The warmer months always give me an extra zest for life. Waking up with the sunshine, longer days that are perfect for productivity as well as play and sunsets that reserve their beauty until late at night, give me so much energy and help to continually renew my positive outlook. It’s fair to say that I live for the summer; travel, family days out with my partner and stepson and getting active outdoors are just some of the things that I love to do at this time of the year. I’m lucky that I live so close to the beach and lots of parks so being in nature and enjoying all that their is to love about dry, warm weather is something that I never take for granted.
Exploring a foreign country is always my favourite way to spend my holiday time but we live in such a varied, beautiful country that its important for me to enjoy UK days out and mini breaks too. I know that so many of you love to holiday at home and abroad too but for a lot of you, those experiences don’t come without their worries, especially around fashion and what to wear on holiday as a plus size woman so today, I’m going to help you out with some of the most common holiday hang ups.
I’ve spoken extensively about flying as a plus size person and the amount of direct messages I have received since I created this video all about plus size flying tips has been incredible; I’m so pleased that it has been able to help so many of you to step foot on a plane and live your best lives. However I know that there are so many things that many of you also worry about from wearing a bikini, to staying cool in the heat and what to actually pack on holiday.
My DMs are always open and I hope that my WhatLauraLoves Instagram provides some inspiration for you too; I genuinely want to help as many people as I can because I know how crippling it can feel to be filled with so much anxiety around wearing certain clothing, travelling, summer activities and simply existing in your own skin. I think so many of us have experienced bullying and fat shaming that we’re so worried about making our own fashion choices for fear of what others will think about us. I want to empower women to feel confident in their own skin so that they can go out there and live their best lives wearing the gorgeous clothes that they love, free from worrying about what anyone else thinks about them.
Simply Be recently shared some of the questions that they had received from their Simply be Perks Panel around holiday hang ups and I wasn’t surprised to see that so many of their queries and worries were the things that many women on my own social media contact me about. So let’s get things ironed out and start building our confidence in our summer holiday wardrobe once and for all ladies! I’m here to help give you ideas on what plus size clothes to pack for your next holiday as well as plenty of other online fashion creators which you’ll be able to see over on the Simply Be Instagram.
WHAT PLUS SIZE CLOTHES TO PACK FOR YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY
What you pack for your travels will largely be dependent on where you’re going, what the weather is generally like there and what you’re intending to get up to while you’re there so do your research beforehand on what the weather conditions are like, how much they change day to night and what trips you might like to do while you’re away. Then you’ll know how much activewear, fancy dresses, bikinis, etc you’ll need.
Generally speaking, I take a different outfit for each night of the holiday and then I dress down some of the pieces for day wear, along with taking a couple of specific daywear outfits. I take 1 bikini and 1 beach coverup for every 3 days of my trip and I tend to wear the same outfit to travel in, if its a short haul holiday from the UK, with a change of top. I always travel in trainers as my feet swell when I wear anything else and I pack a pair of rubber flip flops for around the pool and on the beach, a pair of slip on flip flops and sandals for day wear or for evenings where I want something more understated and then a jewelled pair of sandals for the evening. For some trips, I’ll pack a pair of wedges for the nighttime but the majority of the time, I focus on comfort and go for flats. Regardless, I always pick colours that are quite neutral- lots of white, black, tan, etc so that they go with all of my different looks.
The clothes you take will also largely be dictated by the luggage allowance that you have. I’ve done several trips with hand luggage alone and travelled for almost a whole month in Bali with a big backpack but generally speaking, where possible, I always book checked luggage. I still have to be careful how many clothes, shoes, toiletries and accessories I take because naturally, being bigger, my clothes have more fabric and therefore take up more room. This is where a holiday wardrobe full of co-ordinating pieces and multi-use items comes in because they allow you to create multiple looks for multiple occasions with fewer items.
