Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer silk maxi dress

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I posted an outfit from a holiday in Barbados where I extolled the virtues of the maxi dress. Well as I make last minute preparations to fly off to sunnier climes once more I thought I’d share some photos of the other maxi dresses that have become the mainstay of my holiday wardrobe.

I love the mix of prints in this dress and the pretty ruffles on the bust…and it co-ordinates perfectly with the stunning sunset.

Most of my dresses I picked up for a song, either on eBay, in sales or charity shops. This silk one-shoulder dress is from Marks and Spencer but I bought it on eBay for about £10. It was brand new with the tags on. Because I have so many clothes from M&S I can buy without trying on, confident that they will fit. I love the mix of prints in this dress and the pretty ruffles on the bust…and it co-ordinates perfectly with the stunning sunset. Most of my outfit photos were taken either at sunset or after dark because the sun sets quite early in Barbados (around 6pm) and getting the little one out of the pool before then wasn’t easy!

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer silk maxi dress

sunset at Surfside, Holetown, Barbados

Almond BEach resort, Speightstown sunset

night-sky-holetown

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe dickins-and-jones-maxi-dress

This dress is from Dickins and Jones, bought from House of Fraser in the sale at the end of Summer. It was reduced to just over £8! Even though it was only available in a small I had to chance it for that price (knowing I could return it if it didn’t fit) but to my delight it did fit! It’s very low cut so I needed to put a safety in it to spare my blushes, but the deep V means I can wear a big necklace.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe dickins-and-jones-maxi-dress

Barbados Holiday WardrobeMarks and Spencer silk-maxi-dress

Another M&S silk dress that I bought on eBay, again for less than £10. It’s a little small on the bust – the black part of the dress isn’t quite deep enough – but otherwise it fits fine. It’s lovely and cool, plus the straps are detachable so you could wear it as a strapless dress too.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe black-and-white-striped-dress

I’ve had this black and white dress for years and it’s been on quite a few holidays. It’s not the easiest dress to get into (getting my shoulders through the waistband is a bit of a tussle) but I love the design. I bought it from Asos, but with being so old it’s no longer available – this one is the closest match I could find.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress

I love the colours in this dress and how the sleeves look like wings when I spread my arms!

Now this dress really was a bargain; I found it on a clearance rail in Marks and Spencer (a long time ago) for the grand sum of £5! I didn’t have to think twice about snapping it up. I take it on every beach holiday because it’s cool and airy, doesn’t crease and feels fantastic on thanks to it being super stretchy. I love the colours in this dress and how the sleeves look like wings when I spread my arms! It has a built in top underneath the flowing sleeves so my sides are covered. I wore this dress on the last night of our holiday when we went to the Speightstown Sizzler – a little food and music festival where our friend Beveny was cooking traditional Bajan fishcakes. They were absolutely delicious and I want to go back for more!

Do you have a tried and tested formula for beach holiday packing? I’d love to hear how you prefer to dress on vacation 🙂

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe Marks and Spencer dress Speightstown Sizzler

 

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Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

For today’s Style With a Smile link up I’m reminiscing about a wonderful holiday from a few months ago. Barbados is a very special place for us as we got engaged and married there, so we like to escape to our favourite island whenever possible. It was my husband’s birthday towards the end of the holiday so we dragged ourselves away from the beach and went exploring.

The Foursquare Rum Distillery is tucked away in the southern countryside of the island on 8 acres of a former sugar plantation.

Barbados is famous for rum (the rum punches are delicious!) so it seemed fitting to visit a rum distillery. The Foursquare Rum Distillery is tucked away in the southern countryside of the island on eight acres of a former sugar plantation.  This working rum factory is best known for its collection of spiced rums but it produces a wide range of rums including Doorly’s (the husband’s favourite). Entrance is free and you can wander around, learning about the various stages of rum-making. The aroma of molasses, yeast and spices is intoxicating. For a small fee you can sample some of the rums, but unfortunately we got there a few minutes too late. Lesson learned: not everywhere operates on a 9-5 basis! We made up for it by buying a couple of bottles at the airport.

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Foursquare rum distillery Barbados

Before our ill-timed visit to the distillery we had lunch at Atlantis restaurant at Bathsheba on the East coast. The Atlantic coast is very rugged and breathtakingly beautiful, but a definite no-no for swimming. I had the best Bajan fishcakes ever for a starter, washed down with a spiced rum punch. Atlantis has the most amazing view so you simply have to take your time over lunch. No-one rushes in Barbados anyway…even if it does mean missing the rum tasting!

