I don’t know whether it’s because of the sudden burst of hot weather in the UK or simply because it’s holiday season but Summer clothes are now disappearing from the shops so I’m writing this ‘what to pack for a hot beach holiday’ with some urgency.

In Friday’s post we took a fantasy trip to the Brittany coastline for a breezy holiday with unpredictable weather. Today we’re jetting off a little further so we need to pack for a hot beach holiday. We had a holiday like this last year in Turkey when the temperatures reached above 40°C every day. It isn’t easy to look chic and relaxed in searing heat.

So join me – I’m going to take you to a villa close to the sea but with a pool in the garden too. Our day will be dictated by the excesses of the heat. We’ll spend our mornings outside maybe with a trip to the market or a dip in the sea and the torpid afternoons relaxing with a book in the shade. Later on we’ll watch the sun disappear behind the mountains from a rooftop restaurant and relax with a cocktail or two.

What to pack for a hot beach holiday

It is simply a matter of personal choice whether you wear a bikini, a tankini or a swimsuit. The only consideration, as I mentioned in Friday’s post, is the proportion of your torso in relation to your legs. If you have a long torso and shorter legs like I do, go for a bikini or tankini to avoid looking dumpy. If you have longer legs then you’ll look great in a one piece. It’s as simple as that.

Having said that, today I’m featuring a one piece because it is the only piece of swimwear (other than the bikini I featured last week) that I have ordered this season and kept (everything else has gone back) so again this is a personal recommendation. I think it works against my usual theory because of the slightly higher neckline and the fact that the cut of the leg is high (but not too high) which has a lengthening effect.

Women over 40 - what to pack for a hot beach holiday

Simple beach dress – great for popping over your swimsuit for lunch. It’s loose so it won’t stick uncomfortably to your sun cream and it also has Coolfresh technology. A great price, it’s available in lots of colours.

One piece swimsuit this is more of a khaki colour in real life than gold but I still love the metallic sheen. The cups are more useful for hindering cold water blushes than giving support but somehow the modesty of the high neckline with the glimpse of cleavage is really flattering.

Tan and rose gold slides – these are a great price for leather so stock is low but they would look lovely with shorts or a dress too

Simple, good value beach bag with inner pocket and stripy cotton lining … and the essential ‘on trend’ pompoms!

These have to be some of the best value, high UV protection sunglasses that you can buy and now they have 25% off all their styles. They come with a great case too.

Packable fedora, simply roll it up and pop it in the tube – go for the small for a lady and if you have a very small head, there are others to choose from.

Hammam towels are so much easier to pack than ordinary towels as they take up so little space plus they’re much more chic.

A loose cotton shirt looks lovely over a swimsuit but you don’t need to spend a fortune. Simply buy a small, extra long one for men – most importantly they’re non iron so you can wash it when you rinse out your swimsuit and it will look fresh the next day.

Classic slim gold Havaianas always seem to make your feet look dainty

If you like to linger on the beach for cocktails this very reasonable jumpsuit would work really well with the swimsuit, you could dress it up for evenings too

I’m not sure why these bangles didn’t show up in the listing but I always buy a set to take to the beach. I don’t spend much because the boys have a habit of using them as makeshift gyroscopes in beach bars when there is no wi-fi so I never return with a full set.
 Women over 40 - what to pack for a hot beach holiday

What to wear on tropically hot days

So, that’s the beach taken care of, now we need to think about what to wear during the day. I don’t see buying clothes for this sort of holiday as investment dressing so I do quite a lot of budget buying and only spend more on pieces I know I’ll be able to wear at home.
When it’s very, very hot it can be more comfortable to stick to dresses. You don’t want them to stick to you but equally you don’t want to wear a sack so it’s better if they have a fitted top and a looser skirt. They’re really difficult to find in the UK – in French or Spanish markets you can buy them easily, made from the softest cotton or linen and simply cut. These are the kind of dresses I mean
Women over 40 - what to pack for a hot beach holiday
Women over 40 - what to pack for a hot beach holiday
I suspect that I have ‘Marie Kondoed’ a lot of them over the winter which is now making me feel sad. They’re what our grandmas would have called a ‘sundress’. It has taken me hours of searching to find a few, I’ve added simple jewellery too to give you some ideas of how to lift them.
Women over 40 - what to pack for a hot beach holiday


Jersey dress – this has a slight sleeve for people who like to cover the tops of their arms. With its subtle tiled print it makes me think of Moorish castles. 25% off at the moment

The very definition of a cotton sundress, the right jewellery will keep it looking fresh and modern. 25% off at the moment.

Blue cotton dress with pink trim – order this in long unless you’re petite. 25% off at the moment

Maxi dress – a great price for a simple throw on

Simple white linen dress with tie neck – also available in khaki and black. Very chic.

Grecian blue dress – I know I featured this as a beach cover up in my last post but I’ve now had it delivered and you can dress it up too – size down though.