HOW TO MIX AND MATCH PLUS SIZE CLOTHING TO CREATE MULTIPLE OUTFITS
Many of you asked how to mix and match different pieces together so that you could save on the amount of clothes that you take away with you and a capsule wardrobe is ideal for this as you’ll be packing fewer clothes but ones that are carefully chosen so that they go well with one another and can be worn for different occasions during your holiday.
While creating a capsule wardrobe for day to day life at home would usually include jeans, tailored trousers, a coat, a little black dress, white shirt, etc, for holiday, I don’t think that the rules are quite so hard and fast. I’d suggest the easiest way to create a capsule holiday wardrobe is to start by choosing colours that go well together, such as khaki, beige, gold, black or red, navy and white and start to build your outfits from there.
Choose key pieces in block colours that’ll mix and match with plenty of other items and that you can dress up or down for a day at the pool, shopping in a market or partying the night away. Then throw in the odd patterned item to create more interest. It’s harder to mix and match patterns so I’d always say to start with block colours as your basics as from these, you can create a multitude of different looks which is particularly important if you’re only taking hand luggage away with you or are travelling with kids and have limited space for your own clothes.
Co-ords and separates that create sets are the perfect pieces to mix and match to create lots of different looks while on holiday and once you’re back home too. I love the Fiesta Embroidered Bardot Co-Ord from Simply Be when worn together but I love it even more worn separately. Pair the shorts with a red, white or navy blue top and wear the striped top with some culottes or tuck it into a maxi skirt for a laid back, summery look. It also looks absolutely gorgeous with white skinny jeans or denim shorts and red accessories!
The Coral Crepe Throw On Blazer with the Coral Crepe Shorts are another example of co-ordinating pieces that look great together but that you can mix and match with other pieces in your wardrobe to create more outfit options. Just imaging the blazer over the top of a black maxi dress; beautiful!
These two summery pieces make the perfect set together with either of the Ivory/Black Pack of 2 Basic Cami Tops yet the cami top and the jacket also look lush when worn with the Wrap Front Stretch Jersey Culottes. There are so many items that you could pair with the coral jacket or the shorts so even though they really make a statement when worn together, they look fabulous separately too. I’ve been wearing the blazer with the white cami and my jeans on cooler days and putting it over little dresses too; it is GORGEOUS and actually a look that I tried to create with a coral blazer earlier in the year but the shorts that matched weren’t a good fit at all. You can imagine my excitement when I saw these two pieces on the Simply Be website and how elated I was to find that the fit is absolutely bang on. They’re stretchy without being too relaxed, true to size and really feel so comfortable to wear. That’s the great thing about Simply Be, they really know curves and how to get gorgeous items to fit them so well.
If you’re looking for some basics for your holiday or even your wardrobe in general then the pack of 2 camis are a must buy for you. They’re made from a woven material so have no stretch in them but are cut into more of a swing style so they skim over your tummy which is ideal if you’re out of proportion like I am. I often struggle with woven material items because of my shape as if I buy the garment to fit my tummy, then its usually far too big on my shoulders and bust but these ones fit really well plus they’re long too! I love wearing them out but also tucked into shorts, jeans, skirts and culottes. They go with everything, are really thin (but not see through!) and lightweight so they wont take up much space in your case.
The Wrap Front Stretch Jersey Culottes really are one of my finds of the summer. Try these on and I’m sure they’ll be the wardrobe find you never knew you needed but cant see another summer without. Mega comfortable, easy to wear and perfect dressed up or down, these are a style staple I have already paired with so many other items in my wardrobe. I cannot wait for them to come out of the wash so that I can wear them again and may even buy a second pair for my holiday to Bali as they’ll be so comfortable on the plane and when I’m feeling all zen at a yoga class out there.
WHAT TO WEAR TO THE AIRPORT
If you’re wondering what clothes to travel in too, as I know this was another question asked by the Simply Be Perks Panel, then I think that the combination of the stretchy jersey culottes and the blazer would make a great travelling outfit as the culottes are SO comfortable and relaxed while the soft blazer still looks smart and put together which is ideal if you’re planning on indulging in a visit to the airport lounge before you board your flight. I’d suggest pairing the two with a t-shirt or a cotton/jersey vest top that you could wear with some shorts or a maxi skirt one day later on in the holiday, as opposed to the woven camis which I feel are a more dressy material that I’d wear at night on holiday rather than during the day or to travel in.
