beach packing list

Since we leave for the beach in under a week, I’m beginning to make a list of things that I must remember to pack.  I’ve compiled some of that list here, as my most highly recommended items to consider when packing for your next beach vacation…

  1. Pom Pom Romper Cover Up  – this cover up is only $20 and looks way cuter than a traditional oversized shirt dress
  2. Sun Bum Beach Formula 3-in-1 Leave In Conditioner – Sun and sea can do a number on your hair, especially if it is color treated, like mine.  I use this leave-in conditioner & hair sunscreen before jumping in the water.
  3. Carly Straw Tassel Tote – You gotta have a good beach bag.  Francesca’s carries many affordable beach bags as well as straw clutches, like this one here, perfect to take to dinner when on a beach vacation.
  4. Pink Seaview 180 Panoramic Full Face Snorkel Mask – If you like to snorkel, you must have this mask.  It fully covers your face and allows you breathe through your nose without anything in your mouth or nose.  And no fogging!
  5. COOLA Suncare COOLA(R) Suncare Face Mineral Sunscreen – This is one of the best sunscreens you can put on your face.  It is free from harsh chemicals that will clog your pores or burn your skin.
  6. Pool Central Giant Inflatable Flamingo Pool Float in Pink – Because who doesn’t need a giant hot pink flamingo shaped float, large enough to hold 2 adults?  I plant to tie this baby up to my overwater bungalow in Bora Bora… the only issue is that the thing weighs 10 lbs…  I guess I’ll be carrying on board the flights with me.  Stay tuned for pics…
  7. Gopro Hero 6 Black Camera – I love my GoPro.  The coolest thing about this is that I was able to attach one of the sticky mounts to the top of my full-face snorkel mask and get footage while I’m snorkeling, hands free!  Here is a video that I shot with this camera last summer in Greece.
  8. Billabong Marked for More Off the Shoulder Dress – A perfect little dress to wear to dinner, paired with my black Michael Kors espadrilles.
  9. Michael Kors Women’s Jill Leather Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandals – Not only are these a perfect “heel” for the beach, but I wear them all the time at home as well.  See another way I’ve styled it here.
  10. AMUSE SOCIETY Cross My Heart Dress – Another great beach dress, I’ll wear this for during the day exploring, going to lunch, etc.
  11. Franco Sarto Women’s Greta Sandal – A classic brown leather sandal with ankle strap that can be worn with dresses, shorts, etc.  Just don’t take them in the water.
  12. Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses – My signature sunglasses – blue lens, gold frame.
  13. BP. Floppy Straw Look Hat – If nothing else on this list, buy a floppy sun hat.  The sun will do damage to your face and the heat is no joke.
  14. YETI Rambler 30 oz – The price of bottled water is astronomical on certain islands, but the water is perfectly clean (cleaner than here!) and safe to drink.  Make sure to bring a Yeti to keep it cool.
  15. SEPHORA COLLECTION – #Lipstories Lipstick – Yes, lipsticks are a beach essential.  I’m loving the new Sephora #colorstories collection.  These are hyperpigmented shades that go on smooth and cost $8 each.  I have lipsticks 3x that price that aren’t as good.
  16. Backpack Cooler – Not only is bottled water expensive, so are the cocktails and beers.  We’re taking a backpack cooler to fill with ice & beer before we head out.
  17. Amalfi Belted One Piece – I’ve literally not worn a one-piece swimsuit since I was about 10 years old… but this is my year.  I’m digging this retro print/style with the added belt.  It will also be much more practical while diving and snorkeling.

What essentials would you add to the list?  Help a sister out.  I need to start packing cause lord knows I’m a procrastinator and overpacker… not a good combo.

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A Classic Polka Dot Wrap Dress

The Dress

It’s been over 40 years since Diane Von Furstenberg invented the infamous wrap dress.  It’s no wonder why it’s still as popular as ever. I believe that this style dress will compliment any body type.  This classic polka dot wrap dress is a timeless print and style.  I found this at DressUp Boutique for less than $50!  If you’re looking for special occasion outfit, or just wanting to spice up your wardrobe for summer, DressUp stocks new styles every week at very affordable prices.  This post features several dresses from DressUp that I wore in Greece last summer.  Unfortunately, the above is no longer available (again, styles come and go weekly), but I’ve linked some very similar ones below.

Accessories

Yellow is definitely one of the “it” colors this year.  These neon hued earrings punch up the classic black and white print to give it a funky twist for summer.  Of course, this style is sold out but Baublebar has some great alternatives at comparable prices.  The sunglasses are by Tiffany & Co. and the watch is by Kate Spade NY.  Linked below…

The Bag

Straw handbags are all the rage this summer.  It’s a great way to accessorize an outfit when at a tropical location, or bring that festive summer look to you.  This eyelash straw clutch came from Francesca’s for $38 – the eyelash design is sold out, but there are actually some prettier ones with color and the same zipper tassel still available (linked below)…

The Shoes

Similar to the dress, these Michael Kors black leather upper espadrilles are classic and could go with just about everything in my closet.  I think that these shoes are definitely a staple that you can wear for most of the year (or at least you can here in the south). Espadrilles are the essential summer shoe, laid back and comfortable enough to replace heels when you plan to do some walking.

Whether you’re shopping for resort wear, or just looking for a fun summer outfit, this ensemble can be worn for years and won’t go out of style.  The best part is that all of these pieces can be mixed in with what you already own.  What destinations are you heading to this summer?  Maybe I should pull together a beach themed shopping guide(??)  Comment below!

