Holiday packing is one of those chores we have to get our heads around before we can relax on that far-flung beach. Local 'Colour Me Beautiful' image consultant JULIA CUMMING shows how easy it can be with a bit of colour co-ordination
I AM frequently asked by clients how best to tackle the daunting task of pulling together a good holiday wardrobe, while keeping the suitcase light enough to hoist the baggage off the airport carousel. And if your family is anything like mine, all the packing will no doubt fall to you!
So, here are a few practical pointers for you to consider when you are getting ready for that much-needed break.
Start with planning your 'capsule wardrobe'.
The concept being, you select two or three key colours for your basic items of clothing, then add a selection of coloured tops and accessories which you can colour mix-and-match.
Versatile pieces are central to your holiday wardrobe; a favourite pair of trousers that works for the evening but can be dressed down for day; a casual dress that can be smartened up with some statement jewellery.
For a relaxed warm-weather destination, for example, simply pack a pair of black or navy linen trousers, a pair of tailored stone cropped trousers, some shorts, a handful of lightweight tops (T-shirts, camisoles or shirts for the day and slinky silk or chiffon tops for the evenings), a pair of pumps and flip-flops for the day and a pair of heels for the evenings.
Plus, of course, a couple of swimsuits and a sundress or sarong.
Don't forget a lightweight jacket or cardigan, which you can wear on the plane too, and a colourful pashmina for evening.
And accessorise, accessorise, accessorise for a truly stylish look.
HOW TO PREPARE
MAKE a list of all the clothes, accessories and bits and pieces you are planning to take away with you.
Think back to what you took last year - and didn't end up wearing.
A week before you go, set out all your holiday clothes out on the bed - sticking to your capsule wardrobe, ie. two or three key colours for trousers, shorts and shirts to team up with bright coloured tops. You can apply this idea to the children and your man's holiday clothes selection too.
Actually look at what goes with what and see how many different outfits you potentially have.
Select accessories to go with your key colours. A bold necklace added to a simple sundress will give you versatility for evening glamour. Belts, bags and bangles are bang on style this summer.
Place hardy items such as jeans and beach towels at the bottom of your suitcase to create a solid base, then put more delicate items at the top where they won't get so creased.
Decant your toiletries into small plastic bottles or buy sample sizes and pack in your main suitcase.
Put shoes into bags (opposite heel to toe to save space). You could roll up small items such as bikinis, socks or undies to stuff into the toes of shoes or hats.
If you are off on a cruise, tissue paper between each clothes layer is essential where delicate evening wear is required.
Try to hang clothes up as soon as you settle into your hotel room and hang anything creased in the bathroom while you have a steamy shower.
On the return trip, pack all the dirty laundry into one separate case/bag - you can then just dump it by your washing machine when you get in.
And of course, with all this efficient use of your suitcase, you will have plenty of room for holiday purchases!
Date for the diary
GET ahead this autumn on the style front. Julia is running two Autumn Fashion Update events on Monday, September 13, at her home in Gerrards Cross at 10am and 8pm. Come and discover what the new autumn/winter 2010 styles and colours will be and how you can adapt them to flatter your colouring and body shape.
Tickets are £10.
To reserve your place, contact Julia on 01753 882 636 or email juliacumming @afreshimage. co.uk.
Places are limited and will be on a first come, first served basis.
Details of all Julia's consultations can be found at www.afreshimage.co.uk .