How many times has this happened to you? You come back from a wonderful holiday in the sun with a great tan, your phone full of photos and videos, totally chilled – and a suitcase full of clothes only half of which have been worn? Okay so the laundry load may be lighter, but how frustrating is it to realise that there was no need to pack it all in the first place? Think of all the space you could have saved for souvenirs!

In the past I’ve fallen into this trap just as often as the next sun-seeker, and these days I have the double challenge of packing for my young son too. I often find my suitcase filling up with hisbooks, toys, inflatable crocodile and snorkelling gear. Add enough sun screen to sink a battle ship and you can begin to understand why I’ve now been forced to hone my holiday packing skills into a fine art.

It seems that we’re required to travel light these days. Airlines have put increasing restrictions on checked-in baggage weights and the volume of liquids you can carry with you are severely limited, so we can’t sneak things like cosmetics or toiletries into our hand luggage. They don’t make it easy for us girls, do they?

Over the years I’ve learned the hard way how to pack smart so now I’m sharing my top tips with you. My experience as a personal stylist has taught me how a simple holiday capsule wardrobe and just the right accessories can see me from beach to bar and beyond without breaking into a sweat.

Tip #1:Put everything you want to take out on your bed. Then put half of it back. That sounds a bit drastic but it forces you to focus. Be ruthless – you always wear less than you think you will!

Tip #2:Review what’s left. Is it appropriate for where you’re going? And what you’ll be doing? If you plan to spend most of your time lounging by the pool, then there’s no point taking a pair of shorts and t-shirt for each day. You’ll feel different on holiday and you’ll need to be comfortable no matter what you get up to. Concentrate on only taking items that help you do this.

Tip #3:Focus on your dominant colouring. Choose one neutral colour from your palette and two accent colours. Build your holiday outfits around these colours only. Pack only the items that you can mix and match and Bingo! You have a capsule wardrobe. Everything you pack has to work really hard for you. What you want is to be able to wear everything at least twice so the more you can team items together the better.

Tip #4:For swimwear, make the most of your body shape and choose a costume or bikini that makes you feel good and look great – you’ll probably be spending a lot of time in it after all. Think about the parts of your body that might need extra support and choose a costume that flatters your shape. Use patterns or brighter colours for emphasis and darker shades to draw attention away from the bits you’d rather hide. And don’t forget a cover-up such as a lightweight kimono or sarong, both of which can double-up as evening layering.

Tip #5: Pack a pair of sunglasses that flatter your face shape and tone with your chosen colour palette. Pop a pair in your hand luggage so you can whip them on as soon as you step off the plane – all the sooner to get that holiday feeling!

Tip #6:Hats – take one with you rather than make a last-minute panic purchase at a beach front souvenir shop. Think about your body shape and choose a hat that’s in proportion. For example, Grand ladies are ideally suited to a big floppy straw hat – although if your goal is to make a style statement and you are petite, then go for it! Straw hats are easy to pack into a suitcase: just stuff the crown with underwear, lay it face down on the bottom of your suitcase and surround it with rolled-up clothing.

Tip #7:Make up – if you’re heading for the sun then you’re bound to wear less make-up than usual, so leave the heavy cosmetics at home. The Colour Me Beautiful magnetic compactsare ideal holiday packing since you get eyes, lips and cheeks all in one handy mirrored case. Just add a tinted moisturiser and mascara and you’re all set!

Tip #8:Accessories – here’s where your holiday capsule wardrobe comes alive. Add a few key items of statement jewellery and a couple of lightweight scarves that tone with your holiday colour palette so you can mix and match. Take a beach bag that packs flat in your suitcase and can double-up as a tote for day trips and excursions. Pack a neutral coloured belt so you can cinch in the waist of a floaty dress to switch-up your look.

So that’s it! Follow these simple steps and your summer holiday packing dilemma is solved! But if you’re struggling to find your perfect holiday wardrobe then my Personal Shopping Service (available both in person and now online) will help you find the inspiration and confidence you need to nail your holiday style. Or talk to me about a free 1-to-1 make-up consultation to help you find the perfect colours for you to take away.