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What goes with what

The summer holiday style guide

The summer holiday style guide

You wait all year for your time in the sun and then, when it comes, it’s as if you’ve forgotten how to pack a simple suitcase. You Google weather forecasts, wonder if hair wax counts as a liquid, and put your passport in a special pocket for safe keeping, only to forget where that was and panic when you can’t find it. Well, no more. We tapped our experts for an all-you-need guide to what to pack for any destination.

Thread stylist Toby Standing has seen his fair share of overstuffed bags. “Be conscious of what you’re packing, in order to curb repetition. Do you really need three sweaters? You want versatile items that can be worn in multiple scenarios: going out for dinner, or wandering around the city. This will also make it a lot less stressful when you’re packing as you won’t have bulging suitcases, and it’ll be easier to put outfits together when you’re away as you’ll know that everything goes together.”

Think of your holiday clothes as a miniature capsule wardrobe, to smooth deciding what to pack and, when you arrive, what to wear. “Having classic pieces is always going to be the best bet as they’re tried and tested,” says Toby. “Things like a classic grey sweatshirt, which can be layered, are really useful. You could just as easily wear it with chinos and smart shoes as you could swim shorts and sandals.”

Speaking of footwear, Toby’s top tip is using dust bags for shoes because “no matter how clean you think they are, they will still dirty up your clean clothes.” And if you’re packing delicates, garment bags mean you won’t open your suitcase to find a phone charger’s poked a hole in your cashmere. “Some other packing tips that I live by: roll t-shirts, but don’t roll linen; keep dirty laundry separate; and unpack your stuff as soon as you can.”

A city break

Photographed: Jigsaw Corbusier camo print short sleeve shirt (£79)Folk mid suede sneakers (£145)MVP stone Lukin cotton chino shorts (£24)Battenwear Zuma shirt (£165)MVP pink Ashfield regular crew neck t-shirt (£14)Suit Dr Bronnum dust green jacket (£149.95)MVP Bedford crew neck t-shirt (£9)Hudson Benson beige espadrilles (£38.50River Island mens yellow tipped tinted sunglasses (£14); Selected Paris sand linen shorts (£45)Timothy Everest brown, navy and beige gingham chino shorts (£129)Oliver Spencer pink Conduit t-shirt (£69)GANT navy regular fit chinos (£85)

When your trip’s more about urban sprawl than being sprawled on a sun lounger, you need to think from the feet up. “You’ll need at least two pairs of shoes,” says Toby. “Trainers for walking around the city and sight-seeing, as you want to be comfortable. Then something smarter for dinner in the evening, so you look the part. Depending on the climate, I’d suggest something like a Derby. If you want it to be really versatile than suede is a good choice as you can wear it in smart-casual outfits as well.”

For the rest of your outfit, think clothes that work in combinations. “A lightweight shirt works by itself to smarten up chinos, or you can wear it as a light jacket over a tee on colder evening,” says Toby. “For a night out, it works under a blazer too.” It’s smart to stick a single palette, so you can put clothes together with no clashing.

A week beside the water

The life aquatic can be anything from a towel laid on pebbles to a cabana on your own private island. But your bag should still have the same essentials. “You need a lightweight shirt you can throw on,” says Toby. “You’re going to be on the beach in swim shorts for most of the day, so you just need something for the evening if it’s colder, or when you want to cover up a bit more.”

A proper beach bag will also make your day easier. “A tote is big enough for everything and easy to access, so you’re not fiddling around with zips when you’ve got damp hands,” says Toby. “You’ll also need some beach shoes, like espadrilles or flip flops, just to protect your feet from the hot sand and any sharp stones.”

A trip with the whole family

Photographed: Wax London khaki Alston chino (£90)MVP Watney slim fit cotton chinos (£21)Folk striped tee (£65)TOMS deconstructed Alpargata espadrilles (£50)Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses (£135)Orlebar Brown Setter sorbet swim shorts (£145)MVP Beaumont striped knitted jumper (£23)Whistles cotton baseball cap (£35)Saucony DXN vintage trainers (£75)Marks & Spencer shower resistant pack-away mac (£29.50)Joules Invitation long-sleeve shirt (£49.95)

With the entire brood in tow, you need to pack light – there’s only so much space in your suitcase and ‘things to distract them’ rank higher than that extra jumper. Think practical, lightweight layers, in neutral colours, so that a handful of clothes becomes a week’s worth of outfits.

Your shoes should also be the kind made for chasing kids around – lightweight, breathable, comfortable. Aim for something easily packable, like canvas shoes or runners. “A rucksack is a good shout as it allows you to be handsfree,” says Toby.

An adventure

Photographed: Master-Piece link series backpack (£165)Han Kjobenhavnhan timeless sunglasses (£125)Marks & Spencer pure linen shirt with pocket (£35)Teva original universal urban sandal (£35)River Island bandana (£15)MVP navy Landsdowne cotton cargo shorts (£26)MVP green Landsdowne cotton cargo shorts (£26)River Island bucket hat (£10)River Island fabric strap watch (£25)A.P.C Jimmy tee (£95)Norse Projects James cotton linen tee (£55)Comme des Garçons Play long-sleeve stripe tee (£90)

If you’re going to be getting up close and personal with The Great Outdoors, practicality matters. So besides bug spray and a suitable hat, long-sleeved shirts are ideal as they can protect your arms from sunburn or insect bites. But being in explorer mode doesn’t mean you have to wear head-to-toe Gore-Tex.

“If you’re not doing anything too strenuous that would require hiking boots, then even some really nice sandals that you can walk around in would work,” says Toby. “They’re also good for your baggage allowance.”


Words: Tess Harold