When the shops are brimming with woollens and winter boots, knowing what to pack for a beach break in the winter sun can be a little mind-boggling. Here are 10 packing essentials to get your beach break off to a seriously stylish start...
1. A versatile bikini and one piece
A reversible bikini is the perfect way to keep packing light, but versatility to the max. Bold tropical prints, stripes and busy patterns will allow your swimwear to make a statement on its own, while a more classic one piece is also worth popping in the case for a sophisticated and minimal lounging style. Go for black or navy for a subdued elegance.
2. A stylish cover up
A bright and exotic kaftan is the ultimate beach holiday accessory. When a full day of poolside lounging or beach bathing is on the agenda, simply head out in a bikini and gorgeous colour-rich kaftan and you are set for the day.
3. A chiffon day dress
Chiffon is your best friend in the hot weather, so pack a few lightweight chiffon mini dresses in a variety of colours and prints. White and nude shades are especially flattering if you have achieved that sun-kissed glow, while florals and bold prints add a stylish punch of panache. Slip it on for a day basking on the yacht, throw over your bikini come sundown, or dress it up for a long and lazy al fresco seafood lunch.
4. A bold maxi dress
For a chilled, luxe-louche evening style, a floral or printed maxi dress with a pair of wedges or clogs strikes the perfect balance between dressy and casual.
5. Wide legged trousers
Silky and billowing, and printed and patterned wide legged pyjama style trousers are ideal for breezy days in the sun, when an extra dash of elegance and sophistication is required. Wear with a loose blouse and flatforms for a nonchalant yet sophisticated day to evening style.
6. A beach-ready bag
A quirky printed tote, straw bag or canvas backpack, are all ideal carryall bags to take you from the pool to the bar.
7. Fabulous flats
Every vacation has its fair share of laidback days when only a pair of flats will do, but make sure they are super sophisticated. Gladiator sandals and lace up ballet flats make chic alternatives to dated flip-flops.
8. Day to night heels
No one wants to sink into the sand, and tottering along boardwalks in sky-high heels is somewhat passé, so instead make sure you pack chunky heels. Wedges clogs and chunky platforms are the ideal day to night heels.
9. Skin and hair protection
Make sure your SPF (both for your face and body) is over 30 for optimum skin protection and anti-wrinkle action. A tinted moisturiser with SPF is a great alternative to a regular foundation for a light coverage come cocktail hour, a lip conditioner will keep sun-frazzled lips moisturised and for your hair, invest in some moisture spray for conditioned off the beach goddess waves.
10. Accessories galore
Accessories are a prerequisite when it comes to holidays in the sun. Sunglasses are a given, not only for their peeper protective powers but for defining your beach style, while a hat, as well as shading your face from the damaging rays adds a distinctly haute feel to any sunny style. Long necklaces, charm bracelets, cuffs and statement earrings also give even the most plain of ensembles an instant style boost. For a finishing evening touch, don’t forget a wear-with-everything clutch with a pop of colour for a hint of the exotic.