Destination dressing: Crochet co-ords to summer dresses, perfect packing tips from fashion experts

With international travel back on the cards this summer, there’s never been a better time to shop for your holiday wardrobe.

Whether you plan on lounging by the pool or exploring a sun-soaked city, one thing is for sure, if you’re looking to space in your suitcase, you’ll need interchangeable pieces that’ll take you from the beach to dinner.

Think light and airy basics, throw-on dresses and stylish swimwear you could wear as a top.

Nobody wants to rock up to the airport being told that their bag is over the weight limit, so instead, why not keep things simple, with a capsule getaway wardrobe that’s both practical and stylish.

This doesn’t mean you have to opt for neutrals either – some of this season’s best styles are bright and bold, with striking summer prints all over the high street. Just pair with complimentary hues and you can mix-and-match throughout your getaway.

Need some inspiration? To help you pack that perfect holiday suitcase, OK!’s fashion team have selected their must-have summer buys to purchase right now.

From staycation essentials, to styles for city breaks, there’s options to suit every kind of destination. So what are you waiting for? Dive in!

Michelle Darlow, Fashion, Beauty & Shoots Director

There’s no secret about it, straw, jute and wicker bags are a summer staple. And while it feels like they’ve been around forever, this year, our favourite beach accessory has had a major revamp, with fun slogan styles getting us all geared up for our next getaway. Worried about it not fitting in your suitcase? Top tip: shove your swimwear, undies and anything small inside before packing, or use it as your carry-on luggage.

The Jacksons Woohoo Jute Tote Bag, £80 here at Fenwick

No holiday wardrobe is complete without a standout swimsuit and this summer, we’ve got our eyes on this roaring red number. Available to purchase in sizes 6 to 22, it’s cut-out, scalloped design is flattering for all. Pair it with an linen shirt and straw hat for a chic beach-ready look.

F&F Red Swimsuit, £22 here at Next

When it comes to saving luggage space, OK!’s Fashion, Beauty & Shoots Director Michelle says "I lay all my outfits out on the bed and make sure that the colours and styles can all be mixed and matched and still work well together.” This striped maxi sundress can be styled with both flip flops if you’re heading to the beach or with wedges for the evening.

Jigsaw Stripe Cotton Maxi Sundress, £110 here

Lauren Goodwin-Grafton, Fashion Editor

OK!’s Fashion Editor Lauren is heading off to Greece this year, so she’s filling her suitcase with tile prints and ocean blue tones. Keeping things casual for the evening, she’ll be teaming this with a white linen shirt and tons of accessories to look cocktail-ready.

Boden Printed A-Line Mini Skirt, £42 here

Whether you plan on exploring or sipping cocktails in the sun, a pair of practical yet stylish sandals are a must. This strappy, flatform style from Marks & Spencer will look great with any summer outfit, with a buckle at the ankle for secure fastening and espadrille-style soles.

Marks & Spencer Strappy Flatform Sandals, £29.50 here

To instantly transform any holiday outfit, team your look with a pair of statement earrings. "I always pack a few pairs of fancy earrings to dress up my summer dresses for the evening," Lauren says.

Zara Multicoloured Pearl Bead Hoop Earrings, £9.99 here

Harriet Wheeler, Fashion Editor

Jetting off to Barbados, Fashion Editor Harriet says: "While I’m not a huge fan of wearing bright colours, the Caribbean screams vibrant shades and prints so it’s hard not embrace it."

"With a co-ord, you can wear them together or separately with other pieces from your wardrobe so you get the most out of your holiday packing," she adds.

Mango Floral Cotton Blouse, £49.99 here

Mango Printed Cotton-Blend Shorts, £45.99 here

As well as easy-to-wear co-ords, Harriet says she’ll be packing tons of accessories for her next getaway, including a straw hat that she can style "with dresses and shorts".

Nasty Gal Straw Wide Brim Boater Hat, £9.60 here

To upgrade your jewellery collection for summer, look for designs with shells and pearls. We think this high street number will look great at the beach, at the bar, and everywhere in between.

River Island Gold Shell Choker Necklace, £12 here

Sophie Goodwin, Fashion Stylist & Writer

For her trip to Ibiza, Fashion Writer & Stylist Sophie says she "can’t help but be drawn to cool crochet co-ords". Luckily, this one from Zara ticks all of her boxes, with a trendy knit waistcoat and matching trousers.

Zara Crochet Waistcoat with Fringing, £22.99 here

Zara Crochet Trousers, £29.99 here

Tap into this season’s retro trend and pick up a pair of oversized 70s-style sunnies this summer. "I never go without a pair of oversized sunnies to accessorise my vacay looks," Sophie says.

Mango Acetate Frame Sunglasses, £17.99 here

Talking of retro vibes, this 70s-style zig-zag dress is everything. In a figure-hugging fit with a halter neckline, open back and sexy side split, the tassel detailing gives it a bohemian holiday feel.

Warehouse Zig Zag Stripe Halter Neck Maxi Dress, £48.30 here

Megan Rees, Fashion Stylist & Writer

For her staycation this year, Fashion Stylist & Writer Megan says she’s covering all bases with her wardrobe choices. "Holidaying in the UK can be unpredictable at times. Don’t forget your raincoat and a cute bikini to keep in your bag – you never know what weather record we might break next".

Just because you’re not going abroad, doesn’t mean you can’t buy stylish swimwear and this floral bikini from Next is perfect. With pretty ruffle edges in a high leg cut, you’ll feel and look amazing all summer long.

Next Green Floral Ruffle Bikini Top, £45 here

Next Green Floral Ruffle Bikini Bottoms, £15 here

When we think of summer staples, a sturdy pair of denim shorts is always a winner. Whether you pair them with swimwear on warmer days, or long sleeve tops for a UK stay, Megan says: "A pair of denim shorts will see you through sunshine and showers."

Arket High Waist Non-Stretch Denim Shorts, £45 here

For those not-so-sunny days, it’s always good to have a raincoat in your bag. Fully waterproof, this stylish mac is great for keeping outdoor lovers dry in a downpour – and the coastal design, with cord toggles, popper fastenings and a stripe lining is so stylish, you never want to take it off.

Joules Waterproof Mac, £75.95 here

Emma Hawkins, Fashion & Beauty Assistant

Fashion & Beauty Assistant Emma says she prefers neutral tones for her vacay wardrobe, as well as light and breezy co-ords that save room in her suitcase.

"From lightweight co-ords to chic dresses and chunky gold jewellery, for me, it’s about looking stylish while being sustainable, opting for looks I’ll likely wear again next summer."

H&M Knitted Collared Top, £12.99 here

H&M Knitted Shorts, £12.99 here

On the hunt for the perfect sandals? We think we’ve found them. Bearing a striking resemblance to The Row’s much-loved designer flatforms, Marks & Spencer’s ‘dupe’ looks just as luxe for a fraction of the price!

Marks & Spencer Leather Flatform Flip Flops, £35 here

Chunky gold-toned jewellery is a great look for holiday, especially with a tan! If you’re in need of a new necklace for your next getaway, check out this stylish pendant from & Other Stories. It’ll look pretty alone but to take your vacay look to a new level, layer up with more gold chains.

& Other Stories Bar Pendant Chain Necklace, £29 here

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