Fragrance Find | Lolita Lempicka’s Sweet

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NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Sweet by Lolita Lempicka

NOTES | Sour Cherry, Sugar, Iris, Angelica, Cacao, Musk, Cashmere Wood

VIBE | Rich, Decadent, Sultry, Bold, Sensual, Girly, Stylish

I feel like gourmand fragrances are very much a love it or hate it kind of thing. Some people love smelling like dessert and others make their disdain for foodie scents perfectly clear. While I love all kinds of fragrances and really enjoy gourmand scents, I can understand why some people choose to avoid them. When these types of perfumes are made well they are complex, sophisticated, and mouthwatering. When their quality is poor, they are tacky and overbearing, choking you out with the synthetic sweetness of those cheap body sprays we all wore in high school. To put it simply, when gourmand fragrances are good they are amazing and when they are bad they are god awful.

Lolita Lempicka is a French perfume house that is well-known and appreciated for their delicious, confection-inspired scents, as well as their whimsical bottles that look as though they belong in a fairytale. The original Lolita Lempicka perfume comes in a purple and gold enchanted apple and is an intoxicating combination of liquorice, cherry, chocolate, iris, and ivy. It’s a sweet scent, no doubt, but it isn’t the saccharine cotton candy type of scent that a lot of us expect from a gourmand offering – AKA Thierry Mugler’s Angel or Aquolina’s Pink Sugar. It’s soft and ethereal with a warm spiciness that sets it apart from other bakery sweet perfumes. When I came across ‘Sweet‘, a 2014 addition to the Lolita Lempicka fragrance family, I was immediately intrigued because of how much I loved the original. The notes were promising too – sour cherry, chocolate, iris – some of my absolute favourite smells. When I first sprayed it onto my wrist I was a little bit unsure about how I felt about it. It was very, very sweet. Obviously – it’s right there in the name. The opening is like a blast of sugary cherry cola and, to be frank, smelling like I spilled soda on myself is not my jam. After a few minutes however, Sweet starts to develop on the skin, and the rich aroma of chocolate and powdery iris begin to take over. When I was reading the description for Sweet, it said that the fragrance contains a ‘chocolate cherry lip gloss accord’. While the idea of smelling like cherry flavoured lip gloss both appalls and delights me, the fragrance does not smell like lip gloss in any way. Despite its initial blast of sugar, Sweet evolves into a very deep, sensual gourmand that would be perfect to wear during a romantic encounter.

The notes that are the most prominent on my skin are the cherry, cacao, and iris. It’s a decadent, delicious fragrance that makes me think of a box of chocolate dipped cherries. It feels like an indulgence and, like the original Lolita Lempicka, has a sophistication that a lot of other gourmands lack. This is a very rich fragrance and not one I would wear during the summer time or in the office, but it is a gorgeous gourmand scent to wear in the evening or for a romantic occasion that you want to make extra special. The bottle – a deep red apple just like the one in Snow White – is reason enough to add this bad boy to your collection.

Have you tried Sweet by Lolita Lempicka? What are your favourite perfumes? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

6 Trends & 6 Bags for Spring 2017

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Fashion trends change faster than the weather and it’s not always worth it to splash out on a whole new wardrobe filled with the season’s latest ‘must-haves’ and fads. I rarely buy a piece simply because it’s trendy. Style is such a personal thing and just because magazine editors are telling you that you need something, it doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on you (I learned that the hard way with culottes). If you’re unsure if a bold new style is for you, accessories are an easy way to test the waters. As we are now officially in spring (the first day of spring was Monday), it’s time to revamp our wardrobes. With this in mind, I have rounded up six designer handbags that encapsulate six of the season’s hottest trends. Scroll down and take a gander at some serious arm-candy.

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1 //  TREND: Reptile Patterns & Patchwork

I am not someone who wears a lot of animal prints. If done wrong they can look cheap and trashy. When done right i.e. with a bit of discretion, they add just the right amount of primal sexiness to what might otherwise be a humdrum outfit. Reptile prints have been making an appearance in clothing, shoes, and accessories the past few seasons, and while I don’t have enough Rhianna-like swagger to pull off a python print dress, I would be more than happy to tote around this slinky leather hobo bag. It’s subtle enough to carry everyday, even to the office, but packs a sultry punch that makes me want to channel my inner jungle girl.

