun worship to gain any colour, always being mindful of how long I’m out in it,  as I can scorch like a tomato on a grill.

 

I wear high factor protection on my face the whole time I’m away and then add a swish of MAC Bronzer to give my face a sun-kissed look of an evening.  These items are non-negotiable, but with make-up space at a premium I need to limit myself with the rest of the ‘equipment’ and not take the complete drugstore, which is how I found myself fine-tuning my kit to the items below for my last holiday.

 

 

Wearing high factor protection is great for your skin, but try standing next to a bronzed beauty in the Med, it ain’t so hot.  So I always take foundation and powder away with me.   This time I wanted to find a 2-in-1 product that also didn’t break the bank.  Chatting to beauty bloggers on Twitter and doing some digging around I found a 4-in1 product, True Match Genius by L’Oreal.

 

A primer, concealer, foundation and powder in one compact, it comes with a built-in mirror and application sponge.  It’s creamy to touch, but transforms to a matt texture with a satin finish once on the skin.  It offers medium coverage and because it comes in a small case I could take it with me everywhere and touch up should my skin get ‘flushed’.  I really liked the result, but I think I’m going to go a shade darker this next holiday to give me a little more colour.

 

I was also advised to try eyeshadow sticks or crayons, which meant I didn’t have to take any brushes with me – hoorah – see saving space comes naturally to me!  I found these by Max Factor.  They aren’t new in the world of beauty, but certainly a fresh idea to me.  These are 2-in-1 Gel Shadow Liners.  They offer a high pigmentation and I bought a light brown/gold colour for day wear and a metallic grey for an evening.  In truth they are quite chunky sticks so I didn’t wear them as a liner and drew over the whole eyelid, but that suited my needs.  I think you’d need a pretty steady hand to just use them as a liner.  I loved the colours and coverage though.

There are some nights of course when you want to add more sparkle to your look and for that I bought Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner that I kept reading about all last year.  I bought Midnight Cowboy which offers a wash of gold glitter that can be delicately worn on the outer rim of your eye, or hell-for-leather over the whole eyelid.  It depends on what you’re looking for and whether you’re going to an Abba tribute gig or not, but I found a tiny amount really makes your eyes pop in a pretty way.  I wore mine with Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara (not pictured), which is my currant fave.

 

Lastly, I had a sample (must have been from a magazine) of Benefit’s Hoola Lip Gloss.  It does say Ultra Plush on the packaging, but I did find it really quite heavy to wear and it took a little getting used to.  It’s pretty much nude on the lip, but does offer some shimmer.  I’m not convinced that it did much for me, I’m too pale and need colour, so I will be reverting back to a pink gloss for the next holiday.  But if you go a gorgeous nut brown (please don’t stand near me) then this could be a gloss for you.

 

And that was it, my holiday ‘look’ with just a few products.  I literally got a gold star from SP.

 

Don’t worry, I got my own back. I more than made up for it with shoes!!!

 

Have a nice weekend.

 

Gail x

 

Bikini vs One-Piece? Once more unto the beach dear friends

“According to what I heard on the radio, it’s the one-piece that’s in this year,” said SP while he was washing the dishes last night.  I know what you’re thinking. What would I do without him!

 

I also know that many of my friends are making the change from two piece bathing suit to one-piece this Summer, and, while I can see the benefits of doing so, I’m not sure I’m ready.  (Though others by the pool might think I am!)

 

It might sound silly, but for me, it would feel like a move towards more mature times, like shopping in BHS, and I’m not ready to give in.  I expect there are plenty of you who disagree and I’m not that hard of face or opinionated to look at the alternatives.   Am I making a mistake?  What are the options out there?  I thought I’d take a look-see.

Next - Photo from Pinterest (3) Jungle Print Multiway Swimsuit £32

Next – Photo from Pinterest (3) Jungle Print Multiway Swimsuit £32

 

I have definitely changed my pool-lounging habits over the past eight-nine years.  I still have the bikini that I wore on my first holiday with SP, but I haven’t put it on in years.  Designed by Kylie or for Kylie by H&M, it’s a metallic, no-bigger-than-a-piece-of- floss-style bikini with padded bra for extra oomph.  It doesn’t cover much.  It wasn’t meant to, we all know how tiny she is.  And so was I, a little bit, back then.

 

Certainly as I kicked in to myforties I made sure there was more support and more material to my bikinis and I found Marks & Spencer, year after year, has had some of the best options on the high street.  They always produce a really good selection of bandaux tops each year, which means you won’t get strap marks and have to limit your choice of evening wear on holiday. They come in the latest colourways and have removable padding, which normally I dislike in bras, but I’ve found these to have just the right support for me.

 

M&S Halterneck Bandeau Bikini Top £10

 

Bottom-wise, the floss has long gone and I’ve chosen M&S’s Roll Top Hipster Bikini Bottoms for quite a few years.  The material is always gorgeously soft and the added width to my hips give me a little more shape.

M&S Roll Top Hipster Bikini Bottoms £14

 

All in, £24.  That’s not bad and I will be taking my collection with me this year, but what if I, or anyone else, fancies switching it up this holiday season.

The choice of one-pieces out there are actually really, really good.  I did a bit of snooping around and every store that is showcasing its new beach wear has a nice collection of wearable swim suits.  Next has so much choice there’s bound to be something for everyone, from plunging fronts and pretty florals, to more sporty numbers and the one that I’ve included in this post, the multi-way jungle swim suit.  Of course that young slip of a thing looks hot, and not in the same way as I would actually be hot (!), but this one-piece is designed to be worn in six different ways including halterneck, plunge, crossover and one shoulder.  I absolutely love its crisp clean colours.  It would look fantastic on my friends who tan easily.

 

Matalan has some very pretty pieces as has M&S.  The latter also has a collection of swim suits with secret slimming tummy sections. Thanks guys!  However, it’s John Lewis’ collection that has really stood out to me.  Check out the collection below of really gorgeous prints and colours, many of which are strapless.  We may be losing a number of options in the clothing department as we get older, no more daisy dukes, but by god no-one can take bare shoulders from us girls!

Finding these gorgeous pieces is making me re-think my position- the designers are making it so easy to take the leap.  And wouldn’t it be nice to feel in absolute comfort in a one-piece.  No-one else sees me apart from SP anywho and he’s obviously given me the go-ahead.  Ah, go on then.  I think I might be giving in after all.

Gail xx