9 fashion essentials for the summer

Live in black? You can still wear it on the beach and dazzle, M&S Collection shoulderless kaftan £29

Live in black? You can still wear it on the beach and dazzle, M&S Collection shoulderless kaftan £29.50, hat £18 and sandals £25, stores in Kent including Bluewater, www.marksandspencer.com - Credit: Archant

And smile, smile, smile! Here’s what you need for a holiday abroad or right here on the Kent coast

This simple stripe cami would look good with shorts or a skirt, £32, Next stores throughout Kent, ww

This simple stripe cami would look good with shorts or a skirt, £32, Next stores throughout Kent, www.next.co.uk - Credit: Archant

Add a splash of colour with this vivid orange kaftan, J by Jasper Conran, available at Debenhams Wes

Add a splash of colour with this vivid orange kaftan, J by Jasper Conran, available at Debenhams Westwood Cross, £38, www.westwoodx.co.uk - Credit: Archant

How could Kent Life resist this monogrammed 'KL' pom-pom beach basket from Rae Feather, www.raefeath

How could Kent Life resist this monogrammed 'KL' pom-pom beach basket from Rae Feather, www.raefeather.com? Small £75, large £130. Orders can be placed at Kitch on Tunbridge Wells High Street, www.kitchclothing.co.uk - Credit: Archant

Wrap up in style in a striking round beach towel, big enough for a family of four to sit on or two t

Wrap up in style in a striking round beach towel, big enough for a family of four to sit on or two to be wrapped in, this is new style Orca by You Me and The Dream, £75, www.youmeandthedream.com - Credit: Archant

Add a summery pop of colour to your outfit: semi-circular collar necklace £29, Oliver Bonas stores t

Add a summery pop of colour to your outfit: semi-circular collar necklace £29, Oliver Bonas stores throughout Kent, including Tunbridge Wells, www.oliverbonas.com - Credit: Archant

Prowl the pool in Freya leopard strappy sandals, £79, by Mint Velvet, www.mintvelvet.co.uk, stores a

Prowl the pool in Freya leopard strappy sandals, £79, by Mint Velvet, www.mintvelvet.co.uk, stores and concessions throughout Kent, including the new standalone shop in Bluewater - Credit: Archant

Victoria says

Paddling pools are out, beach trips and sandals are on, even in the rain we’re being very British about our hope of a long hot summer.

It’s also a time when we look forward to our summer holiday, but among the excitement there is the panic of what to pack.

A friend of mine is off to Greece for a week and we thought her holiday wardrobe had been sorted, until we met up with a mutual pal who popped her dream holiday shoe collection bubble instantly. Apparently it’s the type of destination that requires flats, so we have been desperately scouring the internet for alternatives.

The lesson is always make sure you find out what your holiday destination is ‘really’ like or you’ll find yourself in the same pair of flip flops for breakfast, beach and dinner!

The most-wanted holiday towel is from Kent business ladies You Me and The Dream, and I also recommend the Helen Kaminski hats from Village Life in Goudhurst. They are so beautifully made and simply roll up when you want to pack them into your suitcase or pop them into your beach basket.

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Speaking of which, the must-have beach bag is the Rae Feather monogrammed basket (see far left). Get ordering now so you will have one in time for your summer holiday.

Holiday packing tips

1. Choose no more than three key colours, lay it all out with shoes and accessorises and check every item works together before you pack.

2. Put all your shoes at the bottom of your suitcase, each pair wrapped in a plastic bag. Clear bags are best.

3. Buy some fabulous sunglasses but keep them on you at all times, you’ll need them as soon as you land.

4. Take a couple of scarves. These can be used for more than just around your neck; they can be used to cover up sunburnt areas when sunbathing or to wrap around you when popping to the beach bar for a quick drink.

5. Do not take your ‘old’ summer clothes on holiday! Holidays are your time to shine, to be more adventurous

6. Dresses are an instant outfit. All you need are a few accessories and shoes and you’re good to go

Follow Victoria Genevieve, Tunbridge Wells-based fashion stylist, @wardrobefairy