My tropical vacation style favorites

Packing for a tropical (resort) vacation in the middle of a very confusing NYC winter made me look at my closet like that “confused math lady” meme.

I mean, do I just throw all my summer clothes into a carry-on and call it a day?

I wish.

So here’s the math.

Six days, five nights and a different look for each part of the day. I’m talking breakfast, beach, and dinner. That’s basically 18 outfits and one carry-on. And when I say one carry-on, I mean one to fit both my clothes and Vadim’s clothes. Ambitious? Maybe. Crazy? Definitely.

I didn’t think to take photos of everything I packed when I was actually packing OR while I was on the trip. I left everything in the suitcase and just pulled things out of it to wear. Does anyone else do this?

So now, I’ll have to improvise with what I have and give you the most important details of what I actually liked wearing on vacation aka my tropical vacation style favorites.

Let’s get into it.

A lightweight cardigan

I’m always cold so bringing a cardigan was a no brainer for me. I wore this linen one every single day.  It was perfect as a cover up, for keeping me warm in the rainy weather we got during the first half of our vacation, and for breakfast when I just wasn’t ready to put on a whole look before I’ve had my first meal of the day (the pic from above was taken right before heading to breakfast). I was probably known in the resort as the lady with the beige cardigan. Not mad about it.

A pair of stretchy pants

This goes alongside the I’m always cold category. Like the cardigan, I wore these Reformation pants (size xs) everyday. Sure, it’s hot and humid outside, but inside the resort? Super air-conditioned. And, I wasn’t about to get sick for the tenth time this season. No thanks. I wore these pants to breakfast everyday and even wore them to dinner on the first night. I love how they can be dressed up or down. And, they’re loose throughout the leg and perfectly stretchy. If I can’t eat in what I wear, it’s not coming with me on vacation.

A leopard printed skirt

I’m usually not about loud prints but this Reformation one (size 2) seems like a neutral pattern to me. Maybe because the leopard print is so muted. Or maybe, I’m actually morphing into Fran Fine, my forever style icon. Wishful thinking aside, it was really nice to wear something that did all the talking for me.

One pair of sunglasses

I’m not one of those people that need to change up their sunglasses with each look. I stick with what’s classic and leave it at that. These Karen Walker ones fit well (Shopbop is currently having a buy more, save more sale on these), are big enough to protect most of my face from the sun, and they go with every single one of my outfits. So good, I don’t even need a second pair to alternate.

A bucket hat

I got this Madewell bucket hat (size: medium large) for my mom last summer and it totally made me rethink bucket hats. It protects my head from the sun, looks chic (to me), and is easy to care for and travel with. I mean, what’s not to love? I borrowed this from my mom for this trip, and because I liked it so much I ordered my own. It’s on backorder till March. I’m not expecting any beach days anytime soon so I’m good with that. What do you wear to protect your head/face at the beach??

A high-waisted bikini

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a fan of a high waist. Especially, a stretchy one. I just wasn’t sure how it would look like on me in bikini form. Well, mystery solved because these Faithfull the Brand ones (size: small) make me want to say goodbye to low waist bikinis forever. This set was so comfortable and the high waist was especially accommodating for my inevitable post lunch food baby. Need I say more?

A dress that does it all

Remember this Zara dress that has a whole tumblr account dedicated to it? Yup, it’s still going strong. I love that I can wear it as a cover up or to dinner. And, it has pockets. It’s just so easy to wear and travel with that it’s a given anytime I’m thinking about what to pack for a vacation somewhere warm.

Hoop earrings

I wore the same pair of thin gold Catbird hoops everyday for the first half of the day (breakfast and beach). It made me feel like I wasn’t just rolling out of the hotel bed and onto the buffet line for breakfast. I also knew they were safe to wear on the beach because they’re made of solid gold and not mixed with anything else that would get tarnished if they got wet. Then for evening/dinner, I wanted something that was a little louder so I wore my Sophie Buhai hoops. These are thicker, stand out a bit more, and are just as comfortable to wear as the thin, Catbird hoops. They’re also gold vermeil which means that the base metal is sterling silver which does get tarnished when wet. Which means they’re not good for the beach. Hence, two pairs of hoop earrings. Not that I need to defend myself or anything but the earrings really help me pull together a look when I’m not wearing any makeup and doing literally zero with my hair. I’m always aiming to maximize every little effort I do make 😉.

Floral dresses

Floral dresses on a tropical vacation? Groundbreaking, I know. Somewhere in the world of fictional characters, Miranda Priestly is twitching. But really, floral dresses do all the work. And, a floral print is distracting enough that if you spill a lil something something on it, it’s totally not a big deal. I love that I’ll be able to wear these dresses with sneakers too. Hope you’re reading this and thinking duhhh because florals are the way to go.


I’m wearing the wrap dress (above) in a small and the midi length dress (below) in size 2.

Fancy bobby pins

I have no clue how to do my hair so bobby pins having a major moment right now is really coming in clutch. These ones from Jennifer Behr cost an arm and a leg BUT I imagine these will be assisting me in the hair department for years to come. I wore these almost every night on vacation because they’re just so easy. And, they take up no space at all. Take that, curling iron I can’t seem to figure out how to use.

I’m ready for my next vacation

Now that I’ve figured out what I like to wear on a tropical, resort vacation, I am ready to pack and go no matter what is going down in crazy town NYC. Until then, I’ll just have to wait for that first unseasonably warm day in Spring. And you know, I’ll be ready.

What are your favorite things to wear on a tropical vacation? Do you tend to overpack, under pack, or pack just right?

Thanks for stopping by.

See you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂


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