Summer loving: Margaret Howell spring/summer 2014

If you’ve left shopping for holiday essentials  to the last minute, it’s the perfect time to get  this season’s style in the sales, writes Lee Holmes

Taking your holiday later in the summer has its perks - cheaper fares, emptier sunbeds – but scouring the shops looking for clothes isn’t one of them. Shopping during the tail end of the season’s sales is a minefield.

However, with a little thought, you can still easily pull together the ultimate arsenal of holiday wear basics with, believe it or not, the humble polo shirt taking pride of place. It’s a staple that you can practically live in, the short-sleeved button-down shirt coming a close second.

Pattern-wise, instead of ubiquitous Hawaiian styles, perhaps ring the changes with a graphic print alternative?

When it comes to dressing your legs, flat-fronted, tailored shorts that fall just above the knee work best. This is also a good time to experiment with a dollop of bright colour – a vibrant hue is always easier to pull off on your legs than it is on your torso. For those cooler evening temperatures pack a striped Bretton knit; a style worn by both James Dean and Marlon Brando at the height of their fame.


For your feet, the dependable Birkenstock is having a revival of sorts; the current vogue for mountaineering-style sandals means this German brand ticks all of the right boxes. Perfect for both on and off the beach, they could well turn out to be the most versatile thing you pack.

Finally, always invest in new T–shirts and vests for both day and evening attire. The string vest however, which was seen on the catwalk at Burberry Prorsum is a step too far, and should really only ever be worn by fans of  Rab C. Nesbitt.