Spring Break Style

MARCH 2015


After months of grey days, bitter cold, or a dreadful mix of both, spring is here! We were hoping it would come early this year :) And with March in full swing, you know what that means? Spring Break! Do any of you have trips planned in the next couple of weeks? Where are you headed? As you prepare for your tropical vacations, we have a couple of packing essentials, along with tricks, tips, and recommendations.

1. Cover-Ups: Every beach-goer needs a good cover-up. Whether it’s a romper, rash guard or kaftan, it’s always handy to have something to throw on over your suit for sun protection or an added layer. Abbie Sitkoff, buyer atBig Island Swim & Surf, a swimwear shop in Wayzata, says that cover-up trends are quite varied this year. Some of her favorite styles?

  • Crochet cover-ups—They make you feel covered up while still showing some skin.

  • Rompers are a huge trend right now—Pants-style rompers are a great piece to throw over your suit to wear to lunch/dinner after a day at the beach.

  • Maxi dresses with cut-outs on the side

  • Rashguards are very on-trend! We have a style that has a drawstring at the side, which ruches to allow the customer to make it longer and wear it as a cover-up. {The rashguard above features UPF 50 sun protection, a great alternative to slathering sunscreen if you have sensitive skin!}

{Some of Abbie’s favorite brands for good cover-ups include Melissa OdabashBeccaCoolchange, and Mikoh.}

2. Accessories: You can’t hit the beach without the proper accessories—a good floppy hat, sunglasses, and sandals are all must-haves. Abbie says that straw hats in naturals and golds are selling especially well this year, both in wide-brimmed hats and fedoras. Ray Bans are classic sunnies, and she says that mirrored aviators are also very popular this year. And for comfortable, stylish footwear, she recommends Vix, Havaianas, and Tkees. “Customers like styles with a printed/patterned foot bed. Also, the “glamour” collection from Havaianas sells well, as the sandals have a gem on the thong strap.”

3. Swimsuits: What’s a warm-weather vacations without a new swimsuit?? We love bright colors and patterns, and as for cuts, there are a ton of great trends this year. Here’s what Abbie has been noticing:

  • Cropped swimsuits and rashguards are doing very well. Pairing a cropped rashguard with a swim bottom is a cute and sporty look that has become especially popular with paddle boarders.

  • Hi-Neck styles are blowing out! Customers love this style because it provides you with sun coverage on the chest area {which burns easily} and still looks super cute.

  • Crochet and macramé styles continue to be popular. Crochet backs are a big trend right now, as well as detailing on the straps of halter tops and in the middle of bandeau tops.

  • Athletic inspired swimwear is very trendy right now as well, we just picked up a new brand called Next. They started out as a stand-up paddle board brand and have branched out into swim. The tops are almost sports bra like and are very secure, they also come in fun prints and many tops are reversible.

{A few of Abbie’s favorite brands for on-trend swimwear include VitaminAL SpaceSeafolly, and Vix.}

4. Beach Reads: Vacations are a perfect time to finally relax after months of activities and running around. It’s also a perfect time to catch up on some good books! Sue Zumberge, owner of SubText bookstore in St. Paul, suggested a few of the books on her spring reading list:

  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen {A romantic comedy that isn’t just about its light humor, but about second chances and chasing after what is most important in life.}

  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie {A story of race, identity and discovering oneself.}

  • The Martian by Andy Weir {“Even if you don’t like Sci Fi, you love this one.” Mark is the first man to land on Mars. And he may just be the first man to die there too.}

  • Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler {“This is written by a Midwest guy from Eau Clair!” And, set in a small Wisconsin town where old friends return for a wedding, it’s a look at the despair and triumphs of the human condition through the lens of friendship and love.}

5. Pack it up and jet away: So, you have the essentials, but now you have to pack it all up! And that’s the hard part. With airline fees, we like to try and fit everything in a carry-on, but that can be quite a problem when you’re an over-packer! Luckily, we got some tips from Natalie Johnson, local photo stylist, jet-setter and packer extraordinaire, to help us slim down our bags and hit the road! Here’s what she said:

  • The Essentials: “For warm-weather trips, I always have a maxi dress of some sort, which makes a great, versatile day-to-evening look. Lately a jumpsuit is always a must-have—it can be worn with gladiator sandals during the day and an awesome wedge/heel at night! Don’t forget a killer cover up that you can rock at the beach but will be perfect for happy hour cocktails as well. Other warm weather must have? A great sunscreen for your skin!”

  • Avoid Over-Packing: “I suggest planning outfits for day/evening, and pack in layers so you can partner different things together so the outfit changes, but you are not adding extra pieces. Laying the “looks” out before you travel and taking a picture really helps. I always take out the last few items I tend to throw in at the last minute thinking I’ll need them. Unless you’re are going to some remote place that won’t offer you a convenience store or shopping of some sort, remember the best part of travel is to marvel at something new, and embrace the new surroundings. So if you do by chance forget something, treat yourself! It will help you remember the vacation!”

  • Space-Saving Tips: “I swear by rolling clothes! {Helps eliminate wrinkles and saves on space.} For toiletries, I fill travel bottles {from my full-sized bottles at home}—it’s an easy way to save room in the zip lock baggy. You can also save room if you layer your airport look—wear your jacket or pashmina and throw jewelry in your carry on.

Thanks for your tips, Abbie and Natalie! We’re so excited for spring break travels, and we hope all of you have fun, relaxing vacations in the next couple of weeks! And don’t forget to share some of your favorite photos with us!

And for more inspiration on your travels, follow Big Island on Facebook and Natalie on Instagram and Facebook!