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Skiing? Holidaying on the beach? Here's what to pack

Whether it's a beach holiday in Goa, a road trip in the countryside or a skiing vacation in the Alps, pack in the right apparels and accessories to make an impression. Shreyanka Mazumdar talks to designers, stylists and fashionistas to compile capsule wardrobes for different holidays

There’s nothing like getting away from the mundane life once in a while. But with a holiday, comes the hard work that you so dearly hope someone else did for you. We are talking about packing, the dreaded word that leads to tiffs between couples and inordinate delays, thanks to your obsession with taking along everything. Wouldn’t it be easier if you knew the difference between indispensable and ‘just-in-case’ outfits and accessories? Designers, stylists and fashionistas share their tips and tricks to help you get your wardrobe ready for different holidays in a jiffy:  

Sun and sand
When the sun and sand beckon, go easy on the packing. A beach wardrobe is light, easy and effortless. A flirty swimsuit is a must (think animal prints and high-waist briefs). Throw in a pair of faded hot pants, loose tees, cotton maxis or crepe dresses, slouchy pants, hats and flip-flops and you are sorted. Put on your shades and let your hair loose into natural waves. Leave, those curlers and straighteners behind. Remember to pat a generous amount of sunscreen (minimum SPF30) half an hour before you hit the beach.

Fashion special: Beach wear
Up the glam quotient with a flirty swimsuit teamed with vintage sunglasses. White stones ring monokini (seen in the picture above)  is available at the Beach Company, a speciality shop for swimming, resort and holiday fashion 

“A printed kaftan is a great alternative to an otherwise simple sarong. Not everyone feels comfortable in a swimsuit. A kaftan will cover you up as well as hide the wet patches after a dip in the sea or the pool,” suggests designer Nachiket Barve. While at the beach, it is always best to choose an accessory that won’t get eroded in seawater. “For a day beach wedding, or a dinner by a cosy beach restaurant, opt for a statement accessory that compliments the colours and silhouette of the outfit. A palm cuff, draped chain, statement chunky ring and ear cuffs work really well,” suggests jewellery designer Laila Singh of Social Butterfly.

Miss India Worldwide 2014, Monica Gill emphasises that beauty essentials are an absolute must-have on a beach holiday. “My essentials are a good sunscreen (SPF 50) and a lip balm. Protecting your eyes is equally important, especially in a tropical setting. A nice pair of sunglasses always looks chic,” she says.

Backpacking
As simple as it may sound, packing for a backpacking trip is the trickiest of all. When you don’t have too many bags to pile up your clothes in, you have to make the choices wisely. Pack your clothes according to the terrains you will visit. A base layer like a thermal top or a woolen coat (if you are visiting cold countries), jackets, windcheaters, cargo pants, a raincoat and swimwear are things that are totally indispensable irrespective of the topography.

Fashion special: Backpacking
Stick to cotton shirts, cargo shorts and sneakers while backpacking 

Layer your clothes to your comfort level if you are heading to a cold place. Get rid of the jacket and stick to cotton tees and cargo shorts with ventilated shoes if your destination is a humid place. “A relaxed skirt or slouchy shorts with a classic boat neck tee can be layered with an unbuttoned chambray shirt, an army jacket, a bright hooded jumper or a sweatshirt for a chic and rugged look. You can accessorise the look with a pair of aviators, wayfarers and a lightweight scarf or chapeaux. Stick to comfort shoes such as lightweight sneakers or floaters,” suggests designer Monisha Jaisingh.

A road trip
So your itinerary doesn’t only consist of fancy places but spending long hours in the car too. Our three best looks include a lovely printed sundress in a bright hue (think pink, yellow or turquoise) paired with a straw hat, vintage sunnies, a tote and gladiators; a pair of faded boyfriend jeans with a snug tank top and breezy loafers and lastly, a flirty playsuit or a maxi with a bright scarf (for that extra glitz) or a pair of printed jeggings with an oversized shirt. Designer Surily Goel suggests you go comfy and chic. She says, “Boots, cargos, bermuda shorts, a cool duffle bag and a sweater or a hoodie is a must to keep you warm if the weather is chilly at night. Boots with fringes or funky waistcoats will add glam to the overall look. “Casual dresses are perfect for road trips, because they are incredibly comfortable. A black, linen, bell-sleeved short dress accessorised with a minimal necklace and sandals is a great wear,” suggests fashion stylist Pernia Qureshi.

Fashion special: Road trip
(Left) Opt for a tank top with faded jeans or (right) a printed sundress for a road trip

Activity holidays
It’s important to keep both form and function in mind while packing for activity holidays. Make sure your clothes are lightweight yet serve the purpose. Full-sleeved shirts are a great way to defend the skin against chaffing while a thermal body warmer will help you fight the cold. It is smart to carry cotton or polycotton tees as they dry fast when damp. If you are headed to a jungle, pay extra attention to the kind of footwear you carry. A pair of jungle boots that are sturdy and up to the ankle will protect your feet from insects. In case, you are visiting a wetland, waterproof shoes are a must. Replace them with breathable shoes if you are headed to a desert or a rugged, warm terrain.

Fashion special: Loose shirts with tights are ideal for activity holidays
Loose shirts with tights are ideal for activity holidays

Loose-fitting shirts in varied lengths, tights, trainers and leggings in bright spandex prints are also in vogue. Add a hint of glamour with a neon rucksack! “Keep it light, trendy but functional,” advises Surily Goel. “A multi-pocketed belt will help you carry pouches and is a perfect accessory for the look,” she says. For a bit of bling on the clothes, Qureshi suggests embroidered track pants with floral printed panel tops and printed shorts with basic cotton tops that are comfortable to wear for long hours.

Skiing
It goes without saying that a skiing holiday bag will mostly consist of woollens. Warm socks, thermal underwear, firm boots (that do not block the blood circulation) and woollen long jackets and wind cheaters are a must while packing for a ski trip. Make sure your pants are waterproof as there will be a lot of gliding on the snow and your clothes can get damp. Avoid cotton while on a ski trip as it retains moisture. Instead, stack up on wools. Barve suggests trendy options to otherwise drab ski outfits. “Wool sweaters paired with woollen track pants, foiled silk cashmere and a little embellishment on the jackets or sweaters to add a little glamour are good options for a skiing wardrobe. A beautiful handcrafted jacket or a designer long coat to layer the clothing to have a drink by the fireplace is a great idea too,” he says.

Fashion special: Skiing
Loose shirts with tights are ideal for activity holidays

Qureshi suggests designer wear for looking uber chic on a ski trip. “I personally find a grey and black sweatshirt and the grey, contrast silk striped trousers by Huemn very chic and a great addition to a skiing wardrobe,” she suggests.

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