I hope this post will help you pack for Hawaii and take what you need to make your trip easy and you feel great. I update this post every few months as it’s quite popular. We are lucky to be in California, where Hawaii isn just a few hours away by plane. I have fortunate to have been to four of the islands.
in Hawaii, resort wear is extremely casual, and even in the nicest resorts, and I rarely have worn a heeled sandal. The best part about a Hawaiian vacation is the ease. I spend most days in a swimsuit, with air-dried hair, and rarely put on makeup except a little lipgloss and mascara to go to dinner and maybe some bronzer. I find I always pack too much for Hawaii. When I’m there I never want to fuss with jewelry, heels and blowdryers.
To avoid overpacking I remember a little tip from my mother. She would always say buy a few new things before you leave and you won’t mind repeating them on the trip. You should bring things that can do double duty like a dress as a coverup and silky shorts that you can dress up or wear with a tank for daytime.
Pack shoes that work for more than one outfit and wear your heavy ones, like sneakers on the plane. I know there are those people flying in long dresses and flip-flops, but they just look dumb when the plane temp goes arctic. I wear layers and strip some off when I land.
Most importantly-you need a swimsuit that fits and feels good on. If you are struggling with this as most of us, read my recent post on bathing suits and body image for some inspiration and good choices. I noticed on this trip, a lot of women choosing the new one-shoulder look and it’s flattering for so many body types. It looks good on the curvy gals as well as those with leaner proportions. J. Crew is hands down my favorite retailer for quality, choice and fit. This is the suit I wore the whole Hawaii trip..
Another look that is chic and I saw all over Hawaii, is the long sleeve top with a bikini bottom. This is usually a rash guard own top, often with UPF built in. This look is appealing and for someone like me who can find a good bikini bottom, but not a supportive bikini top I like, you can wear comfy sport bra under the rash guard for more support. This look is stylish and is smart as we get so much sun damage on areas like the back and shoulders.
Everything But Water has this cute look in white and black..
There are also choice by Cover, below, in the scalloped top or a bit longer top in regular – also in black and white. They sell the hipster bikini bottoms too. Everything by this great line, including skirts, full suits and leggings have UPF 50 here. Also more on their own website. All Cover items are made in California! I love that. Do you know a recent study showed that 50% of all UVA exposure occurs in the shade, so your the beach umbrella isn’t enough.
I love the look paired with a hat. I just bought this straw hat from Banana and they have a similar one now..
My favorite coverups are always the white ones and I always find new ones while traveling. A few pictures of me in coverups last week.. one with my oldest Jackson.. I think I have too many, but I love them and use them as tops if they are short and dresses if they are longer.
Other white coverups are this cutie by Tommy Bahama. It can also double as an out to dinner dress.
This Melissa Odabash coverup is in many colors and so feminine.
I also really like this gauze offering at Anthropologie in a few colors..
So what else to pack? Well, this year it’s all about the new longer and more feminine shorts! I needed some so bought a few new ones for this vacation. They seem to be a fresh look and I loved the dressy versions out now. I like that packing them meant I could have options for daytime treks and also evenings too. I added three pairs this year to my closet.
Banana Republic has a new look and I found two beautiful made pairs there- this linen blend short in a fresh yellow.. Sorry for the wrinkles on my flat lay, but they are linen, and even the store display shows them like that. If you love linen you have to get past the wrinkles. (People in Europe don’t even iron their linen, just smooth it and flat dry. It’s bad for the fibers to iron and starch.)
The black ruffled top is a new versatile tank I love from Cinq a Sept. It is so popular and such a flattering staple, they carry it year round at Neiman’s. It was a bit of a splurge, but my friend Jeanne wears hers all the time and it’s even lovelier in person with a side stripe of grosgrain. It’s beautifully made, light and doesn’t wrinkle. I also wore it on the plane on the way over. The scalloped sweatshirt is by Frame and my Perry Bombe cross-body bag by Tory Burch I take on all my trips. The ribbon espadrille slides (above) are Tory Burch. Black sandals are a few seasons past, but something similar here.
I also bought these Banana Republic Flyweight shorts (above and below),made of recycled materials. They are travel perfect as they don’t wrinkle, are temperature regulating and have UPF 50! I wore them on a hot day out to do some sightseeing and also dressed them up with the tank at night with some pretty necklaces and sandals. ( love the necklaces from Ippolita)
While in Hawaii this Twin Palms raw edge linen jacket caught my eye at Tommy Bahama. I have needed a light jacket and I wore it with the some my new higher waist shorts and a soft linen tank I’m in love with on the plane ride back. The Leaf Jacquard Scarf was a find at Tommy B’s when I was buying the jacket and it was great for a wrap in the evening as well as warmth on the plane. (Can you tell I hate being cold?) I loved the Hawaiian vibe of the scarf too.
During this trip I discovered Tommy Bahama. It’s not usually on my radar, as we don’t have one near me. They have some very cute summer dresses in linen if you want a resort ready dress. Don’t forget about them as a great vacation resource. We went to their fun restaurant on the Big Island and the shop is right below it.
Their Raffia tote can go from the beach to evenings out.
A resort look that was new for me was a pair of fun track pants from Anthro and a strapless top. This is a modern evening look and I will use the pants so much with white t’s etc. ( They also come in a cute tan and navy.) The strapless tube top was a little out of my normal comfort zone, but I thought why not? The top warranted a pant or something longer for evening dinner out to me. They were long for me, but they were cuffed when I bought them and I left them like that. This tube top matched the bees on the pants perfectly. I added longer earrings and a woven clutch I’ve owned forever. The tube top comes in a lot of fun colors and can be a great look under a white blazer.
Not the best pic, but the guys weren’t into waiting for photos on vacation.
Another fun and flattering look on most everyone for the vacation bound is a one shoulder top. I have this Isabelle Marant I wore on this trip and always take it on holidays.
It’s no longer available, but Rails has a darling white version with a puff sleeve I want and the cutest paper bag shorts. I love this look! I think a one shouldered top is made for resort wear- daytime or nights out. A lot of people wonder if you need a strapless bra with these one shoulder tops. So far I’ve just worn a regular bra and tucked the strap for the other in the bra band.. It works.
Other sandals that are resort worthy.. Can you tell I love the new modern look of these comfy slides? I couldn’t choose so I just put them all on here.
These Seychelles Puffy Woven Slides in a zillion colors, Seychelles Low Key Slides, Kaanas Patterned Slides, Vince Sueded Buckle Espadrille, Silent D Woven Slide (in black and khaki), Beek Pigeon Slides, The Day Crossover Sandal from Everlane, The Dayna Lugsole Slide Sandal from Madewell, Pacific Leather Thong ( 3 colors) from J.Crew, Frances Valentine Gardenia Sandal, Tory Burch Miller Cloud in Spark, Tory Rope Slides.
I hope there is a vacation or a holiday you are planning in your future. I’ll share some more of my Big Island getaway soon.
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