Beach Vacation Styling Guide: Tahiti Flashbacks

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Are you back at work? Wondering where 2013 went? Wondering where you are headed next? Me too. I  think that means its time for vacation daydreaming. Isn’t it always?? What should you bring to lay in a hammock on a perfect warm breezy day? To cocktails? To paddle board??…..

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A breezy cotton tunic, white linen pants, my trusty Panama hat. These three pieces were each stars of the Resort Essential list. Together, alone, mixed with bikini tops or a summery blouse you need some version of each.

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The main dress. No one else has it. It cannot wrinkle. It rolls up perfectly. Room for crepe belly, Piña Colada belly, haven’t been to Bar Method class in (blank) weeks belly. Easy elegance with a tribal /Boho/resort vibe, mine is from Naomi and Lavender but Clover Canyon also makes some genius resort dress options. I love this one. But if you buy it don’t come on vacation with me.

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Light sweater for the flight, breezy beach nights, and sometimes as a “fancier” bikini cover. This is one light weight, basic piece with lots of resort use. Essential. This one is from Zara.

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The thin necklace is from my jewelry designer friend Zab. I wear it almost all the time. It is thin and simple and makes me think of her and her endlessly delightful demeanor. The cuff is my “workout” jewelry. Read “it was 7 dollars and is bold and tribal and if it got washed into the sea I’d be ok” and “I like to be bejeweled during push ups and kayaking so deal with it.” Along those lines I added an inexpensive ironic piece-my “Oui” ring (a copy of the Dior original) which as you probably know is “yes” in French for my French Polynesian adventure. Just say YES. If you read my last post, about living your life now, you can feel the extra level of meaning that my “Oui” ring exuded.

The pearls I bought while on vacation because going to Tahiti and not buying black pearls somehow seems incorrect. Am I right? I try to keep my expensive vacation pieces to a minimum. My heirloom diamond engagement ring, my heart necklace and in this case the black tahitian pearls I HAD to buy. I just add those three to a small clutch packed with a few other  inexpensive baubles. Vacation is for relaxing, not checking your safe. If it’s expensive or priceless, KEEP IT ON and just change up the rest.

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Pearl shopping at a beautiful pearl farm on Taha’a. “I’ll take them all please.”

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Posing with my coolest accessory ever. Padddle for my paddle boarding adventures!

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Pareo aka the traditional wrap, saves the day. I extended my trip by 5 days and started to run out of clean combinations despite my hyper-planned out packing job. The purchase of this pareo, Tahitian for sarong or wrap, made making new outfits manageable. I wore it at least three ways and because it was basic black it “played” like three basics, a skirt, a dress (three ways that I tried) and as something to cover myself with during a nap in a chaise lounge. This pareo literally saved the day. If my WiFi had been better on the islands  I would have looked at the marvelous and bizarre Pinterest at ideas for more ways to style it here.

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This gel manicure by OPI was my happiest, easiest accessory. I had a pre-trip style epiphany while breezing through a Vogue or In Style and saw an ad – Dolce Gabbana I think – with a Sophia Loren – ish, tan model sporting bright, palest of pink nails sort of like this. My pro nail team at Satin Soles on West Third Street labored over my “vision” which for some reason I didn’t even bring the picture of ( high maintenance much?) I got looks from other patrons who were trying to contain their “is she serious??” eye rolls as we discussed options. In the end OPI Gel with 3 coats of Alpine Snow and  and one of Bubble Bath achieved the closet match. They looked like the milkiest, lightest glass of Thai iced tea. As my skin got bronzer I loved it more and more. One accessory you DON’T have to think about it a resort must. Downside. My “special blend” was a serious work of gel-contruction. At my “take-off” appointment it took much longer than usual to remove gently. My nail technicians and I said a silent goodbye to gels for 2013 and few weeks into to the new year. It’s time for a nail break, from gels, and next from polish. My nails aren’t damaged but they are dry and need to breathe. But at least they went out with a bang.

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Rash guards are a teeny bit style essential but mostly a wellness essential. Spend just one day paddle boarding around the ocean and the suns rays get really intimate with the skin you diligently protect year round. Yes I felt way cuter wielding my paddle in my peach bikini (above),  but this Roxy rash guard gave me much more protection every other time or when Mr. TGFRL decided we should get in our kayak and paddle to what seemed like the other side of the world. Honestly I liked it and next time will upgrade to one like this from J. Crew Pret-à-Surf collection. This one from J. Crew just says RED LIPSTICK need apply.

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The tunic from above worn as a cover up. I got this one  over the summer at Only Hearts, it nearly fused to my body I wore it so often on this trip. Easy, breezy. Love it.

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This crop top and skirt ensemble is my new thing and I looked and long and hard for one, finally finding it hilariously at Forever 21. I had been wearing it at home in LA under a cropped black blazer or a short faux fur for nights out but knew it would have a place or a few places on my tropical vacay. First it’s two basic pieces that can be mixed and matched easily. Second, all the skin flashing is exactly what you want when even after days of rigorous use of SPF 50 you develop the nicest tan you’ve had since you were 4 and roaming the world topless.

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This strapless jumper (Naomi and Lavender) is a running joke with my friend V. I wore it once over her bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs thinking that the airy ensemble would be perfect for “the girl who hates heat” but all I came home with were friendly photobombs of my derriere’s  “under side.” Admittedly was a little bit Miley of me, the world doesn’t need to glimpse your underthings as a rule. But I still love it. Vacations are for flashing a  little ass. I wore it a bunch in Tahiti. End of story.

IMG_1388IMG_5442A multicolored, striped American Apparel bikini with red lips courtesy of  Kate Moss Rimmel, Lasting Finish #110. Red lipstick on the beach, not an EVERY day look- even for this self-professed red lip lover. But stripes just beg for red and it helped create a distraction from my emerging baguette belly in those last days. Reason #389 why red lipstick if life changing. People focus in on it, and on your face in an entranced way. Plus it exudes an old fashioned vibe that I like. The “I dress up for airplane rides and trips to the beach” vibe.

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LASTLY, my mysterious year round essential which is also a vacation staple for me these days. Faux leather shorts. Impossible to wrinkle, never dirty, unexpected, high or low styling options. I wore them there with a striped Breton tee ( I can’t find an actual photo so my planning sketch will have to do.) Anyway, I’m having a problem NOT wearing these shorts as friends who witnessed my cocktails by the Christmas tree can attest. “Martha Stewart in Leather” may or may not be my latest nickname and that makes me SMILE.

Happy daydreaming.

XOXO,

TGFRL

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