Fashion: Improving on an English summer: How to make the holiday feel hotter than home - not your usual problem but a big one this year. Tamsin Blanchard is no meteorologist, but she has an answer

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Usually a holiday wardrobe is just that - clothes bought in the cool of the British summer, the week before you board the aeroplane for some exotic, sun-drenched location.

But this year, most of us have been wearing our shorts, vests and skimpiest clothes since the beginning of June. Thus we might be more willing to buy a last-minute pair of luxurious silk trousers in the sales as a glorious addition to a now well-worn summer wardrobe.

So as well as the basics - shorts, T-shirts, a swimsuit and a rucksack - our two independent travellers (who exist only in the mind and sketchbook of our illustrator Jason Brooks) have chosen to take a few more interesting and expensive items for their imaginary holiday (Jason says they are in Tangier, Morocco). They are, after all, fashionable young women around town at home, so why not on holiday?

Slopping around in old clothes is fine, but there are times, even when relaxing abroad, when dressing up in something more than a washed-up T-shirt is fun. So packed alongside the Top Shop basics and a second-hand skirt from Camden Market there is a print dress from Joseph, a rose print Dries Van Noten silk shirt, a Jigsaw chiffon shirt and a pair of loose silk trousers from MaxMara. All are perfect for wafting about in on warm nights and for holidays that combine beach and city. Items like these can currently be picked up for sale prices.

The secret of travelling light is forward planning and efficient luggage. The ideal would be to fit everything into a bag the size of maximum hand luggage - and to wear everything you take at least once. We've all been told that before, and we've all set off with a suitcase full of just-in-case clothes that don't get worn, while one pair of shorts and a bikini put in hard labour. But with clothes like these, joyously mismatched, you can squeeze plenty in your small bag and will want to wear the lot.

Our girls have packed skilfully, right down to the tiny, but useful, crochet bags - just big enough to carry some money, sunglasses and an Evian spray. For days out, a banana-coloured mini-rucksack carries essentials. They also have a pair of 99p flip-flops that are cheap enough to be thrown away at the end of the holiday and a pair of leather flip-flops from BhS (pounds 9.99). For sightseeing and travelling, the white T-bar pumps are cool and comfortable.

Dresses and long skirts made out of the wrinkled, crinkled fabric that is everywhere this summer are ideal for packing. The more you crush them, the better they look. The increased use of clever synthetics means that if a garment is not supposed to look crushed, its creases fall out easily when hung in a steamy hotel bathroom.

And then there is the little spaghetti strap dress, for the summer of '94 is surely the summer of the slip dress. We chose ours from a range of rainbow-coloured dresses by Julie X. It is made of the flimsiest silk chiffon that can be worn night and day. It really is a slip of a thing and as close as you will decently get to wearing nothing. It has its uses, too, as a cover-up over a bikini for walking on the beach, and will fit into a small rucksack with a towel, a book and a bottle of sunscreen.

(Photographs omitted)

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