blogger gail hanlon is this mutton summer vacation must haves

Finally, some sunshine! As the temperatures begin to rise, we bid adieu to spring, say hello to summer, and we’re packing our bags for that much-awaited sun-and-sand vacation . And, since a girl can use all the help she can get, we decided to call upon London blogger Gail Hanlon of IsThisMutton to help us narrow down the fashion and beauty must-haves one should have in the bag this summer.

More fabulous at 50 than many 20-somethings, be rest assured you’re in good hands.

blogger gail hanlon is this mutton

“For the holiday season, consider updating your look with relaxed separates for the days, and trendy clothes for the night. Jetsetting Brits love understated glamour, and they love their bronzers and highlighters for that faux tan.

Beauty Must-Haves I Recommend:

guerlain terracota self tanning spray and joli tient foundation and tom ford soleil perfume

Guerlain Terracotta Sunless Express Self Tanning Spray, £41;
Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Foundation, £37;
Tom Ford Orchid Soleil Eau De Parfum, £55

Guerlain’s Terracotta range is synonymous with summer and a good way to get ahead of the game is by tanning before the holiday starts. Try their best-selling tanning spray for the perfect hue.

Next on my list: A good foundation. Your skin can look patchy and uneven after a day in the sun, so a light reflective foundation is a great investment for the evening. The one by Guerlain combines the perfection of a foundation, the functionality of a skincare product, and the sun-kissed radiance of Terracotta.

Also, resonate the freshness of the warm summer sun with your choice of fragrance. The Tom Ford Soleil EDP is my favourite for beach vacations.

Fashion Must-Haves I Recommend:

banana republic gingham skirt and off shoulder top

Banana Republic’s Gingham Skirt, £42.99;
Banana Republic Off-Shoulder Top, £24.99

On the fashion front, three of the biggest trends this summer are gingham, one shoulder tops, and ruffles. The Banana Republic skirt can be worn with cool sandals and a cold shoulder top on holiday.

In fact, it would look great with their off-shoulder tiered sleeve top since it manages to nail both trends and ticks the versatility box.

roberto cavalli exotic print maxi skirt and ted baker cropped bardot top

Ted Baker Cropped Bardot Top, £89;
Roberto Cavalli Exotic Print Maxi Skirt, £207

I also like Ted Baker’s cropped Bardot top in bright pink. Pair this with the ruffled skirt trend, which has shown no signs of going away.

Maxi skirts are perfect for balmy nights abroad, and Roberto Cavalli’s exotic prints in silk will be wonderful to slip into. It’s even got a forgiving elasticated waistband so you’ll be glad you wore it after a few cocktails and Greek mezze.

steele shaee cape maxi dress and ted baker red bardot dress

Steele Shaee Cape Maxi Dress, £127.13;
Ted Baker Textured Red Bardot Dress, £95

If you’re looking for a show stopper of a dress for the evenings, look no further than this red-hot number by Ted Baker.

On the last night though, opt for something diaphanous and white like the stunning Steele Shaee cape maxi.

Beach Babe Must-Haves I Recommend:

freya island girl plunge bikini and melissa odabash ruched one piece swimsuit

Freya Island Girl Plunge Underwired Bikini Top, £36;
Melissa Odabash Swimwear, £95

Ever since Helen Mirren was photographed looking sexy in a bikini, cup-sized swimwear has been essential for the over-40s who still want that va-va-voom effect. Freya, Fantasie and Panache all have stylish cup sized swimwear. My personal favourite though is Freya’s Island Girl bikini.

Make note that you can avoid tan lines with a bandeau style. And, you might need to take a ruched swimming costume like the one by Melissa Odabash for beach aqua aerobics.

kaanas bow slides and new look gold sandals

Kaanas Tularosa Bow Slides, £54.93;
New Look Gold Leather Cross Strap Heeled Mules, £34.99

Slides are still big this summer and ideal for wearing around the swimming pool. The ultra-trendy will veer towards cute furry slides; also trending are slides with bows like the ones by Kaanas. These are produced in a traditional design in a small factory in Colombia, so they have an interesting back story as well as a great design.

I suggest you carry an extra pair of metallic sandals which will go with all outfits. In my opinion, the gold mules from New Look add just the right amount of glamour.

seafolly fringe stripe kaftan and phase eight blue white stripe sun hat

Seafolly Fringed Stripe Kaftan, £71.41;
Phase Eight Blue & White Stripe Sunhat, £25

Two other key purchases for your holiday idyll? A kaftan and a sun hat. Channel your inner Joan Collins with the wide brim woven hat from Phase Eight.

Kaftans are a great addition to the holiday suitcase. They’re timeless and can be used year after year. Aussie brand Seafolly always has some gorgeous kaftans in stripes.
jadetribe tassel fringe basket tote and kaayu pom pom woven tote

Jadetribe Multi Tassel Square Fringe Basket Tote, £129.48;
Kayu Pompom Woven Beach Tote Women Straw bag, £128

As for your arm candy, handbags with pompoms or tassels are fun and ideal for stashing your beach towel, Kindle, sun creams and lunchtime kaftan. I personally love the Jadetribe tassel fringe basket tote, or would pick the cute Kayu pompom beach tote.”

If you loved Gail Hanlon as much as we did, be sure to catch her at for more on fashion trends, beauty tips, and styling cues.

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