London is a fashion capital. Women from around the world come here for style inspiration. British women have a quirky, eclectic style like no other. So why do we let it all fall apart when we go on our summer holidays? What is it about the sunshine that makes us lose our fashion sense?


No one wants to be THAT family on holiday. We all know the stereotype; we’ve all witnesses the looks that the locals exchange when they see that flash of red heading towards their taverna. The red England shirt which now colour-matches almost exactly the shade of the wearer’s sunburnt skin. We’ve all shaken our heads and promised ourselves we will never be that bad.  So to avoid this we spend weeks planning, hours shopping and the night before we jet away, we stand proudly over our cases safe in the knowledge that we have pulled together the perfect holiday wardrobe.

Until we land that is. And then we realise that everything we packed was wrong. We literally have nothing to wear. And it is not even our fault; how are we supposed to understand dressing for temperatures in the mid-forties when we barely ever see the sun? Back at home we Brits are experts at layering – we have to be thanks to the unpredictable weather. We have made an art of dressing for rainy/sunny/windy/cold days but when the sun comes out our instinct is to remove as many clothes as quickly as possible and our pale, English bodies are just not ready for it.

The real trick to holiday dressing is to do your research. Dress like the locals and you are less likely to stick out like a sore thumb or a Brit on holiday. Take inspiration from the fabrics, colours and styles of women who live there and you will find you have a workable holiday wardrobe that is appropriate for the climate.

Okay, so dressing up in the national dress of the country may be overkill, and more than a little culturally insulting, so the important thing to remember is to work this into your own style. If you would never normally wear a panama hat, why would you wear one on holiday? If bum skimming shorts aren’t your style back at home why would they be abroad? If you love to layer your look at home make it part of your holiday wardrobe; layer your bikini with a loose sundress and lightweight summer scarf that can be used to cover up your beach hair in emergencies.

Whatever you do pack suncream – we might able to learn to adapt our British style but we can’t do anything about our British skin.

By Samantha Vandersteen

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