Not sure what to pack on holiday? Linda gives us her tips for packing so we can all travel light but stylishly over 50!
After 8 years of travelling back and forth from Cornwall to London each week, I’ve become a super-efficient and adept packer. I’ve learnt that too much choice should never be an option unless it’s thin, crease proof and will tuck in a tiny corner of my bag. The guys I work with are always astounded when we go off on business trips. My bag is always the smallest. I’ve been asked if it’s a ‘tardis’ as I can manage a different outfit for each day and evening and throw in a variety of jewellery and scarves to up-dress or down-dress. Key in the winter is always to wear your heaviest clothes–so it’s the knee-length or over-knee boots that I wear in transit, plus the winter coat; with ankle boots, stilettos and leather jacket stashed in my bag. I also ensure I have a roomy carry-on bag so I can literally ‘stuff stuff’ in that too if need be.
I buy lots of clothes from Sisley (the Falmouth branch not Oxford Circus, where the lovely Veronique’s sales skills ensure I buy 3 times what I’d planned). She always has soft jersey dresses and long sleeved tops that wrap in different ways or can be changed with belts and jewellery and work dressed down with flat boots or sandals and up with high-heels. I’m a Zara fiend too. I can run into their stores on the way to or from a meeting and buy several outfits in a few minutes. They do great tops and slim cardigans that warm up cool days. With a classic jacket, (mine’s from M&S) I can smarten up my skinny jeans or sexy-them up with a sheer Zara top and dangly earrings.
Plan your options before you go
So summer holidays are always a doddle. Unlike my daughter who seems to take her entire summer wardrobe, I carefully plan my options before I go. My 2 chiffon (short) kaftans can be worn with a black slip or black leggings for an evening before becoming beach cover-ups, ditto a slashed jersey dress and dip-dyed maxi dress. Each will usually work for 2 nights and 2 days (as most of the time they aren’t actually worn in the daytime). Add in a pair of shorts, about 4 vests/t-shirts and a flippy skirt, a couple of swimsuits and tankinis, (I have finally decided I look better with certain areas covered up,) and several pairs of flip-flops and sandals and I’m ready to go. I totally minimalise my beauty routine, small toothpaste, not every hair styling product in my bathroom, cleansing wipes and only night-cream. My old large size bottle is my high SPF UVA/UVB sunscreen …..and I’m ready to go.
I’ve noticed many women, as they get older, lose confidence in themselves and as a result can’t make their mind up as to what to wear or how to wear it. So look at magazines and see how they style up clothes, experiment on your own in your bedroom, feel happy with yourself and importantly think to yourself : “Wear your clothes with confidence, be decisive and you’ll look and feel great”. Let that be your mantra!
About me: So, I’m 60, have been married for 28 years and my husband and I have known each other since we were 11 (although I had a brief marriage to an Italian in the 1970s). I have a 24 year old daughter who is interning at a London Ad agency . I was previously PR director for Toni and Guy and currently work 1990 when they started franchising and I became PR director for Toni&Guy and now work for TIGI as a consultant. In 2003 we moved to Cornwall. My husband took (very) early semi-retirement. Since then I’ve been splitting my time between London and Cornwall. My daughter and I now ‘share’ a flat in Battersea, a couple of hundred yards from my office. When I’m in Cornwall I fit in as much exercise as I can!