OUTFITS FOR ITALY & BEAUTY PREP

Hope Sweden striped maxi shirt dress

I learned the importance of packing lightly at a young age. Back then it was to keep the weight of my backpack down making it easier to haul across Europe. Now it’s still about weight but to keep the cost of my luggage down because as you know, low cost airlines tend to charge per bag by weight. Another reason to pack lightly now is convenience, for many years we also had a buggy to cart around so the fewer bags the better. Aside from that I do believe it’s not only possible to limit our luggage to 1 suitcase but also practical.
The children have 2 trunkies between the 3 of them as cabin luggage. One holds some of their clothes (excess & in case of emergencies) the other has their “bits n bobs” needed to keep them entertained. Mark carries a small backpack on board for the laptop which is padded out by yet more excess clothing that also serves to protect it. I take my large Herve Chapelier shopper containing all the other necessities including passports, paracetamol sachets, wipes, snacks a book & so on.

Rolling the clothes up saves space in the suitcase & of course you know that padding out your hats with clothes not only prevents them being damaged but makes use of a void? I only take mini toiletries & my straighteners, no hairdryer or full-sized shampoo or lotions etc. This is no magic trick really, summer clothes are light & if you alternate your evening outfits there’s no need to over pack.
Part of the fun of going away is dressing up for dinner in the evening so to avoid over packing

I put a lot of thought into what my outfits for Italy will be.

I utilize my 2 small make up pouches as evening clutch bags as they’re both very pretty & go with my clothes, besides I unpack all my toiletries when I arrive anyway so the pouches are superfluous.
The kids wear the 1 pair of sandals I take for them on the plane & I carry socks on board in case their feet get cold but they never do.
Full disclosure – I send out laundry while we’re away, is that cheating? It makes a massive difference so if the hotel doesn’t do it, ask them where the nearest laundromat is.
Now here are my outfits for Italy this summer apart from the 2 I’m wearing in this post & the 2 maxi dresses here in this post. I also took a pair of white denim shorts, 2 T-shirts & a loose-fitting cotton dress from Joules that I could throw on to go to breakfast or just generally lounge about in. For the flights in & out I wore the same outfit of Neuw jeans & this pale peach coloured Ba&Sh shirt with a light cotton cardigan in my handbag that I never actually needed.

Hope Sweden striped maxi shirt dress

Hope Sweden striped maxi shirt dress

Hope Sweden striped maxi shirt dress

Hope Sweden striped maxi shirt dress

Warehouse floral playsuit

Warehouse blue floral playsuit romper

Warehouse blue floral playsuit | Tiffany blue leather pouch

Warehouse blue floral playsuit romper | tiffany blue leather pouch

Warehouse blue floral playsuit romper

Tommy Hilfiger white belted shirt dress | Whistles leather bloch heel mules

the white company blue and white stripe | tommy hilfiger white shirt dress | panama hat

panama hat with tommy hilfiger white shirt dress over cozzie

Tommy Hilfiger white belted shirt dress | Whistles block heel leather mules | The White Company cozzie top

isabel marant etoile dress | louis vuitton pouch | Havaianas | Trilby hat tkmaxx

isabel marant etoile dress | trilby hat | louis vuitton pouch | havaianas | trilby hat tk maxx

isabel marant etoile dress | louis vuittin pouch | havaianas | trilby hat tk maxx

Louis Vuitton pouch

Now for the swimwear selection I usually buy just one piece per year to zsuzs up what I already have.

I literally mean a single piece as in a top or a bottom, mix & match is how I like it. Keeping to a navy theme I already had, this year I bought a pair of high waisted, low leg, bright red bikini bottoms from Toast. They’re flattering & comfortable for those days when I feel bloated or generally more wobbly than usual. The navy blue Tankini top I bought from The White Company as my single piece last year contrasts perfectly for channeling the 1950’s pin-up. The Toast bottoms also work with my old Boden striped bikini that has a red trim & my navy blue & white striped bikini also from The White Company. In fact my entire small collection is “pick & mix” to wear any which way I choose! I mean who has a perfectly matched size top & bottom anyway?

the white company navy tankini | toast orange and white flower high waisted bikini bottoms

the white company navy tankini | toast orange and white flower high waisted bikini bottoms

Boden blue and white striped bikini top | Toast orange and white flower bikini bottoms

toast borange and white flower high waisted low leg bikini bottoms

I have a beauty regime the week before I go on summer holiday.

