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What women should pack for a weekend break

As any regular traveller knows, hand luggage only is the way to go. No wielding heavy suitcases across the city or waiting by airport carousels, travelling light brings added freedom.

There’s an art to weekend packing however, so leave those ‘just in case’ outfits at home and construct a capsule wardrobe for every occasion.

The spa weekend

Swimming costume – swimwear is key for a spa weekend so choose wisely. If you’re planning on swimming laps a one-piece is the better choice as it won’t slip off your shoulders as you power up and down. You’ll also be wearing your swimwear in the spa and when having treatments, such as a massage, so if you’re using your costume from last summer, check it hasn’t lost elasticity or developed see-through patches. No need to worry about a cover-up as most spas provide robes for guests to wear.

Heading to the city this autumn?

Leisurewear – throughout the day the dress code in a spa is casual, wrap up in comfy but luxe jogging bottoms and sweatshirts and take a pair of trainers you can wear for travelling as well.

Workout kit – many workout leggings are now so stylish you can wear them outside the gym too. Save space by packing a chic pair you can dress up with a nice top or shirt for dinner and also hit the gym in the next day.

Flip-flops – many spas provide disposable flip-flops but it’s worth checking first, if not, pack your own, they’re perfect by the poolside.

The city break

Trainers – on a city break you’ll usually spend your days seeing the sights so comfy shoes are a must. Channel the athleisure trend with sneakers, a neutral shade such as black, white or grey will go with any outfit. Make sure you’ve worn them a few times first though, unwanted blisters can leave you feeling miserable.

Mix and match – choose clothing in colours that work well together so you can create mix and match outfits from a handful of items. A black cotton dress for example can be worn with a denim shirt and pumps for a casual daytime look, add gold sandals and gold jewellery for an evening look. Throw in shorts, skinny black jeans, a black and a white vest top and you’re sorted.

The jacket – you want a lightweight jacket that is smart enough to wear out to dinner or drinks in the evening but light enough to throw over your arm or pack in a tote during the day. A cropped camel trench is ideal.

The beach getaway

Swimwear – if you’re spending your days by the pool or on the beach, pack two or three different swimwear options. Swimwear takes up very little space but you’re going to be spending most of your time in it so it’s good to have choice – and this way you’ll always have a dry costume. One-pieces, nautical stripes, florals and retro high-waisted bikinis are all key swimwear trends this summer and nude shades and tassels were big at Miami Swim Week 2017. One-pieces can also be worn as a body top under long skirts, tailored shorts or trousers in the evening.

There’s an art to weekend packing however, so leave those ‘just in case’ outfits at home and construct a capsule wardrobe for every occasion

Hat and sunglasses – protect your eyes and face from harsh sunlight with a hat and sunglasses. A floppy straw hat or panama are timeless choices, while 2017 sunglasses trends are all about having fun. Go wild with oversized retro frames, mirrored lenses and embellished frames.

Espadrilles – leave the kitten heels at home and opt for metallic sandals, or flatforms or wedges if you want to add height without forgoing comfort. Rope soles and espadrilles are a classic summer trend, although built-up versions can be slightly heavier so wear them on the plane and pack flip-flops for the beach.

Cover-up – pack light with a sarong, which can be worn numerous different ways during the day. Clothing that can double up will also save space – a maxi dress for example can be worn during the evening with jewellery, sandals and a slick of bright lipstick and thrown over your bikini on the beach the next day.

The style advice was given by Bicester Village in celebration of Bicester Village’s partnership with etiquette experts Debrett’s and the launch of the Guide To British Style, a beautiful pocket-guide to the season, dress-codes and much more.