Lightening the load: the perfect beach holiday wardrobe

This post is as much for me, as it is for my lovely readers.  If you were to ask the Domestic Prince about my holiday wardrobe, he would tell you that I take far too much and only wear half of what I pack.  I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love going on holiday, but no matter how excited I am about going on my holibobs, packing causes me a great amount of stress and a lot of deliberation.  I want to look great on the beach and fabulous in the evening, as well as making sure I have warmer clothes in case the weather turns, which in today’s unpredictable climate, is quite likely!  The later I leave my packing, the worse it actually gets, as I end up throwing things in, “just in case”.

So, by writing this post, I’m hoping to streamline my holiday wardrobe, take the hard work out for you, and show you the perfect beach holiday wardrobe.

What to pack for a two-week beach holiday

  • Maxi dress
  • Smart dress
  • Plain dress, which can be dressed-up with jewellery
  • Beach cover-up x 3
  • Day-time shorts x 2
  • Vest / t-shirt x 2
  • Bikini / swimsuit/ tankini x 5
  • Cropped trousers x 2
  • Skirt x 1
  • Jeans x 1
  • Evening top x 2
  • Work-out gear
  • Cardigan / wrap (you can wear this to travel in)
  • Flip flops
  • Wedges
  • Flat sandals
  • Trainers
  • Beach bag
  • Clutch bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Scarf – can be used a wrap

  1. Swarovski t-bar leather sandal, £35 from Accessorize
  2. Leather square buckle clutch, £60 from ASOS
  3. Plain white scarf, £17.99 from Zara
  4. Ivory strappy wdges, £45 from Next
  5. Aubin & Wills Patrickson bag, £65 from Net-A-Porter
  6. Tom Ford brown tortoiseshell sunglasses, £145 from My-Wardrobe
  7. Floppy straw hat with polka dot under brim, £18 from ASOS
  8. Slim white Havaianas, £20 from Havainas

  1. Sequin t-shirt dress, £80 from Topshop
  2. Navy linen waterfall cardigan, £65 from The White Company
  3. Grey belted chinos, £24.50 from Wallis
  4. Cream shift dress, £28 from Dorothy Perkins
  5. Kelly sequin top, £77 from Reiss
  6. Guipure lace skirt, £39.99 from Zara
  7. Sateen white cropped trousers, £55 from Banana Republic
  8. Red skinny jeans, £16.99 from New Look
  9. Beth cream top, £125 from Reiss
  10. Navy leaf print maxi dress, £22.40 from Dorothy Perkins
  11. Slim cropped trousers, £29.95 from GAP
 
  1. Double-layer jersey vest tunic dress, £65 from The White Company
  2. Long Island rope v-neck kaftan, £180 from Heidi Klein
  3. Bali bikini, £180 from Heidi Klein
  4. Skirt suit, £26 from Next
  5. White bikini, £20  from Oasis
  6. Pour Moi? Azure bikini, £33.60 from ASOS
  7. Seafolly Goddess swimsuit, £85 from John Lewis
  8. Fluro embroidered beach dress, £38 from Warehouse
  9. Navy striped vest top, £5.99 from H&M
  10. White vest top, £5.99 from H&M
  11. Casual shorts, £18 from Oasis
  12. Stone 5″ chino shorts, £29.33 from J Crew

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Start with a list (I LOVE a list).  To make your lives easier, I’ve created a checklist for you to keep and print off:  Beach holiday wardrobe checklist.  You can thank me later.
  2. If you’re travelling with other people, mix up each other’s clothes between suitcases – if one goes missing, you’ll have at least one outfit to wear!
  3. Pack flip-flops, trainers and wedges at the bottom of your case.
  4. Roll-up swimwear, t-shirts and pack them around the edges of your case.
  5. Look for beach cover-ups that are easy to remove and replace.
  6. Only take clothes that you really love wearing and are comfortable in.
  7. Travel in your heaviest clothes and shoes.
  8. Think about investing in a Kindle – the weight of four books is the equivalent of 5 bikinis and a maxi dress!
  9. Put your bathroom bag in a carrier bag.
  10. Sellotape the tops of sun screens and moisturisers, to help prevent any leakages.
After writing this post, I think I’m all set for my holibobs and there won’t be any last minute, anxiety filled packing episodes!  Have you got any packing tips that you can share with us?

I hope you’ve found this post helpful and don’t forget to print off the checklist next time you’re off on holiday!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Five More Minutes

I have a confession to make…..getting into bed is possibly my favourite time of the day and getting up, probably my worst!  I bet I’m not the only person to utter “5 more minutes” when the alarm goes off.  In my opinion, there is nothing nicer than an inviting bed and slipping into luxuriously soft bed linen.  During the last few years we’ve been lucky enough to have slept in some of the loveliest, comfiest beds in the world – the Ritz Carlton Battery Park springs to mind.

