From swimwear and summer wedges to that trusty eye-mask, fashion experts share what must go into your bag
Can you travel light and yet be prepared for any sartorial challenge? Stylists and designers share ultimate summer holiday essentials you must carry along. The rest, they say, can be picked up wherever you are.
To avoid excess weight, carry a few pieces that can be worn in many ways. Dayal suggests packing a sling bag with enough pockets that can also pass off as an evening bag. “I’ve started packing bindis lately and pair them with different outfits and tribal jewellery for interesting looks,” Ramani says. She swears by red lipstick and a terracotta bronzer by Guerlain to instantly glam up her look and relies on rose water face mist by Kama Ayurveda to keep herself fresh on long flights. Reversible cuffs from Marini are a big hit, she agrees. If you are headed for a boho or a beach holiday, “pack beads and accessories with feathers. And if you are headed for a city getaway, include a statement necklace, a watch and stud earrings,” Lulla suggests.
Fashion director, Elle, Malini Banerji recommends packing separates like a “nice pair of jeans, tops and skirts that can be mixed and matched.” She swears by high street brands like Zara and Mango for these essentials. “I would also include a nice day dress by French Connection and dress it up for the evening with accessories,” Banerji says. She also suggests carrying a pair of flat sandals as a backup, in case your heels give way. Banerji says we should pack keeping in mind our destination. “If you are headed to a place like Karachi, you’d want to step out covered up.” It is also a good idea to include a cover up like a stole or a shawl, in case it gets cooler in the evening.
Known to stack bangles to dress up a look, she prefers accessories from Mawi, Akaliko and Suhani Pittie. “I prefer packing a nice pair of earrings or an ear cuff, a couple of rings, a few bangles and a statement necklace to pair them with my outfits,” she says. Carry a miniature version of your favourite perfume, a nice eye liner and a mascara to transition your look from day to night adds Banerji, who relies on a Chanel bronzer and a lip balm by Burt’s Bees handy as long flights can leave your lips dry and flaky.
Malini Ramani: Known for stylish beach wear, the Delhi-based designer says, “I always pack my wedge heel kolhapuris, and a jumpsuit wherever I go, as these are very versatile.” Kolhapuri wedges, the designer says, can be worn with a beachy dress during the day or with a dressy outfit in the evening. And while the jumpsuit can be dressed up or down with accessories, the kaftan will see you headed from beach to cocktail party, with no stops in between.
Nishka Lulla: The young designer suggests, “Pack separates like a light blazer, a sun dress or a maxi dress, brogues or ballet flats from the same colour scheme or family.” This helps you mix and match looks with ease.
Anupamaa Dayal: The cheerful Delhi-based designer suggests carrying pashmina shawls to brighten up a plain dress, tunic or kurti. “Packing a long silk dress, a chiffon scarf and a silk jacket are a must,” she adds. While the dress can be worn for a day outing, the scarf and the jacket work as great add-ons to a plain dress or even a jeans and T-shirt outfit.
— Sumitra Nair