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Style Advice

How to make your holiday last all year

How to make your holiday last all year

The holiday state of mind is nothing short of euphoric. You indulge in days unbroken of relaxation, awash in candy-coloured beach umbrellas and shirts that are just as joyful. As you inhale coconut-scented air, bliss is your default state.

Then, after a train, plane and automobile back home, come the post-holiday whiplash. Mai tais turn into burnt filter coffee. Your private villa is now a crowded bus. And all those shirts end up stuffed in the back of the wardrobe, crowded by white, grey and navy. All you’ve got to show for your time away is some clichéd Instagram photos and the sunburn you’re hoping will transform into a tan before Monday morning.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can keep that holiday spirit alive long after your glow has faded. And the secret lies in your wardrobe, the one you demoted to the bottom drawer the day you returned home.

Now, we’re not encouraging you to wear your Speedo to the pub (or, frankly, even to the pool). But we are suggesting you rotate the kind of bright, personality-driven clothes that you live in on holiday into your day-to-day wardrobe. They’ll help you shrug off the post-holiday blues and resurrect the version of you who leads a cha cha line through tiki bar in Tahiti. (Or the pre-pina colada version of him, at least. There are some parts of your holiday are best left on the islands.)

Don’t be colour shy 

“People have a tendency to wear bright colours on holiday then resort to safer hues when they head home,” says stylist and pastels fan Luke McDonald. “Being thousands of miles away from friends and colleagues gives them permission to tap into their wilder side. But once they’re back, they slip back into the comfort of neutrals. It’s a fear factor thing.”

But the truth is there’s always a way to brighten up your everyday wardrobe, and that dose of colour doesn’t need to be neon to make a statement. “A nice colour contrast, like red and indigo, is an easy way to bring that approach to colour back home. It brightens up a look – and your mood – without going over the top.”

Play with pattern 

Pattern is one of the easiest ways to give your look a little Club Tropicana feel, without resorting to the kind of only-in-the-resort pineapple prints a man dabbles with on a week away. Stripes, polka dots and geometric patterns inject personality without overwhelming your look. And the bolder you go with your pattern and colours, the more you can rein it in elsewhere to create a well-balanced look that still reads as smart. 

“Offset livelier patterns with neutrals,” Luke says. “And one pattern per look is plenty.” Pair a bold, striped jumper with solid trousers and simple kicks for a back-home version of swim shorts and a vacation shirt.

Keep things relaxed

You may not be in R&R mode anymore, but you should absolutely maintain a blissed-out feel when getting dressed. If you’ve been living in linen trousers for a week, then slipping on a stuffy suit or spray-on jeans is the quickest way to harsh your holiday buzz.

Luckily, menswear is moving in a more relaxed direction, and billowing shapes, oversized silhouettes and looser fits now look great in any environment. “Reach for oversized jumpers and loose-fitting trousers in your day-to-day dressing,” Luke says. “It will evoke that languid holiday spirit and feel really comfortable, too.” 

Embrace sportswear

For an easy way to access bold colour and graphics, reach for the kind of practical wear that was originally inspired by messing around on boats. “Sportswear is a great place to find bright punchy pieces that feel more accessible, because they’re designed for recreation,” Luke says. “They often include eye-catching graphics and cool colour-blocking that make an impact without feeling too jarring. From a logo tee to a pair of colourful trainers, there are plenty of options out there to incorporate into your weekend look.” 

In that same vein, a bright rain jacket is an easy way to weave colour into your look while still staying in your comfort zone. “It feels safer because it’s functional, but it will still lend your look some vibrancy,” Luke says. Proof that you can still capture that holiday spirit, even in a downpour.

Words: Allison Pavlick
Photography: Lola & Pani
Styling: Luke McDonald