How to pack for (and dress up on) your holidays.

When Expedia (he’s just one guy wearing a cowboy hat and board shorts, by the way) said to me: “Hey Travel Ambassador Lady, does dressing up on holidays make sense to you?” I said, “Expedia, to me, dressing up on holidays makes PERFECT sense.”

I put it in the same category as ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ except that it’s more, ‘dress for the place you’re in, not the one you came from.’

I cop a fair bit of stick about it from my mates, of course. It’s so much effort, my mates say. Who cares how you look on holidays, they say. Take off that velvet cape, they say.


But it’s not an effort for me. I love it. I adopt a new personality overseas, a much more flamboyant, fruity one than the jeans and trainers girl back home.

To me, the holiday experience is about playing along. About immersing into the city or country you’re in. So, if you’re in Sicily, you eat pasta alla norma, cannolli and caponata, you drink Zibbibo and you swim where the locals tell you to. And for me, you dress in bright colours and with as many pom-poms as legal.


I’m embarrassingly osmotic when I travel. If I see a cool woman wearing a slip dress with a flamboyant head wrap in Portofino, I want in. If I see a minimalist woman wearing bejeweled slippers with a white pantsuit in Rome, I want in. And if I see a babe in a white shirt tucked into a colourful ankle-length skirt with a neckerchief in Florence, I want in. To me travel is Real Life Instagram; I see things that inspire and delight, and in that moment, in that piazza, in that sunshine, I want to play along. Even if it’s just with a new ZARA top and belt, and a bucket of holiday confidence; I’m in.

Anyway. Recently I went to Italy.

I knew I’d shop over there, so I packed light: a tight edit of shoes and a few dresses and tops from last summer, half of which I was ready to farewell if space got tight. This, I’ve learned, is smarter than flying with nothing, assuming you will fill your suitcase with cute new stuff the second you arrive, only to arrive and discover they are already doing autumn-winter fashion, and it’s 30 degrees, and you’re screwed.


Read the full story here.

Not here.

Responses to this drivel: 11 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 11 )
  • Kate

    Hi Zoe, great post thank you. Where is your hat from? XO

  • Sam Mac

    Yes to the whole bloody lot!  Bang on honey – and the Dolce homage dress is perfection ❤️

  • Anna

    Zoe where are the red strapless top and palazzo like pants from? These pieces are stunning.

  • Tracey

    I love that your holiday immersion is so complete. I think I’ve got a bit too ‘travel light’ and be an interested observer. Your sense of fun and enthusiasm to be part of the scene is a great way to be – happy travels!

  • Rhiannon

    Dear Zoe,
    Long time advice taker, first time question asker.
    In the article you talk about styling with an amazing hat. I completely agree & love to wear my hat on holidays. 
    My question relates to packing and traveling with a hat. No matter how carefully I try to pack my hat always arrives a smushed mess & is often never the same again (I have lost many hats & am still recovering). Any advice you could give on getting your hat to your favorite beach destination would be much appreciated.
    Thanks so much, Rhiannon 

  • Sally

    Winter version please! About to head north for Christmas and stressing about clothes/face/sanity in that horrid weather.

  • Jo

    Zoe! I’m getting married and doing my own bridal makeup- what is your fave foundation for bridal? I’m dry/normal with hormonal breakouts and want a lovely dewy look, but everything with longwear-ability is so cakey and dry! GRRR. Help!

  • kul

    Hi Zoe, hope all is well.
    I have been trying to find the best way to get the in touch you as i love your work 🙂 i am starting to write a book, i am not sure if i should be writing my own my or should i get someone professional like yourself involved? please advised. Many thanks, Kul.

  • Eliza

    Baby trashes bar in Las Palmas… bravo

  • Vanessa Warne


  • Warne

    Thanks to ((dr.mac @ ) yah oo. .com I am free from HERPES

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