Have you got Hol­i­day Wardrobe Anx­i­ety?

Why we all lose our minds when it comes to what we’re go­ing to wear on hol­i­day

The Daily Telegraph - - Living & Features - SHANE WAT­SON

This is how it starts. You are fine about your sum­mer hol­i­day wardrobe; it’s there some­where in the plas­tic stor­age bucket above the bed in the spare room. A cou­ple of weeks be­fore you’re off – still fine. You know you’ve got that H&M sun­dress and some shorts and… Uh oh, here it comes: Hol­i­day Wardrobe Anx­i­ety.

Ad­mit­tedly, HWA is the very def­i­ni­tion of a First World Prob­lem. It’s up there on the “sum­mer anx­i­eties list” with “my hair­dresser has Au­gust off ” and “my basil plant is be­ing eaten by slugs”. Only, un­like these, HWA can re­ally get to you. You may find your­self wak­ing in the night think­ing: “No, but se­ri­ously, what will I wear for sight­see­ing in 90 de­grees? Is that sun­dress too thick? Maybe I do need some flat­tish es­padrilles…’

And this is where you have to be care­ful. This is when you must sum­mon up all your mem­o­ries of hol­i­days past, all the times you have suc­cumbed to HWA at the 11th hour, and pull your­self to­gether. It’s not as if you don’t know all the traps back­wards: buy­ing the sun­hat, here not there – it’s like trav­el­ling with a tod­dler, for all the grief it causes you. The last-minute swim­suit pur­chase ( jelly tummy panic) that re­mains in its tis­sue be­cause, on re­flec­tion, it’s way too Team GB.

The hasty at­tempt to in­ject some up-to-theminute glam­our; for ex­am­ple, gla­di­a­tor san­dals (gla­di­a­tor san­dal alert: you lit­er­ally won’t be able to face putting them on, you’re more likely to pop on a tweed jump­suit) which you never un­pack. Also, you know all the emo­tional trig­gers by now: the Heidi Klein ad with the fit blonde in that Bre­ton stripy swim­suit; the friend of a friend wear­ing white frayed jeans at the bar­be­cue (but, you know, Rich And Thin and Re­ally Clean); the word “Sales” on a win­dow dis­play stuffed with be­jew­elled slides and cork wedge mules.

You know that you’re sus­cep­ti­ble to last-minute bil­lowy shirts and just-in­case-it-gets-cool-at-night shawls, and a woohoo hal­ter-neck dress on the ba­sis that, 10 days in, when you are Cara­mac brown, this will be the baby that com­pletes your Cindy Craw­ford trans­for­ma­tion. (This in spite of the fact that af­ter decades of wan­der­ing the globe with a red Katharine Ham­nett dress packed in your suit­case, wait­ing for the ideal weight/tan, you have not yet reached the Cindy switch point).

Still, HWA is stronger than com­mon sense and nois­ier than ex­pe­ri­ence. Added to which, there are those “My Other House Is On Mus­tique” shops to mess with your head. Have you seen them? They’re like a bou­tique that you might find in St Barths, sell­ing French biki­nis and gold jew­ellery, only with even less in it. You’ll prob­a­bly find the owner’s daugh­ter in there, hand­mono­gram­ming a se­quintrimmed tote, and you may find your­self spend­ing £12 (the cheap­est thing in the shop by £200) on shock­ing pink pom-pom hair ties.

From here, it’s an easy de­scent into Style Me Like A Ty­coon’s Wife ter­ri­tory or, maybe, Talitha Getty. You need hoop ear­rings and a gold coin neck­lace and you need rings. Rings? Yes rings! The chunky quartz kind you wouldn’t wear at home, but that you def­i­nitely might wear in the sun. It is a kind of mad­ness. I mean proper mad, es­pe­cially as no one is go­ing to see you on this hol­i­day – you’re only go­ing to a shack above Málaga – and you are be­hav­ing like Poppy Delev­ingne.

I tell you how you know your HWA has got the bet­ter of you: if you have bought some “back up” flip flops. But don’t worry. It will all fade away when you get there, open your case and re­alise, same as you al­ways do, that you only needed three things and one of them’s your bikini. Happy pack­ing.

‘You’re only go­ing to a shack above Malaga and you’re be­hav­ing like Poppy Delev­ingne’

Fash­ion vic­tim: just re­lax and en­joy your hol­i­day

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