How To Do Hand-Luggage-Only Packing
How To Do Hand-Luggage-Only Packing

How To Do Hand-Luggage-Only Packing

Never one to pack light, SL fashion broadcaster Nana learnt a valuable lesson when her luggage went missing recently. Now, having learnt how less can be more, she’s got some hard-won personal tips for fitting an entire holiday wardrobe into hand luggage…
Images: @STYLEDBYNANA

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I recently went on holiday to Mozambique and, like always, I’d meticulously planned all of my outfits. For a six-day trip, I think I had 26 individual looks. The fashion stylist in me was a notorious overpacker – I liked to have options for every eventuality. So, imagine my horror when I arrived in Johannesburg for my connecting flight, but my luggage did not. To cut a long story short, I wasn’t reunited with my suitcase until the very last night. While I was devastated about all the lovely looks I didn’t get to wear, I was surprised at how little I really needed – friends lent me pieces and I picked up just a few items at Johannesburg airport. I realised that I could have survived on my hand luggage – if I’d packed it correctly.

I am now convinced it’s possible to do hand luggage only for long-haul holidays as well as just weekends away. And summer is the perfect time to execute this new approach because clothes are so much more lightweight. By combining items that can be worn multiple different ways, there’s no need to be checking 20-odd kilos into the hold every time. So, to help you create your own holiday capsule wardrobe, here are a couple of tips – and the seven essential items that make it all possible…

– To optimise space in your case, roll instead of folding your items. Packing cubes can further streamline this process.

– Hybrid items such as a reversible swimsuit can double up as two looks for the price of one.

– An oversized silk scarf can be worn as a bandana or a top – or used to accessorise a bag.


And these are my seven hero items…

01

Basket Bag

A roomy basket bag can hold all of my essentials, from passport to holiday read, beach towel to purse, making the perfect accessory for both day and night. 

Avril Raffia Tote Bag, £195 | Maison N.H Paris
Avril Raffia Tote Bag, £195 | Maison N.H Paris
02

Sunglasses

Sunglasses have the power to instantly elevate any fit. I’d go with a classic aviator or oversized style that will work with any look. 

Embellished Aviator-Style Tortoiseshell Recycled-Acetate & Gold-Tone Sunglasses, £470 | Bottega Veneta Eyewear
Embellished Aviator-Style Tortoiseshell Recycled-Acetate & Gold-Tone Sunglasses, £470 | Bottega Veneta Eyewear
03

Denim Shorts

The versatility of denim shorts is endless. They can easily be dressed up or dressed down throughout the holiday. 

Ripped Mid-Rise Denim Shorts, £25.99 | Zara
Ripped Mid-Rise Denim Shorts, £25.99 | Zara
04

Co-ord

Comfort and style sync beautifully in a wide-leg trouser and shirt co-ord. The pieces can be worn as separate beach cover-ups or together as a chic evening outfit. 

The Weekend: Hemp, £110 | With Nothing Underneath
The Weekend: Hemp, £110 | With Nothing Underneath
The Palazzo Trousers, £120 | With Nothing Underneath
The Palazzo Trousers, £120 | With Nothing Underneath
05

Swimsuit

Repeat after me: you only need one swimsuit! A revelation, I know. I would pick a neutral or colour-block suit that can double up as a body. 

Square Neck Swimsuit, £165 | Hunza G
Square Neck Swimsuit, £165 | Hunza G
06

Sandals

The key is to choose a pair of sandals that look equally chic on the beach and in a bar. A leather ‘barely there’ style is my go-to. 

Flat Sandals With Metallic Embellishment, £99.95 | Massimo Dutti
Flat Sandals With Metallic Embellishment, £99.95 | Massimo Dutti
07

Sundress

A classic sundress is the ideal one-and-done item. You don’t have to put too much thought into it to instantly looking put together. I can’t get enough of drop hem sundresses this year.

Balia Linen Dress, £298 | Reformation
Balia Linen Dress, £298 | Reformation
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