In many ways, as I patiently explain to my family at roughly this time every year, buying clothes and accessories for a glamorous exotic holiday is an investment.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if you aren’t actually taking a glamorous exotic holiday that particular year, or indeed any particular year. What matters is that you are in possession of the sorts of outfits that could take you to the best places in the world, should they be required.
And they’ll come in handy too for many other occasions at home – posh meals out and barbecues, possibly a wedding or two, garden parties… that sort of thing.
Anyway, if there’s one thing even more uplifting than jetting off to paradise, it’s buying beautiful clothes that you could wear in paradise.
We’ve come a long, long way from the days of Kiss Me Quick hats, rolled-up trousers and knotted hankies (as charming as this look can be, in a suitable environment) and we might as well make sure that we own the clothes to reflect that (and the accessories).
So, where to? Top hotspots for 2015 include India, thanks to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which has us all wanting to follow in the footsteps of Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, donning jewel-bright pashminas and elegant tunic dresses to head off to Jaipur. Channel 4 mini series Indian Summers has been showcasing the Himalayas and tea plantations of Northern India, so there’s more inspiration and destination. Meanwhile, Malaysia is now a must-see, with British Airways introducing a new flight to the gleaming capital Kuala Lumpur. Closer are the Portuguese islands of the Azores, with Ryanair starting weekly flights there from Stansted this month, and the Greek Islands, especially Mykonos and Santorini.
Madeira gets new Easyjet flights from Manchester and Edinburgh, and there’s Morocco, where the top tip is the coastal village of Essaouira, with Easyjet beginning weekly flights from Luton in May. Costa Rica and the Deep South of America are also tipped for this year’s summer travellers.
Kaftans and tunic dresses are globally useful and acceptable, and invariably gorgeous, especially this season when designers have worked so hard to come up with such beautiful prints and embellishment detail.
For pure exotic glamour teamed with wearability, House of Fraser has launched a second collection of BIBA Gold, a limited edition range of luxurious pieces perfect for fashion jet-setters. Called Standing on Stardust, the range takes inspiration from the 1970s club scene of New York’s Studio 54. Its black and gold embellished maxi dress, featured here, is a heady stunner, perfect for the best holiday ever, anywhere in the world. Check out Biba’s swimwear range too for affordable, beautiful kaftans, cover-ups and swimwear.
Great Plains is a brand you can find at selected department stores, as well as online, and there’s a sale on selected pieces at the moment, as there is at many stores as they make way for more High Summer ranges.
Look out for easy tunic dresses with interesting prints and patterns. Head too for Monsoon and East, for wonderfully wearable embellished cotton pieces that you can feel special in throughout the summer, no matter where you manage to holiday.
Bo Carter, an independent designer based in Leeds, offers lovely bold coloured and printed pieces, if you’re looking for something a bit different, and the prices are good.
Don’t forget your sun cream and your sunnies. Whatever you do, wherever you go – do it in style.