Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Postcard from Koh Samui and what to wear

The biggest challenge when planning a travel wardrobe is usually the weather. If you expect mixed weather with temperatures varying from mild and sunny to rainy and cold, you wouldn't want to carry double wardrobe sets of everything and then only use half. Instead you'd be focusing on layering, and on how to make travelling less bulky and heavy. 

Going to Thailand was one of the few occasions where the weather presented no challenge... we knew it was going to be very warm at all times, so no provisions for cooler temperatures were needed. The challenge lay elsewhere... since we'd booked an island vacation and a city break, the wardrobe pieces I would bring along would have to work in both environments. As this was our first trip to Thailand, I couldn't rely on previous experiences for what to wear. So it was even more important that all wardrobe pieces could be dressed up or down, and adapt to the atmosphere of the destination. 

Some of my favorite sundresses that I'd had for many years were sure to come along, but I'd also taken advantage of the sales a couple of months before our trip and bought a couple of pretty dresses and tunics, all of which will be fabulous for the coming summer. Planning the accessories was great fun, and with wonderful timing the summer jewelry pieces I'd selected at a show in Paris the month before arrived just in time.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of our island vacation on Koh Samui. Most were taken in the beautiful Belmond Napasai resort where we stayed.. it is a picture book paradise you never want to leave!

To get the maximum out of a travel wardrobe, the individual items should work together as much as possible. A skirt or pair of trousers for example should be compatible with many different tops. The same goes for accessories and shoes; there is not much point in bringing a pair of shoes that would only go with one particular wardrobe item or a necklace that goes with just one top. A mix of well-matched, simple and dressier clothes, shoes and accessories will be perfect ingredients to create numerous different looks which can be dressed up or down, and also go from day to night: A simple, bohemian style necklace, straw bag and flat thong sandals can turn a more elaborate robe into a sweet daytime sundress, whereas strappy sandals, sparkling earrings and a clutch transform it in a second into something more glamorous for the evening.

A beautifully presented, fragrant cup of ginger and honey tea at the Napasai's spa

This floral dress below is one of those I've had forever, and it was fun to style it with the pretty new items I recently found.

I took quite a few bags on this trip, but since they were lightweight and stackable straw bags as well as small evening bags (a Kelly Pochette and a Zara clutch) the weight and bulk weren't so different from taking a leather bag.

The Belmond Napasai's accommodation consists of individual villas dotted about in the lush tropical grounds, or on the oceanfront, making your stay completely private and very relaxing.

The skirt below was a very lucky find, it was only 25 Euros! I spotted it at the weekend market next to the gym where DS goes on Saturdays. It was a perfect travel companion for Thailand. You could wear it strolling over to the pool or lounging on the terrace, or dress it up for the evenings. Here teaming it with a cream Zara tank top. The pale mauve beach cover-up will be available in the shop soon too; I found it in Bangkok and it features a brightly coloured, hand-embroidered dream catcher on the back. 


Lobby area

room with a view

The dress below (by Peter Pilotto) was another sale find. It was love at first sight, and it seems that it was designed with the Gulf of Thailand's colors in mind


This silk chiffon kaftan is another wonderful item I found in Bangkok

The peaceful pool setting of our villa

If you read my previous post on Bangkok you probably know how important decoration is in Thailand, and how skillfully even the humblest things are turned into something beautiful and extraordinary. It must have taken more than an hour to turn the shallow, water-filled bowl into this magnificent bougainvillia petal arrangement.

Bag decoration with a Frangipani flower

The picture-perfect infinity pool of the Napasai, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand

The dress below is another favourite addition, also by Peter Pilotto. I love how easily you can accessorize it for a casual lunch on the beach, or a summer night in a city restaurant. 

On our first night, we strolled into the restaurant at around 8h30 pm, only to find it completely empty. We quickly learned that pre-dinner drinks were best taken at around 6h30, the most magical part of the day. From then on we had early dinners with everyone else, followed by a wonderful breakfast the next day and perhaps some fruit, if anything, for lunch. 