Failing that, a loungewear set is always a great choice. I wrote about the gorgeous Figleaves Curve Embellished Hoodie and the Figleaves Curve Embellished Tracksuit Bottoms that I wore on the press trip I’d always dreamed of earlier this summer and they were from Simply Be too! They were so comfortable on my flight out to Portugal but I felt so stylish too. The embellished details really take their look from being too plain and sporty and give them a hint of glam. I’m all about adding a little sparkle to an outfit!
HOW TO STYLE THE SAME ITEM IN DIFFERENT WAYS
Adding a hint of sparkle to glam up an outfit is also a way that you can style the same clothing item in different ways and it can really help to take a look from day to night too. When I’m at home or away on holiday, if I’m wearing a plain maxi dress during the day with some flip flops, I’ll add a pair of wedges, some sparkly earrings, bracelet and clutch and I’ve instantly made it look more glam for an evening out; a slick of gloss finishes the look off perfectly. It all sounds so simple but that really is all that I do; dressing up on holiday needn’t be something to worry about as its the great time that you’re going to have while you’re there that’s the important thing.
I know that its easier said than done though and many of you do worry about what clothes to wear on holiday; even I have in the past, especially when I went on my first holidays as an adult as I hadn’t been away since I was very young and I wasn’t sure what the other girls would be wearing and how they’d be styling their outfits.
In a similar way to the question about mixing and matching different clothes together, many of you wanted some tips on styling your holiday outfits and specifically wanted to know how to style the same item in different ways so that you could have more options but pack less. For this, I’d suggest seeing items for more than just how they could have initially been intended. Take those plus size culottes above for example. They’re perfect for dressing up or down but make a great comfortable airport outfit to travel in, would be ideal as a yoga pant for more of a relaxing yet active holiday and they would be ideal as a beach cover up too.
It’s all about imagining the clothes you’ve got in different scenarios. The Simply Be Considered Zebra Print Bardot Mini Dress With Trims would make a gorgeous beach coverup, especially if you’re going to a fancy pool party but since its lined, add some pink statement tassel earrings and a clutch and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous going out out look. Get those legs out girls and feel the warmth on your skin!
HOW TO STAY COMFORTABLE IN THE HEAT
Feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin is a great feeling but it is easy to become hot and bothered especially when baking hot days turn into humid, clammy nights. For sunshine holidays in the heat, I love to opt for light cotton or stretchy jersey fabrics that are breathable and comfortable to wear, in styles that are easy to pull on and go, especially when its likely that I’m sweating profusely which isn’t cute at the best of times. Hot days call for loose clothing and shorter styles. I love to have my legs and arms out as I can feel the air on my skin and can move around without any restrictions which can often exacerbate how hot I’m feeling.
Please don’t feel the need to cover up for fear of what others may think about you as a plus size woman showing her arms; I promise you, Sharon, 45 from Birkenhead hasn’t spent the last 6 months working overtime to pay for her 2 weeks in the Costa Del Sol to be remotely interested in how you look in a bikini, dress, bardot top or anything else you’ve always dreamed of wearing. You do you girl and forget about what anyone else may or may not think. I promise, the opinions of others aren’t nearly as bad as the negative self talk many of you will have given yourselves over the years and it needs to stop; do it for you.
I was horrible to myself for YEARS and I can honestly say that learning to love my body from every angle has been such a freeing feeling. Practice self love in the run up to your holiday, with plenty of positive self talk everyday and it’ll make a huge difference by the time you’re pool side in your gorgeous new holiday clothes.