Badgley Mischka – Taryn Snake Print Panel Leather Shoulder Hobo Bag

2 // TREND: Colour Blocking

When I look at street style photography, what always grabs my attention is the way colours are mixed in a way that is totally unexpected. Colour blocking is a ‘trend’ that is definitely prevalent this season, but never really seems to go away. It’s also a quick and easy way to reinvent your wardrobe without having to buy anything else. Instead of pairing your coloured pieces with safe neutrals, mix your brights for a look that is fresh and striking. You’d be surprised at how often bright colours complement rather than compete with each other – yellow and cobalt blue is one of my favorite combos. If you’re not quite ready to break out all of your brights, a colour blocked bag will help you dip your toe into this bold trend.

Lana Marks – Frozen Chain Top Handle Ostrich Bag

3 //  TREND: Backpacks & Applique

It’s always a magical thing when function and fashion go hand in hand. Backpacks have been huge lately, with every major designer, from Chanel to Gucci, creating their own luxurious versions of this practical piece. Applique has also been prevalent in the collections of a string of heavyweight designers such as Roberto Cavalli and Giambattista Valli. Put these two bold trends together and you get this masterpiece from Carrie Bradshaw’s beloved Fendi (‘It’s a baguette!’). I wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a canvas number from Herschels unless I found myself hiking, but this bad boy? Take. My. Money.

Fendi – Embellished Floral Applique Mini Leather Backpack

4 // TREND: Fanny Packs & Nautical Stripes

For eons fanny packs have been terminally uncool and associated with judgement impaired tourists, hipsters, and socks and sandals wearing dads. Like everything else in fashion though, what goes in style must go out of style and vice versa. It’s the basic law of fashion physics. While the only one who can truly look good wearing a fanny pack is Leonardo Dicaprio, designers have been doing their best trying to make the dorky style less geek and more chic. This bag from Clare V. is the best version I’ve seen so far and earns extra style points for its nautical navy and white stripes – a timeless print and another huge trend this spring.

Clare V. – Supreme Striped Fanny Pack

5 // TREND: Top Handle

Quintessentially lady like styles have been given a major reboot this season, with movies and TV shows like Carol and Downton Abbey inspiring the collections of couturiers such as Lanvin and Jil Sander. Designers have been breathing new life into prim and proper styles – think asymmetrical cuts, luxe fabrics and edgy embellishments – and I am loving it. Top handle bags are THE it bag this season and they instantly lend a polished, demure feel to any and every outfit.

Givenchy – Real Trapeze Crocodile-effect Leather Tote

6 // TREND: Embroidery 

Did you know that February was National Embroidery Month? Embroidery is HUGE this season, with designers like Naeem Khan and Tanya Taylor splashing stitched patterns all over their couture collections. Let me tell you, this ain’t your granny’s needle point. From sweet florals to punky candy skulls, unexpected motifs are being stitched onto denim, clothing, outerwear, shoes, and handbags. This gorgeous piece from Gucci combines two of this season’s biggest trends and has a feminine, Old Hollywood-esque glamour that evokes images of Marlene Deitrich and Katharine Hepburn. Swoon.

Gucci – Sylvie Embroidered Leather Top Handle Satchel

What do you think of these trends? Do you have any favorites? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Made of Plastic

