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Find the perfect luxury pieces for your European summer wardrobe

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Europe for a stylish summer getaway read on for the latest trends to ensure you're best dressed at the local trattoria (See also: locating your passport and trawling Instagram for the trendiest spots to drink and dine).

Not only can a carefully edited packing list ensure you don’t waste precious luggage space on items you won’t wear – more room for souvenirs and all that – it can also streamline getting dressed in the mornings. Plus, taking along a considered mix of versatile, practical and chic basics means you’ll never have to do a last-minute dash to the local shops. Important to note, don’t feel the need to abandon your personal style in order to adhere to the unwritten rules of holiday dressing. The best holiday wardrobe will see you from beach to bar, all whilst feeling like the best version of you!

Also important? Travel-friendly beauty essentials. Whether you’re planning to visit the Italian countryside or are gearing up to hop around the Greek Islands, this luxury packing list is all you need for a prefect European summer vacation.

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Fashion forward and fabric conscious

There are as many strategies for packing as there are experts on the matter (read: lots) but one thing they tend to have in common is a focus on the fabric of your pieces. When heading into the warm climates from Côte d'Azur to the Aegean, think soft, silky options that are 1. easy to pack and 2. breathable. From classic linen pieces to high fashion silk styles, vacation can be a great opportunity to play with those bold, fashion forward looks you may not wear at home - but are simply perfect for Europe.

Try: Versace, Gucci, Moncler, Alexander McQueen

Image source: Alexander McQueen

Image source: Moncler

A special occasion outfit

Even if you’re planning to do nothing but rest, relax, and room service, it’s a good idea to pack a special occasion outfit. It’s nice to have something, well, nice, to wear in case you decide to go out on the town or luck into a last-minute reservation somewhere exclusive. Whether it’s a beautifully cut linen dress, a beaded going out top, a fun printed resort shirt, or statement jewellery, the ideal vacay pick is something chic that you still feel comfy in.

Try: Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Michael Kors

Image source: Gucci

Image Source: Partridge Jewellers

Image source: Qeelin

Functional swimwear

No summer holiday packing list is complete with a reliable pair of togs. Leave the string bikinis at home in favour of a sporty one-piece and you’ll be prepared for everything from sunbathing to paragliding. Prefer a two-piece? Look for athletic cuts, and you’ll be able to repurpose the top as a crop top. If you do plan to incorporate swimwear into the rest of your wardrobe, go for classic colours or prints for ultimate versatility. Don't forget your by the pool accessories too, grab a bright coloured towel that will make any swimwear pop.

Try: Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, David Jones

Image source: Gucci

Put your best foot forward

No matter your style, sandals are a key part of any hard-working vacation wardrobe. Leave your overly casual options at home (sorry, house slides) and opt for something versatile that can take you from breakfast in bed to afternoon aperitifs. Try a trendy technical sandal if you’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing, or go classic with a slip-on loafer or chunky strappy style. For fabulous nights out and sundown cocktails on the terrace, this is your chance to go bold, bright and sky high. The latest resort collections are full of fun, flirty styles from wedges to strappy sandals - perfectly paired with bronzed legs.

Try: Jimmy Choo, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Golden Goose, Alexander McQueen, David Jones, Scarpa

Image source: Alexander McQueen

Image source: Golden Goose

A go-anywhere bag

If you’re short on space, consider packing a functional handbag that can be worn multiple ways. Styles with long, detachable straps are especially travel-friendly because they work as both a cross-body bag and a clutch. Oversized slouchy bags are another surprisingly versatile option. (Great news for anyone who hates to pack light.) Wear them as is during the daytime, then tuck the strap inside and tote under your arm for evening.

Try: Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Coach, Mulberry

Image source: Mulberry

Image Source: Saint Laurent

Classic sunglasses

If you’re not wearing sunglasses, are you even on a Euro summer holiday? Invest in a designer pair, and you’ll always feel elevated – even on the days you opt for comfort over style. Choose a timeless shape in a classic colourway (black, beige, tortoiseshell or metallic) or go all out with a statement shade like lolly pink or red. For bonus points, check the lens category – 3 or above will give you the best protection against UV rays.

Try: Sunglass Hut, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Moncler, Burberry

Image source: Sunglass Hut

Simple skincare

Tempted to pack every single one of your products? Even if you’re sure you’ll keep up with your usual multi-step routine, you probably won’t feel the same way when the hotel bar is calling. Complex skincare is just not a vacation vibe. Instead, pack products that do more than one thing. An exfoliating cleanser? Yes. A hydrating serum that brightens too? Tick. A moisturiser that doubles as an overnight mask? Definitely.

Try: Mecca, Sephora, David Jones

Image source: La Mer: The Treatment Lotion, Emma Lewisham: Illuminating Brighten Your Day Crème, Eve Lom: Daily Rejuvenating Cream, all available at Mecca and David Jones.

Luxury sunscreen

If you’re used to picking up sunscreen overseas, you’re going to want to break that habit, pronto. Not only does New Zealand offer the very best formulas in the world, we’ve also got luxury SPF on lock. Whatever finish you prefer – matte, glowy, natural – there’s a sunscreen out there for you. Go with something that offers high, broad-spectrum protection, and don’t forget to pick up an SPF lip balm to keep your pout protected, too.

Try: Mecca, Sephora, David Jones

Image: Naked Sundays SPF50+ Collagen Glow 100% Mineral Perfecting Priming Lotion, available from MECCA

Image: ILIA C Beyond Triple Serum SPF 40, available at MECCA

An evocative fragrance

Did you know there’s a link between scent and memory? It’s the reason the smell of Impulse can transport you straight back to high school PE, and why a freshly baked sponge cake always reminds you of your nan. Take advantage by choosing a special scent to remember your holiday by. Zesty citrus and aquatic notes are perfect for days spent by the sea. For sultry nights, go for something spicy with fresh florals to keep it light.

Try: Mecca, Sephora, David Jones

Image source: Mecca

Image source: Tom Ford soleil blanc, available at MECCA

Matching luggage

Nothing says ‘travel chic’ like designer luggage. For a luxurious experience that starts from the minute you check in, coordinate your carry on and suitcases. A duffle or backpack is roomy enough to stash everything you need on the plane, while a soft or hard case suitcase is essential for toting everything else. Concerned your suitcase will get damaged in transit? Several brands offer sturdy covers to protect bags against bumps.

Try: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Moncler, David Jones, Coach

Image source: Gucci

Image source: David Jones

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