Holiday Fashion: The Land That Trends Forgot
The Debrief: As soon as there's a ray of sunshine, fashion rules go out the window
Love me some holidays, I do. ‘Cos after months forgetting what the meaning of life is except to eat, sleep and watch Netflix until the autoplay function stops - cue 30 futile minutes staring at the screen willing it to restart (laziness or SAD, you decide?) - summer '15’s come around and it’s sunny and we’ve all collectively come out of our vegetative state and realized life is actually worth living again. Some would say we all need to get the hell out of dodge and move somewhere less Baltic, but then we’d have nothing to moan about. I moan, therefore I am.
And what do summer holidays mean? Holiday wardrobes AKA fabric land. A land where trends don’t exist, flesh is considered fabric and Donatella Versace can be found crisping on the lounger between the hours of 11-15.00.
Just why do people dress so badly on vay-cay? It’s, like, along with a valid passport, everyone’s been issued a license to wear all the stuff they’re not allowed to IRL, as in normal life. Where clothing parameters exist and people still have an awareness of what shame is – where walking to the corner shop to find a ripe avocado requires more clothing than a bikini and a transparent kaftan that’s not fooling anyone.
Maybe the new Magaluf law restricting late night drinking should have included a clause prohibiting shit dressing 24 hours a day. How can we get it so wrong when there are so few elements to worry about?
Holiday dressing can be thrown into two main categories: the Eat, Pray, Love ones, who are all about loose layers and souks and the Love Island ones, who laugh in the face of hold luggage because bikinis are light as fuck.
I remember being stranded at Gatwick after a particularly crap time in New York, after my boss had assured me there would be a taxi waiting at the airport as he skipped off to business class and left me to deal with four suitcases and extra-baggage costs. As I waited for my driver to remember I existed, I had three hours to watch passengers come through arrivals and run into the arms of the people who remembered to collect them– like Love Actually, but with less turtlenecks.
My favourite moment was when a group of parents made eyes with their returned gap year offspring – running slow-mo into the arms of your beloved when you’re dressed part-shaman, part-curtain, wearing deceptively unyielding harem pants was out of the question - though I doubt their distressed Crombie-styled parents would have wanted such a close encounter. But then nothing says ‘spiritual’ and ‘carefree’ like billowing trousers and a rat-tail.
My main gripe right now is the Love Island ones. Mostly because at the time of writing, I have already lost three hours (approx.) of my life to a show featuring a lineup of THE most questionable - yet worryingly prolific - holiday wardrobes I am likely to ever make eyes at. Like all of my worst fears have been stitched together into a series of outfits that I doubt could withstand a seagull shit let alone a plunge pool.
In fact, the actual garms themselves pose less of a threat to my eyes than the size of them. Think you’re a 12? Wrong. In swimwear, you must go down a size until your assets are 99% visible. If you suddenly, inexplicably want to convey an air of giving a toss, for example you are going out for dinner and a bikini and stacked wedge seem a bit inapprops, stick on a sheer kaftan – the cover up of choice for the Love Island-ers.
LIES. Your kaftan is not covering up anything. A cling film sheath would be more effective. Why bother with fabric at all when being naked would be less offensive?
Could this way of dressing (undressing, semi-dressing?) be some form of cathartic release? The shedding of clothes actually some sexy metaphor for the unburdening of at-home problems? I doubt it. Maybe these Love Island-ers are all just wildy body confident and I need to get over it and get onboard with the holiday dressing ethos of, ‘if you’re too ashamed to wear it at home, defo pack it’. Kind of liberating if you think about it, distressing, but liberating.
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Picture: Matilda Hill-Jenkins
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