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Although so many of the products we buy are made of plastic, it’s not very often that we see that as being a plus, especially when it comes to fashion. When I think of plastic, it conjures images of landfills and trash heaps. I don’t associate synthetic materials with luxury or style – instead the words that come to mind are ‘cheap’ and ‘tacky’. And yet some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world (think Givenchy, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs) love to use it in their collections, crafting clutches out of translucent plastic, heels out of Lucite, and jewelry out of candy-like beads that are so far from the elegant strings of pearls and diamonds that we normally associate with couture, that it’s like the designers are playing a joke on us all. There’s something that is kind of perverse about a plastic bangle costing more than most people’s rent but there is still a certain charm about it. It’s almost so vulgar and tacky that it becomes luxurious and desirable. Although a lot of us turn our nose up at man-made materials, plastic has its merits as well. Because it’s synthetic it can take on textures and finishes that natural materials simply cannot. A lot of the time plastic can be recycled as well, so it’s not the total enemy of the environment that we often think of it as. I have to admit, I am kind of seduced by this season’s love affair with plastic. It pays homage to the bold mod looks of the 60s while also looking ahead with a futuristic, spacey feel – all in all a combination that is refreshing and relevant. This trend is all about contradictions, much like fashion itself. Plastic as a material can be thought of as both old and new, it’s cheap and luxurious, its tacky yet elegant, it’s disposable but is also sustainable. While my heart will always prioritize leather, silk, and real gems over their synthetic substitutes (the real thing is always better in my opinion), plastic definitely has its place in fashion and in my closet.

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1 // Go Jane – Beyond Clear Chunky Lucite Heels

2 // Valley City X – Zero UV Mod Oversize Sunglasses

3 // Alex Bittar – Lucite Faceted Cocktail Ring

4 // JAPONESQUE – Alligator Hair Comb

5 // Moschino – Metal and Lucite Floral Necklace

6 // Go Jane – Call Me Maybe Square Lucite Clutch

7 // Kate Spade New York – Rumsey Plastic Strap Watch

8 // Armani Jeans – Plastic Mesh Shopping Bag

9 // LaVieHippie (Etsy) – Vintage Marbled Lucite Earrings

xoxo,

Alicia

 

Best of Beauty | Cake

If you have been reading any of my other posts, you know that I truly love all things beauty. I love trying new brands and products and I believe that switching up one’s beauty and skincare routine every now and then keeps it fresh, interesting, and effective. There are a few brands out there that I really love – Tarte, Aveeno, and LUSH are a few of my favorites. Every now and then, however, I come across a line of products that blows me away. Canadian company Cake Beauty is one of those brands. Started by CEO Heather Reier in Kitchener, Ontario, Cake began as a small assortment of vegan, all-natural beauty products and then blossomed into a full-fledged line of everything from bath goodies to hair and skincare products. Everything from Cake is made with cruelty-free practices and vegan ingredients, so you can rest easy knowing that these products are not only effective and sweet smelling, they are made with lots of care and conscience. I have a ton of Cake products and always find myself buying more when I come across them. Not only do they work like a dream (their dry shampoo – see below – is the stuff freshly showered dreams are made of) but they smell absolutely delicious. When it comes to Cake I could go on and on but I decided to cap my list of favorite products at six (just so that this post isn’t the length of War and Peace). So with that in mind, here are my top sweet treats from this Canadian confection.

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1 // Desserted Island Bath & Shower Froth

The best way to unwind after a long hard day? A hot bath filled with luxurious coconut and Tahitian vanilla scented bubbles of course! This sweet smelling gel lathers up like crazy, filling your tub with fragrant, frothy foam reminiscent of whipped cream. Bonus: this multitasking formula can also be used as a shower gel!

2 // The Do-Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray

It’s gross to admit, but I use a lot of dry shampoo. Like too much. My hair is so dry and curly and gets really frizzy and dull if I wash it everyday, so I try to skip a day. Sometimes that skipped ‘day’ becomes two or three days (ew, I know) and that’s where this bad boy comes in handy. Unlike a lot of other dry shampoos out there, this dry spray leaves ZERO white reside and leaves my strands looking and feeling miraculously clean (how?!) and not at all sticky. The scent is a little bit strong at first, but it does smell like lemon sugar so I am not complaining.

3 // The Locks Smith Hydrating Dry Conditioner Spray

Whether your hair is dry to the point of crispy like mine, or a bit on the oilier side, this dry conditioner spray is pretty fantastic for all hair types. It’s hydrating but lightweight and adds a glossy sheen to hair without making it look greasy or weighed down (the downfall of a lot of leave-in conditioners). It’s filled with ultra moisturizing ingredients such as coconut and argan oil, which keep your tresses soft and silky, even if you’ve just heat styled the sh*t out of them. The yummy caramel-vanilla-lemon scent is the icing on the cake – shameless pun totally intended.

