5 Outfits to Pack for a Beach Vacation

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I just got home from the dentist -- I had to have a cavity filled. It's the first time I've had a cavity since I was like nine, so that was fun. I watched the Today Show on happy gas and reflected on important things like how short Al Roker is.

But I also was thinking about our recent vacation to take my brain away from the drill making holes in my teeth. I hate overpacking. Like, it's so annoying to me. And despite my best efforts, I still ended up with a few things that I didn't wear on vacation. My husband and I shared a suitcase, so every little bit of space counted. So I thought it might be helpful to hash out some vacation outfits that you should bring if you're headed somewhere warm and sunny. If you're headed somewhere cold and gloomy I just can't help you.

The Travel Outfit


Stripe top / Dickies / Minnetonka shoes / White studded purse, $31 / Forever New , $8.95

I know some people practically travel in their PJs, but I am not some people. We were going to be arriving in late afternoon, so I didn't want to be ready for bed just yet. When I travel, I like choosing looser fabrics and nothing that requires snaps, buttons or belts and slip-on shoes are a must. Nothing gives me the stabbies quite like a person taking their sweet time through security because of bad planning. These shorts also ended up being the basis for other vacation outfits. I run hot on planes, so I dress down, but if you run cold, grab a sweater. I also went and bought a big tote that I could use as a carry on, but would double as a beach bag later. It held many an US Weekly magazine.

Also, my husband laughed at me when I confessed that I'm always nervous to reach up and try to turn off the air on airplanes. I'm scared that I'm too short and the person behind me will see that I'm just swiping at the empty air above my head. I have short arms.

The Beach Day Outfit

Wallis petite top / Wallis tankini top / Wonderland swim suit, $11 / White shoes, $20 / Faux leather purse, $31

I was SO glad  packed three or four short dresses to wear to the beach. We had planned two solid beach days of nothingness, but while I spent the entire time in my swimsuit, I didn't want to go all bikini-ed out when we stopped for food or went for a walk. Short dresses are one piece, so you don't have to fuss with shorts and a shirt. And it's just cute. I totally wear my beach dresses to the pool around town too, so double duty yesssss.What's more, tunics and simple short cotton dresses are usually pretty cheap.

The Exploration Outfit

Candie's swim suit / Reef shoes / JanSport / Roxy High Light SS Rashguard

Part of our vacation was dedicated to touring around, checking out nature and seeing stuff like waterfalls and bamboo forests NBD. Because we'd be getting wet, I didn't want to wear normal clothes. Instead, I bought a rashguard from the Macy's at our resort (I know) and used that when we were being tourists. It was perfect because I could kick off my flip flops and hop in a waterfall or we could stop and rent some snorkel equipment at a good spot, but I wasn't getting totally fried all day.

A note about the flip flops. I am not a big flip flops lover. I wear them for utilitarian purposes only. But after two days of walking and walking, my crappy Old Navy flip flops were HURTING. My husband convinced me to buy a good pair so we went searching. I tried on Sanuks, Reefs and some Nikes and ended up with the Reefs. BEST PURCHASE EVER. They were sooo comfy and superior and now I find myself looking for reasons to wear them. The flops pictured are the same ones I bought -- and OF COURSE they're on sale now.

The Night Out Outfit

Merona / Espadrilles high heel shoes / Charlotte Russe woven bracelet / French Connection Sandy Pop Clutch, $32

OK, if you're vacationing with the whole family, you can probably get away with casual dining in your shorts and tees, but this was my 10th anniversary guys! We were alone! I wanted to get dressed up and look cute on a couple of the nights we went out to fancy shmancy restaurants or walked along the boardwalk. So I packed a couple of maxi dresses. That way, I could throw one over my swimsuit in the late afternoon, or I could dress it up with jewelry and a cute clutch (that doubled as a wallet) at night. And honestly, lazy nights eating and wandering around were my favorite part of the vacation. There is something to be said for doing absolutely nothing.

The Home Travel Outfit

NOW is the time to bust out the lazy clothes -- especially if you're taking a red-eye.  Hoodie. Pillow. Stretch capris. Headphones. Goodnight, everyone. And no, I didn't bring the workout capris to actually work out while on vacation, but they did come handy on a hike. So there.

To be honest, I spent 85 percent of our vacation in a swimsuit, and those pack up small so I had room for some extras. Some stuff I brought that I didn't end up wearing: A pair of running shoes, extra T-shirts (I bought a ton when I was there) and warmer lounge pants. I don't even know what I was thinking with those. And the more room you have in your suitcase, the more stuff you can buy while you're vacationing, right?

What are your vacation packing musts?


Anonymous said...

Awhile back you mentioned that going Black Friday shopping meant that you always packed a warm scarf, because it really helped you transition from freezing cold outside to super-hot stores. I found that this helped me on my most recent plane trip, too. I would've been seriously cold without it!

Jae said...

In the colder months I always travel with a scarf. I hate traveling in bulky coats, but you still need something!

bashashhazbaz said...

nice collection of outfits you took with you. very cool!

Olivia Mak said...

Packing for a beach vacation is always tough. My boyfriend and I are getting married in a few months and we are going to my parent's Cape Cod summer rental for our first vacation together as a married couple. I am definitely going to incorporate some of your ideas, thanks!

Aloïs Parisienne said...

I think the maxi dress is the perfect option for summer. Just wrote an article about how to dress for the beach. Check it out: http://dresslikeaparisian.com/how-to-dress-for-the-beach/

facesofony said...

Nice collection, I like that handkerchief, dress much more than the high/low cut. Very nice outfit


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