Stylist James Sleaford’s Guide to Holiday Packing

How many times do you get back from holiday and think to yourself, ‘I forgot that I’d packed that’? When an item you packed stays at the bottom of your suitcase and never sees the light of day, that’s not a good sign. To make the most of your summer vacation packing, we sought advice from longtime stylist James Sleaford to bring you three versatile outfits that will prove themselves indispensable.

Daytime Casual

For the mornings and early afternoons, your holiday wardrobe won’t be complete without a pair of chino-style shorts. Think of them as the vacation edition of your go-to denim jeans. They can literally go with everything, from t-shirts and polo tops for a more casual, sporty feel to shawl-collar cardigans and linen blazers if you are going out in the evening or taking a day trip on a boat. Equally, the white crewneck t-shirt is a must-have. This modern classic can easily be worn by itself or under shirts and blazers for a relaxed, tailored feel.

Finally, if you are looking for the ultimate summer casual style, look no further than the classic short-sleeved linen shirt, especially one in a versatile shade such as light blue. The revere collar embodies relaxed sophistication flawlessly, and you can easily layer it over a t-shirt during breezier nights. For shoes, to keep with the casual, smart feel, go for brown suede moccasins or navy suede derbies for that finishing touch.

Blue Stripe Linen Casual Shirt

White Organic Cotton Crew Neck T-Shirt

Slim Fit Sand Chino Shorts

Evening Smart-Casual

The first item of holiday business is often to plan the restaurants and bars that you want to visit in the evening. Equally, this type of planning should be built into what you might want to wear when packing. So, must-have items should include a sleek t-shirt in either black or navy; the fool-proof shades for a refined modern feel.

For the bottom half, a versatile, smarter option for both night and day would be to include light grey tailored linen trousers. These are perfect not only with darker colours at night but also for wearing with a clean, crisp white shirt or a t-shirt during the day. For a styling tip, again, look to wear linen trousers with loafers or moccasins to keep the look more elevated.

Finally, while there are lots of sunglasses options to choose from, you can never go wrong with the metal-framed aviator style. These are a universal style, and for good reason, as they can modernise any suit, shirt, or polo top.

Black Revere Collar Polo

Slim Fit Linen Suit Trousers in Light Grey

RSVP Moments

If you’re on your way to a destination wedding abroad, you’ll need to choose your suit wisely. A traditional wool suit is too heavy, plus you don’t want to be reminded of the office when you’re in holiday mode. Instead, pack lightly (yet impactfully) with a linen suit. Not only is it a cooler choice for warmer climates, but the styling possibilities are endless: pair the blazer with your favourite t-shirts and shorts for casual moments, or opt for a full linen suit with a luxurious polo to smarten up with ease.

Stuck on the shade? The verdict on this season’s colour is in, and light green wins by a landslide. It's a universally flattering suit hue that looks especially sharp when mixed with a crisp white cotton shirt underneath. The key to wearing linen is to always keep it elevated, so look to accessorise with a smart pair of tortoiseshell acetate sunglasses and a pair of driving loafers (or feel free to wear your favourite slip-ons sans socks). For a styling tip, look to tailor a small hem on the trousers for a bespoke finish. And at all costs do not put heavy objects in your pockets – either in the jacket or the trousers – as this only deforms the linen. Instead, opt for slim-line wallets or tote bags to carry these items.

“For a styling tip, look to tailor a small hem on the trousers for a bespoke finish.”

Slim Fit Single Breasted Linen Suit Jacket in Light Green

Slim Fit Classic Collar Shirt

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