Q. I’m off on my summer holidays to Spain in two weeks time. What are the essential pieces I should bring?

A. In the last-minute panic before you jet off on holiday to sunnier climes, it's all too easy to get carried away with your packing. You know you need your bikini and some sun-tan lotion, but what else?
It may be tempting to throw the entire contents of your wardrobe into your suitcase but if you want to be able to close the thing you need to be a little more discriminating.

Luckily, travelling light doesn't have to mean sacrificing style if you plan your outfits carefully. By packing versatile items that can be mixed and matched you can easily fit in a fortnight's worth of holiday wear.

The nautical look is timeless and the classic trend's key colours can be put together with ease - just add red, white and blue and you are dressed in an instant. And you can easily combine stripes, checks and spot prints for just-thrown-together relaxed holiday chic

Pretty daytime sun-dresses can also be dressed up for evening with a wrap and heels, while kaftans and loose blouses work over bikinis for the beach and paired with a belt and mini for a meal out.

With fabrics like chiffon, seersucker and crinkle cotton in vogue this summer, your clothes will even arrive crease free. Try vibrant shades of jade, red, peony and lemon. Add tones of white to keep the outfit looking fresh, and don't forget to pack a few pieces of jewellery and a stylish sunhat hat to finish your look.

Georgina Heffernan