Find me a holiday wardrobe

In the first of an occasional series, Charlie Harrington becomes a personal shopper for Independent readers. This week: a capsule wardrobe for Jenny's holiday in Ibiza. Photographs by Nicola Kurtz; Challenge Charlie

Jenny Hoskin, 20, an art history student, asked Charlie to provide her with an entire capsule wardrobe for a holiday in Ibiza, for under pounds 350.

The challenge: "I want to take clothes that will allow me to lie on the beach, go clubbing and have some nice meals with my boyfriend. I usually wear a lot of black, but I am trying to avoid it. My favourite colour is lilac. I won't spend more than pounds 100 on a single garment."

The solution: With holiday packing, bulk has to be kept to a minimum. Dresses are the simplest things to include (with just one garment you are fully dressed), tuck into a beach bag, and let the day unwind. Take a couple of full-length pieces, as an over-zealous day in the sun could dictate a couple of days of covering up.

Avoid buying anything "fun" for the holiday, as before you can say "one- hour developing at snappy snaps" it will probably have turned into a fashion faux pas, and you will regret the price of the garment and the photographic evidence for life. If you want to go for something adventurous, go for brights or florals to get you in a summery mood.

Try to buy things that are going to last beyond your two weeks in the sun. Jeans may not be everyone's idea of cool dressing, but this pair from La redoute are lightweight enough to service you both on holiday and at home.

If packing space is limited, pick pieces that can double up in function: for instance, take a bikini with hot-pant bottoms, which can double up as shorts.

Finally, it is wise to take something smart. A jacket may not seem essential when you are packing, but when you want to blow the remainder of your holiday cash at that expensive restaurant it might demand it. If not, your arrival back on chilly British soil will make you pleased you remembered itn

The capsule:

1 Jeans, pounds 45, Joseph for La redoute, mail order 0500 777777.

2 Stripe tank top, pounds 24.99, selected branches of Next nationwide, and mail order 0345 100500.

3. Lilac ballet cardigan, pounds 31.99, from selected branches of Oasis nationwide (01865 881986).

4. Lilac see-through flip-flops, pounds 12, from Bhs, branches nationwide (0171 262 3288).

5. Purple bikini hot pants, pounds 7.99, underwire pounds 17.50, from La redoute (0500 777777).

6. Sheer beaded dress, pounds 50, from selected branches of Miss Selfridge (0181-910 1359).

7. Short floral dress, pounds 24.99, from selected branches of Next and mail order 0345 100500.

8. White jacket, pounds 72, selected branches of Jigsaw (0171-491 4484).

9. Floral skirt, pounds 36, selected branches of Jigsaw.

10. White T-shirt, pounds 14, from Gap stores nationwide (0800 427789)

Total: pounds 336.46

If you have a particular wardrobe problem, a dressing dilemma for a forthcoming special event, don't have a clue about what colours go with what, or simply have no time to shop and would like Charlie Harrington to do some on your behalf, write to her at `The Independent', Fashion, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Mark envelope "Challenge Charlie" and include a recent photograph, your address and a daytime phone number.

Life and Style
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