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Packing clever

Professional holiday packer Natasha Musson's hot top tips for getting everything you need in that suitcase

When it comes to packing for holidays, I always squash in far too much and for every possible eventuality. Most of it comes back unworn but so crumpled that it has to be ironed again (I’m pretending that I actually iron my clothes here). Grrrrr. Enter Somerset’s style supremo Natasha Musson, who not only knows the cool stuff to wear and where to buy it – she’ll even come and do your packing for you. Here are her hot top tips for clever holiday packing.

1/ Where are you going?

Beach in Ibiza, roaming in Rome, pottering in Provence? First off, consider the environment you’ll be in, the people you’ll be surrounded by, the ‘holiday vibe’ – and let the packing commence…

 2/ Who are you going to be?

You can be who you want to be on holiday. Create a concept. Be a bit hedonistic and imaginative. It’s supposed to be fun after all. Last year on a trip to NYC, I could be 100 per cent fashionista (no kids, no hubby). This year I’m UK camping so I’ll be active mum in high performance PJs and a fabulous pair of wellies.

3/ Pack at least four days before and plan your outfits

Write down what you’ll be doing to start planning your outfits (and avoid packing your entire summer wardrobe): the airport, beach, trips out,  evening, etc.  Double up pieces to create two or three different looks. Pack a few days before you leave to give yourself time to edit out that long floral maxi that’s too hot and impractical to wear.

4/ Make-down your make up

Throwing in your current make-up bag is a mistake. You won’t need 50 per cent of it. 35 degrees and foundation? No thanks. Hopefully you’ll have such a glow about you, all you’ll need is a light bronzer, a lip-gloss and some quality moisturiser. Save minis or testers over the year to keep your bag lightweight.

 5/ Coat conundrum

If you can get away with a fabulous oversized scarf then wear that or a lightweight tuxedo jacket if it needs to be smart. My favourite has to be the denim jacket as it works over everything.

6/ Shoes

Three pairs max:  one smart for the evening (a wedge or a metallic – stilettos are a no go), one practical for the day (flip flop, sandal) and one covered up for the flight (loafer, pump, trainer).

 7/ Accessories

Earrings – go big. This summer’s tasselled ones will upgrade last year’s jumpsuit. A stud belt on a kimono dress, a bonkers statement necklace or a cool straw hat. Tip: Don’t take expensive accessories, cheap replicas look great on holiday and you’ll probably buy when you’re away.

8/ Swimwear and underwear

This is the time to wear that pink lace set your head says you can’t wear on Monday in January. Style your underwear with your outfits and be a little sexy. Yes, I may be wearing my denim dungarees but underneath… I’m feeling fab! Try on last year’s swimsuit to make sure it fits.

 9/ Pack something fabulous

Your miscellaneous item. Throw in a ridiculous glamorous piece that you’re a bit fearful of wearing at home. Go for it. Pack that ruffled fuchsia pink skirt. It will look fab with brown legs and a white t-shirt and no one will judge you (and who cares if they do).

 10/ Wear it all

If you’ve packed cleverly, you should have worn it all. Make sure you do. Be a little different each day and be noticed – it’s your time to shine, feel fabulous and have fun.

Natasha Musson is a Wardrobe Consultant & Stylist in Somerset & London. You can book her for wardrobe consultations, holiday styling,  personal shopping – and holiday packing.

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