Friday, 9 June 2017


Anne C here and I am much more of an impulse shopper than Anne H – I always come home from my travels with something new – whether it be clothes, jewellery, shoes or handbags – the latter is my absolute weakness.

Fabulous clothes!

Since I have been holidaying on the Greek island of Santorini every year for the past 15 years, many of my summer purchases have come from there – including last year which featured on our blog here.  I have discovered a cute Greek brand of casual clothes by LS which feature lightweight summer clothing in wonderfully bright colours – exactly what I go for – and the best thing is that you won’t bump into anyone else wearing the same outfit.  Since I usually travel there towards the end of the summer season, I have managed to get quite a few of their garments at half price, which is always a bonus.

Santorini also has a great selection of linen dresses and tops – of which there is a huge choice – though linen isn’t particularly cheap, even in Greece. Linen is always so cool, comfortable and easy to wear, and for holiday visits to steamier climates, it is a must …. though one of the drawbacks is that linen creases so badly, so probably not too good for travelling in long haul.

If you’re lucky enough to visit the Far East, which we did three years ago, there are some fabulous shops and markets offering great bargains. I have a lovely cool white cotton Chinese-style blouse bought in Chatuchak market in Bangkok for less than a fiver, while a made-to-measure suit in silk and cashmere cost around the same price as an off the peg polyester one back home – and was ready within a day. Look out for great deals in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore – you can get made to measure clothes at a fraction of what they cost at home – and they don’t even need a pattern.  My “dressmaker” copied the design from a photograph and it was completed within 24 hours!

Top tip: If you’re travelling to tourist destinations, always look for bargains at the end of the season, and if you’re visiting hot climates, seek out clothes in lovely cottons and linen fabrics to keep you cool.

Anne H meanwhile loves city breaks, so her clothing purchases have been bought in independent fashion boutiques which also tend to be slightly more formal.  She bought this stunning black coat from Carin Wester with peek-a-boo back opening  in Amsterdam last year, which looks fabulous with either tailored trousers or jeans, while her cream Max Mara jumpsuit, also bought last year, but in Rome – is completely on-trend this season.

Top tip: For city break travellers, seek out independent boutiques if you want unusual finds, and steer away from global high street brands – though to be aware that different countries do offer different styles from home.

Thira, which is the main town in Santorini, has a stunning choice of jewellery shops with the most fabulous diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies and designer watches at ridiculously high prices – aimed at the hundreds of cruise ships which dock there.  Unless you are extremely wealthy, I would avoid these shops unless you are specifically looking for something unusual and have found either something completely different or much cheaper than home.

However, if you want fabulous costume jewellery, Bizermani has the most unusual and limited pieces. From beautiful pearls to a peacock style gold-tone and thread necklace to a rhodium plated and coral long necklace, these are definitely one of a kind.  The tourist resorts too will often have ranges of inexpensive jewellery in leathers, unusual beads or turquoise stones, and which are great for gifts and you can always save until Christmas!

As Anne H has family in Tropea, Italy, she travels there at least once a year, and she always manages to find interesting pieces.  She is pictured here with a handcrafted cuff with coral inserts, which complements her dark green Zara top.  Her Versace glasses too are a Tropea find from a couple of years ago, which she has now updated with a new pair of MiuMiu glasses, bought in New York. If you find a spectacle design you like while on your travels – don’t be afraid to buy them and then take them to a good optician back home to get them glazed with your personal prescription.

We have visited both Dubai and Bangkok together over the years and have come home with some fabulous jewellery.  Dubai in particular is a wonderful place to buy gold at reasonable prices – try the gold souk in Deira – but do your research before you go and be prepared to haggle and walk away if the price isn’t right.

Top tip when buying jewellery abroad: do your research!  You can actually find some real bargains in certain parts of the world if you’re prepared to haggle, but you can also end up paying a fortune when you don’t need to if you’re taken in by the glitz of glamorous foreign high streets!

Shoes and handbags

I have a weakness for handbags and shoes and my go-to leather shop is Transit in Perissa, which also has another shop in Megachlahori.  My lovely Greek friend offers comfy leather thong sandals and a good selection of soft leather handbags and traditional old-style suitcases. I always need a larger shoe size in hot countries –apparently British and Scandinavian women tend to have problems with swollen legs and feet in the sun – so when I go abroad I always take shoes or sandals that are too big at home.  And don’t go away on holiday with brand new shoes – I made that mistake with a pair of flats which I thought would be comfortable for walking in Singapore.  They weren’t and I had blisters for three days!

Top tip: Don’t fill up your suitcase before you get there – you can find fabulous shoes and sandals  to buy once you get there, usually at great value for money.

**Extracts taken from a post written for Sixtyandme first printed in May.**


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