Must-haves, minimalism and taking too much: Emma Willis lifts the lid on her holiday wardrobe

It’s official: summer is truly here, and it’s a glorious one so far. If you’re lucky enough to have a sunny holiday planned – whether at home or abroad – it’s probably close enough that you’re starting to daydream.

The realities of planning are also setting in: choosing what to wear, packing it, getting the family ready. It’s a reality that TV’s Emma Willis is fully familiar with – as a busy mum of three with various career commitments on and offscreen.

Yet, even so, she’s still found the time to produce a fabulous new collection. Following the roaring success of her debut range with Next, Emma wanted to create the perfect summer capsule wardrobe – full of items she knew would work well together, ready to pop into a suitcase. 

On the launch of her new collection, she shares her thoughts – plus top packing tips, from someone who knows it’s not her strong suit! 

What Emma’s learned as a designer

“I’ve learnt so much that it’s overwhelming,” Emma confides. Realising just how far ahead design teams have to look, especially with collections being at different stages, was a steep learning curve. 

She’s also become more and more conscious about inclusivity, making sure to consider different body shapes and skin tones at every stage of development. Reflecting this, every item in the collection is available in sizes 6-22 – and Emma was careful to include items that aren’t just for her own body shape. 

“I hope there’s something for everyone here.” It certainly looks like it to us! The range features swimwear, light sleepwear, day-to-night beachwear and Emma’s signature tailoring – all in a dusky late-summer colour palette with little hints of the latest prints (check out the pink cheetah-print bikini!).

Emma’s top packing tips: 

  • “It’s better to have too much and not need it than not take enough and want it!” Although Emma has learned to edit her holiday wardrobe and pack a little lighter, she still prefers to err on the side of caution. 
  • Identify your most important staple items. “I wear the same six things over and over again,” Emma acknowledges. Pick your key pieces – swimwear, dresses, shorts, tops – and start with those, only adding in items that go with them. Emma goes by colour, making sure clothes complement each other.
  • “I would think ‘I just might want a heel’…I don’t want a heel! You don’t need a heel.” Knowing yourself and what you’ll want to wear is the most useful thing you can do when it comes to holiday packing. Be honest with yourself and think about what you will actually wear – not what you like the idea of wearing, but never actually choose.
  • Don’t do it all on your own. Packing for the family “is the bane of my existence,” says Emma, and we agree! Get everyone – or at least, all the adults going away – to be responsible for a different thing, to avoid anyone feeling like they have to do everything.

Our favourite pieces from Emma’s summer collection

One-shouldered red swimsuit, £35

Emma Willis Next Red Swimsuit

 

Bold and beautiful: if you prefer single pieces to bikinis, this striking swimsuit will look fantastic by the beach or pool. 

Polka dot playsuit, £34

Emma Willis Next Polka Playsuit

The grown-up way to wear the polka dot print – in a gorgeous, sun-kissed colour combination. 

Yellow slip dress, £20

Emma Willis Next Yellow Sundress

This is the perfect transitional summer dress – throw it on over swimwear for the beach, and carry on wearing right through into the night. 

Bedroom robe, £32

Emma Willis Next Pink Robe

Whatever you wear to sleep in warmer weather (Emma’s pyjama sets in soft, light materials are a good option!), throw this lightweight robe over the top for those lazy holiday mornings. Who says you have to get dressed? 

Every piece is available in sizes 6-22 – shop now at next.co.uk 

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