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What We Are Packing For Our Summer Vacation

Need some holiday inspiration? These are the style essentials the MR PORTER team have in their suitcases

Some countries (cough, cough, Italy) take summer seriously. As soon as the calendar nudges towards August, they down tools for an entire month. As the MR PORTER team is largely based in London and New York, this is sadly not the case for us. In fact, we’re still here – honestly, we’re thrilled about it – ready to service all your last-minute swimwear and holiday needs. (Lest you forget: we’re offering same-day delivery in London and New York until September.)

Don’t feel too bad for us, though. Yes, not all of us are currently lounging around by pools, sipping champagne mojitos and working our way through our recommended beach reads for 2019, but some of us are. And as for the rest, by gum, if we can’t jet off somewhere nice in August, we’re certainly going to dress like we have.

The terrifying heat wave in London has been particularly helpful in this regard (presumably, in 20 years time, when climate change has well and truly done its work, there will be no such thing as “holiday wear” – this will just be called “clothes”). But so have our bounteous imaginative faculties, which, this week, we have been training hard on the perfect high summer outfits. You can check out the results below – a run-down of everything we’re packing for our holidays, whenever they may happen to come.

For my summer holiday this year, I’ll be focusing on keeping cool while introducing some unique prints to my wardrobe. This RRL camp-collar shirt and these Mr P. shorts are perfect for a midday trek. Both pieces feature fabrics with a linen blend that will help you stay cool, but also showcase a perfect amount of summer texture. A holiday wouldn’t really be a holiday without some pool time and these swim shorts by Hartford fit the bill. Featuring a mid-length cut and a floral motif with a few high contrast colours, they are just a shade above understated. And on the off chance that you can’t make it to the beach, try Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist Texturizing Spray. It’s a great substitute for heavy pomades and gels in the high-summer months, keeping hair light, but still full.

The nice thing about holidays is that we spend them in the company of people we’ve never met before and are unlikely to ever see again once we leave. This makes them a great opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone and try something new, which, in my case, means donning these brilliant – if slightly outlandish – patchwork jeans. They’re taken from the third (and best) collaboration between the Spanish luxury brand Loewe and Paula’s, a now-closed boutique in Ibiza, which was something of a byword for the bohemian spirit of the Balearic isle in its pre-clubbing mecca days. Also in my suitcase this summer: a knitted T-shirt from Mr P. and some worn-in Birkenstocks.

Later this year, I’m going to a music festival in Dingle on the southwest coast of Ireland – where the weather can turn on a sixpence. Or should that be a Euro cent? Anyway, you get the idea. The only thing I can be sure of on this holiday, apart from lots of Guinness and fiddle music, is rain. Horizontal rain, drizzle, sheets of the stuff. Especially when it is least expected. So, if I didn’t pack a waterproof coat of some description, I would feel rather foolish. And wet. But, as well as being a pragmatist, I am also an optimist. I have faith there will be glimpses of sunshine in amid the grey, hence the sunglasses and swim shorts. Hope springs eternal.

There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to get his head around the camp-collar shirt (or, rather, the camp-collar shirt around his torso). Let’s call it summertime. A pop of colour never hurt anyone – assuming you weren’t running with the bulls in Pamplona this year. But me, I’m happy to blend in. This summer, you’re more likely to find me sitting in the shade under a tree, supervising at the local paddling pool than avoiding being gored in Spain, and this botanical number by J.Crew has really grown on me. That, cotton-twill shorts by rag & bone and an especially resolute pair of sunglasses by Kirk Originals should have me among the best-dressed dads at the municipal play park (or, at least, help me go unnoticed if I take a sneaky nap while on parental duty).

Made from lightweight polycarbonate, this black carry-on case is perfect for a weekend away: the front pocket can store your laptop and it is waterproof. But the best thing about this luggage is that it has a built-in battery pack, so you are never out of juice on your phone and tablet, even during a long flight.

For many years, I used only Diptique’s Philosykos fragrance. I recently discovered its new scent, Eau de Minthé. This light fragrance is perfect for summer as it combines mint with the floral scents of geranium and patchouli. It is so fresh that it is a great alternative to a classic citrusy scent for summer.

I usually only wear sneakers, but for this summer, I am opting for Yuketen’s woven leather sandals. This slip-on pair is set on lightly cushioned footbeds and rubber soles for grip and traction, so not only I will look smart during a passeggiata, I will also be super comfortable.

A camp-collared shirt can be the most versatile piece of your summer holiday wardrobe, as it can be dressed down with shorts as you head to a beach club or dressed up alongside a pair of tailored linen trousers ready for an elegant dinner out. This paisley jacquard shirt from Japanese brand Needles is a perfect example.

Comfortable, stylish, and easy to wear. All reasons why these boat shoes will be in my suitcase when going away this year. The tones of blues and white make them good to go for any outfit, and you can certainly count on Prada to when it comes to long-lasting craftmanship.

One of my favourite collaborations around, helped by the fact it’s based upon an island close to my heart – Ibiza! These Loewe and Paula’s swim shorts are quick-drying and have a quirky motif design, making your trip to the beach practical and chic.

Is there anyone more overzealous than the excited packer, prepping for a summer holiday? Two gym outfits? Three? And how many linen suits will I need for dress-up dinners? Similarly, is there anything heavier than luggage loaded with our ambitions – and all those unused items – upon our return? I just went on a weeklong beach vacation and, though I packed everything I owned, all I really wore were a pair of Rick Owens shorts (when I wasn’t beachside in my Orlebar Brown Bulldog swim trunks). I’m starting to catch a bunch of grief from colleagues and friends for wearing almost exclusively Hawaiian shirts from May to November – which, hey, maybe I’m developing a uniform? Anyway, it is a style I steadfastedly stand behind. And even when you do get the kid out of LA, it is hard to get the LA out of him – or the radical shirts by Californian brand Stüssy off his back. Having this little point-and-shoot Leica with me on my trip made the whole vacation objectively better.