Like most parents I have small window of opportunity for holidaying throughout the year. That small opportunity happens to come at a premium price but, in a bid to provide a change of scenery, minimise the refereeing, cooking, play dates and reminders about ‘indoor voices’ it is a price I budget for and pay wherever possible. So when the opportunity presented itself to hightail it to Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus at a semi-sensible price I grabbed it with both hands.
The next hurdle to overcome is what to take. I’m a minimalist (in training) when it comes to packing but this got me thinking about summer getaway staples, those must have items to pack in your suitcase for guaranteed summer sun. In line with my minimalist approach, here are my top five key items:-
1). Shorts – an obvious choice but with so much on offer what do you go or? My preference are chino shorts. They are light, versatile and travel well. H&M always have a good stock. Linen short are a secondary choice. Try a bold print for something a little different but this may reduce the versatility of the garment. slim fitting are the most flattering cut too.
2). Vests/ T shirts – now this depends on your frame and the levels of heat you expect to have to deal with. I tend to mix it up, but on this particular holiday the vest was king in temperatures of up to 42C! Now I’m not talking wife-beaters or string vests here, but rather loose, low fit vests. I’m an average build and find that these hang well off the shoulder and cover a multitude of midriff sins very well. The patterns and colour options are limitless with ASOS tending to have a ridiculous range at very good prices.
3). Swimwear – perhaps the most obvious one but your swimwear is very important as this could become your only item of clothing for most of the day! 3 is our magic number to keep the variety. Again most high street stores offer a good selection but we love these striped ones from H&M, a bargain at £5 in their end of year sale. We also love these bold red ones from Mango, and these floral prints from Vilebrequin
4). Footwear – I like to plan for 3 scenarios. Pool/ beach, excursions and dinner.
Pool are flip flops all the way with the brand of choice being Havaianas. The most comfortable flip flops I’ve ever worn. If you know anyone going to Brazil get them to grab you a pair or 6! Out there they are around £3 as opposed to £20 on our shores.
For excursions I tend to take a pair of Vibram trainers. Admittedly they look a little mutated but they are very easy to get used to. Any of you that rocked a pair of Nike Air Rift’s back in the day will know, in fact these are like a Rift and Nike Aqua Sock hybrid. They provide excellent support and are built of virtually indestructible material so much so that they came with a years no fuss guarantee when I bought them in January 2012. Any rip, tear, whatever and your money back. I tried. I failed. You can wear them in the water as well, on the beach, rocky terrain… Hot coals. Ok not the last one but you get my drift.
For something a little more formal its has to be a driving shoe. Suede is more relaxed and the material more malleable than leather but you have to be careful not to get it wet. I always go for a tassel or a fringed detail just to elevate the shoe. I purchased these pair recently from Mango’s budding menswear range H.E. they were half off at £40 and I think I got the last size 41 in the county! They are the best affordable alternative to Italy’s Car Shoe. They offer real craftsmanship but at a premium price. They are definitely high end but with a bit of savvy you can get a pair in the winter sale for at least 50% off.
5). Formal top – You simply cannot go wrong with linen. Cotton is nice but doesn’t offer as much air flow as linen. I’ve started to embrace floral patterns of late along with vibrant colours. The general key I feel is to go bold either on top or below. For example, If you are going to try a floral print shirt with a pair of bold shorts pick out the minutest detail to colour match, the green of a leaf for example. It will have the biggest impact yet maintain the cohesiveness of your outfit.
Do you have a top five list? What would you add?