I mostly wear maxi dresses on a beach holiday because they are so easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and some jewellery.

We snapped quite a few outfits during the holiday, which I’ll be posting at a later date. I mostly wear maxi dresses on a beach holiday because they are so easy to throw on with a pair of sandals and some jewellery: job done. Trying to tame my hair in the humidity takes quite an effort (I usually give up and leave it frizzy) so I don’t want to be faffing with what to wear…that means missing valuable cocktail time!

I found this particular maxi dress in a charity shop for less than £10. It’s made of stretch jersey so it’s incredibly comfortable, while the embellishment makes it dressy enough to wear for dinner. For variety I do pack a pair of lightweight trousers (seen in this post with ridiculously frizzy hair!), a couple of skirts and some vest tops. Refining my beach holiday packing is still very much a work in progress but maxi dresses are always top of my list!

What’s your beach holiday go-to outfit? Do you prefer dresses or separates? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to link up 🙂

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados Atlantis Bathsheba

bathsheba

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados

Beaded Maxi Dress in Barbados



 

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Red Herring tribal print trousers Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

I’ve never been one to travel light but going to the same place more than once certainly helps to avoid over packing too much. Over half term we went to Barbados, a place that is very special to us as we got married there, in fact this was my fifth trip there (and the husband’s 15th!) so I knew what to expect weather wise…hot hot hot! The temperature doesn’t fluctuate much throughout the year so light and loose clothing, flat shoes and beach wear is basically all you need. I tend to take the same things with me on every beach holiday, and while that’s practical and thrifty, I’d got to the point where I just needed to add a few new items to my holiday wardrobe to freshen it up without breaking the bank. I was browsing the Debenhams website for bikinis when I saw these tribal print trousers on sale and thought they’d make a nice alternative to skirts. The pattern is perfect for holidays and the fabric is soft and light, they are so comfortable. The flat nude sandals go with everything so they are holiday wardrobe essentials. Barbados is very laid back so I don’t bother with heels – flats are much more practical, especially after a few rum punches!

White M&S lace crinkle skirt Barbados holiday wardrobe

This cream lace skirt and beaded vest is one of my favourite holiday outfits; the M&S skirt is made from a crinkle effect fabric so it travels well, and the vest is very light and stretchy. Again I wore my nude flat sandals and leather cream bag, which is also a holiday staple as it’s both roomy and goes with everything.

Red beach dress and straw hat Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

Simple maxi dresses are great to throw on over a bikini to take you from beach to bar if you don’t have time to get changed. I just added a pair of drop earrings and I was good to go and catch the sunset at the beach bar. I’m never without my straw hat during the day to keep the sun off my face and a pair of big shades to protect my eyes.

Barbados Holiday Wardrobe red beach dress

Marks and Spencer Cote d'Azur sundress

This cotton sun dress was a real bargain; I bought it at an M&S outlet for about £5 a few months ago. It has a Côte d’Azur boat theme print which is perfect for holidays. As we were doing a lot of walking that day, which included a trip to the beach, I wore my red and white stripe Fitflops. I love Fitflops because I’m very flat footed and the thick, moulded sole makes walking much more comfortable. This photo was taken on the lookout point at Welchman Hall Gully – the exact spot where we got married back in 2010. It was lovely to go back there again.

Freya melon print bikini Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

One of the new items of swimwear I bought from Debenhams was this watermelon print bikini by Freya. I was instantly drawn to the tropical print, which gave my husband the perfect opportunity to say “Nice melons!” on more than one occasion! Men eh?!

Floozie frill bikini Barbados Holiday Wardrobe

This frill bikini is one I’ve had for a while now but I love the frill detail, which makes it feel less skimpy. It’s by Floozie Frost French – a range stocked by Debenhams, who have a fabulous range of swimwear for curvy ladies. I don’t mind admitting that I had serious doubts about posting a bikini photo (especially after relaxing the carbs intake the moment the plane took off!) but after seeing Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb post some beautiful holiday photos I was emboldened to just go for it. It’ll be quite a while before I get to spend a week basically living in a bikini again so I may as well savour the memory!

 

What are your tips for holiday packing? Are you a disciplined packer or do you always take too much stuff? Let me know in the comments!

 

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely day!

 

 

Emma xxx

 

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