Are Brits the worst-dressed tourists in Europe? I talk to a Fashion Expert in Hedge End

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By Caroline_W | Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 19:06

According to a poll by TripAdvisor Britons on holiday are the worst-dressed in Europe. I wondered if this was true and so I headed off to Hedge End retail park and to Marks and Spencer and spent the morning with Personal Shopper and Fashion Adviser Janine Calo.

Firstly I asked if Janine agreed that we are the worst-dressed.

She replied that we need to “shake off the Vicky Pollard image – but that there is hope.”

Janine reports an upturn in the number of women shopping not just for ‘something to wear’ in the pool, but shoppers searching for five, six even seven bikinis, costumes – one for each day of the week.

Janine believes it’s important that on holiday women continue to dress for who they are, but also not to forget fashion, trends, colour, fabric, accessories, and – what I was left with as the most important message – ‘effort’.

“When women are on holiday it’s their chance to relax, to get away from the housework, the cooking, the washing and ironing,” Janine says, “so they should have more time for themselves, and that includes time for deciding what to wear.”

Hot trends this season are nautical stripes, army green, military style jackets, maxi-dresses and floral – which apparently is huge – but with everything it seemed that it was also the accessories that counted and how items were put together.

Janine does not believe in having your colours ‘read’ as pigments change. “Never say you can’t wear any particular colour,” she advises. “If you see something you like put the colour to your face and if it doesn’t suit you that close up try it in shorts or trousers.”

The TipAdvisor poll puts the Italians at the top for style and Janine (half Italian herself) isn’t surprised. She thinks that the British lost their sense of elegance and style after the 1950s – when no one would have been seen dead out shopping without wearing a pair of white gloves – and with the 1960s fashions through to the 1980s and the creation of the shell-suits. But she says that a style statement is within everyone’s reach.

In M & S they now group items together – so for example you’re not confronted merely by a rack full of swimsuits but coordinating items of bikini, sarong, hat, flip-flops, bag.

 “It comes down to women feeling inspired,” says Janine.  “When I’m advising a customer I always dress them for who they are. However sometimes I will take them out of their comfort zone when suggesting items. At the end of the day it’s up to them to choose what they buy – although often when they’re in something they’ve never dreamt of trying before they’re hooked.

 “A holiday should also be the time to wear something a bit out of the ordinary,” Janine continues, “perhaps a skirt that’s a little bit shorter than a customer would normally wear, a top with a more revealing cleavage. After all with all that sun, hair is lighter, skin darker, women are probably exercising more – they’ve never looked so great, so why not dress that up.”

Make-up, and good skin-care and protection products are also vital items for the holidaying Briton abroad according to Janine.

And if ‘effort’ does seem a little too much hard work while on holiday, it seems that the best approach is to organise now, before you pack.

And while we’re on the subject of packing, Janine says, “You can never have too many pairs of shoes with you” – my children please take note!

So after spending the morning studying clothes in M & S – it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it – was I inspired?

Oh, yes...

And it seems there should be no excuse for the British tourist to holiday without style.

As a Personal Shopper, Fashion Adviser Janine advises all ages of customer on any budget. She provides a free service and to book or for more information phone 01489 798844.



  • Profile image for avidreader24

    Well, when I holiday on Greek islands they certainly are !!


    By avidreader24 at 10:24 on 28/07/10

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