4 // Inca Rejuvenating Facial Oil 

I am a huge fan of facial oils and this one is the cream of the crop. It’s made with antioxidant and omega (3, 6, and 9) rich inca inchi oil, as well as grape seed oil and vitamin E. The freshly peeled orange scent doesn’t hurt either. Use it to give your complexion a healthy, hydrated glow, or smooth a tiny bit onto your hair to tame split-ends and frizz.

5 // Delectable Everything Balm

As a girl who is constantly on the go, I appreciate products that are made to do it all. This moisturizing, delicious smelling balm literally (and I do mean literally) does IT ALL.  It’s made with super ingredients such as cocoa butter, castor oil, shea butter, and coconut and sunflower oil.It feels utterly delightful on the lips and skin (it melts on contact like butter). So, what does this super hero of a product do, you ask? Every. Damn. Thing. It can be used as a lip balm, to moisturize dry skin, to plump up lips, to smooth frizz, to soothe itchiness, sunburns, and bug bites. It can be used to seal split ends, to fade under-eye circles, and tame unruly eyebrows. You can also use it as a highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones! I keep one in my purse religiously and I am totally addicted to it. Because why wouldn’t I be? It’s basically my vanity in a tube. If you take anything away from this post, it’s that you need this. You need it.

6 // Desserted Island Supreme Body Mousse

How many lotions can a girl have? A lot. I have too many lotions and it’s getting to the point where I have no space at all on my dresser (partly because of my perfume collection as well – I now have 80 fragrances. I should be on an episode of Hoarders.). Despite this fact, I couldn’t help adding this delicious confection to my excessive collection. It was love at first sniff and touch and there are so many reasons I adore it. Reason number 1: it smells like a tropical vacation with dreamy notes of coconut and vanilla. Reason number 2: although it is very hydrating, it is incredibly light and airy (just like a mousse should be). It’s not at all greasy and sinks right into the skin. 3) It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth ALL DAY. Usually I have to reapply creams and lotions constantly throughout the day, but this keeps my skin quenched and supple for hours on end. I bought this one in bulk (I have a giant bottle in my bathroom and a travel sized tube in my purse) and I suggest that you do too. It’s like ultra-nourishing body frosting and my skin eats it right up.

So there you have it, my six favorite products from one of my favorite Canadian brands, Cake Beauty. Have you tried any of these products? Are there any other Cake products I simply must try? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Floral Fare

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I’m a shameless girly-girl in every possible way, so I have always loved florals. Whether it’s a bouquet of fresh blooms, an ultra-feminine flowery perfume, or a floral printed fabric, I am more than happy to incorporate flowers into every aspect of my life, from fashion to home decor. And while flowers for spring might seem like a cliche, classics are classics for a reason. Even if you’re not willing to wear a sugary sweet floral dress, anyone can channel their inner flower child by toting around one of these gorgeous handbags. Florals have been given an edgy update this season with stylized pop art-inspired motifs and tough-as-nails studs and metallic hardware. These styles are fresh, fun, and anything but frou-frou. Before you dismiss spring flowers as being saccharine and boring, take a gander at these 9 pieces of arm-candy. In the words of Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, ‘Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.’. Minus the sarcasm.

1 // Dana Buchman – Lucille Tote

2 // Orla Kiely – Giant Flower Leather Fairfield Bag

3 // Go Jane – Flower Walk Quilted Chain Bag (only $32!)

4 // Lavani – White Flower Emblem Crossbody Bag (only $25!)

5 // Calvin Klein – Saffiano Leather Tote

6 // Orla Kiely – Summer Flower Canvas Zip Around Purse

7 // Go Jane – Vintage Vibes Floral Faux Leather Clutch (only $35!)

8 // Yasbukey – Embroidered Flower Patch Flap Bag

9 // Coach – Embroidered Flower Crossbody Bag

xoxo,

Alicia

Sweet Sakura Dreams

Nothing makes it more clear that spring has finally arrived in Vancouver than when the first few cherry blossoms start to bloom. The streets are lined with rows of pale pink flowers and petals float around the city like falling snow. We still have a few weeks (at least) until these beautiful blooms start making their appearance, so right now I’m bringing spring to me with sakura (the Japanese word for cherry blossom) scented beauty products, cherry blossom decor, and accessories. Wake me up when spring arrives, and until then I’ll be having sweet sakura dreams.

