Packing for an Island Getaway? Our Fashion Editor Swears by These Easy Looks

(W)heels up.
Last Updated
Sep 8, 2021

As much as I love getting dressed up for a day in New York, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of planning outfits for someplace new. In some ways, it’s a challenge to learn the modes of dress before you visit (each locale comes with its own sartorial conventions); in others, it’s an opportunity to expand your horizons and invite newness into your wardrobe. For my latest overseas trip—a week-long getaway in the tiny island of Mustique—the beach vacation outfits I packed were as polished and as playful as the remote oasis itself.

For those who aren’t familiar, Mustique is a windward island tucked away in the archipelago of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It’s known for its row of elite guests: Princess Margaret first gave the island her royal stamp of approval in the ’60s (her Mustique home even made a cameo on The Crown), and everyone from Kate Moss to Kate Middleton has been visiting on repeat since. 

As a celebrity playground, the island’s sense of style is refined, but laid back; conservative, yet open to adventuring. “Barefoot luxury” is an idiom that hits Mustique’s casual elegance square on the head. Women—sans-makeup—appear in embroidered caftans, while men opt for button-downs and belted trousers, ditching shoes altogether. It was the perfect place to experiment with outfits that I couldn’t test-drive in New York's West Village.

Continue ahead for everything that I packed, all of which is ideal for your next tropical getaway.


For the Pool

Photos Courtesy Of Danielle Naer

The first thing on my travel agenda is always unwinding. The minute I deplaned, I had humble plans of hanging poolside with a great read and a heady cocktail. For the occasion, I opted for a clean, structural ensemble in a neutral palette: Jade Swim’s asymmetrical one-piece, paired with crisp linen shorts, The Row’s platform Ginza sandals, and a pair of oversized YSL frames. Together with Marc Jacobs’ mini tote (which happens to be the *perfect* size for a standard book, sunscreen, and sunnies case), this was the all-star team needed to shake off life’s doldrums.


For the Boat

Photos Courtesy Of Danielle Naer

When island-hopping, I always opt for a conservative cover-up situation—one that ensures you’ll feel buttoned-up as you transition from dipping in the sea to lunching on an offshore isle. Devon Windsor’s Nola dress caught my eye for its retro-chic polo collar (which dominated the Fall/Winter 2021 runways) and its opacity (the knit is dense enough to double as a dress). I paired it with a straw beach bag from Jimmy Choo, which carried a change of clothes and a towel, and finished the look with a pair of designer slides from Hermès—because wearing heels on a boat is a non-starter. 


For the Beach

Photos Courtesy Of Danielle Naer

As far as beach vacation outfits go, it doesn’t get much more rudimentary than this: a crisp white button-down (my favorite piece of the moment), a pair of broken-in denim shorts, a bikini, and an oversized Paravel tote—which doubles as my carry-on. Each serve multiple purposes in my vacation wardrobe: the button-down can be layered over a sleeveless sundress for lunch; the shorts can be worn plain over a bathing suit for afternoon beach walks. The Hermès sandals were the star in every look I wore all trip. Next time, I’ll pack these exclusively. 


For the Shops

Photos Courtesy Of Danielle Naer

Confession: I first spotted this minidress nearly a year ago in a behind-the-scenes video that Staud designer Sarah Staudinger posted on Instagram, and I’ve since been scouring collections for it. The geometric lines and crisp color palette added a nostalgic ’60s feel to the island jungle backdrop. This whole look was inspired by Fendi’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection, where mod dresses and demure visors ruled the day. With a pair of short block-heeled sandals and a wicker mini tote, this look felt the right amount of prim and proper for a day of bobbing in and out of boutiques. All I’m missing is a pair of white wrist-length gloves.


For Dining Out

Photos Courtesy Of Danielle Naer

St. Vincent and the Grenadines are more conservative when it comes to clothing, so I wanted to make sure that the pieces I packed for evenings in town were respectful, as well as true to my own sensibilities. Cap-sleeved dresses with elongated hemlines were a mainstay in my dinner outfit lineup. Even if you favor neutral hues, there’s no better time to infuse your wardrobe with color than a sunset-soaked beachfront dinner. This FARM Rio dress was practically made for popping against rosy skin that had just spent hours bronzing in the Caribbean sun. My secret weapons? Jacquemus’ Mini Chiquito bag, By Alona’s seashell necklace, and a Kerastase hair mask—because my color-treated hair was no match for nine days of saltwater.

newsletter block

Luxe Your Inbox

Subscribe now. No spam; just glam.



Subscribe for special sales and early access to brands you love.