With the change of setting, and I mean both climate- and pace of life-wise, my list of wardrobe essentials needed a refresher too. As a recently dethroned queen of over-packing, this trip was an experiment of preplanning, creativity, and practicality. With that said, I’d like to share my current style must-haves for any vacation to a warm destination.
Ata Woven Handbag
Whether you know them as Straw, Ata, or Basket bags, the abundance of these ‘it’ bags is growing exponentially, with the price tag largely dependant on the brand and it’s location with respect to the origin, Bali. While I came looking for a statement bag, I stayed for the brand’s fair trade practices and originality, as every piece is hand-woven by a single individual over a period of one week. This particular Ata bag in white allows my cool-tone obsession to thrive and can complete any look ranging from an all black jumpsuit to a bright orange two-piece scallop swimsuit. Your call.
A definite go-to for daytime adventures. This denim mini makes this list solely due to its versatility, while its cuteness solidifies its position at the top. Add a bright coloured crewneck sweater and slip into all-white sneakers, or completely omit the layering and, just like that, you have changed the mood of the outfit. Conversely, I opted to complement the retro vertical stripes and lighter wash with a graphic tee and low-heel sandals, as well as a fanny pack and oval sunglasses for further ‘wayback throwback’ purposes.
Her Advice: This piece has transitional super powers: the ability to be paired with a turtleneck, shimmery pantyhose, black booties, and an oversized wool coat during the fall/winter months. The under $40 mark is a bonus.
Classic sunnies are a must for eye and skin protection (Duh), as well as completion of certain looks. Similarly, the retro trend is stronger than ever, with its accentuation of the oval shape and thick frames, and can easily bring your look together, as well as hide your lunch date with 3 Clam Nummers (7 types of rum with a splash of juice).
Her Advice: Add these to your vacay collection for their style and under $20 price tag, as to avoid hurt feelings due to scratches, loss, or getting crushed by a Bahamian piggy (True story).
The ‘Go-With-Everything’ Culottes
As the name suggests, I have picked out yet another piece that brings its versatility A game with a not-so-subtle hint of resort wear: Culottes. Let me break this down: cotton-blend and exaggerated leg for survival in the heat, high-rise to balance out the wide leg (Bonus: to hide the mountain of conch fritters you are about to eat), white to remind you that class and casual can co-exist, as well as to allow you to fearlessly wear items outside of your everyday closet (e.g. embroidered blouses or bright red crop top). Yes, they are white pants. Yes, you too should live a little.
The term ‘minimalist’ already suggests the idea of less is more, as well as clean, straight, and simple designs. When traveling, such criteria should also be applied to all the footwear in your luggage. Without specifying your vacation preferences (e.g. 5-star resort vs. backpacking into the unknown), a pair of comfortable and sleek black sandals outranks the necessity of high-heel stilettos and other one-outfit-loyalty footwear. Similarly, this pair can simplify or dress up your looks depending on your occasion, and, as you know, when in doubt, wear black shoes.
One- vs. Two-piece
Last, yet most important, is the decision concerning your swimwear. Personally, I only consider one factor when buying and packing swimmies: Can I freely move in it without any part of my body trying to make a swim for it? If the answer is yes, get it. Similarly, I tend to stick to the 3-suit rule: a two-piece in a basic colour of your choice (colour of my soul is my go-to), a one-piece that hugs you in all the right places, and one that does not fall under the first two rules that you can bring for a specific day or mood (for this trip, a bright orange scalloped two-piece).
That just about covers my vacation wear essentials. Don’t forget to plan, purchase, and pack early (and in increments) as to ease your packing stresses, so you can start relaxing before your trip officially begins.
Cheers to packing light,