I was recently lucky enough to embark on a summer holiday to the beautiful Canary Island of Fuerteventura. I enjoyed a relaxing week of sipping pina coladas, nibbling tapas, flamenco dancing, and soaking up the sun on stunning white sandy beaches. As much as I would have loved to pack a suitcase full of circle skirts and flouncy petticoats, one must be sensible when travelling to hotter climes (and having a baggage allowance to take into consideration). What pin-up outfits, I asked myself, could I pack that would be suitable in the heat (and often blustery breeze) of Fuerteventura?
Enter the nautical playsuit! I settled on this summer staple for the majority of my holiday wardrobe. They are not only cool and the perfect cover-up for your 1950s swimsuit, but can also be dressed up for the evening. In addition, they take up only a tiny amount of space in one’s suitcase and should it get a little breezy, there is absolutely no need to worry about exposing yourself!
Playsuits have been a beach essential for years and many of my idols, including Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, were great fans of the playsuit while at the seaside. Picking up on this classic beach/seaside theme, I decided to pack a range of nautical playsuits (as well as a few shorts and top combos). I kept to a colour scheme of red, white and blue so that I could pack a small range of accessories that would tie in with any of the outfits. Sticking to this concept, surprisingly I didn’t get carried away in the packing process. Despite returning home with a range of perfume, cosmetics, hair scarves, jewellery, chocolate AND four new pairs of shoes, I was still five kilograms under my baggage allowance…quite an achievement I am sure you will agree!
Holiday Outfit 1: This nautical navy/white stripe playsuit is from a pop-up shop in Basingstoke. It has a built-in support for the bust, perfect for summer holidays as it reduces the need to pack lots of extra undies! It worked brilliantly with my blue and white Ted Baker flip-flops, and Pink Flamingo Retro hair scarf and brooch.
Holiday Outfit 2: This red polka dot playsuit is from Hell Bunny. It is a light fabric and so can be worn as a beach cover-up or an evening outfit. I paired this playsuit with a nautical hair scarf and white Gioseppo sandals. The playsuit is also available in navy, and considering it is as light as a feather, it would have been rude not to pack both right?
Holiday Outfit 3: The Collectif Futura Sea Shell Playsuit. is possibly my favourite outfit of the week. The Collectif website states “The Futura is a classic, nautical inspired playsuit that is perfect for warmer weather. This style features adorable contrast trims and dainty wooden buttons on the bust, pocket flaps and the shorts”. They are absolutely right; the material of this playsuit is thicker cotton than most of my other playsuits and so is much better for the cooler evenings than as a beach/daytime outfit. I put it together with my navy/white Ted Baker flip-flops and Pink Flamingo Retro hair scarf.
Holiday Outfit 4: I dressed this Hell Bunny playsuit up with a white New Look waist belt, red Gioseppo sandals, and Pink Flamingo Retro hair scarf and brooch. Once again, the thicker cotton of this playsuit lends itself well to the cooler evenings. It is also available in black, should you wish to change the look slightly.
Holiday Outfit 5: I managed to get my hands on the gorgeous Collectif red Vanya Picnic Gingham Shorts in the 50% summer sale recently and while away I teamed them with a Primark white Bardot top and white patent bow flop-flops. These shorts are high-waisted and hold you in all the right places, creating classic pin-up girl curves (even in the absence of my beloved circle skirts). Although fairly skin hugging, these shorts are 97% cotton and I still found them breathable and easy to wear in a warmer climate.
Holiday Outfit 6: Moving away from the playsuits slightly, while away I also opted for a floral bustier and high-waisted shorts two piece. These are from the Kelly Brook for New Look Summer 2013 range. I am a big fan of Kelly Brook’s clothing, underwear and swimwear ranges and both her 2012 and 2013 summer ranges are very 1950s-inspired. If you keep your eyes peeled you can still snap up some of her beautiful pieces on eBay. The vibrant floral colours in this twin set very much remind me of the designs in the flamenco dancers outfits, so what better outfit to rock alongside my nautical attire whilst on the Spanish island? I completed the look with a red hair scarf that I picked up in a local gift shop and my red Gioseppo sandals.
Holiday Outfit 7: My final outfit is the Collectif Adele Sea Shell Print Pencil Dress, which I accesorized with Ipanema Pretty Bow flip-flops in pink/white and Vogue sunglasses. Although this nautical themed dress is not playsuit I simply could not leave it behind (and in my defence the pencil skirt hugs your curves perfectly and was not going to fly away anywhere in the sea breeze). I have always found the size advice on the Collectif website extremely helpful and they describe this dress as “less fitted” than their normal pencil styles. I completely agree with this statement. Despite the tighter fit this dress was still comfortable to wear; perfect for warmer weather. If you fancy something a little cooler still, why not go for the dress in the lighter ivory colour?
Papow and I are currently planning a trip across the pond in 2017 to the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly festival. Considering the ridiculous shopping opportunities that this visit is bound to present, the question of whether I can be as controlled in the packing process for this trip is yet to be seen…