A few weeks ago Miranda and I both had the post-holiday blues and decided that the best way to get rid of them was to put together a feature about hand luggage holiday fashion. What followed was a slightly surreal conversation about a fake break that may have involved Miranda telling me I was taking far too many clothes away on my pretend holiday. I may have replied by telling her that I wasn’t just going away for Friday and Saturday but Sunday too and would be staying for much of Monday… Anyway enough about the delusional ramblings of the Rock My Style team and back to the packing.

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Just imagine that this is a city break comprising of four days and three evenings having a lovely time sightseeing and soaking up the sun and atmosphere. Flying on a budget airline, the cabin sized suitcase is filled with enough outfit changes for the whole long weekend but there’s still room for souvenirs.
Miranda and I are not envious in any way shape or form of anyone who really is going on a holiday like this.

Mix and Match

I wear black most of the time so having tops and bottoms that go with each other is usually quite easy. I pick a black vest to go with a black skirt. As most people don’t like to look like they’re attending a funeral when that go off on their jollies I have extended out the colour palette and branched out into white and coral splashes. It’s a tip that’s been shared a million times but having items that can be mixed and matched to go with each other is the easiest way to cut down on the amount of stuff you need to pack.


My aeroplane attire has to serve two purposes, to be comfy and warm. Am I the only one who finds planes absolutely freezing? Therefore along with the relaxed slouchy Topshop Pants and River Island casual silky vest and cardi, I would also bring along a pashmina and socks.


In theory all you need for a city break is some sneakers, a pair of sandals and a pair of heels for the evening. I like to go with a mid-heel as after a hard day pounding the payments my feet are usually a bit sore. It’s optional if you want to regularly trip over paving stones and batter the front of your shoes like I seem to do. A lot.


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{In My Case}
  • 1 smart maxi
  • 1 smart-casual maxi to be dressed up or down
  • 1 casual maxi
  • 1 playsuit
  • 2 casual short dresses for day
  • 2/3 sleeveless vests
  • 1 pair of denim shorts
  • 1 kimono
  • 1 bikini
  • 1 cardigan
  • PJs
  • Underwear
  • Slimline envelope style clutch with strap
  • Canvas shopper
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of low to mid heels
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Costume jewellery
  • Travel sized Toiletries
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    It would appear that the hotel I’m staying in is very swanky and has its own pool. Perfect for sporting my new high waisted bikini from the Topshop swimwear range – and cute kimono (that would also double up as a cover-up). River Island have a great selection this season.
    I would always pack a hat too to protect my head and face from the sun. I’ve recently bought a straw version from H&M which can be folded up to fit in your case.


    For dashing around the city I’d suggest taking a few sleeveless tops, a couple of simple dresses, a casual maxi dress and a pair of shorts. The tops can be mixed and matched with the shorts and the trousers from the plane.

    Evening wear

    I would leave separates at home and instead go for a couple of maxis and a playsuit all of which would be suitable for going out for dinner, drinks and dancing and take up next-to-no room in your bag.

    Roll with it

    After I’ve packed shoes at the bottom of my case, I usually roll the rest of the garments and then slot awkward shaped items in any of the gaps.

    The extras

    I like to take a very slim clutch with me to the airport that has a fine strap. In here I pack my passport, lippy, sunglasses and phone and decant my purse to a slimline wallet. This means when I get to the boarding gate I can easily slide my bag inside my case if the airline staff are strict to impose the one piece of hand baggage rule. I always take a canvas shopper with me for shopping when I hit the city.

    I pack my smalls in a bikini bag (Primark do loads of zip pouches in their swimwear section) and then use a small make-up bag to transport my jewellery.

    For beauty I take travel sized items of everything aside from sun cream. I am so pale skinned that I slather it on like it’s going out on fashion so I always nip to Boots when I ‘go through to the other side’ to pick up a couple of bottles. If you fancy it do place your requests for a holiday beauty post and we’ll see what we can do.

    Just to be really annoying everything I have recently bought has miraculously disappeared from the shops so the items you see in the fancy shopping widget are similar replacements.

    These are the clothes that I should have taken on my recent trip to Italy rather than the entire contents of my summer wardrobe. Does anyone else pack like they’re going away for a month? Who can easily manage to pack for a trip away in a cabin bag? What are your top tips for a holiday hand luggage packing? Oooh and finally does anyone else want to join me on my fake break?

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