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Excess Baggage

Detoxing your body just isn’t enough these days. Harvey Nichols’ Averyl Oates gives some top tips on how to spring clean your suitcase ready for summer.

Published on July 5th 2006.

Excess Baggage

When god created woman, he forgot to add ‘travelling light’ to our genetic makeup. When god created man, he forgot to bless him with patience.

But truthfully, the female obsession for packing our entire wardrobe is really quite unhealthy, not only because we have to lug the case/s around but because it takes twice as long to unpack and causes lovers tiffs in the process. Ladies you must control yourselves.

Unless you’re Ivana Trump (I clocked her once on Easy Jet of all places) with her kindergarten beau loaded up like a donkey with at least 6 Louis Vuitton cases, then it’s time to lose the baggage.

Averyl Oates, Harvey Nichols Buying Director advises that a good cut off point is never taking more looks than the number of days you’re away. And instead of splashing out on a whole new you, just select a few pricey purchases like shoes, bag and sunglasses and it’s ‘bon voyage’.


1. Make sure you have more tops than bottoms – but don’t over-do it as you can mix and match to stretch your wardrobe further. For versatile vest tops, check out C&C Californian’s loose bias cut ones that come in a whole host of gorgeous colours.

2. Absolute musts: Light sundresses as flimsy ones can be scrunched up into the corner of your case, kaftans, dark wash or white jeans (J Brand’s clean ankle fit and skinny legs are heavenly worn with wedges).

3. When it comes to shoes, keep it to an absolute minimum. A fabulous pair of flats that will take you from beach bar to beach club is the best option. Try DKNY’s kitten heel espadrille or Matthew Williamson’s beaded thong sandal.

4. Lay all your pieces out to make sure everything can be mixed to make up a number of different key outfits. Try your selection on before it goes in the suitcase and prune anything that really doesn’t deserve a trip halfway around the world.

5. When it comes to your beauty bag, there’s no point taking full-sized products with you – they will take up unwanted space and you risk the chance of them spilling. Go for a travel kit that has everything from cleanser to moisturiser. Ole Henriksen and Bliss have the perfect mini travel sets that will last at least a week – and you won’t have to lug half-empty bottles home with you.

6. For a pre-travel treat, a manicure and pedicure at Harvey Nichols’ Urban Retreat Salon will have your talons looking divine. It will take a short time out of your busy schedule, but will last you through your holidays.

7. Sort out your hand luggage first and always pack your bikini in there and a spare pair of knickers just in case your main luggage gets lost. A fashionable purchase is Marc Jacobs travel bag which has plenty of room for in-flight essentials such as books, magazines and a cashmere blanket.

8. Always go for a solid case for main luggage that can be wheeled with ease. A firm structure will help to avoid excess creasing during travel, but I always roll delicate clothes in tissue for added protection. If you’re travelling with someone, pack half your clothes in their bag and vice versa so that if one bag gets lost at least you can salvage some items.

9. Accessories are a fantastic way to add instant glamour to your holiday wardrobe, with sunglasses the key item for both elegance and eye safety. Harvey Nichols has a wonderful range of designer specs, whether you want to emulate Paris Hilton in her white, over-sized Dior or go for a more classic pair of Chanel, Gucci, Tom Ford or Prada.

10. Don’t forget your toothbrush.

Vanessa Lees
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