SAKURA BUYS

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1 // Britney Spears Fragrances – Fantasy in Bloom

2 // Oblong – Graceful Hanami Cashmere & Silk Scarf

3 // Swag Style – Cherry Blossom Giclee Shade Plug-In Chandelier

4 // Small Le Pliage – Neo Fantasie Tote

5 // Nike – WMNS Roshe Run “Cherry Blossom”

6 // OGX – Heavenly Hydration Cherry Blossom Shampoo

7 // Michael Michaud Jewelry – Cherry Blossom Bracelet

8 // Chairish – Van Gogh Inspired Cherry Blossom Linen Pillow

9 // YourLaMode – Cherry Blossom iPhone Case

10 // Timeless Pearl – Cherry Blossom Pearl Brooch

11 // Ecoya – Limited Edition Reed Diffuser in Cherry Blossom & Tuberose

xoxo,

Alicia

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What to Pack For a Caribbean Holiday

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I don’t know about you guys, but I am sick to death of winter. I’m over all of it – the snow, the cold, the short, dark days, everything. I am pretty much counting down the days until the first day of spring. That being said, I really shouldn’t complain too much because at the beginning of February I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Montego Bay, Jamaica with my boyfriend. Before this trip, I had never been anywhere tropical or hot. I also had never been anywhere during the winter. Well, let me tell you, from now on I am going somewhere hot every winter that I can afford it. Every single aspect of the trip was amazing – hot white sand, turquoise ocean, balmy breeze and swaying palm trees. It was exactly what I needed and it was especially satisfying to know that I was in 30 + degree (celcius) weather sipping on a Caipirissima (my boyfriend is hooked on this cocktail now) while it was snowing buckets back home in Vancouver. We stayed at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall resort and it’s expensive as hell but breathtakingly stunning. The customer service is also out of this world. The only taxing part of this trip was packing for it. As I had never been anywhere hot before, I basically packed everything summery I owned and hoped for the best. Some of it I wore, some of it I never touched, and there were some items that I wished I had bought specifically for the trip. Since hindsight is 20/20, here are the 12 items that I think are essential when travelling to the Caribbean (or anywhere tropical).


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1 // River Island – White Striped Bandeau Culotte Jumpsuit

When it comes to effortless vacation dressing, it’s hard to beat the jumpsuit. Just step in, zip up, and you’re good to go without having to worry about coordinating an outfit or how to sit decently (#dressproblems). This cute little number manages to combine three trends at once (stripes, culottes, and jumpsuits) while still looking timeless and elegant. The fact that is strapless is another plus as there is nothing that inspires irrational rage and misery more than the feel of a strap digging into a sunburnt shoulder.

2 // Steve Madden – Sara Sandals

I wore these sandals to death. They were especially perfect around dinner time when I wanted something that was a little more formal than my rubber flip flops but not as high maintenance as a pair of high heels. The nude/snake print goes with absolutely everything and is a refreshing change from basic black, brown or tan.

3 // Vince Camuto – Nautical Striped Floppy Sun Hat

I have the type of pale, freckled skin that is absolutely scorched by the sun even when I have slathered myself head to toe in SPF 70 and so a hat is a must. A floppy straw sun hat not only instantly adds some style points to an outfit, but it will protect your head and face from the harsh rays of the Caribbean sun, preventing sunburn and heat stroke. My body may have been lobster red by the end of my trip, but my face was completely burn-free.

4 // LUCLUC – Sky Blue Bandeau Push Up Bikini SetLUCLUC – Sky Blue Bandeau Push Up Bikini Set

If you’re going somewhere hot on vacation a cute swimsuit is (obviously) an essential. Whether you are a one-piece or two-piece kind of gal is your choice, but I would pick something that makes you feel stunning as you are going to be in it for most of your trip. This bikini set from LUCLUC was my go-to. I find this bikini set to be ridiculously flattering. I am not a fan of high-waisted swimsuit bottoms but I love the way these provide just the right amount coverage for my curvier hips and tush. The black piping provides a gorgeous contrast against the sky blue fabric, a colour that, in my opinion, flatters all skin tone. I actually got quite a few compliments on this bad boy and I can’t wait to bring it out more in the summer.

