The Chic List: Dream holidays require fantasy packing

Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty shares her top tips for holiday packing.

When I’m travelling I like to imagine what other people on my flight have packed and wonder what approach they take. Are they purely practical or, like me, a fantasy packer? What I mean by this is that I always throw in a few special pieces in case something unexpected and exciting happens.

I also pack for the best holiday version of myself – the one that frolics through lavender all bare-armed in pretty dresses (I rarely do but you get the picture).

Wearing a dress by Zimmermann found on Bag by Bambien. Shoes by Ancient Greek sandals

Some may tut and say, ‘Don’t be so high maintenance! Who cares what they wear on holiday?’ If you’re one of those nonchalant packers, I salute you.

We once went abroad with another couple and the husband packed just one pair of shorts for the entire week. I admired his Robinson Crusoe ingenuity. But for me, wearing a different wafty dress every evening is a huge part of the fun.

Last year in Southern France, my be-prepared-for-anything approach paid off – resulting in the most surreal coffee date of my life. We were staying near Saint-Remy-de-Provence and visited one of my favourite local stores – an eclectic boutique called Jeanne Bayol, crammed full of Indian cotton dresses, homeware, basket bags and jewellery (check out its beautiful Instagram @jeanne.bayol).

The owners, Jeanne and her daughter Irma, were delighted when designer John Galliano, who was staying nearby, popped in for a browse. Even better, they invited me to join them all for a cup of espresso. What do you wear for coffee with Galliano?

Fortunately, I was road-testing a great dip-dye skirt from Cos and a black swimsuit.

Can you fantasy-pack without being hit by extra baggage charges? Yes! Here’s how…

  • Hone a hot list. Bring your favourite dresses – as long as they’re the right fabric for where you’re going. I use a numbering system. If I’m going for a week, I’ll take five dresses. For two weeks, ten. Five pairs of shoes ‒ all flats. I don’t do holiday heels. I’ll roll each item, instead of folding, and stack basket bags inside each other.
  • Ace accessories by organising earrings and cocktail rings in a jewellery roll. I always add an easy-to-pack fedora hat to protect my hair.
  • Consider zip-up cubes for neatly stowing toiletries, make-up and hair appliances.
  • Be versatile. Aim for a couple of swimsuits that can double up as stylish tops and two pairs of lightweight trousers. Now you’re ready for anything!


Soho Home, the offshoot of Soho House members’ clubs, is a serious player in the interiors world, having just opened a new store in Westbourne Grove, West London. I love its online gifts, which include this stone bowl (£95,


Daisy Edgar Jones, who wore Alexander McQueen for the London premiere of Where The Crawdads Sing, told the film’s producer Reese Witherspoon that when she landed the part, the first person she rang was her mum.


Pool slides are loved in fashion circles for their versatility. This PVC pair by Ancient Greek Sandals (£80, is stylish and comfy.


Snake-inspired jewellery is a big summer hit with waiting lists on many pieces. Snap up this slick Harris Reed Serpent Ring (£105, before it slithers away.

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