Summer holidays are fun; packing for them can be a nightmare.
Most of us have a vision of ourselves looking our very best on holiday – all golden tans, perfectly pulled together outfits and effortless elegance – but as we all know, the reality can be quite different.
One thing we definitely don’t want to think looking back at our holiday snaps is ‘God, I look old’.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the outfit mistakes that can make you look older – and what to wear instead. Happy packing…
1. Too small clothes
‘When it comes to summer dressing, looser is cooler in every sense of the word’ says Good Housekeeping Fashion Editor Wendy Rigg.
Never buy a size smaller in the hope you’ll fit into it by holiday time, or squeeze yourself into any overly-tight garments – in the hot sun, the results are often sweaty and unflattering.
‘A classic oversized white shirt is essential, and great with jeans, or over your swimsuit’ says Wendy. ‘Hot and bothered is not a good look at any age – so choose cool cottons, or viscose’.
2. Frumpy prints
Summer is the time of year when many of us turn to prints, but careful not to buy anything that looks frumpy or outdated just to look ‘colourful’ (an honest friend will advise you here).
When it does come to prints, ‘a kaftan is your best friend’ says Wendy. ‘Gain extra style points by matching it to your swimsuit for a very polished look’ she adds.
3. The wardrobe rut
Wearing the same things year after year on holiday will – we hate to say it – only emphasize how you’ve aged.
If you’re always reaching for the same old maxi dress, it’s time to update your style says Good Housekeeping Deputy Fashion Editor, Jo Atkinson. ‘Try a cool cotton shirt dress for a modern approach to beach-to-bar dressing’ she advises.
4. Tatty accessories
If your beach bag is starting to resemble a scarecrow, it’s time to invest in some of this year’s most covetable items.
‘Summer’s key looks are a classic straw basket bag, sandals with tassles or pom-poms and a pair of statement earrings’ says Jo.
Good accessories mean you can pack a fairly basic holiday wardrobe and dress it up easily. ‘Understated is glamorous when you pair it with gorgeous accessories on holiday – but dull if you don’t’ points out Wendy.
5. Saggy swimsuits
Believe it or not, swimwear can be flattering – it’s all about finding the right swimming costume or bikini for you.
‘Make sure your swimsuit or bikini is in good condition – sagging fabrics, watermarks and sun-faded patches are never a good look’ says Jo.
‘The bra should be flattering and give you uplift, whichever style you choose’ adds Wendy. ‘It’s worth investing in high-end swimwear – not only will it last, but the fabric will feel and look amazing.
‘A black one piece always works wonders – especially one with tummy control.’
6. Ugly hats
If you’ve ever bought a sun hat in a hurry and plonked it straight on your head without checking how it looks, then you could well be ageing yourself (although well done on protecting your skin from the sun!)
‘Take time to find the perfect sun hat – the wrong one can add years’ says Wendy.
‘If you have longer hair you will suit floppy wide brimmed hats, but shorter styles and bobs should opt for a straw fedora.’
7. Too-short shorts
For most of us, there comes an age where crotch-skimming hotpants simply aren’t a good look any more (let’s be honest, for most people that age is about 20).
‘Try denim boyfriend shorts, or just above knee length chinos – both look lovely with cotton summer tops and off-the-shoulder numbers’ says Wendy.