Starry, starry night

The resort was too relaxing to leave and the food wonderful, but if you want to venture out, head for the 'Relax @ Samui' beach club... I spotted these colourful lanterns hanging above their outside dining tables when we were driving past, and it was definitely worthwhile coming back for a simple and lovely dinner in a romantic setting.

Variation - same accessories as above but in combination with a long floral dress (Lewie dress by Theory)

Dragon fruit

Dress as before, this time accessorized with an Hermes Lena horn necklace, Lift earrings and Clic H enamel bracelet in black for a dinner on the beach. 

If only one could make time stand still.

Kaftan as before, accessorized with a Hermes Clic H bracelet in black and earrings by Chanel.

Coming next: Adapting the travel wardrobe to a city break in Bangkok!

Belmond Napasai: 65/10 Baan Tai, Maenam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84330  Phone: +66 77 429 200

Nearby 'Relax @ Samui' beachclub: 90/9 Moo 6 Bang Por, Mae Nam, Koh Samui. Phone:
+66 (0)81 893 0881


  1. The full length floral dresses are so chic feminine! And what a beautiful setting in which to wear them!

    1. Thanks so much Kackie! I just fell in love with the dresses, looking so much forward to wearing them again in the summer.

  2. Oh I so much like the silk kaftans in your shop, but cannot find any size specifications. Please help ;-)

    1. Thank you, happy you like them! They are finally up on the shop, sorry it took so long: https://maitaicollection.com/products/silk-chiffon-kaftan-dress?variant=7145233874999

  3. Beautiful Mrs D-both the choice of wardrobe and you ( aging with such grace and a wonderful inspiration to us all)!

    1. Thank you so very much for the lovely comment! x

  4. :-) Dear MaiTai,

    thank you for sharing the pictures and memories of your wonderful holidays!
    As always, you look picture-perfect!

    Looking forward to the next part of your Thailand memories.

    Have a very HAPPY week!
    Claudia :-)

    1. Dearest Claudia, - thank you so much for yor happy making comment! Hope you enjoy the last instalment too, and have a lovely Sunday evening! xx

  5. Still trying to catch my breath....I'm gasping! So much beauty - yourself, nature, the travel wardrobe you selected and your new items in the shop...wow! You wear each and every one of them with so much grace and the lush green or blue backdrop is just icing on the cake. The Peter Pilotti dresses (a brand I wasn't familiar with) are one of a kind.. and of course I had to look them up - just to find that you look a lot better in them and present them so much more elegantly than they do in the online shop! You can sell things, bravo. Thank God spring has arrived or I would have been green with envy because of the blue sky, sunshine and warm (well, hot is more precise) temperatures. Can't wait to see how you turned everything in city outfits. Thanks for sharing these inspirational pictures!

    1. Thank you so much dearest Katja for the lovely comment! The Peter Pilotto dresses unfold their magic when worn.. they are so intricate that pictures won't do them justice (nor does a hanger). Hope you'll enjou the Bangkok variations and that you are having a beautiful and happy spring! Much love x

  6. Love all these outfits; that Peter Pilotto frock espesh fab!

    1. Thanks so much. Love the PP dresses too, they are so creative!

  7. Beautiful setting, beautiful YOU and perfect wardrobe for a beach resort holiday! It will be fun seeing how you adapt it for the city, especially the shoes!
    Congrats on the fun new items in the shop. You wear them well!
    Off to pack my SPF and hit the beach after this inspiring post! Mwahs, T xx

    1. Thank you darling Trudye for the lovely comment! Hope you enjoy the city styles sheets (including the shoes) and that you had a wonderful time at the beach! Mwahs xx

  8. Chère Maitai
    Merci encore pour ces magnifiques photos Un voyage fabuleux avec de magnifiques tenues j,adore particulièrement la tunique avec des étoiles sublime Passe un très on dimanche Je t,embrasse Myriam

    1. Merci, très chère Myriam. J'adore la tunique aussi. En plus c'était une belle achat (moins de 150 Euros, à La Roca Village, près de Barcelone). Bises et bon fin du weekend.

  9. Dearest Tai,
    My earlier comment seems to disappear..., I admire you style and the harmony with nature your outfits, and especially the accessories create. Rushed to order a mini-Caba before they sold out. Wishing you and the Swans a wonderful spring !