Resort collection: what to pack for a classic seaside holiday

staycation outfit ideas
Karen Dacre,-Fashion Editor of the Evening Standard

Here’s a very British guide to what to wear beside the seaside this summer – no string vests required

Getting away from it all isn’t just Balearic sunshine and Mediterranean beach bars – there’s plenty of escapism to be found closer to home. The Great British seaside is this summer’s saving grace with the rugged coastline of Norfolk or the milky sands of the Outer Hebrides topping wishlists. But how to pack for your adventure? Here’s our essential guide…

Best of British bathers

Whether you make a dash for Margate’s white sandy shores or find yourself taking a dip off the north coast of Scotland, the right swimwear is a staycation essential – although you may wish to bypass the bikini and opt for something a little more substantial. For wave jumping or bracing morning dips, the one-piece is your friend. Swimmers should seek out technical options which marry style with substance – Sweaty Betty is great for this. Those content with watching the action unfold from a picnic blanket may consider a more playful choice, seek out subtle animal prints or a costume with a Breton twist.

The staycation sundress

Holidaying at home demands wardrobe options that are as dynamic as the weather, making a sundress which can be quickly rain/hail/wind-proofed a wise move. The key to this is picking a style that can be worn with layers – neutral white T-shirts and grey marl sweaters are seaside essentials. A breezy floral dress looks effortlessly chic with sandals or a chunky cardi. A white cotton option is also a great idea – weatherproof it with navy cashmere and a sturdy umbrella.

Sunshine and showers jacket

Since no trip to the seaside is complete without a visit to the arcade, a 99 with strawberry syrup and a rain shower that leaves you soaked to the bone, only a novice arrives on the sand without a raincoat. The classic fisherman’s anorak is your one-stop-solution. Opt for oversized styles and team with everything, including your favourite swimsuit. If yellow is too dazzling, a lightweight khaki parka is an inspired alternative. 

Home shores sandals

As you will be adopting that ‘ready for anything’ mindset, a heavy-duty hybrid sandal is the multifunctional footwear of choice. A Birkenstock goes with everything – the navy Arizona is ideal – and allows you to travel light. A slider like the aptly-named Falmouth from hush is a smart choice for swimmers. 

Baggy beach shorts

When the gods of fashion gave us denim shorts they clearly didn’t have our comfort in mind. It’s for this reason that a loose fitting navy alternative has emerged as this season’s summer-holiday failsafe. Hurrah! For supreme comfort, a high-waisted style that’s crafted from super-soft cotton or linen is holiday-wardrobe gold. Wear them with a soft Oxford shirt for a seaside look that will never get old.

Sand friendly straw bag

Whether you’re daytripping or escaping for the week, you’ll need a ‘throw it all in’ straw bag to complete the look. Thankfully, the options are plentiful this summer with oversized styles among the most in demand. If it’s not large enough to fit in your picnic, three outfit options and a windbreak, you probably don’t need it.

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