Packing for a staycation can be tricky: here are 10 top tips to help you! - Love to know what your best colours are? - Clothes are an INSTANT way to taking back some control, and an INSTANT way of feeling better about ourselves

Breeda O' Connell

Packing for a staycation can be tricky – here are 10 top tips to help you!

Irish summers are notoriously temperamental and even if the forecast is good, you really need to be prepared for all weather.

Planning ahead is absolutely crucial.

You need to give some thought as to the activities were likely to be doing, how you spend your days and where and how you spend your evenings.

  1. The first thing I would think about is the Colour Palette: the more neutral and uncomplicated you keep this, the more versatility you will have and the more outfits you can create.
  1. Dresses are particularly versatile at this time of year can be dressed down with trainers and maybe a sweater over your shoulders for daytime, and dressed up with a pair of heels for evening. They're also really lightweight and take up little space in your suitcase and are handier for staycationing than say a skirt and T shirt, which takes up not only more room, but takes a little bit more styling. So a couple of dresses in a similar colour palette, that can all be worn with your one pair of trainers & your one pair of heels, and maybe your one denim jacket it's the way to go. Ideally they should be comfortable enough to wear by day but also dressing off translate to night time.
  1. Sweaters or cardigans are ideal layering pieces and can look stylish worn over your shoulders during the day, as well as being practical for warmth. They can also be layered under a your lighter raincoat so that you don't have to pack one bulkier coat too.
  1. Staycationing in Ireland you're definitely going to need a raincoat -  try to select one in a neutral colour that will go with everything else, while keeping the overall look chic and put together. That and a denim jacket should see you through a nicely.

  1. I also think a light chambray style shirt is a fantastic layering piece you can wear it over a vest top with jeans for extra heat and also for extra style. You could also layer over a dress to make the dress more casual for daytime, and layering it underneath your raincoat between the raincoat and a T-shirt adds just add a touch of style to otherwise plain & simple outfit. It can also look really cool tied around for example denim shorts worn with a vest top or T shirt, and obviously can be thrown on with that same outfit for if the weather changes.

  1. You should only need to pack one pair of heels for evening - choose in a neutral color and one pair of flat sandals alongside your trainers. That should be enough to get you through most scenarios. Try to wear your heaviest pair of shoes while traveling - so this time of year that might be your trainers.
  1. Sometimes I pack an extra pair of trainers for more outdoorsy activities there are more durable, and that I don't mind getting reset beat up a little. I always also pack a pair of plain black leggings & a white tee to quickly change into should an impromptu hike or cycle come up
  1. I would always pack extra pairs of socks  - sometimes even in summer if your feet get cold it’s really comfortable at night time, or if you get your feet wet during the day they’re obviously going to come in handy

  1. Jewellery also is crucial in elevating a dress or outfit from day to evening wear. I normally try on my jewellery with my outfits before I pack (in fact I would try on all outfits before you pack just to make sure that they work out the way you envisioned them). I would put more delicate pieces of jewellery like layering necklaces that can get tangled or could get lost in smaller pouches, and then I will place these within an extra clutch bag for example if I was packing one to save space.
  1. A crossbody bag that can double as a shoulder bag is also practical, versatile & stylish. Wear crossbody during the day with your trainers and dress, and wear it on the shoulder at night time feel a little more dressed up.

Love to know what your best colours are?

Let me paint a picture for you of how I do my (In Person) Colour Analysis Consultation with clients (you can have this done either In Person or Online).

I ask clients to be make up free at the start of the Consultation because the crucial first step is looking at the characteristics of their hair, eyes & skin. As well as my own observation, we will chat about these, for example, what was their hair colour when they were a child, how does their skin do in the sun, the dept or lightness of their eye colour, etc.

Next, I test with a selection of colour drapes to pin down the client’s Colour category – or ‘Season’, which you may be more familiar with.

Now I know your category & season, I will go ahead & apply make up in the correct shades for you.

Foundation will be either neutral, yellow based (warm undertone) or more pink (cool undertone).

Eye shadows will be either cooler or warmer tones, deeper or lighter, and they will be subtle & blended or contrasting, depending on your category.

Same goes for lip colour & blusher, with cool pinks, mauves & blue based burgundy for example being beautiful on cool skin tones; and peachy, tawny, and warm brown shades looking best & most harmonious on warm skin tones.

All the while, I am guiding you in what I am doing & why, so you have the exact steps to follow when doing your own make up.

Now it’s time to show you ALL the colours that you can wear, which colour families you are most at home in, what combinations of colours work well, which neutrals should make up the backbone of your wardrobe, etc.

I lay the drapes across your chest, bringing them up under your chin, and I have you look at your face & not the drape colour, to see what happens when the right and not quite right colours are out next to your face – trust me, it’s amazing, like a real life filter.

Now you will know what best colours work in your clothes, in your make up, in your jewellery (is it yellow gold or silver which looks best near your face? High shine or flat & matte?) and also suggestions for tones & highlights in your hair.

Clothes are an INSTANT way to taking back some control, and an INSTANT way of feeling better about ourselves

Not good enough at X,Y,Z…..

Many of us experience these feelings to a lesser of greater degree at different points in our lives.

I know that after I welcomed my (non-sleeping!) twin boys just 2 weeks after my daughter’s 3rd birthday, that at times I felt I was drowning in these feelings - feelings of mental & emotional exhaustion, complete overwhelm and resentment to any & everybody who seemed to be getting on with their lives.

I also felt not good enough at almost everything and felt lost & detached – detached from the person I had been and the way my life worked compared to how it looked now, having been completely flipped on its head.

I didn’t have any headspace to think about my ‘identity’, but I do know how getting dressed & putting on makeup gave me such a huge sense of control, and I held on to that link to ‘myself’ with both hands.

This is what I mean when I talk about how powerful clothes & style can be – it’s what they can represent: a link to part of you when you could just be YOU, and didn’t have to juggle so many different roles, responsibilities & expectations.

Dressing well lets us feel good, and as one of my clients put it, ‘when we feel good, we do good’.

It’s about remembering how good it feels to look amazing.
It’s about remembering how energising and joyful clothes & style can be.
It’s about taking back Control !!