Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vacation: What I Saw, What I Bought, What I Wore.

Okay, so I know I said no clothes shopping for three months, but taking my first vacation in 13 months (which turned out to be not much of a vacation) was kind of a special occasion. I declared it a fashion emergency and therefore exempt from all rules. OK maybe not all.

Usually I use a vacation as an excuse to buy a new "resort" wardrobe. That includes jewelry, waterproof  makeup and expensive sunscreen you can only buy in Sephora. But since I had my "No shopping for 3 months rule" (which I had held myself to, more or less) I had to do things differently. No Expensive Milly cover-ups, no Trina Turk bathing suits, no new wardrobe from my favorite resort store in the world Calypso St Barths. (Thank goodness, I was not going to St Barths, I would have to take out a second mortgage!)

My budget vacation dictated a budget wardrobe. So I shopped my closet, did some laundry and found some very suitable things from last years wardrobe. Like The cover-up I bought in Target, yes, Target) and never wore. I dug out my favorite fit flops (they are exercise sandals for your butt and yes, they really do work). A turquoise and green Lily Pulitzer dress I bought two years ago, which is oh-so-tropical and I ironically still LOVE it!

But I still needed stuff... I mean I can't wear an old stained stretched out bathing suit on the beach can I? So I stuck within a budget of under $200 and bought a few staples at Loft, Gap and shhh... Bloomingdale's

I bought this crazy zebra print bikini by  Ralph Lauren for about $110.00 dollars. It's a little wild for me, but wanted to do something different for a change. The model rocks it better than I could, but hey she is a bikini model probably half my age! What do you think?

I bought this tank at the Gap for about ten bucks. I also got one in white because you can never have too many white tank tops (mine usually turn yellow or gray by the end of season).

Petite Sunwash Tee 
I also bought a sun washed tee from Loft in a tangerine color. It was so summery and reminded me of a color you would find in a sunset. It was not on sale, but so soft and pretty, so for $20.00 I decided to buy it. I wore it to death while on vacation so now it is double sun washed.

Vacation is all about fantasy and excess, and so is shopping for some of us shopaholics, so...
I developed some rules of thumb for vacation shopping .
1. Take Inventory . See what you have before you buy. A trip to the cleaners, a bottle of Tide and some bleach can make last seasons crumpled dingy clothes squashed into a drawer or closet look brand new!

2. If it ain't totally broke (and you are ) it is OK. I thought I needed a new pair of designer sunglasses. My old glasses were slightly scratched and there was a chip on the frame near the hinge . But they worked. To have new glasses tossed around in the sand and on a snorkel boat made no sense, so I made do.

3 . Have a budget and stick to it . I thought  $200 for clothes, a bathing suit, sunscreen and waterproof makeup was too little. It was not! I did not even get to wear one of my tank tops .

4. Beg and borrow . During my sunglasses crisis, a friend with a sunglasses "collection" offered me to borrow a pair of  her Guccis, Prada ,etc. I didn't, but if you need earrings, a clutch or accessories and can't afford - ask around! This is  especially true if you are travelling off season.   Your friends will be wearing snow boots while you are on the beach! Borrow their flip flops!

Remember vacation is all is about the experience not your wardrobe! But I wish I had gotten a spray tan...