Holiday fashion must-packs for Spring/Summer 2020

Many of our holiday classic wardrobe pieces have been staples for a century and more. Stephanie Smith selects key essentials and has tips on how to update for SS20.

CAPRI PANTS: Created by fashion designer Sonja de Lennart in 1948, popularised by English couturier Bunny Roger, name of course comes from the Italian isle of Capri, where they became popular in the late 1950s. They became part of Audrey Hepburn’s signature style after she wore them in Roman Holiday and Grace Kelly posed in a pair at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. Matchy-matchy is a must for SS20, and makes a lot of sense for versatile holiday packing. Pink linen top, £55, and trousers, £55, by Betty Barclay.
CAPRI PANTS: Created by fashion designer Sonja de Lennart in 1948, popularised by English couturier Bunny Roger, name of course comes from the Italian isle of Capri, where they became popular in the late 1950s. They became part of Audrey Hepburn’s signature style after she wore them in Roman Holiday and Grace Kelly posed in a pair at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. Matchy-matchy is a must for SS20, and makes a lot of sense for versatile holiday packing. Pink linen top, £55, and trousers, £55, by Betty Barclay.

Travel broadens the mind but shrinks the wardrobe to a capsule collection of carefully chosen mix-and-match classics (if you do it properly, that is). First, the history bit. It was the arrival of the railways in the mid 19th century that saw the creation of the first European holiday resorts. Until that time, the South of France and other Mediterranean hot-spots were favoured largely by English aristocrats who went for health reasons and only in winter. La Belle Époque (dating from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914) brought wealthy folk from the UK and Europe, and Queen Victoria spent her last winter break in 1899 in Nice.

In 1923, an American couple, Gerald and Sara Murphy, lived in Antibes, and threw lavish parties for friends including Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Dorothy Parker, and F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, reinventing the South of France as a summer holiday destination. They are also credited with conjuring the word “sunbathing” and there are those who argue that he was the first to wear that staple of classic resort wear, the striped Breton top.

Possibly, but it was Coco Chanel in the 1920s and ‘30s who popularised many beach and holiday pieces we still wear today.

OVERSIZED SUNNIES: Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis added her own twist to mediterranean holiday classic style with her love of playful huge sunglasses that became her signature style and exuded late Sixties and Seventies glamour. She kept several pairs in a bowl near her front door and grabbed a pair before she walked out. Jackie O sunglasses were created by several world-famous designers and styles includes the Nina Ricci 3203 and styles by Francois Pinton. Check out these Ray-Ban Jackie OHH sunglasses, now £81 at OpticiansDirect.co.uk.

Here are must-have new classics that every well-dressed traveller in 2020 must have.

THE TUCK-OUT SHIRT: A slightly oversized cotton shirt is a classic holiday staple, to wear with jeans, layered over a tee, tank or cami, over your swimwear at the beach, belted with capris or skirt for evening, as a light jacket ... options, options. Take at least two and this season make sure that one of them is a crisp blue and white style, like this by And/Or at John Lewis & Partners, £55.
THE DAY-TO-NIGHT COVER-UP: Whether you pack a pashmina, a stole, a poncho or an oversized scarf (ideally in a silk, linen, cotton or cashmere blend) a cover-up is essential to protect from the sun by day and to ward off chills in the evening. Choose a colour that works with the rest of your holiday wardtrobe. Stole, £35, by Betty Barclay.
THE BLUE AND WHITE STRIPED TOP: We have Coco Chanel to thank for the mariniere or Breton top too after she opened a boutique in Deauville in 1913 selling beachwear. It’s said she noticed the local sailors' striped tops and copied them, and in 1915 Women’s Wear Daily predicted a great success for Chanel’s striped sweaters. Long-sleeve striped tops are ideal for UK breaks but for versatility in hotter climes try a twin set like this one, by Just White, £182.95, at Helen Sykes in Leeds.
THE SHIRT DRESS: An absolute must to wear as a dress for day or night or as a jacket over a tee and capris or shorts, with trainers or flat sandals. Dress up for night with strappy sandals and a gold rope and tassel belt. For SS20 choose a midi length in a fluid silky style you can wear all seasons. Abstract snake print dress, £239 by James Lakeland at Julie Fitzmaurice in Harrogate.
BEACH PYJAMAS: Popularised by Coco Chanel who adored gender blending her clothes and started wearing them in 1918. In the 1920s and 30s, loose silk and linen pyjamas were popular for the beach to provide sun protection and modesty, but also for partying. A poster from 1927 describes Venice Lido as “the beach of sunshine and pyjamas”. In 2020, the right pair of PJs - loose, silky and in a beautiful print - can create several outfits from beach to bar, worn as a suit or separates, with white tee, heels, white trainers, swimsuit - the options are endless. M&S Collection pyjamas, £30 at Marks and Spencer. M&S Collection satin floral print pyjama set, £30 at Marks & Spencer.
THE BOHO DRESS: The right boho style dress is a classic you should be able to dress up and down. For 2020, get the boho update by looking for flared and statement sleeves and opulently folkish embroidery, adding heels and huge gold hooped earrings for a glam bling designer edge. Mosa short dress in turquoise, £350 at MySleepingGypsy.com.
THE SIMPLE - reversible - SUN DRESS: Scoop-neck and sleeveless so to wear with a white tee under or a white shirt over as a jacket, update the simple sundress this year by choosing a style with a flattering hankerchief hemline. This dress is actually two dresses in one - navy and white polka dot one side, sophisticated black floral print the other. An amazing suitcase space saver, ideal for cruises and weekend break hand luggage. It's £40 from Yorkshire brand Joe Browns.
THE SIMPLE - reversible - SUN DRESS: Scoop-neck and sleeveless so to wear with a white tee under or a white shirt over as a jacket, update the simple sundress this year by choosing a style with a flattering hankerchief hemline. This dress is actually two dresses in one - navy and white polka dot one side, sophisticated black floral print the other. An amazing suitcase space saver, ideal for cruises and weekend break hand luggage. It's £40 from Yorkshire brand Joe Browns.