The Chic List: ‘Holiday packing… I’m on the case’

If I could have packed anything before last month’s travelling, it would have been my free will and peace of mind, all neatly folded and secure. But endless Green-Amber list flip-flops left both those hopes crumpled at the bottom of my suitcase. Though if it means seeing family in Ireland after 18 months apart, or new adventures at home or abroad, it’ll take more than that to stop me.

All packed and ready for my trip to Ireland in a top by Helmut Lang and Cos trousers

I’m not naturally a restrained packer. Travel sparks my fantasies and I always take too many outfits – just in case some glamorous invitation falls from the sky. But along the way, I have picked up a few lessons in the art of chic packing…

  • Start by making a list of your favourite items – I always bring my most-loved pieces on holiday.
  • I’ve recently discovered the joys of packing cubes, which you can get on Amazon. These minimise bulk and maximise space.
  • I also use tidying expert Marie Kondo’s technique where you fold something five times (check out her video how-tos on YouTube) – this stops my tops and blouses creasing and helps me get every last inch of suitcase space. I roll jeans and trousers. Anything precious should go in a garment bag laid on top. If you don’t want to carry your hat, put tissue inside it, then pack around it to stop it getting squished. Stuff shoes with socks or tissue and put them in shoe bags to prevent them snagging and marking your clothes. Do the same with handbags.
  • For a city trip, I always pack neutral tops and bottoms as these can transition from day to night with a few accessories and are easily mixed and matched.
  • For a sunshine break, invest in a Turkish bath towel. Made from flat-woven cotton, it won’t weigh your beach bag down. Rae Feather and Not On The High Street have great ones.
  • Use a jewellery roll or case – try John Lewis – for necklaces and rings and put in your carry-on bag to prevent it getting damaged.
  • Speaking of your precious carry-on, don’t neglect it. Always include a big cashmere wrap – nothing feels nicer to combat the chilly air-conditioning on planes and trains (and it’ll be useful later for alfresco drinks). For carry-on toiletries, I love Anya Hindmarch’s stylish carriers.

That’s your suitcase sorted, now it’s time to plan your travel outfit. I always wear loose-fitting trousers – Cos and Arket do some terrific organic cotton options – and a simple top, such as a tank, shirt or T-shirt. (If travelling with young children, add a stiff gin and tonic.)

Lastly, large sunglasses hide a multitude of sins on the other side, and a spritz of hydrating facial mist wakes up tired skin.

Dress, £235, D’Ascoli, matchesfashion.com

Indulge your inner bohemian on holiday with this ikat print.

Cashmere scarf, £305, Totême, harveynichols.com

This luxe number will double as a travel wrap.

Bag, £225, anyahindmarch.com

Fill with your favourite mini travel smellies and make-up.

Trousers, £59, cosstores.com

Airy, stylish and ideal for travelling in.

Top, £65, novo-london.co.uk

I love Novo’s chic basics. This knitted tank is great for travelling and for life in general.

Suitcase, £220, net-a-porter.com

From cubes and totes to carry-ons, Paravel is my go-to brand for chic travel accessories.

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