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10 Essentials for a Summer Holiday and How to Style Them with Vanessa Blair

From high street to high-end, our fashion contributor shares the warm weather pieces she can't live without 

10 Essentials for a Summer Holiday and How to Style Them with Vanessa Blair
Vanessa Blair
Vanessa BlairFashion Contributor
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Now that the sunshine has finally decided to come out in the UK, I thought what better time to talk about holiday pieces. Whether you’re on a staycation admiring the picturesque landscapes of the Lake District, or jetting off to enjoy an Aperol in the Italian sunshine - here’s 10 essentials for a summer holiday and how to style them.

MORE: 10 Black Dresses to keep your eye on for Spring/Summer 2023 with Vanessa Blair 

RELATED: 7 non-granny wedges and espadrilles to shop in summer 2023

© Instagram/@vanessaroseblair

The Bucket Hat 

A stylish way of shielding from the sun; my bucket hat of choice would be this black crochet hat from Anine Bing. Proven to fashionably turn heads by the pool, I love the colour contrast. And black (of course) goes with everything. Style with a simple monochrome one-piece and slap on your SPF for the ultimate cool-girl summer look.

The Crossbody Bag 

Introducing the high street handbag of the season - the Uniqlo Crossbody. An influencer favourite, this small but mighty bag is perfect for your city breaks for on-the-go exploring. Available in seven colourways and retailing for under £15 - it’s an ideal holiday purchase that won’t break the bank. Sling it over a floaty linen dress, pair with some Birkenstocks and you’re ready for the day. 

*Style tip - take your bag to the new flagship store for in-store personalisation and embroidery.

The Beach Towel 

A standout piece, sometimes forgotten from your suitcase. This monogram towel from Toteme has been on my wishlist for a while. Reversible for two colourway options, this bold beach towel would look cool on the coast, or perfect by the pool. Pair with a white crinkle two-piece for the complete embodiment of a stylish sun seeker.

The Basket Bag

A piece I’ve mentioned before, but for good reason. A cool basket bag is an essential for your holiday; whatever the destination. From high street to designer, there’s an array of different styles to suit your budget and needs. For my fashion-forward readers, I love this new-in style from Loewe - a cool twist on their classic design. 

*Style tip - for those looking for a high street option, I love this one from M&S complete with a canvas inset to keep your belongings safe.

The Flip Flop 

A footwear favourite that may only be associated with the beach, however I actually love taking my flip flops into the evening and styling with my dinner looks for a laidback, sophisticated approach. Opt for classic black for complete versatility, or go bright and bold with these green Havaianas. So cool for exploring the Spanish streets of Palma. 

The One-Piece Swimsuit

You can’t have a holiday without some form of swimwear. Whether you’re lounging by a hotel pool, or swimming in the open sea, a one-piece shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to packing. I have this beautiful piece from Hunza G on my wishlist, known for their crinkle fabric bikinis - this new striped style is right up my street. Style with sunnies and sandals for some well-deserved me-time on a sun lounger. Or, alternatively pair with black linen trousers to get the most wear out of this holiday purchase. 

The White Sunglasses 

I’m always reaching for my sunglasses whatever the season, but in the summer months they are truly a holiday must-have. Opt for a crisp white frame, to contrast against sun-kissed skin, like this classic cat eye Celine pair. I bought mine in 2021 - and they are still working hard in my collection. If white isn’t your vibe, then opt for a tortoiseshell for a softer look to frame your face.

The Linen Co-Ord 

With many options across the high street, my eye is always drawn to this two piece from Deji Studios. Sold as a set, however worn successfully separate as well - this co-ord has to make my holiday essentials list; purely for its effortless perspective. Pair it with Adidas Sambas for an unexpected plane journey outfit, or throw over a bikini for the coolest post-swim ensemble. 

The Holiday Dress 

Something ideal for transitioning from day time to evening, I’ve picked this shirred smock dress from Cos. A great colour against a tan - this longer linen dress is the epitome of summer. Style with a basket bag and sandals for scenic strolls along River Seine, or layer with a cropped denim jacket and converse for a cooler alternative for a British picnic. 

The Classic Racer 

To finish my list without a classic tank top would be a crime, as it’s one of my most worn items in my wardrobe. This white tank from Anine Bing is proving it’s purpose within my holiday essentials, and I couldn’t recommend investing in it enough. Style with denim shorts for a classic day-time look, or swap out with a black slip skirt and a gold chain for sipping a sunset spirit of your choice.

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