Planning a summer holiday should be fun, I guess I like to plan mine a little more than most, to ensure that it is. My first thoughts, like many women, are ‘What am I going to wear strolling sun-kissed beaches and lounging by the pool?’ We all want to look effortlessly glamorous in the sunshine! My particular dilemma is that I have Alopecia Universalis and have had no hair for 2 years now. At the time it was probably the scariest thing to have happened to me. To see my long blonde hair fall out over two weeks was horrifying. I'm a hairdresser by trade and have my own salon to run, so I feel I have to wear a wig at work. But on holiday nobody ‘knows’ me or expects me to look a certain way each day, so I decided to embrace a new holiday ‘me’. My holiday planning started right here - a stress free wardrobe incorporating hats and ‘matching’ holiday wear that could take me from the beach to the bar with minimal fuss. Getting ready in the morning would be a breeze, if I had done my groundwork! Here’s how I got on!
Day 1 - Waking up in a hot country is so very exciting, exploring and deciding what to do first, makes for a busy first morning. I had made sure I had mix and match hats to go with swim wear and a few beach cover ups - kaftans and dresses. I choose my favourite colours in hats, so it was easy to find matching bikinis etc. I know I’m always drawn to the same colours! (If you choose colours you like and know suit you, you can't go wrong!) So by now family desperate to hit the pool I decided to wear pale pink Gemma with a light taupe bikini, simple white cotton beach dress and pink sparkly flip flops. I love the fabric ‘flowers’ on many of the Suburban Turban styles. Final touch - some big sunglasses to complete the look, with the added bonus no make up required!
Remember holidays are a great place to experiment with new looks, nobody knows you, so you can be whoever you want to be.
Day 2- Beach day today! I wore my Alma hat in Soapstone (taupe) I think this one is particularly chic. We met a lovely family who thought I was French, I took this to be a compliment, as French women are known for their style! I teamed this hat with a floaty cream, taupe and black sparkly kaftan and matching bikini. We had lunch out and I felt great both on the beach and in the restaurant. There is a saying ‘walk tall’ and I’m really beginning to understand what this means - image can really influence self assurance, planning ahead helped me to feel just right and my confidence soared!
Day 3 -Today we spent the day in the resort, around the pool. I choose to wear the Bea hat in the ‘Be Beautiful’ shade. With its flower on the side and gorgeous pink trim colour it's so cute, so I went for a more ‘girly’ look. A multi pink, ditsy flower print bikini went perfectly with this look. Bea is another close fitting style, like the Alma, which looks equally good worn swimming in the water. Feeling the need to cover up a little bit for lunch I wore a white embroidered cotton kaftan and popped on some silk, pink, floaty trousers to cover up. I like picking up on the style of the hat as well as the colour, it helps me to ring the changes and create different looks that portray my style.
Day 4 - Market day. Walking around the local market I felt the need to feel more 'dressed', so for me Gemma always feels secure, teamed with a pair of faithful white linen trousers and a pretty blouse it was just right. Pretty and cool at the same time, a great casual look that blended in well with the situation.
Day 5 - Beach again! And this time I wore Alma (Soapstone) with a pink bikini, and another pink casual beach dress. It's nice to mix colours to get a different look and this is a favourite colour combination for me. I swam most days in my hats but today my daughter dragged me on to the water slides that went straight into the sea! This is something I certainly wouldn't and couldn't have contemplated wearing a wig! But I didn’t hesitate – going down that slide I thought I too can be transformed into a ‘Bathing Belle’! Memorable carefree holiday moments!
I did wear my wig in the evenings and it made me realise that when managing female hair loss, you don't have to make a consistent decision about how you look, i.e. wear a wig or wear hats. It's all about what works for you at the time and what makes you feel comfortable. I really enjoyed my "holiday looks" alternating hats during the day and my wig on other occasions. Nobody commented on any lack of consistency, I only received compliments on my outfits. Funnily enough my hats seemed to make any outfit I put on more chic and my whole image more stylish. Something I hadn’t considered initially when I was thinking of how to cover my head. Looking back over the holiday it has been great in many respects but none more so than how relaxed and confident I felt in myself. My own hair loss concerns didn’t impact what I did or how I did it.
Now I'm home and with my new found hat confidence I have continued to enjoy wearing hats and scarves. I've had a great reaction from friends and family, I think they can see that I'm starting to feel happier in my own skin. I can’t wait to start planning for my next holiday - only a year to go!