10 favourite summer holiday outfits for 2023

I’m usually guilty of overpacking for my annual Cornish getaway. Every year I pull out 20 different outfits, plus spares, 10 bikinis and 17 handbags while being scorned by my mum who only packs half of it into the case. This year, she actually asked me “Have you got enough there? Do you need another pair of shorts and a few tops?”

Reader – I had plenty. And I still came home with some items unworn (okay, I did take a cabin sized suitcase for just shoes and bags, but we all have our vices and I enjoy having the options).

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. Packing for Portugal was far easier. But the reason I was able to take so few clothes in my bag – compared to previous years, that is – was because I had pulled out pieces I could absolutley maximise for their versatility. Jeans you can only wear on the days it’s cold or wet? Not going in. Maxi skirt I can wear with three different outfits no matter the weather? You may enter.

It’s always great to refer back to these posts – like this one from 2022 – to seewhat I wore and what I loved. Some of these pieces find themselves heading into the suitcase year after year, and as much as it helps jog my memory on what to pack, it also serves as some handy holiday outfit inspo if you’re heading down south for the summer. So without further ado, here’s what I wore for my holiday to Newquay this year, and where everything was from:

Maxi skirt and band tee

The ideal outfit for a first day of the holiday for exploring Newquay town centre. I always like to see what’s new along the main strip and see if I can scout out a new favourite coffee shop or the best bakery for a raspberry croissant. For days like this, trainers are a must so the Adidas Gazelles got their wear for the week. I paired them with my New Look denim maxi skirt (£32.99) and a Ziggy Stardust t-shirt from Boohoo Man, completing the street style look with my trusty Uniqlo pink crossbody bag (£14.90).

Leopard print midi

From Newquay we took a trip up the coast for a potter around Padstow, which is one of my favourite harbours in Cornwall, least not for it’s beautiful bookshop. For the day trip, I wore the H&M leopard print dress I bought last summer, with a pair of white cowboy boots I copped at Primark in the clearance for £15. I also have the same pair in black and even debated the silver, but the second Beyonce’s Renaissance tour kicked off, the shelves were cleared. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a Uniqlo crossbody, but this one is actually from Shein and if I’m perfectly honest, feels a little better than the high street version – though I’ll still continue to buy them in every shade. I finished the look off with a brown baseball cap from New Look, which was supposed to be £9.99 but turned out to be £3 when I got it to the till. Fate, right?

Denim maxi but make it glam

Taking my denim maxi skirt from day to night, I swapped out the band tee for a ribbed knitted top and Abbott Lyon name necklace, throwing on the olive faux leather blazer I snagged in the ASOS sample sale – and yes, I also have the matching trousers, but have been reserving them for autumn. Some Dr Marten boots add a touch of grunge, paired with a padded black headband, statement clay earrings and the M&S leather look crossbody bag that TikTok has been comparing to the Celine. The blazer doubled up as my waterproof jacket for the week, saving me from rainy showers most days, and although it was one of the bulkier pieces I packed, it was absolutely worth it.

M&S knitted dress

This is a slightly more casual way to wear the viral M&S striped knitted dress that I wore for date night a few weeks back. I’d previously teamed it with my Dr Marten sandals and a cream handbag, but the Adidas trainers and black Uniqlo crossbody give it a more relaxed feel, even with the blazer. The padded headband made a return too – I packed around eight in varying colours and wound up wearing about three of them. This dress is incredibly comfortable and works so well no matter the weather, I just wished I’d picked it up in the sage colourway, too.

Very Waistcoat

This waistcoat is the main character. It’s from Michelle Keegan’s Very collection and I absolutely adore it – you’ll see blow further down this post how versatile it is, too. Paired with wide leg cord trousers from Little Mistress and a pair of heeled sandals from Lula Boutique, it made for a cute dressy look for an evening meal out for my brother’s birthday. While a tan or cream bag would have finished it beautifully, I didn’t seem to have one that fit the bill, but I do love how it looks with this leopard crossbody from Matalan.

Urban exploring

Unpredictable weather had me opting for the only pair of trousers I’d packed, which happened to be these leopard print ones I’ve had for about five years now from Everything5Pounds. I threw on this Motorcar Club tee from H&M which I bought a couple of months back and have already worn to death, and the denim waistcoat, which gave an overall laid back attire. This crossbody, though similar to the Shein one, is lighter and from Uniqlo. They are the ultimate travel bags and I couldn’t have been without them for this holiday, with one for quite literally every occasion.

FatFace dress of dreams

The most dreamy dress to tick every box is the Adele from FatFace, which I wore to explore the beautiful National Trust property Trerice. Gorgeous shirring, a flattering skirt and volume sleeves – the only thing that could make this any better would be pockets – but oh wait, she has those too! It’s £69 and currently in stock on the FatFace website in six colours and three new patterns. I love grunging mine up with Dr Martens and my leopard bag, as well as my satin headband from Manchester indie biz Rommy. Later in the day, I switched the boots for sandals and added the Very waistcoat for a slightly different vibe. My mum also has this in navy – you can see how we both styled it here.

Oliver Bonas Ginny dress

This dress has come on holiday with me every year since I got it in 2020 and it remains one of my all time favourites. Last year I wore it for a trip to Padstow, but this year, it became my date-night look when Jake and I headed out for pizza and cocktails in town. I wore it with a FatFace string shopper, red Rommy headband and white leather trainers from TU at Sainsbury’s. It’s such a pretty piece and looks equally as gorge with a straw hat and sunnies for the beach or a picnic.

Lady in red

I’d been looking for the perfect red summer dress for years and fell head over heels for this one from FatFace which is now in the sale for £35, down from £89. Perfect for the ‘tomato girl’ trend, it’s a stunning sundried shade that’s made for hot holidays. Had I acquired this prior to Portugal, it would have come there with me, too. It’s got the prettiest tie back detail, functional pockets and an elasticated waist so I could devour pasta and wine to my heart’s content. The Rommy headband made a return for this fit, as did the FatFace shopper which has since sold out, and my Dr Marten sandals. Big fan of the lip shade with this look, too, which is the Amber Lip Blush from Refy, making a change from my usual MAC Velvet Teddy.

Double denim

Last but certainly not least was this double denim ensemble, pairing the New Look skirt as seen above with the aforementioned Very waistcoat. I adore how versatile both of these pieces are as separates, and how they come together as a co-ord so effortlessly. This fit needed few accessories so I opted for simple white trainers and gold jewellery, with slicked back hair for a minimalist aesthetic. Obsessed doesn’t even cut it.


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