Top packing tips: The 8 multitasking pieces you need in your suitcase

by My Kent Family reporter

No-one really needs 35 outfits for a seven-day break, but we're all guilty of over-packing at times, particularly for summer holidays.

If you're limited to cabin baggage it's even worse, and planning for a relaxed weekend away can result in a bedroom floor strewn with clothing and a full-blown tantrum when you should be in chilled-out holiday mode.

But it doesn't have to be that way. By compiling a streamlined capsule collection of items you can wear in multiple ways (plus a few basics and accessories, of course) you'll have enough outfits to last the week without lugging your whole wardrobe on the plane.

Learn to pack like a pro this summer

Here are eight essential holiday fashion buys to help you pack with precision...

1. The swimsuit

No longer reserved for the beach or pool, a swimsuit can double as a sexy body top when tucked into shorts or a high-waisted midi skirt. Block colour cossies work best, and you can layer over an unbuttoned blouse if you feel a little too exposed.

Marks & Spencer Autograph Pleated V-neck Long Sleeve Blouse, £39.50; Collection Secret Slimming Lace-up Swimsuit, £29.50; Collection Pure Cotton Rolled Hem Chino Shorts, £15; Collection Shopper Bag, £29.50

2. The shirt dress

By night, a cute dress paired with metallic accessories, by day, a poolside cover-up (wear it unbuttoned), a shirt dress will come in very handy on hols. Just be sure to choose a neutral tone that works with all your swimwear.

East Silk Jersey Combination Dress, £89

3. The metallic sandals

As for metallic accessories, a pair of minimalist flat sandals in silver, gold or rose gold offer maximum day-to-night potential.

Hush Sasha Sandals, £55

4. The Little White Dress

There's something about a white gypsy dress that makes it chic enough for evening with heels and a clutch, but relaxed enough to re-wear for the beach or strolling around town - and in warmer climes, it's cooler than an LBD.

Long Tall Sally Ladder Trim Cold Shoulder Dress, £50

5. The in-between sandals

Practical and pretty, a low block or wedge-heeled sandal will feel smart enough for a fancy restaurant but not too dressy for a day of sightseeing in the city.

Dune Jany Tan Sandals, £55 (reduced from £70)

6. The kaftan

Not just a beach cover-up, a midi or maxi length kaftan will take you from the beach to the bar to dinner - as long as the fabric isn't see-through!

White Stuff Shipwreck Embroidered Kaftan, £22 (reduced from £45); Laurie Tassel Tote Bag, £29 (reduced from £59.95)

7. The statement shorts

Denim cut-offs are great, but if you want to get more mileage out of your separates on holiday, choose a pair of city shorts with trendy detailing, like a scalloped hem, paper bag waist or bow belt. Pair with a blouse (or swimsuit) for sundowner cocktails.

Miss Selfridge Stripe Flippy Shorts, £25

8. The Bardot blouse

If there's one print the fashion pack can't get enough of this summer, it's gingham. The high street has about a hundred versions of this cotton off-the-shoulder top, which is a real holiday hero. Dress it down with denim shorts or dress it up with a city shorts and silver sandals.

Simply Be Gingham Bardot Blouse, £16.50 (reduced from £25)

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