What to wear on your first holiday with your partner

Author: Sarah Gilfiillan, founder of Sartoria Lab – a menswear style consultancy providing personal styling and shopping services for men.

You’re looking forward to going on your first holiday with your new partner but now you have to pack. Here are some guidelines on what to take…… 

Polo shirts

A polo shirt is an easy option – flattering if you’re slightly older and it can be worn in a few different ways dependent on your style – some people like to pop the collar, others wear theirs done up to the top for a preppy look or just leave it undone for  classic styling. It’s also an ideal way to experiment with some colour – if you’re pale with blue eyes then a sky blue or lilac makes a change from greys and navy, darker olive skins can go for burnt orange or teal and for dark toned skins, enhance it with jewel coloured brights like emerald green or shocking pink. When buying, hold it up against your face to check if the colour suits you.

Shirts

Of course, you’ll need some shirts for sun soaked days and balmy nights out. Classic linen ones will do nicely in long or short sleeves as a failsafe option, and for something a little more fun, take a look at the camp collar short sleeved style currently around which are often in prints. They’re usually in a boxy cut, so flattering on you even if you’re a stocky build and work perfectly left tucked out for a casual cool look with shorts and espadrilles for the daytime or chinos and loafers at night. 

Shorts & trousers

Chino shorts are classic go-to holiday wear – you may like to go for a pattern or print to ramp things up a bit or keep it simple and plain. If you have skinny legs, wear them in a flattering slim cut and scale the length to your height. If you have particularly short legs compared with your body, go slightly shorter and higher waisted for an elongating affect. 

Take advantage of the super lightweight chinos and jeans I’ve come across recently (in Hackett and Seven For All Mankind) so you can keep your cool as well as look dapper for your date. Navy and khaki go with pretty much everything and if you fancy trying something a bit more daring, like an ice cream shade, then go for a washed in muted tone of it which will be easier to wear than a bright pastel. 

Swimwear 

A holiday with a new partner definitely calls for some new swimwear! Ditch the baggy faded shorts and go for some in a tailored style with a small print. Or if you want to create a slimmer silhouette, choose ones with a contrasting side panel. Tone with t-shirts in neutrals or pick out one of the colours in the pattern. 

Footwear & accessories

If you’re happy in sandals, go for Birkenstocks, Havaianas or some beach slides like these from Orlebar Brown (and don’t forget to give your feet some TLC before you go). If you prefer to keep your toes to yourself, choose espadrilles, deck shoes or casual loafers which can be worn with shorts and trousers alike.

And finally, accessories. Don’t think it doesn’t matter, it’s the little things that make all the difference and your partner will be sure to be taking notice, so get sunglasses to suit your face shape, invest in a new bag / rucksack and toiletry bag, and add some colour to your outfits with a few woven or canvas belts. And don’t forget to protect your head from the sun – a straw trilby will look far more classy and way more “The Talented Mr Ripley” than a baseball cap!