Vacation plans—and outfits—thwarted by travel bans? Here’s our guide to home-adjacent holidaying in style.
Dec 7, 2020
It’s fair to say that 2020 has thrown a spanner into the works of many of our plans, particularly any that involve travel. But after what seems like the longest year in recent memory, even just a short break nearby likely feels essential to many. That’s why now is officially time to embrace the idea of the “staycation”, and look to our own backyard for the same thrills and relaxation offered by those cancelled, long distance trips.
The pandemic-appropriate way to holiday, a staycation provides the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the scenic spots and activities offered by your locale and, perhaps, some neighbouring ones too. Now’s your chance to head off in search of that breathtaking hiking trail a few hours away, or pay a visit to that oft-raved-about, hole-in-the-wall restaurant uptown that everyone’s been raving about. And—big, plus—rather than being relegated to one suitcase and a limited number of looks, you’ve got your entire wardrobe close by. So whether you have plans for a relaxing escape or some creative city exploration, read on for the top sartorial essentials to add to your closet for a memorable and stylish mini-retreat.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a part of the world where the beaches are open and the sun is shining, then a trip to the water is a must this holiday season. Picturesque coastlines—whether they be the pebbled banks of Brighton on the southern coast of England, the lush seashores of Malibu, California, or the mesmerising turquoise waters and white sands of Nungwi in Zanzibar—are the quintessential holiday spot. The sound of crashing waves, and beaming sun presenting a sweet respite and insisting it’s visitor unwind. For a look fit for your glorious seaside surroundings, turn to the resort-ready creations of Nigerian-Canadian brand Andrea Iyamah. Founded by Dumebi Iyamah, the label’s fiery swimwear and contemporary take on 50s-inspired silhouettes have proven a favorite of numerous celebrities including actors Gabrielle Union and Issa Rae. Her range of on-trend one pieces and sculptural bikinis perfectly pair with an irreverent sunhat by Crystal Birch (we recommend the Cape Town-based milliner’s showstopping multicolored Fanta-sea Hat). Finish it all off with a beach-appropriate bag: Reform Studio’s Mini Afro Basket bucket bags and Rebel Tote holdalls are made from Plastex (a upcycled material invented by the brand that’s derived from plastic bags) and provide an eye-catching way to store all of your shoreside essentials.
Make your favourite nearby city your holiday playground this festive season, and use your visit as an opportunity to hit all those hot spots that you’ve long been meaning to try. With their animated streets, jam-packed calendars, and diverse cultural landmarks, cities like Johannesburg, Austin, and Barcelona are all iconic options for the holiday maker seeking an immersive city experience. Here, you can spend the night in one of your favorite luxury hotels and devote your days to live music, museum tours, and culinary adventures. And when it comes to your wardrobe, first things first: since you’ll likely spend a considerable amount of time on the pavement, you’re going to want to select a shoe with a strong fashion-comfort ratio. Shekudo’s selection of understated, heeled mules work with anything, while Loza Maléombho‘s Fah Regal Sandal in brown provides a flat, yet more high-octane alternative. A city visit is also the perfect opportunity to pull out those more sophisticated garments that embody a chic, cosmopolitan spirit, as well as a chance for some playful experimentation with unusual prints and silhouettes. Turn to Lisa Folawiyo’s visually arresting Wide Legged Trouser (or anything by the luxury Nigerian designer, really) as the focal point. Teamed with the label’s matching Ruched Organza Shirt, it presents a polished yet laid-back look that will carry you from day to night with ease. Add some subtle embellishment in the form of Patrick Mavros’ Pangolin Necklace (it’s graduated scale form is inspired by the endangered sub-Saharan creature), then turn to Femi Handbags’ Maxi-Maxi Tote to keep all your city essentials in one safe, stylish place.
Long-distance traveling that involves being cramped into small aerodynamic spaces with strangers may not be on the cards this year. That being said, why not discover the hidden beauty of your own backyard? Grab a loved one, hit the road, and you might be surprised by the adventures you encounter along the way. You’ll find that in the case of road-tripping, the journey is as important as the destination. Based on the continent? Consider your less-traveled local national park or UNESCO world heritage site (think the gorilla sanctuaries of Rwanda or the Idanre Hills in Nigeria) as a good place to start. Europe-dwellers may enjoy a drive down southern France to Monaco or the village of Eze, or if American west coast life is for you, the rolling hills of wine country in Napa Valley are sure to inspire wanderlust. Wherever your meander, comfort is key: think trusted staples (IAMISIGO’s Patched Front version is a piece that goes with just about anything) or a comfy one-piece. With their adjustable waist and handy pockets, Kiko Romeo’s range of jumpsuits are an exercise in chic practicality, each colorway and detail infusing uncomplicated, artisanal cool. Toss all of your trip essentials into a classic weekender-style tote bag—Zaaf’s Indica Afar bag makes for a durable, roomy option—load up that playlist, and get on your way.
What are vacations if not about relaxation? And after a decidedly taxing year, it's time to treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience for a little off-the-beaten-path R&R. Carve out some time just for yourself, then check-in at a peaceful establishment nearby; it’s the perfect way to surrender all your troubles and an ideal time to break out your favorite kimono or boubou. Conveying an air of refined respite, the garment always arrives with a decadent air of indulgence, an ideal pick for throwing over yourself between treatments. The light, cotton tie-dye form of Awa Meité’s Boubou Carre provides a touch of subdued glamour and a somewhat vintage feel. Next, choose a hold-all spa bag that’s spacious and striking; New Tangier’s Karima iterations are head-turning picks pain-staking crafted in Morocco from hand-woven textiles and finished with touches of gold-plated hardware. Extend the easy-going, free spirit of the day by slipping into one of Doreen Mashika’s artful takes on the summer dress as you enjoy a post-treatment sundowner.
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