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Packing For A Holiday: Choosing The Right Dresses

Perfectly Packed Oct 21, 2015

Choosing The Right Dresses

The quest for the perfect suitcase continues – which is apt since I’m writing this from window seat 64K, glass of red in one hand (it’s only 11.30am but I figure time goes out the window when you’re flying) and laptop in the other. When trying to get the most out of your suitcase, I’m a big believer in packing dresses – they’re so easy to wear and help you through that whole mixing and matching conundrum. But, they do limit the number of outfits you can create with them. Which is why, you’ll remember, in the 5,4,3,2,1 packing post we suggested to take a maximum of three dresses – so you’ve got the option of wearing one but the flexibility of other separates too. To celebrate the launch of Grana’s gorgeous new silk dress collection (I’m a huge fan of the racerback trapeze style), I recently got the opportunity to test drive the new designs in the Maldives. So we thought, whilst we’re on the the subject of dresses, we would expand on last packing posts, and give you an idea what to pack when.

General Rules

  • Choose prints and patterns carefully. I often stick with block colours so they’re more wearable, but if you choose prints or patterns make so you go for ones that complement your accessories and anything else you’ll be wearing with your dresses.
  • If you can, choose a dress design that gives you versatility in how you wear it. I’m a huge fan of the flexibility of the design of the Grana racerback trapeze dress – you’ll note I wore it both long and also short by using a belt.
  • Out of your three pieces, I like to throw in one romper if I have one that suits, as they give a bit of diversity in how you style your one pieces.
  • You can also choose one short and one long dress option, which will allow you to tailor your outfit depending on the occasion – maxis are great for wearing in more conservative countries if you’ve got a scarf to cover your shoulders.


Packing For A Holiday: Choosing The Right Dresses

You’ll want a couple of dresses and a romper that are breathable and lightweight. Choose your fabrics wisely – go for silks or light cotton fabrics for your dresses, as they’ll be cool, light and won’t be an issue if they get sandy. The racerback trapeze  dress was perfect for the Maldives weather (naturally, given the chance, I kept it simple and just took three of these when I went!). For your romper, think about something in denim or cotton for the evenings. Choose colours that won’t be too hot if you’re out in the sun for hours.

Naturally what dresses you take will depend on your industry and the reason for the trip, but generally for work trips you’ll be looking for items that have more coverage or structure, so go for heavier fabrics and perhaps sleeves (depending on your usual dress code). The tank dress is great for layering with other silks for a work look. Chances are you won’t want take any dresses that are too tight or with too much cleavage. A good idea is to take one lighter dress (like the black trapeze racerback one shown in the diagram)  that can be work with a jacket so you can wear it if you get a few spare hours.

The type of dresses you take will depend on what city you’re going to. If you are heading somewhere more casual with a focus on exploring you’ll want to take more hardy fabrics like denim or cotton, if you’re going somewhere like more high end where you’ll want to look and feel nice choose silk and other more snappy fabrics. You’ll generally want to be more polished in a city that you would be else wear so choose minimalist designs that are great for drinks and hanging out.


When travelling for just a few days for a special event like a wedding, you can afford to be a bit frivolous in your dress choices. Naturally you’ll take the dress that you’ll wear on the day (if you’re wearing one), and if it’s a longer wedding with a few different events you may need another nice option. Take along one other more versatile and related style of dress for your trip. White is fine, as long as you don’t plan on wearing it on the big day!


Festivals are a balancing act – you want to be comfortable but also want to look bang on. After all festivals are the new streets style aren’t they? For practicality, choose more shorter than longer styles so you don’t have any nasty rubbing on your hunter wellington boots (right?). And I like floaty styles that aren’t too tight, you’ll be walking for mile so go for an outfit that is flexible and comfortable. Because festivals are a chance to be whoever you want, choose an embellished style and have a bit of fun!


Although you may shy away from dresses when camping, they’re really great for throwing on and easy to wear, so long as you choose a few that are hardy and not too precious – you don’t want to ruin them. Depending on the climate a simple silk style is perfect if you plan on hanging out on the beach of by a lake (a girl can dream can’t she?).

Grana trapeze racerback dress, A Pair & A Spare flats, Coach Bag, Sportsgirl hat

Grana trapeze racerback (worn belted up into a short style), A Pair & A Spare sandals, Coach Bag, Larrson & Jennings watch.

Grana trapeze racerback dress, A Pair & A Spare flats, Larrson & Jennings watch, Asos neckscarf

It’s super easy to covert the dress into a short style (without ruining it!). So much flexibility here.

For those of you who are interested, Grana are also now doing free shipping. Head here to read all the details.

This post is in collaboration with Grana.

Tags Dresses Outfits Packing travel

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