MEASLY cabin-baggage restrictions on airlines needn’t cramp your weekend-away style. Here are ten space-saving summer escape essentials.
WITH the season of city escapes and mini beach breaks well and truly upon us, you’d be right to rejoice. But if your excitement at the thought of a long weekend somewhere sunny is tempered by the dread of trying to cram three days’ and nights’ worth of awesome outfits into a sub-10kg case, we don’t blame you.
Adhering to the stingy cabin-baggage size requirements needn’t be a hassle, however. The key is to curate a core selection of “building block” pieces (plus jewellery), that you can alternate and restyle as you go.
Apart from the basics (underwear, toiletries and the like), an essential ten-piece edit is all you need for a stylish getaway, giving you enough leeway for unpredictable weather, a variety of dress codes and frequent changes of mood – and you’ll still have room to bring back a few souvenirs.
Meet your summer hand-luggage heroes...
THE STRAPPY TOP
A loose cami or off-the-shoulder top paired with shorts will help you keep cool while sightseeing in the heat of the day (just make sure you slather on the SPF) but will also form part of an after-dark ensemble tucked into a mini or midi skirt.
Blue Tile Print Top, £22.50; Midwash Denim Shorts, £25
THE BREEZY FROCK
For your mini dress, choose a loose strappy or shirt garment in a block colour that you can style up with accessories, or down with a beach bag and hat. And here’s a top tip if you’re worried about cotton wrinkling easily: roll your garments instead of folding them.
Principles by Ben de Lisi Designer Lime Pocket Shirt Dress, £40
THE STATEMENT SKIRT
For a night-time outfit, take a short, bright skirt to pair with a top (and a jacket if need be). A high-waisted A-line style is flattering for all figures and works with heels or flats.
Sportmax Code A Line Pleated Skirt, £110 (www.houseoffraser.co.uk)
THE ITSY-BITSY BIKINI
If sunbathing is on the cards, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and pick just one piece of swimwear. A bikini is the most practical choice: it takes up less space than a cossie, plus you can ball up the two halves and stuff them in your shoes as an extra space-saver.
Sea by Melissa Odabash Bikini Set, £40 (www.jdwilliams.co.uk)
THE COOL COVER-UP
Wear your bulkiest jacket (denim, for instance) on the flight over, leaving room for a kimono or cropped blazer in your bag. It will come in handy when the temperature drops at night or when visiting temples or churches where you need to cover up.
Maya Tropical Print Jacket, £42 (www.oliverbonas.com)
THE SEXY WEDGES
With room for just one pair of high heels, you’ve got to choose carefully. Patent courts may be classic, but summery wedges are way more comfy and won’t look over the top in a hipster-filled downtown tapas bar.
Kingdom White Cross Over Strap Cork Effect Wedge Sandal, £69 (www.dunelondon.com)
THE HOT WEATHER HAT
A straw hat in black or beige is essential for keeping cool and sunburn-free, whether you’re lounging by the pool or roaming around town. Fold a floppy wide-brimmed hat loosely to stuff in your bag, or take a taut straw trilby on the plane with you.
Straw Floppy Hat, £16 (www.very.co.uk)
A large square scarf (at least a metre wide is best) is a real vacation saviour. Whether silk, cotton or synthetic, use it as a sarong for the beach, a sun-shading head scarf, a shawl for your shoulders or to drape around your neck if it gets chilly.
Monochrome Mirror Tile Square Scarf, £22 (www.accessorize.com)
Whether preppy chinos or frayed denim, shorts are a must for city strolling – just make sure they match both your top-half separates. If you think you’ll need long trousers too, wear joggers or jeans on the flight out, so they don’t take up too much space in your case.
Uniqlo Women Chino Shorts, £14.90 (www.uniqlo.com)
THE BOHO BLOUSE
A billowing blouse can be versatile, but make sure it’s a tie-front gypsy or peasant top, rather than a stuffy button-down. A long tunic will work over a mini skirt or denim shorts for cocktails and doubles as a beach cover-up too.
Navy Folk Tunic, £45; Bikini Briefs, £10 (www.next.co.uk)