5 // Love Moschino – Mini Skirt

A flowy printed skirt is a tropical vacation must. Why? At some point, you’ll want to wear something at night other than a dress, and there is nothing that feels worse against sunburnt legs than chafing denim cut-offs. This loud, floral print is so bright and cheerful and the high-waist is sexy and flattering. I would wear this skirt with a little crop top or a shoulder-baring blouse.

6 // Barneys New York – Provence Large Tote Bag (on sale!)

I mean, you could stuff all of your beach essentials in a boring canvas bag or backpack but why would you? A straw bag goes with everything, is classically stylish, and is easy to clean – no stained fabric, just dump out the sand that will inevitably find its way into your bag, shoes, swimsuit, and bed. This bag is roomy enough to fit all of your stuff, all of your travel buddy’s stuff, with room to spare. I also love the pop of tropical colour that the tassels add to this otherwise simple tote.

7 // Daily Look – Diane Slip Dress

Real talk: a slip is not just a travel necessity, it’s a life necessity. They are effortlessly sexy and are so easy to just throw on, whether you’re wearing it over your swimsuit or with a boyfriend cardigan and pair of mules. Tuck one in your beach bag so that you can toss it over your swimsuit when you are ready to be civilized – say in a restaurant where your sarong or cut-offs just won’t cut it.

8 // Deepa Gurnani – Riley Crystal Embellished Floral Headband

I have very, very curly hair. When I am in the city I tame it with a straightener, a palm full of mousse, and shine spray. In the humid tropical climate of the Caribbean, however, all bets are off and my hair goes totally wild. My curls are massive and all of my usual styling methods go out the window. I didn’t even bother trying to straighten it because the moment I stepped outside my hair would literally spiral out of control. My headband and hair clips kept my hair looking curly and cute instead of curly and crazy. Even if your hair errs more on the straight side, a cute clip or headband will keep your beachy, sea-sprayed hair looking somewhat polished with minimal effort.

9 // Le Specs – Air Heart Cat-Eye Acetate Sunglasses

It doesn’t matter where I am going, I always forget to pack a pair of sunglasses and have to buy a pair either at the hotel or the airport. This is a terrible idea because they are always ridiculously expensive. They were absolutely necessary, though. In Jamaica, the sun was blinding and so my sunglasses were on my face from dawn until dusk. Fun fact: sunglasses rarely suit my face (aviators honestly make me look like Jim Morrison) and the only consistent exception to this are cat-eye frames. I just love the old-Hollywood glamour vibe and air of mystery that they add to an outfit. Grab a pair for your next vacation and channel your inner Audrey Hepburn.

10 // Dolce & Gabbana – Distressed Rolled Shorts with Daisy Embroidery

Comfy and casual should never equate to sloppy and boring. These distressed rolled shorts are given a quirky update with sweet little embroidered daisies all down the sides. I also love the longer rolled hem which adds to the effortless, ‘I picked these up off the floor and threw them on, but don’t I look adorable?” look. The perfect pair of shorts to wear while strolling down the beach or on an adventurous excursion.

11 // Only Hearts – Second Skin Bodysuit in Black

Bodysuits are awesome. They can be worn with shorts, skirts, pants, everything, and that kind of versatility is exactly what you need from your clothes when you are on vacation. Squeeze a couple different coloured bodysuits in your suitcase so that you have different options depending on the day or your mood. One bodysuit can easily take you from day to night: toss a pair of worn-in cutoffs over them during the day, and a flirty floral skirt in the evening.

12 // Spoiled Heart – Reverse Maxi Sequin Bust Dress

The punchy coral hue of this dress practically screams ‘I’m vacationing in the tropics’ and it looks amazing against a newly acquired tan. Maxi dresses are just so ideal when you are on vacation. They are comfortable and breezy, but can still transition from casual to formal with a simple shoe and accessory change (flip flops and beach bag to strappy sandals and pretty clutch). And the fact that this one is reversible? You’re just winning all around.

What are your must-pack tropical vacation essentials? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia