Why My Vacay Style Is Way Better Than My Real-Life Look
I have a funny relationship with vacations. I live for them — I'm a firm believer in a change of scenery as a balm for just about anything that might be ailing you. What's funny, though, is that I often find that no matter how gorgeous the locale or stimulating the scenery, what inspires me the most about my jaunts is the way I approach my wardrobe. That makes me sound insane — I'm aware of this. But there's something about living out of a suitcase, and packing really purposefully, that really inspires me.
At home, some might say my style is sloppy (mom, I'm looking at you). I dress for utility, for my life with two small kids and a host of city-related obstacles that prevent me from reaching for my favorite dresses or on-point accessories on the regular. But on vacation, my edited-down wardrobe is far dreamier. Last week, my family escaped to St. Barths for a much-needed warm-weather escapade, and it was a joy to get dressed every day: My bright Ace & Jig dresses, stylish sun hat and colorful sunnies were my go-to gear. Now, let's be clear, is it more fun to get dressed in the tropics than in gray, winter-weary New York City? Yes, resoundingly. But beyond the color story and abundance of gorgeous Stone Fox Swim bikinis and fun sandals, it's probably also a matter of math: when I only have an edited-down collection to start with, it's inevitable that I'll wind up looking more put-together because I planned carefully to create a perfectly curated selection. I have a friend who swears by the 80/20 rule, do you know it? She says that if you pay close attention, you'll realize that you wear 20 percent of your wardrobe 80 percent of the time. Think about that for a minute, and you'll probably realize that it's completely true.
Which brings me to today. I'm back at home in New York, where the weather is still bewilderingly gray. But since I'm still in vacation mode (vitamin D is a wonderful thing, Bikini pals), I'm hatching a plan to make my real-life wardrobe more aligned with my on-the-road, idealized version. It feels a bit like New Year's Day, with a fresh resolution to be more purposeful about my choices and to ditch a lot of the 80 percent that doesn't give me those good vacation-style feels. Out go the sloppy tees, in come the chic wrap tops and jumpsuits that make me look (and feel) way more put-together and stylish. Yesterday I donned a pair of colorful fringe hoops for a grocery store trip at 9 a.m. It felt a little funny, but when someone complimented them in the checkout line, I realized I'd nailed it. Vacay style wins — even when you're back at home.