One of my top plus size summer fashion picks has to be the Pack of Two Playsuits from Simply Be as they’re so easy to wear. They’re perfect for keeping you comfortable in the heat and are actually a lot more versatile than you may first think. Whether you’re going on a boat trip, heading down to the pool or going for a look around the local shops, they’re easy to pull on and will have you looking put together at a moments notice but they’re also great for dressing up too, with chunky jewellery and some jewelled sandals or wedges, especially if you’re travelling to a hot destination like Tenerife or Turkey.
This set has one playsuit in red and one in a black and white monochrome palm leaf print, both with an elasticated waist and tie at the bust which can be made into a bow or tied around the neck. Other colour ways are usually available too. I’m a big fan of these and still love wearing the tropical and fuchsia ones I got last summer on days out and warm evenings on holiday!
PLUS SIZE CLOTHES TO WEAR ON HOLIDAY NIGHTS
My favourite holidays are spent exploring different cultures and chilling out in sunshine during the day and sipping cocktails and dancing to live music at night. I live for experiences so I don’t like to spend too long getting ready for a night out, especially when its hot outside and it doesn’t let up at night as I know how warm I’ll feel once I step out of my air conditioned room! I like to get back to my room and have a little siesta before a quick shower, change of clothes and a very quick beauty routine; which usually consists of my skincare, a little brow product and a tinted lip balm.
Many of the Simply Be Perks Panel asked what clothes to wear on an evening on holiday and I’d always say that if you’re someone who lives for experiences and wants to get out of the hotel room with minimal fuss, then go for a dress. You can wear your hair up or down with a dress so if the humidity kills your locks then get it up and looking sleek which is what I often did when in Portugal earlier this summer.
Dresses are really easy to style because they’re an all in one piece so you’re not having to worry about whether the items you’re wearing coordinate with one another and because its just the one item per outfit, they wont take up a lot of room in your suitcase. You can pair your holiday dresses with wedges or flats for the ultimate comfort without compromising on style, wear the same jewellery every night for a touch of sparkle without compromising on luggage weight and carry the same bag if you want to. Anything goes if you get a gorgeous dress in a beautiful print that you want to leave to do all of the talking; when I go on holiday, I tend to take a different dress with me for each night out.
I’ve picked out three of my faves from Simply Be and they’re all in gorgeous prints, that way, I don’t need to pack too many accessories to dress them up as they do it all by themselves. If you’re in the market for a smock dress then the AX Paris Tropical Smock Dress is absolutely stunning. I sized up with it being a woven fabric but should really have just ordered my regular size as the fit on this piece is generous with it being a smock shape. It skims over the body effortlessly, feels so light and floaty and the print is beautiful- perfect for summer. Plus, it weighs next to nothing so you can save space in your case for all of those souvenirs that you want to bring back.
For those who would prefer a maxi dress, the Tropical Maxi Dress in red is absolutely stunning and a really beautiful shape with frill details, cold shoulder sleeves, a v wrap over neckline and splits in the leg. I have another dress similar to this one from Simply Be too which I’ve worn countless times already this summer and knew that the red had to make its way into my wardrobe the moment I saw it. Dresses like this are so easy to wear, especially on holiday, as they require minimal accessories and look awesome with your hair tied up too for all of those sassy señorita vibes.
Equally, the Black Print Crinkle Pom Pom Trim Maxi Dress is a fantastic option for those looking for a maxi dress, plus it has pockets so it was always going to be a winner in my book! This one is particularly great for if you’re looking to build your confidence in dresses with it being full length, without any splits in the leg. It’ll give you plenty of coverage while you work on building your confidence and its a step in the right direction as it gets you out of leggings and trousers. Plus its gorgeous, has pockets and is made from a crinkle fabric which means you’ll not have to worry about it creasing in your suitcase. Anything that doesn’t need ironing instantly gets a thumbs up from me for holiday wear!
If you haven’t worn a dress for so long, then now is the time. Simply Be really are a go-to dress-tination for plus size dresses for all occasions and with their Perks programme you can often save money on your new outfit or bag yourself a freebie too!