how i packed for the beach.

Once upon a time. . .I packed for a trip down south. It was back in the day when the word "hotel" was almost as exciting as "chocolate." :P We really didn't do much traveling when my sisters and I were younger, so any weekend getaway (every, eh, 10 years?) was cause for screaming, jumping, and general havoc. (bless our long suffering parents) Sufficient to say, as a gal who likes to look nice, all my 20+ hair products, just-in-case-outfits, ("I mean, what if I can't decide what to wear?. . .or I change my mind about that shirt?") books, movies, pens, pencils, notebooks, the kitchen sink. . .came along. It's funny now, thinking of my dad seeing the big roll-away I packed, a look of horror on his face. . ."honestly Michaela. Is it necessary to bring your entire room?!?!"

Uh, guess what. 
I never even looked at most of that stuff.
And I certainly didn't need it.
I mean, this was a camp with primitive showers and dirty bunk houses.
. . .Cinderella was disgraced.

Years later, now that I've traveled quite a bit and am more confident, packing is not only easy, I don't even need to make lists. A few basic pieces of clothing, one or two pairs of shoes, a couple statement necklaces/earrings/bracelets, toiletries. . .all stuffed into a backpack. That is how my packing looked for our recent trip to the beach.

before you pack--ask these questions:

  • can this item be folded or rolled to save space?
  • how often will I need to dress up?
  • can this item be mixed or swapped with a basic piece (like a neutral skirt or jeans,) to create multiple outfits?
  • is it practical for this event?
  • will I be able to wash and re-wear this item? 
  • how many ways can I wear this piece? 

Below is a sampling of the basic wardrobe items I brought to the beach. In fact, this compilation is a bit of a summer-standby right now. Pardon the blurry picture.

// sweat jacket // comfortable and easy to throw on, a sweat jacket is a must for the beach, especially if you are vacationing early in the year. they look cute with shorts and kept me cozy on our nightly walks to the pier.

// t-shirts // i practically live in t-shirts during the summer, especially my favorite Burnout Shirtail Tees from Kohls. timeless, classic, and simple to dress up or down, t-shirts are flat, so you can pack several and still have room for that extra book. ;) pair with shorts for a casual, beachy look, or with a maxi skirt or palazzo pants for a day on the town.

// cami // yes, layering for modesty purposes is a must, even on the beach. try something neutral, like this brown cami.

// shorts // when i wasn't wearing my swim suit, you could usually find me in a comfy pair of cargo shorts. i'd add a tee, one or two pieces of simple, pretty jewelry, flip-flops, and voila! great for lounging on the waterfront, a jaunt to the grocery store, casual dining experience, or pelican-watching on the balcony.

// palazzo pants //  one of my favorite trends right now and a fun, breezy twist on maxi skirt. though i only ended up wearing them once, i was pleasantly surprised at how great they were on the beach. cool and comfortable, yet stylish and more chic then shorts. perhaps not the most practical for beach wear, but palazzo's are a great option for shopping or sightseeing.

// swim suit // no trip to the beach would be complete without a swimsuit. duh. in the next few days i'll be posting on how to create your own suit that is still modest and cute without the price-tag.

// cross-body purse // my mom sent this purse to me while i was in California last year, and i immediately fell in love. it goes with literally everything, and is absolutely perfect for almost any casual activity.

// jewelry // keep your accessories to the minimum. after all, how often are you going to dress up? a few pieces that can be mixed and matched, like my silver bracelet and antique-gold bird and cage earrings, (difficult to see in photo,) can work for both casual and dressier occasions. i packed four pairs of earrings, two necklaces, and two bracelets.

// hair scarf // hair scarves, in my opinion, are the perfect, boho-inspired, feminine accessory. i make my own, and wear them wrapped around a bun, or as a fun alternative to a headband.

// sun glasses // no description needed. :)

// crop top // who said crop-tops can't be worn modestly? this off-white beauty from American Eagle is one of my most favorite pieces ever. i throw it over a light tee or cami for a breezy, carefree look.

// maxi // last but not least, every girl should own at least one neutral-colored maxi skirt. you just never know when the parents might decide on a side-trip to the classy seaport village of Wilmington. . .

I hope this post inspires you to reevaluate your packing habits! Of course I also recommend including lots of sunscreen, (take it from an expert on scorched skin,) EOS lipbalm, flip-flops. . .and a way to access the internet. ;) 


  1. Could you post a DIY for the hair scarf? I love it!

    1. I'm actually going to begin selling my hairscarves soon. I'll keep everyone posted! :)

  2. I must admit I kinda laughed when you mentioned packing light for the beach in the last post.... I'm still convinced that it's impossible to pack lightly for the Pacific NW coast. My beach packing tends to be pretty comprehensive since the coast in the NW has unpredictable weather year round (meaning about 3 different weights of jackets/coats could be needed any time of year :P ) *and* it can involve every activity from shopping in cute beach towns to hiking through wet coastal forests or getting covered in sand from digging moats and building castles. Buuuut, maybe I'll just have to try a bit harder, right?? I love the outfits you chose... and the pictures from the last post were so cute!!

    1. Lol. I'm sure packing for west coast beaches is very different. Almost every time I've gone to the beach in OR or Cali, it was FREEZING. Maybe I should have you guest post on packing for a *cold* beach trip. :P haha. Someday Anna and I are going to make it back to OR, and we are all going to the beach. Sound like a plan??