Alyson Walsh; Thats Not My Age; Marks And Spencer; Street Style;

M&S asked me to write about my holiday wardrobe and as I’m just about to book a much-needed vacation, this is a useful way of planning ahead. Mr That’s Not My Age will be pleased to have a little extra space for his walking sandals… For a week in the sun, I try to travel light. There’s really no need to pay excess baggage when you rotate the same things over a couple of days.

Here are a few of my summer style essentials, in partnership with M&S:

Alyson Walsh; Thats Not My Age; Marks And Spencer; Street Style;

The essential tunic (first photo)

I went to Mallorca once with a friend and we had to take it in turns to visit Palma Cathedral. We’d come straight from the beach, wearing vest tops and shorts and she was the only one with a long sleeved cover up. Since then I’ve always carried an essential tunic.

The go-anywhere culottes (first photo)

Culottes tend to polarize opinion but… I like them. This lightweight denim pair from Autograph is an excellent replacement for the faded, jersey culottes I usually take on holiday. In fact, most of my holiday clothes only see the light of day when we’re away, but this outfit is definitely chic enough to wear at home.

Alyson Walsh; Thats Not My Age; Marks And Spencer; Street Style;
That’s me in a bikini. Do you think I’m going to break the internet?

The easy-going denim shirt

One of my go-to holiday items is a loose-fitting, lightweight denim shirt. This is good for travel and for throwing on to before/after the beach. I take a kaftan too but find the easy-going shirt easier to change under. Choose one long enough to wear on its own over a bikini.

The patterned bikini

I’ve been winging it with saggy old swimwear for the last couple of holidays but this year, I really do need a new bikini. I usually take two: one in plain black and then something a bit brighter, like this fluorescent leopard print number from Limited Edition. With matching big pants. Perfect.

Alyson Walsh; Thats Not My Age; Marks And Spencer; Street Style;

The slouchy t-shirt

Gotta love a slouchy t-shirt, I wear mine over a maxi skirt or fancy pants for one of my favourite holiday activities: popping to and from the hotel buffet. Good for covering shoulders in the midday sun, too.

The relaxed trouser

My legs are not what they used to be and so I always take a pair of lightweight, drawstring pants. Perfect for covering up the varicose veins, and for cycling in. We like to hire bikes and have been known to cycle in the searing Sicilian heat, in July. Throw a sweatshirt or denim jacket over this outfit and it’s ideal for travel, too.

Alyson Walsh; Thats Not My Age; Marks And Spencer; Street Style;


The black maxi dress

The best thing for a holiday evening. That’s all.

Photos: Dvora @Fashionistable. A very special thank you to Brockwell Lido for allowing us to shoot around the pool.


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17 thoughts on “Summer style essentials

  1. Great photos! Love love love the sandals in first pic. May I know which brand they are? Btw – fantastic book.

  2. your post on summer style essentials with m & s was brilliant, great clothes but went on line to get some bits and couldn’t find them, the coulottes are not on line or the blouse could only find the shoes and they are on sale and nearly sold out, how frustrating ! please can you give links to item numbers so that I can find them on line, thanks.

  3. Wow! If I had your skin I’d wear bikinis all day long! Obviously you have followed the sun rules and it’s paid off. I bought a similar blue shirt from RL years ago,and it just gets better and better. Goes with everything. A real staple as I live at the beach half the year. Ditto the tunics . And jeans, altho I only wear white- boyfriends or skinnies.You have put together the perfect beachy wearable wardrobe.

  4. Sandy – the sandals are M&S, too.

    Tracy – I know, it is frustrating and I can only apologise- things have gone into sale and so availability is limited.

    Wilson – sadly I haven’t followed the sun rules, it’s just the light!

  5. Love these photos of you – especially the first and last where you have the poise of a ballet dancer. More photos please of middle aged women who do not need photoshop or Botox to look beautiful.

  6. please do some more posts on high street fashion, its great to have ideas of what to buy from the high st, thanks.

  7. Great pics for a summer travel wardrobe. I am visiting northern Germany and am currently working on my style for the trip.
    I know this is a polarizing topic but I am always torn about what swimsuit looks best on a woman “of a certain age.” I see many women that have fabulous bodies but, let’s face it, their skin is not 20 any more. They would look so chick in a one piece suit since the bikini shows all and invites so much criticism. Maybe my comments come from the fact that I live in the US and bikinis on “older” women aren’t the norm, or the fact that we are so damn critical over here! I have never had a bikini body even in my teens so I revel in my black Jantzen one piece and chic cover up.

  8. I think M&S have done a good range of holiday looks this season. Love the shirt in first photo and maxi dress. I just wish they would do more styles in natural fabrics. Polyester is just too hot in a warm climate.

  9. You look great in bikini and I like the outfits.
    I’m at the beach now and looking around there are a lot of women over fifty who look great, more than their partners ! And other half, who do not. And believe me,nobody cares too much!We have to be critical but swimming and enjoying hollidays have to be in the first place. There is no Fashion Body Police nearby,I hope !Nobody is perfect! If I couldn’t wear bikini I’ll go for tankini.,with pareo,light shirts,tees,long skirts,hats ,bangles……to cover and feel good in my skin

  10. I LIKE that black maxi dress! Where did you find it? Have fun on your vacation (you are SO daring to wear a bikini!–good for you.) and you look marvelous.

  11. Lovely summer looks! I was always hesitant towards culottes and I can’t say I love all of them but definitely yours!
    My favourite is the bikini photo (you do have fantastic soft skin) with the knotted blouse, that’s a perfect summer look.

    Annette | Lady of Style

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