Ah, the great British seaside … you can’t beat it, however unpredictable the weather may be. Stephanie Smith has advice on how to dress for a beach holiday right here, right now.
This summer’s unexpected spells of sunshine and baking heat have prompted many of us to have a rethink about where to take that last-minute break.
Why head off to the Med when you can simply drive a couple of hours to a British coastal resort, and rediscover the joys of a traditional beach holiday, armed with hopeful fishing nets and buckets and spades, ready to make proper sandcastles, then walking in the dunes before an evening dining on locally caught fish and chips?
Idyllic, indeed. But dressing for a British holiday does require some thought (and, often, slightly bigger suitcases) in order to meet the challenge of all potential weather conditions, all of which might be experienced in any one day.
Layering is key. This season, white cottons and linens are looking perfect for British beach holidays, so look out for white strappy dresses and tops, also white or cream skirts and trousers, to wear as a basic under-layer, cool enough alone for hot sunshine, but also ideal for adding to, bringing in the reinforcements of taupe and grey cardigans, soft denim shirts, and, inevitably, parkas and waterproofs, for when the rain starts to pour.
Denim shorts or jeans, worn with a crisp, white cotton shirt or artist’s smock-style top, really look the part this summer, in particular for holidays at home on the beach, reflecting the landscape and the relaxed atmosphere, but make sure you choose quality items, in the best denims and cottons, for that beachcomber sophisticate look.
Black cotton also works well, both for daytime and evening, and a simple, well-fitting, easy to wear and wash dress, in black cotton, linen or crepe, ought to be a British holiday wardrobe staple.
Finally, scarves, shawls and pashminas are essentials, so take two or three, at least, and always keep one in your beach bag. Very handy, both for when the sun strikes, and for when those sudden chill winds creep up behind you and bite.