The idea being to prepare my body for more public exposure than It’s seen all year!
First I cut & colour my own hair, don’t worry I’m not suggesting you do this yourself however you could be well-practiced in home colouring & if so there is something else you can do to make that colour last longer. If like me you have some greys too this is a terrific trick to do every time you colour your hair.
The product is called Tresemme Keratin Smooth It is a heat activated treatment designed to keep the frizzies at bay for a week but what it also does is create a barrier on the hair shaft effectively locking in your freshly applied colour. This isn’t a sponsored post by the way, this is something I figured out myself & it really works. The first time I shampoo my hair after colouring it I apply the treatment as directed. You’ll see a noticeable shine to my hair in the photos, I haven’t photoshopped that it’s due to this product & what’s more it lasts much longer than 7 days!
Next I tint my eyelashes blue-black because quite frankly I don’t feel like wearing mascara out to dinner every single night, this way a quick curl is all they need.

hope sweden striped maxi shirt dress

pedicure feet opi nail varnish

http://opi.com/#tr1ZKlikrSxqG3a8.97

pedicure feet opi nail varnish

A pedicure to soften my cracked heels & prepare my neglected feet for a fortnight in sandals.

Using OPI nail varnish to ensure the colour withstands all that extra soaking & remains looking pretty for the whole holiday.
Finally, & this may freak you out, I scrub my entire body with simple soap & one of those cheap kitchen scourers. True story! I know it sounds awful but it works really well & I love that Turkish bath kinda clean I get with it, sloughing away winters layers of dead skin. Right after this I get a professional spray tan…obviously!!!
What is your holiday beauty prep?
Next week more fashion & travel with two mamas in Lucca senza bambini!
See ya then….

hope sweden striped maxi shirt dress

  • Comments ( 15 )

  • avatar
    june

    Hi Michelle, where can I find the lovely striped dress, with the tie back at the top of this post? I love this on you. I’m 65 and feel more comfortable in maxi length and this dress is so feminine and cool looking. I love the rolled up sleeves. I recently moved to a much warmer climate and am looking for outfits that look beautiful and finished and yet this still remains sexy. How/where will I see your response? Will it come right to me at my email?

    • avatar
      MT

      Hi again June, I agree with you about a chic maxi dress being elegant yet infinitely wearable. However, I’m so sorry to tell you this dress is sold out. The brand is Hope based in Stockholm, there may be something else you like & they’re having a sale! Alternatively, if I were you I’d save a search on Ebay. You never know your luck & it takes very little effort to do this. Good luck xx

    • avatar
      MT

      p.s. I just remembered this beautiful dress from Madeleine that is quite similar & also happens to be on sale. If you don’t know this German brand I can tell you first hand the quality is outstanding. I worked with them here.

  • avatar
    April

    This website with its accompanying lovely photography and truly stylish dressing gave me a real boost today! I think it’s such honest clean pure style in its example,not faddish or unflattering. Any woman would benefit from these style examples.

    • avatar
      MT

      Well now you’ve made my day! Thanks April x

  • avatar
    Susannah

    I wish I had read this before packing for my holiday! I’ve come back with a suitcase of dirty clothes and a suitcase of clean ones (totally unworn). I’ve never thought of having laundry done while I’m away – will definitely remember this one!

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Ah shame..Oh well there’s always next time! 😉

  • avatar
    Daniella Robins

    Beautiful photos! You look amazing in every single shot! I am particularly liking your striped maxi dress and especially with the red flats. I am interested to see how I pack for my upcoming holiday, I am terrible for taking too much! But I have never thought to do laundry whilst away, I will definitely be keeping this tip in mind 🙂

    Take care,
    Daniella xox

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Hi Daniella, Have you tried the halve it rule? When you’ve finished packing, take half out. Honestly you will not regret it. Also, if you’ve forgotten anything it’s important to remember you can always buy a replacement wherever you are. Unless you’re going somewhere really remote of course, but I believe those places are few & far between these days. x

  • avatar
    Anna of the Mutton Years

    Some very useful tips here. I have the treseme product as a freebie on my dressing table. I will now use it! I do laundry in the apartment. It dries so quickly on the balcony. I did laundromat when we took the children though.

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Hi Anna, let me know what you think of that hair treatment. I just had a look at your blog btw, you are a funny lady! I’ll be popping back for sure x

  • avatar
    Lisa

    I love it ALL, but especially the shirtdress and play suit. They both look amazing on you, and photograph so well. I’m an awful overpacker, I’m in awe of your skillz. xx

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      The Hope shirtdress is such a beautiful cut isn’t it Lisa? I like that you can cinch it in at the waist tied front or back depending how it suits your shape. Thank you for the compliment, I think the light in Italy had a lot to do with the photos looking so good. It was so much fun shooting there!

  • avatar
    Cory

    Ach! You look stunning! ^_^

    Love this post. So many beautiful outfits, set against such beautiful scenery. I have serious vacation envy over here, Michelle. I especially love the maxi shirtdress. I blame my maxi obsession. Love the swimsuits too! I have a tendency to lean towards ones (like those you featured here) that can be mixed and matched. I feel like you just get so much more bang for your buck that way. Fantastic travel tips, especially on packing. I’m still trying to find ways to minimize my luggage, so I’ll definitely try rolling my clothes next time I pack.

    • avatar
      retrochicmama

      Ah yes the Tuscan backdrop definitely elevated my limited photography skills. So glad you enjoyed the post x

  • Have your say too!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TOP