However, it was on holiday a few years ago that really ignited my love affair with beautiful linens and trying to make our bed a true haven.  We were staying at The Club at The Legian in Bali, when we both fell in love with the linen, divine pillows, duvet and featherbed (also known as a mattress topper).  During our 10-day stay (look out for a future post on this), we slept like babies every night.  Whilst some of this was down to the relaxing nature of our holiday, a large element was the luxurious bed we snuggled into every night.  So impressed were we, we asked the hotel which company provided the linens, duvets and pillows.  Much to our joy, we discovered the supplier also sold to the general public.  And that lead us to the delight that is Ploh.

Once home, I hit the Internet and soon our dreamy linens, duvet, featherbed and pillows were winging their way to us.  Quite honestly it is some of the best money we’ve ever spent and haven’t regretted it for one moment.  Getting into bed every night is such a pleasure and sleeping on the featherbed, well, it’s just like sleeping on a cloud!

We all know that sleep is essential to our everyday wellbeing.  With more studies proving that adequate sleep can help with our battle of the bulge, creating the perfect sleeping environment has become even more important.  So, here are my tips so you too can create your perfect bed.

Source: The White Company

Domestic Princess tips on creating your perfect bed:

1.  Mattress

The foundation, as you all know, is the mattress, so don’t skimp on it.  In the long-term, it’s just a false economy. Remember, the variety and quality of mattresses are vast.

We have an Ambassador mattress from Jensen that we discovered when they had just launched in the UK, so got an amazing bargain compared with prices now!  I’d recommend going to a proper bed store so the salesperson may assess how you (and your partner) share the bed and inform you of the brands and different types of mattresses available.  Try out as many as you can.  We chose And So To Bed in Harrods and the saleslady couldn’t have been more helpful.  The Domestic Prince was adamant he needed a hard mattress and I was pretty determined I wanted a soft one.  Turns out we were both wrong, the most suitable one for us, as a couple, was a medium one.

Which? have recently published their findings on the best mattresses and suppliers in the UK.  So, if you’re thinking of purchasing a new one, click by and have a read.

2.  A featherbed or mattress topper

Now, we were late to the party on this delicious addition to a bed, but gosh are we happy we finally did arrive!  Sinking into 4 inches of feathers and goose down is just bliss and creates an extra layer cwtchiness (def: the Welsh word for cuddling).  It moulds around your body providing support and cushioning for your joints.

There are many different fillings available in a topper, which can be bought from The White Company, John Lewis, Macys and Marriott to name but a few.  Go for it, I promise you won’t regret it!

3.  Duvet and Pillows

Duvet

The warmth, softness and weight of a duvet, depends very much on the tog rating and the type of filling.  The three things to consider when purchasing a new duvet are: tog rating, type of filling and size.

The tog rating tells you how effective the duvet is at trapping warm air, so the higher the rating, the warmer the duvet.  Duvets made up of natural fillings have better thermal properties than synthetically filled ones.  However, if you suffer from allergies, you’d probably want a synthetically filled one in preference to a natural one.  With regards to the size of the duvet, if you and your partner tussle over the duvet, you’re better off opting for the next size up to ensure no more squabbles!

Pillows

Finding the correct pillow is essential for a comfortable night’s sleep.  When choosing new pillows, things to consider are:  shape, size, filling and firmness.

4.  Bed linen

Bed linen comes in many types of fabric:  cotton, Egyptian cotton, cotton sateen, silk, linen, polycotton.  I prefer sateen and tend to go for something like Montabello Cappuccino linen from The White Company.  Many people have the impression that the higher the thread count, the better the bed linen; this is simply not true.  Pure linen, for example, will always have a lower thread count than cotton, but is still considered extremely luxurious.  For me though, the thought of ironing pure linen puts me right off!  Before purchasing any bed linen, I always, always have to feel it – the softer the better!

John Lewis and The White Company both have detailed guides on how to purchase duvets, pillows and bed linen.

Another few tips that help me sleep deeply are:

  1. Eye shades – I think I started wearing these when we had shutters installed in our house in London.  Whilst the shutters look fabulous, they don’t create the pitch black room that I like and which is recommended by the sleep experts to help enhance one’s sleep.  There are many lovely eye-shades available, but I tend to use the ones I pick-up on the ‘plane when travelling.  They’ve worked for me for nearly 10 years, so I think I’ll stick with them.  However, Susie Amy on her wonderful Blusher and Blogging blog swears by this lavender eye mask.  Maybe I’ll treat myself and give it a whirl to see how they compare?
  2. Chamomile tea – most nights we trot off to bed with mugs of chamomile tea, which we both swear helps us enjoy a deep slumber.
  3. Magnesium supplements – a new addition to our nighttime routine is 400mg of magnesium citrate.  Magnesium is known to have a calming effect on the brain and is also important for muscle function; a lack of it may cause muscle cramps and restless legs.

So, readers – tell me what makes your dream bed?  Is going to bed your favourite time of day?  And do you have any good tips on what helps you enjoy a good night’s sleep?

With much love

The Domestic Princess

Xoxo

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