Travel Secrets

Know Before You Go!


fashion on the move

Can you point me to Holland’s fashion hotspots?

dutch mariel

Of course! Our Holland correspondent Mariël van den Donk is herself a fashion designer who runs a boutique called Ditha Bonita. Here she is, fun, feisty and fashionable:Over to her for more on Dutch fashion:

dutch viktor and rolf

Some outstanding fashion designers and labels have originated in Holland: Viktor & Rolf, Alexander van Slobbe, Marlies Dekkers, Jan Jansen, Piet Paris and companies Gaastra, G-Star, Oilily en Mexx.

Dutch doutzen

We have also produced some of the most beautiful topmodels in history, like Doutzen Kroes, Lara Stone, Yfke Sturm.

Naturally, then, you would think that we Dutch are amongst the first to try on new trends and that we embrace everything exciting and new.

Yeah… right, keep on dreaming. Don’t get me wrong. The Dutch do not dress badly or sloppy, but they are very mainstream. If there is one thing the Dutch do not like, it is standing out.

dutch street

That is why I love to go to the south of Holland, especially Maastricht. The women over there are very feminine and stylish, the men know how to wear a suit or trendy outfit. This city in the province of Limburg has a French ‘joie de vivre’; they enjoy life and their fashion. No less-is-more here; jewellery has to be big and beautiful, bags classy and stylish, scarves sexy and silky and women’s shoes preferably with high heels. And the good news: in winter there is even more colour.

dutch bigSo really, it is great fun, shopping in Holland, because the fashion stores have everything imaginable and more.  It’s a shop-until-you-drop paradise for fashionistas.  Amsterdam is obvious. But stay away from the main street, Kalverstraat. The Jewish district is much more trendy.

Do go to Haarlem, an old city with a lot of vintage stores. Or Groningen: the many students add a lot of flavour to the street fashion. Maastricht, Den Bosch, Alkmaar and, last but not least, Amersfoort are famous for their  nice shops.

dutch groningen 2dutch groningen

Note: There  is one exception to the ‘mainstream fashion’ rule and that is when the Dutch National Soccer team plays an important game. Then old, young, man or woman, everyone dresses up in our national colour: orange. And suddenly the whole idea is to stand out in the crowd…

How to dress right for a long flight

Artist Bipasha Sen Gupta gives us the key to a comfortable and successful travel, so that you look and feel “ready to go”.


  1. Wear loose and dark trousers with a wrinkle-free shirt- full sleeves because of the levels of air conditioning in a flight. Avoid jeans if you can.
  2. Always carry a stylish pashmina stole or shawl which can be used as a wrap or a pillow. It also works as a great accessory. (We love Janavi’s vibrant cashmere scarves and stoles—outlet at Emporio Mall Vasant Kunj, Delhi). Keep jewellery minimal.
  3. Use basic or no makeup at all while travelling, as cabin air dehydrates your skin (carry a thick moisturiser, hand cream and lip balm for regular use).
  4. Wear a comfortable pair of slip-ons or one size bigger shoes, as feet swell up during long hauls. Don’t forget to pack a comfortable pair of socks.
  5. Carry one big tote bag to hold the things you need during the flight. It’s a nuisance to reach for your cabin bag every time. Da Milano has an irresistible collection of them!
  6. Pack these in your hand luggage- (a) a comfy pair of pants, preferably sweat pants or something similar.(b) a warm pair of socks.(c) a t-shirt.(d) a warm sweater (e) spare underwear (f) toothbrush and toothpaste (Check out Woodland’s new range of summery t-shirts for men and women)
  7. Make sure all products that you take on board comply with the hand luggage restrictions. You can always put some of your favourite products in handy travel size bottles. Deodorant is a must.
  8. Replace your contact lenses with glasses so your eyes don’t dry out from arid air plane air and the contacts don’t bother you while sleeping.
  9.  Women’s Special: Take a nail file and nail varnish with you, so you get through at least 30 minutes of the flight without getting bored!
  10.  Pack some cleansing face wipes to remove all the airport grim and help you freshen up before landing.

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