Q&A: Vacation Clothes

I’ve had several requests asking me to post what I’m taking to Cabo with me and then my friend Jen (who is also going to Cabo in a few weeks) wrote me an e-mail with a similar request.

Jen writes: so being the new mom that i am and considering i haven’t been to the mall in ages, not to mention kept up with any trash mags lately to see what celebs are wearing, i was wondering if you could do a post on your blog about outfits you’re taking to cabo! i have no idea what people are wearing these days and if what i have is still even considered “fashionable!” hee, hee! i don’t want to be the frumpy mommy in cabo, so i thought you could give me a few tips or show me some outfits that i could easily (and cheaply) mimic possibly from forever 21 or the like that would be perfect for cabo.

I completely understand wanting to look great on vacation but not have to spend a lot of money. I have clothes that are just for beachy vacations because I will never get the chance to wear them here in Seattle so spending a lot of money on clothes like that just isn’t practical.

I used to be an over-packer and bringing everything in my closet for a “just in case” until I started traveling like crazy for work and finally started to understand the fine art of packing for trips and that bringing less is actually a good thing.

My essentials for a beach vacation are easy to wear dresses, pretty tops and tanks, a lightweight scarf/shawl/pashmina, a nice pair of black shorts and a few pairs of shoes, mostly flats.

Here are my picks for what to bring on vacation, each item under $100!

All dresses from Lulu’s

#1 – perfect for walking around during the day with cute flat sandals and then transition into a dress for dinner by adding heels and some bangles.
#2 – cute swimsuit coverup that you can easily wear out to lunch or out shopping
#3 – Fun basic dress with a bit of flair so no other accessories are necessary. I tend to not wear jewelry during vacation so I look for dresses with interesting details.
#4 – a fun white dress to show off your tan! (but please always remember to use sunblock! sunburn is not a good look.)

I actually just bought this dress this past weekend to bring with me. It can convert from a dress to a skirt and is perfect to wear from the beach to dinner. Dress from JCrew – $78

All tops from Forever 21

When I feel like going a bit more casual, a pair of black shorts along with a fun top is my solution to still looking stylish.

#1 – No matter where I go, even if it’s hot during the day, I almost always get cold at night so I like to bring a thin cardigan that I can pair over any outfit. This is perfect to go over any of these tops or any of the dresses above.
#2 – A graphic tank and flats sandals is such an easy but cute outfit. You can even layer this over dress #3 to create a different look!
#3 – The ruffles of this tank is just too cute and can feel dressy but not too dressy.
#4 – Sometimes I feel like I’m revealing too much in a tank top so I like to have fitted t-shirts with me as well in case I don’t feel like showing off my shoulders.

The key to all these things is that the color scheme all matches so that no matter what you bring, you can mix and match and not have to worry about bringing things to match just one outfit.

#1 – French Connection from asos #2, #3 – Delia’s #4 – Boden

You all know I love heels but I’m also practical enough to know that heels and beaches do not work. I do a lot of exploring when I’m on vacation so I need shoes that I can wear to walk around for long periods of time. I seriously detest those rubber flip flops that are quite popular. I see them as shower shoes and so very inappropriate to wear out anywhere. It is possible to find cute beach shoes without resorting to “shower shoes”.

#1 and #2 I love these simple thong flats that you can wear to the beach but also look great with dresses or shorts.

It is fine to bring heels with you if you want to get dressed up for dinner and know that you won’t be walking a lot to get there, however if you think you will be doing lots of walking and still want height, wedges are your answer.

#3 – I love the wooden heel wedge which makes it a bit more classy and appropriate for dinner. #4 – These espadrilles are casual but cute and can go with so many outfits.

I also wear items that I will want to wear on vacation on the airplane so that it’s one less outfit to pack. So I would wear something like the #3 dress with leggings and the #1 cardigan and some Tory Burch flats.

Hope my tips have helped give you some options for your vacation. Happy Vacationing!!

Update: I just wrote this post this weekend and it seems that Lulu’s has sold out of some of the dresses I chose! I can’t seem to find the links for them either but if I do, I will include the links.

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  • Hanako66
    February 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    great post….going to Hawaii this spring and will have the same strategy!

  • jen byun tadema
    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm


    this is exactly what i needed! thx so much! i will not pull my “mom card” while on vaca and will vow to be the cutest mom on the beach! 🙂


  • Diane
    February 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    i love the #1 blue dress from lulu’s! SO CUTE!!!

