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Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - HOW I TRAVEL - CE­LESTE MITCHELL

Plan­ning your hol­i­day wardrobe can be al­most as in­ca­pac­i­tat­ing as start­ing Game of Thrones. While prac­ti­cal pieces you can mix and match are ev­ery travel ex­pert’s go-to, you also have the chance to be­come any­one you want to be while strolling those Ital­ian cob­ble­stone laneways, eat­ing gelato.

Of course I wear head­scarves at home, you’ll say! Se­quins at break­fast? Why not!

It’s the at­ti­tude beauty maven and au­thor Zoë Fos­ter Blake uses when pack­ing for a trip and one I whole­heart­edly ad­mire.

“I put it in the same cat­e­gory as ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ ex­cept that it’s more, ‘dress for the place you’re in, not the one you came from’,” she once told Ex­pe­dia. No mat­ter where she trav­els, Zoë al­ways saves space in the suit­case for state­ment ac­ces­sories – and red lip­pie – to adopt her more “flam­boy­ant, fruity” per­son­al­ity over­seas. And she’s not alone.

More than a quar­ter of Aussies now pack with so­cial me­dia in mind, spend­ing close to five hours prep­ping their hol­i­day wardrobe, ac­cord­ing to Book­ing.com.

Its re­cent re­search showed 39 per cent of peo­ple ad­mit to want­ing to look their best in hol­i­day snaps (for Gen Z, it’s more like 63 per cent) while a slightly alarm­ing 32 per cent of Aus­tralian trav­ellers say tak­ing pho­tos for so­cial me­dia is ac­tu­ally what they look for­ward to the most about go­ing on hol­i­day. But while squir­relling on-trend swim­suits for a Hawai­ian beach break or pack­ing the faux fur for that cap­tain’s din­ner on your next cruise is fun, one fifth (19 per cent) of global trav­ellers feel pres­sure to buy new clothes after see­ing other peo­ple’s hol­i­day pho­tos on so­cial me­dia.

After com­pli­ment­ing an Amer­i­can friend I met in Mex­ico on yet an­other fab­u­lous dress at din­ner one night, she let me in on her lit­tle se­cret: she had rented it.

Alli swears by Rent the Run­way for giv­ing her wardrobe the boost it needs right be­fore pack­ing time.

“I like to have ‘spe­cial’ pieces for a trip, as in some­thing I haven’t al­ready worn a mil­lion times. It makes the trip feel more spe­cial,” she says.

The US-based cloth­ing rental ser­vice, which sadly doesn’t ship in­ter­na­tion­ally, has dresses and ac­ces­sories to rent from as lit­tle as $US5 for four days, sav­ing you from splurg­ing on pieces you might only wear once or twice.

In Aus­tralia, the in­creas­ing num­ber of rental op­tions in­clude Her Wardrobe (her­wardrobe.com.au), Your Closet (your­closet.com.au), GlamCorner (glamcorner.com.au) and Run­way Closet (run­way­closet.com.au).

While the range is more lim­ited, you can rent pieces such as a Camilla dress for $150 ver­sus pay­ing $650 re­tail, which means you’ll save pre­cious hol­i­day spend­ing money.

My friend Alli also rented a luxe leather jacket that she ended up wear­ing ev­ery day in Paris. “I don’t have $2000 to spend on some­thing that would sit in my closet for six months of the year so rent­ing is a great op­tion,” she says. “But I also don’t want to stick out like a tourist, so the jacket was prac­ti­cal and made me feel stylish.”

The other ben­e­fit of rent­ing? Sea­son­al­ity ain’t a thing. So in­stead of fac­ing a wall of mus­tard mo­hair at Zara when all you want is a white li­nen dress, you can hop on­line and or­der your sum­mer (fash­ion) fling.

When I’m in a new city, I love snoop­ing through lo­cal op shops for one-off pieces that won’t break the bud­get – suede pen­cil skirt from Porto, €18; vin­tage tee from Cal­i­for­nia, $US25 – and have the added value of nos­tal­gia once I’m back home.

I’m of the be­lief that if you keep it two parts prac­ti­cal, add a touch of hol­i­day glam, and leave room to chameleon your­self into the lo­cal street style (should you feel in­spired to), you can chan­nel that per­cent­age of you wor­ried about your In­sta pho­tos into 100 per cent lov­ing your trav­els shtick.

Be­cause, damn, you’re on hol­i­days! And you look fab­u­lous.

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