There are few things more satisfying than putting reality on hold for a few days and escaping to your ideal vacation. You’ve worked hard all season, you’re running on four cups of coffee a day, and all you want to do is relax with your Delia Owens hardcover overlooking a sunset. (And catch up on sleep.) Whatever your ideal vacation is, you’re most likely doing things you wouldn’t be able to do on a regular basis. Things that you can indulge in; things that you truly enjoy. One of my favorite parts of getting away is that I get to choose a new character every morning when I’m getting dressed. I have nowhere that I need to be and no one that expects me to look a certain way, which is a truly freeing feeling for a stylist. Maybe I’ll lean nautical one day, and go completely edgy the next. Marrying inspiration from my surroundings with my own personality – and a bit of whimsical flair – is often my outfit formula of choice when I’m on holiday. And during my most recent trip to the Caribbean, I was inspired by the street markets’ vibrant colors and the breezy sea waves.
I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something about an ocean breeze that makes me want to go full-on maxi skirt. By donning outfits with minimal structure and maximum drapery, I feel free, relaxed, and in full-vacation mode. Almost a flamenco-inspired number, this dress’ dynamic print and light weight material flowed beautifully by the sea wind, and easily took me from daytime shopping to nighttime dancing with minimal styling changes. For window shopping and brunch, I styled this with a woven tote and sun hat — some of my favorite, practical island-inspired accessories. Come happy hour, I switched out my sandals for a sexier shoe and a fringe clutch. Normally I wouldn’t pair such a detailed bag with a dress of this caliber, but it’s my vacation! It’s okay to go a little overboard sometimes, if the occasion allows.I went all out by finishing my look with yet another print. I tied my patterned head scarf in a specific way that adds a sort of gypsy flair to this beachy look. Because my intentionally naked neckline would have been obstructed by a scarf or statement necklace, I wanted my headscarf to act as the accessory that draws the eye upward to my face (and help cover up this salty windblown beach hair!) At the end of the day, there’s a lot going on in this look – but I’ve balanced the busy prints with the simple styling, and chosen specific textures that compliment each other. And remember, it’s vacation! When you’re packing for your next relaxing trip, don’t take your clothes too seriously. Take the opportunity to try new things and to dress in whatever makes you feel best.