  • notyourplainjane
    February 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    You are too cute. Will you just come and go shopping with me as my stylist? You’ve been so helpful and helping me pair high and low end together. I never thought I would be good at that!

    I hope you have a grat time in Cabo!

    PS- How do the lulu dresses run in size?

  • Mrs.Zeus
    February 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    NICE, I love this post!
    I am always on the go and shuffle for hours trying figure out what to bring with me.

  • Cupcakes and Cashmere
    February 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    this was SUCH a helpful post (especially since i’ll be in Maui in a month). i’m obsessed with that white, black and red dress, but can’t seem to find it on the Lulu’s.com site. would you mind please sending me the link? thank you! xo

  • Christina
    February 24, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Love the J.Crew dress. It has been sitting in my shopping cart for weeks now. I’m waiting to try it on (hopefully tomorrow) till I buy.

  • Rachel
    February 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    What a great post!! I love all your picks too!

  • Hanako66
    February 24, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I just gave you an award on my blog:) Have a great Tuesday!!

  • smartbykrae
    February 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I bought that same skirt from J.Crew last year and I love it! The tucks on the bottom are new this year, I’m sure I’ll end up ordering another…

  • Elizabeth
    February 24, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I have that J. Crew dress, but in navy. It is ridiculously comfortable, and I wore it on my honeymoon, but I’ve been able to use it for so much more!

  • Lisa
    February 24, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I just found your blog and I’m so glad I did. I love all of this! Love it! Can’t wait to read more!

  • Mrs. Cly
    February 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    i’m lazy when i vacation. truly comfort is all i think about and fashion is out the window but this posts reallly inspires me to dress up a bit next time – if not for the hubs. =)

  • Jas
    February 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Love Dress #1 and #3, but can’t seem to find them on lulu. Can you post a direct link??

  • genieinabottle
    February 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Great post! This is my first comment on your blog which I have following for a few months. I love those beachy J Crew dresses. I like the fact that you can make it into a skirt! I’ll have to check it out.

  • Fell4fashion
    February 24, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Great post! I live in little comfy dresses on my vacas!! 🙂

  • ms.match
    February 25, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Can you help me? I’m leaving for vacation on March 2 for 22 days.. going to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. I like to travel light and will only bring a small roller luggage with me with maybe one tote. Can you recommend any shoes that are comfortable (and stylish) to walk in? Also what can you recommend are the essentials for a trip to be practical and stylish at the same time. You have great style! I love your site! Thank you!

  • tiffany2stylish
    February 25, 2009 at 1:29 am

    hi all, so sorry that the dresses that I found on Lulu’s aren’t there anymore! I didn’t realize how popular they would be! If I find them on other sites, I will be sure to update.

  • tiffany2stylish
    February 25, 2009 at 1:36 am

    genieinabottle – thanks for your first comment! glad you like the post and hope you comment more. 🙂

    ms.match – unfortch I am leaving in a few days and can’t put together a whole post for you but I will tell you to check out the Cole Haan/Nike shoes. They make some cute heels and flats with the same kind of padding as nike shoes so they are super comfy to walk around in especially on vacation. Also, since it sounds like you aren’t packing too much I suggest bringing along some scarves and hats to accessorize with to change up your outfits in small ways.

    Have fun! seems like such a great trip, I am so jealous!

  • captivateme
    February 25, 2009 at 3:46 am

    I love your picks–that first Lulu dress is adorable! I always also bring wedges bc they have the height but I don’t have to worry too much about cobblestone streets, beaches, etc that don’t really mesh with pointed heels. Hope you have a great trip!

  • E and S
    February 25, 2009 at 5:55 am

    I love this post! It has me dreaming about the trip we are planning to Maui. I noticed a couple of other posters mentioned they are going to Maui/Hawaii. Does anyone have tips on where to stay?

  • MizzJ
    February 25, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    These are all great picks, I’m quite impressed with your style intelligence 😉 I totally agree with you on the rubber sandals, although I did wear them a lot when I was in Taiwan b/c they were the only shoes that could handle being immersed in ankle-deep water in a typhoon.

  • citysage
    February 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    All those Lulu’s dresses are so cute, and I can’t believe the good prices on them. Great picks!

    Oh and LOVED your proust questionnaire—I am SO in agreement with you about the south of France. It’s my favourite place on earth!

  • Lyndsy
    March 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Love, Love, Love dress #3 from Lulu’s! Like need to have it love! Have a great vacation!

  • twistedsimplicity
    January 6, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Just found your blog tonight. LOVE IT. This is an awesome post – makes me want to go on vacation just to plan out what I'm going to wear ;O)