UK Women Spend More on Their Holiday Wardrobe than on the Trip Itself

By Shop Direct Group, PRNE
Thursday, July 7, 2011

LIVERPOOL, England, July 8, 2011 -


As UK spending cuts start to bite, it seems there is one area
where British women aren’t prepared to scale back - their holiday
wardrobe - with the most prolific holiday shoppers being
fifty-something women.

According to recent research by online retailer, four
in five (85 per cent) women over 50 plan to blow a staggering
£1,500 on their holiday wardrobe, which in most instances is more
than they paid for the holiday itself, with the average cost of a
trip abroad costing £677 per person*.

The startling research by the mature href="">ladies fashion
brand found that while more than half (54 per cent) of 50-something
women take up to 10 individual outfits, almost all (96 per cent)
cram in five pairs of shoes and a further 91 per cent haul an
average of five handbags with them on seven-day trip. The rationale
for over packing, according to adult psychologist, Susan Quilliam,
being a need to boost confidence when hitting the beach or enjoying
a night out.  

Despite this excess baggage and immense cost, 65 per cent of
ladies only wear half of what they pack, coming home with at least
five items unworn.  Nearly half (48 per cent) splurge on more
clothes while on their break because what they have with them
doesn’t fit or ‘isn’t me’, with one in three (36 per cent) spending
an additional £50 on new items while away from home.

And when it comes to packing, one in three (33 per cent) spend
up to three days getting organised,  10 per cent take between
seven and 10 days to pack their case, and almost three quarters (72
per cent)  over pack.  In fact,  half (52 per cent)
even admit to shoving items in their partner’s case before jetting
off, with many men finding their packing allowance reduced by

Despite the reduced wardrobe options for men, making sure their
other half looks good on holiday is also a priority for mature
women with half (48 per cent) taking responsibility for packing
their partner’s case, with  48 per cent admitting to
under-packing for him to make room for their own clothes.

Women in the East Midlands spend the most on clothes and
accessories and take the longest to pack, with 17 per cent
admitting to taking between two and four weeks.  Women in
Yorkshire pack the most, admitting to taking six handbags, ten
outfits and six pairs of shoes for a week away.

Adult psychologist, Susan Quilliam comments: “While mature women
may effortlessly balance work and family life for 50 weeks of the
year, when it comes to holidays even the most self-aware women may
find their confidence slipping.

“Shedding layers and revealing what’s underneath can make mature
women feel vulnerable. Surrounded by toned and tanned perfect beach
bodies, a mature woman can lose confidence, making her feel
insecure and unloved.

“It’s clear from the findings that a woman’s answer is very
practical - to make sure that she has every advantage when it comes
to what she wears on holiday. She needs clothes and accessories
that flatter, show off her good points and make her feel great
about herself. And because such outfits can be hard to come by,
she’ll pack everything just in case, and then buy a little more
while she’s away. This may sound like over packing and overkill,
but it’s a solution to a very real psychological dilemma.”

Lynda Bellingham, brand ambassador for**, whose Savoir
ladies clothing range is specifically designed for a 50 plus
figure, believes that the study shows that wanting to look stylish
has no age limit, and comments: “Women like to plan ahead and pack
for any eventuality, which often means many clothes come home
unworn, while some may change their mind about an item while away
because it just doesn’t fit. My advice is to pack smart and to
recognise your body shape, so choose fashionable clothing created
with the shape of 50+ women in mind to fit and flatter your best
assets.  That way you can splurge on enjoying yourself while
away, rather than trawling the resort for replacement clothes.

“A great swimsuit that holds you in, in all the right places is
a must, as well as a sarong or cover up for the beach.  And to
look stylish, as well as stay cool, a fitted linen jacket and a
stunning maxi dress should be staples in every woman’s

To help stop overspending and over packing, here is Lynda’s
fail-safe capsule holiday wardrobe for a seven day break

Clothes: Linen jacket, Cardigan, 2x dresses, one for
daytime, one href="">
going out dress, such as a bright maxi dress, 2x skirts -
floral prints are stylish and summery, 3x t-shirts / vests - opt
for stylish Breton stripes and block colours, 2x shorts - in
neutral colours like khaki or denim, 2x href="">ladies

Shoes: 2x wedges and 2x flat sandals - chose colours that
go with everything, such as tan or white.

Accessories: 3x handbags - one large bag for the beach,
one smaller for daytime and an evening bag, such as a clutch - a
sarong and a hat that is easy to pack as this will not only prevent
sun stroke, but will save hair colour from going orange which is
never a good look!

*Source: Which? The average cost of a trip abroad was £677 per
person, compared with £317 for a holiday in the UK, href="">

** Lynda Bellingham currently stars in the latest isme TV
advertisements which is on air from June 17th


  • The research for was carried out
    online by OnePoll in May 2011 amongst a panel resulting in
    1,000 UK women over 50.
  • All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct
    (2010) in the UK. OnePoll is a member of the ICC/ESOMAR World
    Research Guidelines, is registered with the Information
    Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data
    Protection Act (1998)


  • isme is the new home shopping brand from Shop
    Direct Group, the UK’s largest home shopping stable, and owner
    of brands including and 
  • Available online and in catalogue
    format, isme fashion offers stylish, affordable,
    and flattering womenswear in sizes 6 to 32, and is aimed at a
    discerning, mature woman.  
  • The Savoir at isme clothing collection is
    setting a new standard in womenswear, and has been created by
    experts who truly understand the shape, size and style of today’s
    modern, mature woman.
  • For more information, log on to  href="">  

For further information please call Victoria Barker; PR
Manager; Shop Direct Group; Email:;
Telephone: 0844-292-3845; Mobile:+44(0)7770-265158.


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