Striped dress – adding gold jewellery gives this a change of mood from French style to mediterranean chic

An unusual strappy dress with a pleated centre panel

This striped dress is above the knee, a lightweight cotton

I have this murano glass necklace, you can see me wearing it further down the post. If you have blue or grey eyes it does something magical to them

A simple rose gold toned torque is very versatile and looks great with a slight tan

These murano glass earrings match the necklace but are quite large so they’re great for this year’s statement earring trend. They’re available for both pierced and non pierced ears.

Beautiful ‘caramello’ earrings made from natural mother of pearl
Most of the jewellery that I have featured is from Eternal Collection who were the very first brand to support me which means I now like to support them in return. It is run by a husband and wife team in the UK but they post worldwide. They are a small business selling well priced jewellery most of which they make themselves. They are offering Midlifechic readers a 10% discount using code MLC at checkout. It is so much nicer to wear carefully crafted jewellery than fashion stuff from the high street – I have quite a few pieces from them in my collection now.
My other jeweller of choice is Shelley at Tulip Jewellery who is a Midlifechic reader. She has a great eye for simple, unfussy styles so I like to support her too. Again my technical gremlins haven’t brought her pics up in the listing but here they are:

What to wear for hot summer nights

Day has turned into evening and we are enjoying a pre-prandial cocktail as the sun goes down. Stroll along with me whilst we decide which bar or restaurant to choose. I tend to steer clear of heels on holiday to avoid looking too ‘Marbs’ (I’ve nothing against Marbella, it’s just a different, dressed up style of holiday dressing).
It’s a little cooler than the daytime so I find that this is often when I wear shorts, elevating them with a dressier top. There is a school of thought that suggests you choose a dual coloured holiday palette – black with khaki maybe – but I know that I would soon feel really bored. It makes sense as a theory in winter when you have lots of bulky items but in my view, it’s just as efficient to pack a couple of neutral base pieces – maybe one or two maxi skirts and a simple pair of silky black trousers with a rainbow of coloured tops. You’ll find you have endless options for evening outfits as you can see.
Women over 40 - what to pack for a hot beach holiday


A cool cotton poplin top with a twist (literally)

Gold metallic linen top – this has been back in stock this week, remember to size up and be quick

Flowy blue maxi skirt – relaxed and versatile

Relaxed black trousers – with stretch so they’re good for travelling in too

Elegant belted shorts – less skimpy and more flattering

White shorts with cord belt – like the pink shorts above, these are simple but glamorous

Striped linen blend shorts – they’re cool but don’t crumple

Broderie shorts with elasticated waist (for when you’re feeling hungry) also available in black or white

‘Airism’ cami with secret support, specially designed for the heat

Falkirk wrap cami – these are fab quality for the price, they’re made from heavy satin so they don’t look like cheap lingerie

Maida cami – such a gorgeous colour, you could continue to wear these tops at home with a blazer and jeans

Chic Tropezienne style sandal, very Inés de la Fressange

I’m including these wedges on reader Nicola’s recommendation – they went down well when she mentioned them in the comments (also available in pink, black and tan)

The gremlins have done it again and bitten off my last item so here we go, the sandals that I keep featuring but haven’t bought…yet:

I hope you’ve enjoyed our exotic jaunt – still no clues as to where we’re going on our holiday, it’s getting harder and harder not to let it slip.

Baukjen sale

I have lots of outfit of the day photos building up but I’m running out of time today. However, I thought I’d show you this one.
Nikki Garnett
It’s the first time I’ve bought anything from Baukjen – I ordered this jumpsuit to wear for our journey to Paris but the weather ended up being too cold and wet. I’ve worn it a few times since then though, it’s really comfortable and yet easy to wear for work too. I find it handy for all those occasions when you find yourself sitting on the grass at the end of the day – watching cricket and having a picnic have been two recently. The Baukjen sale started this morning and this jumpsuit is 30% off so if you’re looking for a simple, versatile summer outfit here it is. (Note to self – must tighten my belt – both literally and metaphorically).
You’ll notice I’m also wearing the Eternal Collection jewellery I recommended higher up, here’s a close up. The necklace is a piece of twisted glass held by a string of tiny glass beads.
Nikki Garnett
As you can see, the twisted murano earrings are stunning
Women over 40 - what to pack for a hot beach holiday
Don’t forget Eternal are offering 10% off using code MLC if you would like to add the finishing touches to your holiday packing plans. Now I’m afraid I must rush – I’ve been trying to get this finished before a parents’ meeting at school so have a great week everyone and keep in touch.
Disclosure: the Eternal jewellery was sent as a gift, there was no obligation to write a post and my opinion is honest as always.

Other summer posts you may have missed

What to wear for a holiday by the sea

Simple t-shirts with the luxe factor

Simple summer broderie collection

Great summer buys

Chic sandals that won’t hurt your feet

Best tailored cropped trousers for summer

Best of Mango & The White Company