 

Cheers!


photography by Paprika Southern Studios

 

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On Wednesdays We Wear Black

What better to wear with an all black ensemble than a bright red classic peacoat?  I think that an all black look, head to toe, is uber chic and gives off that edgy, yet still feminine vibe.  This slightly off the shoulder sweater is fuzzy and warm, perfect for cold winter days, like this one at New York Fashion Week in February.  Over-the-knee boots paired with a mini-skirt, not only take this look to the next level trend wise, but keep your legs nice and toasty. This classic red peacoat is a closet staple, which I have owned for 10 years!  This style is classic and I believe that everyone should own at least one.  I have several colors which I have acquired over the years and sometimes they take an outfit from okay to over-the-top just like that. ^

Let’s talk more about NYFW… the main venue switched this year from Skylight Clarkson Square to Spring Studios in Tribeca.  Here, you will find street photographers lined up for days shooting some of the most trendy, unique, and outrageous styles.  Looking for outfit inspiration?  No need for invitations to exclusive runway shows (although I would have died to attend the Zimmerman show).  You will find real people, wearing real outfits all around Tribeca.  Everything from top designers (see global influencers like Caroline Daur and Aimee Song) to everyday fashion lovers like you and I… Their styles are real and speak to their individuality.  And do not be shocked to see a Zimmerman floral top paired with vintage distressed Levi’s found a thrift shop.  Nothing is against the rules.  Lydia Hudgens (my photographer for this particular look) is amazing at capturing streetstyle during NYFW.  You can view some of her work here.

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NYFW: A Little Black Dress for Winter

how to wear a little black dress in winter

blonde lob haircut and long sleeve black dress

Day 2 at New York Fashion Week was a cold one.  If you’re looking for how to wear a little black dress in winter, I have you covered… I wore this dress by Hunter Bell.  I love the high collar, mid calf length, and fluttery shoulders.  I actually rented this dress from Rent the Runway, but I wish that I owned it.  I have a pro membership with Rent the Runway, which allows me to rent from them frequently without incurring the extra cost of insurance and shipping.  I have had many great, and some not-so-great experiences with this service.  Is there any interest in learning more about RTR?  If so, I’d be happy to write a post all about it… comment below.

We stopped at the NOMO SOHO for Bloody Marys before heading to the Stewart Hotel to see Rocky Boston‘s runway show, hosted by Fashion Gallery.  These shoes are not made for walking, I’ll tell you that.  Normal wear around a hotel, a show, a party, yes.  But walking city blocks, no.  You should consider keeping a pair of flats in your purse and switch your shoes when you reach your destination.  I learned that lesson during September Fashion Week.  I will say that these boots are warm and the added height, gold buckle and zipper add a little extra “umph” to any outfit that you would pair black booties with. Similar styles linked below…

Add some chunky gold jewelry and a grey leather bag with chain-link strap and gold hardware, and you just took a simple black dress to the next level.

For more on “how to wear a little black dress in winter”, keep following (see follow button on right side for desktop, or below on mobile device)… What coat to wear with this look, coming up next!

Details on NYFW, Day 1, Look 1 here.

photography by Lydia Hudgens

 

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Sometimes I go 100% glam, girlie girl, ruffles and pearls.  Sometimes I pair sequins with flat leather boots for a juxtaposition that turns a classic look into something completely new and fresh.  Here are two classic party dresses styled in very different ways.

holiday party looks

One redhead short of a Sanderson Sister.

This classic red velvet cocktail dress is available now at Express.  Aren’t you glad that velvet is back with a vengeance?  This is the quintessential Christmas party dress and I knew immediately that it would be worn with this full-length mink coat.  The coat has a story of its own…

This was a wedding gift from my mother’s dear friend, Sam.  It belonged to her mother, Marcia.  Marcia’s husband purchased it for her on one of their trips to New York City during Christmas, over 50 years ago.  They went to see Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas show and view the majestic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.  During the trip, he bought her this coat, and had her initials, MMMC embroidered on the lining.  Marcia gave it to her daughter, Sam when she was in her early 30’s and Sam gave it to me when I was 30.  I couldn’t be more honored to have it.

classic holiday party glamour

necklace by J Crew | right hand pearl and black onyx ring by Tiffany & Co.

full length vintage mink coat

These strappy black leather heels never go out of style.  I wore these to my wedding rehearsal dinner 3 years ago, but you can find them for sale here and here.

gold party dress

black bow bangle bracelet by Kate Spade NY (similar style here)| gold chain bracelet from Woo Skincare & Cosmetics (similar style here)

edgy holiday party look

Mandy is wearing a gold sequin Ted Baker dress (similar dress available here), paired with opaque black tights, chunky low heel black booties, and an edgy Michael Kors jacket.  Both dresses are classic in design but styled very differently.  Take these tips and apply them to something you already have in your closet to make it feel new.

holiday party dresses

holiday party dresses fur coat

2 looks holiday party wear

two looks for holiday parties

Aspiring Rockettes?

 

Makeup by Mandy Jane Stoykewich (above).  Mandy is available for event hair & makeup services.  She has been hair & makeup artist on weddings in the south for over 8 years, as well as part of the makeup team for major motion pictures such as the Hunger Games.  Email  mj.stoykewich@gmail.com for inquiries.

Photography by KVC Photography

 

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