Packing Light, Packing Right

By Alex Noble Tuesday 27th Jun, 2017

Why is it that us Brits, us poor Brits, have adopted the unwelcome label of being unable to dress adequately on holiday; well, I’m guessing it’s got something to do with the bloke wearing a white vest, three-quarter length shorts and a pair of Air Max. In the warm climate of the Mediterranean Tropics, that sight doesn’t fail to give me shivers.

You could argue that it’s simply down to bad taste, however the simple fact is some chaps simply don’t know what to pack when going on holiday or how to do it effectively. What’s worse, they don’t give themselves a fighting chance because they leave it to the very last minute.

It all comes down to a very simple formula:

Knowing Holiday essentials + time allowance – bucket hats = A great holiday wardrobe.

T Shirt

It’s been a staple in your holiday wardrobe since you were a little nipper and your mother packed your case (if this is still the case. Just wow). I’d like to take this opportunity to say; no slogans or graphics – #throwbackthursday is not a valid excuse old boy.

Keep the colours neutral, the material light and the fit friendly to your body shape. I’d personally pack a couple of white tees, with perhaps a variation of round and v necks. It’s tan-enhancing, modern essential.

Linen Shirt

The linen shirt is neither too dressy nor too casual; It’s the Ryan Gosling of shirts, effortlessly stylish. Keep the fit loose but avoid baggy to maintain a refined silhouette.  Finally, 3 buttons undone is acceptable.

Loafers / Deck Shoes

When the sun goes down, holiday fashion makes the transition from lightweight and casual, to dressier and elegant. So, cue the change from sandals or flip flops to a more robust loafer or deck shoe. You really can’t go wrong with a brown, suede loafer but if you want to keep it just that little more chilled, a boat shoe is the ideal choice.

A plain pair of white sneakers is also totally acceptable to wear both during the day and evening – Keep them classic!


Said it once, I’ll say it again – not merely a tool to protect the retina. Ensure you pick the right frame for your face shape, and listen up chap; aviators don’t make you Maverick.

These beauties by Polo Ralph Lauren would be my go-to this summer.

Toiletries (under 100ml)

For Haircare, Phillip Kingsley is your go-to hear old boy – that’s for damn certain.

Their holiday essentials are all travel-friendly in both quality and size. Products such as a weather proof hairspray, prep polishing balm and after sun scalp mask, will ensure your lid remains in tip top nick, whilst you’re on your holibobs.

Swim Shorts

Like the t-shirt, these are a holiday mainstay, yet they’re no longer simply for the purpose of getting wet; get a pair that sit nicely above your knee and these can be a daytime weapon. Dressing them up with an open shirt is a beach club staple but just make sure you avoid old school board short; You’re not Chris Hemsworth.

I wouldn’t go anywhere except Orlebar Brown, however if they’re slightly on the spenny side, then Massimo Dutti will serve you well.


Tailored, chino shorts old boy, every bloody time. Add an extra element of style and roll them up a notch but don’t go OTT. Too long and you look like a basketball wannabe, too short and you look like 70s football player – neither are good.

Lightweight Trousers

Many see it as summer sacrilege to don a trouser whilst promenading the French Riviera, however I would reply ‘ye of such little faith!’ Find yourself a pair of cotton trousers in a crisp pale blue or white, and suddenly your evening wear has a completely different feel – no one likes to look the same in every holiday snap after all.

Just remember to ensure they’re slim fitting but not so tight you self-combust.

Short Sleeve Shirt

Have you not seen James bond on holiday? Cuban collar shirts are his go-to. Whether you like to bird-watch or relax with an Old Fashioned and a cigar by the pool.

This with a pair of slim fitting trousers and loafers…License to thrill.

Lightweight Knitwear

Something everyone packs but preys is never required. However, if that temperature drops during the evening, this fella transforms into the holy grail – It also looks cracking when hung round the shoulders.

And finally…

Some top traveller tips:

  • Travel in your heaviest shoes and jumper – if you’re packing correctly, none of what you take should be for ‘comfort’ so you’ll look suave regardless.
  • Roll cotton items such as tees, trousers and that one jumper but fold stiffer items like shirts and jackets. If you do crease your shirts, when you arrive at your hotel, hang the shirt above the bath and run the hot water – steam will remove some of the creases.
  • Never wear a bucket hat.
  • Be ruthless; if you might wear it, don’t pack it. Pre-plan your outfits. You’ll thanks me at security.

Bon Voyage!