“Beff, you’ve packed like 75 per cent of your wardrobe, it’s not a fashion show,” my mum said as she painstakingly folded and rolled clothes ready to be packed. “Oh, but it is,” I huffed, sitting on the pile of clothes, prizing the zips together on the suitcase wondering if seven pairs of shoes and nine handbags is too many for a week in Cornwall.
I love going on holiday, I mean, who doesn’t? But when you work from home, you don’t really get to utilise your wardrobe to its full potential. A whole 10 days out of the house is as much a getaway for my clothes as it is for me!
It’s really quite difficult to pack for a UK break, thanks to the Great British weather, particularly for Cornwall where you have to just completely ignore the Met Office and just stick your head out of the window on the day. We were really lucky with the weather – it only rained once, and was mostly warm with a bit of sea breeze.
So, here’s what I packed for my holiday to Newquay this year, and where everything was from.
This is a bit of a co-ord that isn’t a co-ord, in that, the top and trousers are from two totally different shops that, despite being colourblind, I managed to match pretty well. The top was from Stradivarius at the Trafford Centre, and cost me £9 in the sale – I also bought it in cream. It works as both a blouse and an overshirt, so I have already got a lot of wear out of both of them.
I’m obsessed with plisse fabric, and recently picked up some pink plisse trousers in the sale at New Look. I was looking for a second pair anyway, and spotted these nearly shade-matched ones in Primark for £13. One benefit of these is that they’re an elasticated waist, perfect for eating ALL the pizza on holiday.
I paired this look with a black macrame shopper from Primark, sunglasses from vintage shop Sparrowhawk, and my Dr Marten sandals, which I finally caved and bought at the start of summer. They cost about £80 as I got a newsletter sign up discount. If you’ve been toying with getting a pair, totally do it – they’re really comfortable and really make my summer looks feel more me.
Leopard Print Bikini
A few years ago I got bikini fear – I just stopped wearing them and have lived in swimsuits since. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cossie, but I wanted to get to a point post-lockdown where I was happy to wear a bikini on the beach again. I’d lost half a stone in the months leading up to my break, and as my existing bikinis no longer fit, I treated myself to this chic side-tie bikini from Shein for £11.
The two-piece has a one shoulder design, a tie at the side, and high waisted briefs with an on-trend animal print pattern that’s definitely a little bit of me. I loved the style of the bikini, but would have preferred the option to purchase these separately as I think a smaller top size would have given me a better fit. That said, it was ideal for lounging on the beach, and it was a little different to anything I could find elsewhere on the high street.
The Ginny Dress
This Oliver Bonas dress is what saw me through the first Covid-19 lockdown. This dress is super easy to go from day time chills to evening cocktails and was perfect for a day trip mooching around Padstow harbour. Decorated with pink blooms and an almost-animal print, this statement piece does all of the talking. It features a shirred back, tie waist, button front and flattering square neckline with floaty angel sleeves for a feminine finish. Oh OB, you always get it spot on.
Trainers were an absolute must for this particular day as it involved a lot of walking. This pair was from Tu at Sainsbury’s; they cost me around £15 in the sale, which I considered a bargain seeing as they’re real leather, too. I accessoried with a neutral macrame bag – exactly the same as my black one – from Primark, and a red scrunchie headband from Manchester-based independent, Rommy.
This animal print piece always makes its way into my holiday wardrobe. Every. Single. Year. It’s from Lula Boutique, in Leek, with a plunging v-neck and sassy leg slits, it can be dressed up or down, and tailored to suit your personal style. The fit is absolutely gorgeous, and feels so figure hugging, whilst still being lightweight and floaty, perfect for the hot weather.
I styled the midi with my greasy finish Dr Marten boots, a faux leather belt harness from Shein, and a black leather-look beret. The bag, also from Shein, completed the monochrome look and brought everything together with all-black accessories for a bit of an alternative vibe.
Is there anyone on earth that doesn’t want a red ‘Baywatch’ bikini after watching Pam and Tommy earlier this year? Luckily, this one was already in my possession, having picked it up at Primark either last year, or the one before for under a tenner. It’s a really cute shirred material that I find more flattering than a smooth fabric, and while the legs aren’t quite as high as I’d like, it’s pretty ‘cheeky’, if you know what I mean.
I sported this one to Towan beach on the hottest day of the holiday, spending much of my time drinking pina coladas from pineapples from The Coconut Chy at the top of the steps.
This is a much more heavyweight dress than it looks, so it’s much better suited to breezier days. The Little Misstress number has a black and white gingham patterns with a broderie design, and is a wrap around dress that ties at the side. It’s well lined and feels beautiful quality, with elasticated puff-sleeves that make it so on-trend for 2022, but also pretty timeless, too. Originally £80, it’s currently just £40 in the sale, and it’s worth every penny.
This midi was screaming out for a glass of rose overlooking the harbour, which is exactly what I did. I’ve previously worn it with my oversized straw hat and bag, but for total simplicity, I went for some leopard print sandals – because you’ve got to sneak a little bit of animal print in somewhere.
If you’ve been on my Instagram lately, you’ll have seen me talk about this dress a lot. When I saw Rochelle Humes wearing it on This Morning, I knew I had to have it – and as boujee as it is, it’s capable of being dolled up or made a little bit more casual. The dress is from Karen Millen, and has recently been reduced from £129 to £103.20 in the summer sale. It combines a slinky ribbed roll-neck top and flowing satin midi skirt for a minimalist monochrome look.
The dress is designed to look like a top and a skirt, with a self-coloured utility belt to tie it all together. It’s extremely comfortable to wear, leaving arms totally free so you can wear it even on the warmest of days. Meanwhile, the skirt – while fitted – has a beautiful fluidity to it, cut on the bias so the fabric falls really nicely.
For a meal out at Rebellion, in Newquay town centre, I styled the dress with my black Dr Marten boots instead of heels, as well as my Adexe watch. I toyed with switching up the belt, but decided against it on this occasion – most regular belts do fit the loops, though.
What says ‘summer’ more than a dress that is the fabric incarnation of an Aperol Spritz? This orange mini dress with the biggest, most volumnous sleeves, was £15 from Primark, and was destined for cocktails after a walk on the beach. It has a square neckline and some cute folded detailing on the bodice, huge sleeves and a bow tie at the back, which is wide enough to wear with a bra, too.
On this occasion, I wore it with my Dr Marten sandals, black Primark shopper-style bag and my Primark straw hat from about four years ago. It’s a real trusty accessory that keeps being brought out of the wardrobe year after year the second the temperature reaches more than 22.
Waiste leopard dress
A lot of you have seen this dress on the blog already, after I wore it to Tramlines Festival back in July. I had my eye on it the moment Sarah shared it on the Waiste Vintage Instagram stories, and snapped it up for £60 the minute it went on sale. The mini shift dress has a shaped back, v-cut neckline and the most incredible red lace up detail to the front. The cotton dress is really comfortable and cool to wear, and is nipped in at all the right places – it’s a real treature in my vintage collection.
I wore this look to the Rolling Joe Coffee Co coffee shop, styling it with a black fedora and Dr Marten boots for a bit of a festival vibe. It also lent itself well to my string shopper, which was certainly well used throughout the week. You can find more outfit inspiration over on my Instagram here.