Packing List No. 3 | Waikiki

With less than a month until my wedding (!!!), I've started getting emails and calls from friends about what to do, where to eat, and, of course, what to pack. Here are my recommendations for a perfectly packed trip: 

When you're headed to Waikiki for the weekend, your packing list has to be ready to do it all--from lounging on the beach to sampling a few (or more) mai tais to dancing the night away at some of Honolulu's dressier nightclubs. 

BY THE WATER

A trip to the beach usually means a mixture of swimming, light reading, and, of course, sunbathing. Catch a tan in this retro inspired bikini; then show it off the next day in this ultra flattering white suit.

If you're more adventurous than I am or even mildly more coordinated (i.e. in college you were captain of something other than the debate team), the beach might also mean surfing or paddle boarding. If that's the case, you'll want a suit that stays in place while offering maximum coverage.

No matter how you choose to pass the time, sunscreen is a non-negotiable. If you are planning on getting into the ocean though, choose a brand that's reef safe like COOLA. (Common sunscreen ingredients, such as oxybenzone, can damage coral reefs and/or kill coral).

APRÈS BEACH

You'll need to throw on a cover up and slides before heading to a late lunch at House Without a Key or, if you're interested in something more casual, walking down to Musubi Cafe IYASUME for the best musubi on island. 

Either way, skip the cut offs and tank top. Took a cue from the locale's retro vibe and opt for something glamorous, but relaxed like a caftan and statement sunglasses.

NIGHT ON THE TOWN

In a town where even slippers (the local word for flip flops) can be optional, nightclubs like Sky Waikiki are the hard exception. Use the strictly enforced dress codes as an excuse to pull out all the stops in an otherwise super casual locale. Plan to change into something a bit dressier like this little white dress, which is perfect for the modern vibe at Sky. Dress it up even more with these trendy sandals and a bright lip from Nars in the color Heat Wave

(THE) REST AND REPEAT

For the days when a t-shirt and laid back pair of denims shorts is preferable: this graphic tee (on sale!) and these shorts make a great pairing. Throw in a pair of sneakers and you're all set for a day of hiking, biking, or neighborhood walking tours. 

Also, how sweet is this dress? It's perfect "Sunday" dress: from mass, to brunch, to an afternoon at the museum. Even if that's not your idea of a typical Sunday, you'll never regret packing anything that can be dressed up or down so easily. 

Enjoy Waikiki!

P.S. HOW TO SPEND A WEEKEND IN WAIKIKI

My Hawaii Uniform

As someone who rarely shops, I tend to wear the same things over and over (luckily for me, so do some of the greats: Steve Jobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Hillary Clinton...). So naturally, after several months of island living, I've already developed my Hawaii uniform. 

If you're in need of a casual, but polished look, this is it. Whether visiting the islands or just hanging out around town, this look can take you from brunch at Bill's to drinks at Bevy--and everywhere in between.

WHITE TANK

The warm weather version of the classic white tee, a crisp white tank provides maximum style with minimal effort. Plus, I'm into anything that let's me show off a hard earned tan. My all time favorite? This unbelievably soft tank from Majestic Paris for Neiman Marcus. If you're willing to splurge, I hear that this version is worth the investment.
 

(HIGH WAISTED) DEMIN CUTOFFS

After seeing aesthetics guru Amy Stone wear a pair of vintage LEVI 501's (seen here and here), I picked up my first pair of denim cutoffs since high school and have been wearing them non-stop. Because of my body type (hourglass), I gravitate towards high waisted pairs. The beauty of cutoffs? There's a perfect fit for every body. 

Side note: I'm seriously obsessed with RE/DONE which takes old Levi jeans and remakes them into modern, stylish denim cutoffs--a slow fashion lover's dream.
 

LEATHER SANDALS

When I first moved here, it took me a while to get used to the idea of wearing sandals all the time. Luckily a friend guided me in the direction of this leather pair. Admittedly, the timeless (and more formal) look of leather appealed to my east coast sensibilities--and I haven't looked back since. But I've currently got my eye on this classic pair
 

SIGNATURE LOOK

I never the leave house without two pieces: my engagement ring (an oval solitaire on a rose gold band) and a delicate, thin necklace. Since Hawaii has a generally laid back feel, I leave the bigger pieces for special occasions and fancy nights out.

The exception? Statement sunglasses. haven't taken off this super affordable pair since buying them a few weeks ago.

I round out my look with an equally simple makeup routine: a thick layer of sunscreen, wind blown hair, and just a touch of face paint. Glossier has some of my favorite low key products--can't stop raving about this lip tint or this foundation--if you're looking for makeup that enhances natural beauty rather than covers it. 

While I've got my casual uniform down, I've come to realize that I'm in desperate need of a few other items: a rain coat for these drizzly winters, more than one bathing suit, a sweater for when the trade winds blow in, and--of course--an aloha shirt.