What to Wear When It’s Scorchingly Hot
The perfect capsule summer collection for a beach vacation!
We recently visited beautiful, wild, and tropical Cayo Coco, Cuba. And while we had an amazing stay, the temperatures were formidable. Mix in high humidity and you quickly realize that what may work for a sunny city summer day certainly won’t be comfortable this close to the equator.
Thankfully, I truly love planning capsule collections for travel. So I began planning my outfits a month in advance. The end result fits in a carry-on. I laughed because Dusan literally packed 3 times as much as me, and most people assumed the multiple bags were mine, not his.
My Tropical, Monochrome Uniform
You can see from my Instagram that my uniform quickly became this chic but playful monochrome outfit. Consisting of an organic cotton button down and white cutoff denim shorts, it was versatile, low-maintenance, and, more importantly, very cool. I mean temperature-wise, but perhaps looks-wise too?
This breezy button-down was my absolute savior. I kept the sleeves permanently rolled up, but I did play with partially-tucking one side in or knotting the ends around my waistline. Or, when I was feeling extra-cheeky, I would leave it open over a bikini top. The added bonus of this shirt is that, despite pretty much living in it for a week, it required zero washing. This is due to both the generous cut, meaning no fabric came in contact with my underarms, and the breezy organic cotton loose-weave fabric. Had this of been a synthetic fabric, it would have started to smell within hours. As if you needed another reason to steer clear of cheap, plastic-y fabrics, right?
A Romantic, Bohemian Sun Dress
A lightweight dress is an absolute must for beach vacations! And who could resist this gorgeous LBD, complete with unfussy ruffles and a waist tie? This one from Outerknown is a powerhouse: the design is made for movement, its fabric is sustainable, and its also made in partnership with Piece & Co—a collective supporting female fabric artisans in India. The Canyon dress dances with the slightest breeze because made of thin, organic cotton. I wore it to dinner many times, and on early morning walks along the beach.
I often paired this dress with hair slicked back into a bun and these ethereal earrings by Lalimalu. These rose gold and sea shell beauties are hand made, ethically and sustainably, in Bali. I get many compliments when I wear these! They are an investment, but I’ve also never seen anything else like them. These earrings also pair perfectly with tank tops, bandeaus, or cotton button downs. Go ahead and skip the statement makeup, because these glistening treasures will be the center of attention!
See my full makeup, skin, and hair care routine featuring these Lalimalu angle wing earrings.
The Petite Rattan Bag
When I was first writing out my packing list, I had included THREE different handbags. Three. One black cross body, one clutch, and one larger woven shoulder bag. They each served a different, but somewhat important, purpose for vacation.
But then my beautiful HFS Collective half-moon rattan bag arrived. And I realized that this single bag was all I needed. I wore it every day and it went with everything. The vegan suede strap is also made from recycled plastic water bottles! And they’re also detachable, so you can carry it as a clutch. Plus, it’s lightweight. Because who wants to be lugging something heavy on their shoulder in the scorching heat, right?
California-based HFS Collective makes ethical, sustainable, vegan bags. Their half-moon bag comes in three colours, and in all honesty, I’m tempted to pick up either the cream or black version because I love this one so much!
Pack the Right Layers
Under-things are just as important to consider when you are traveling somewhere tropical. I brought two bralettes by Bleusalt (made from Beechwood trees!) and one lace bralette to layer under tops and dresses. I’m at a point in my life where I avoid underwires and padded bras whenever possible. But, of course, do what feels right to you. Try to keep movement and comfort in mind when selecting your most intimate packing items. The wrong bra and panty will trap heat and moisture in places you don’t want ‘em.
My Hot Weather Capsule Packing List
Here is my capsule-clothing packing list for a tropical beach vacation:
- 2 cotton tank tops
- 1 cotton tee shirt
- 1 cotton button down shirt
- Cut-off Jean shorts
- Linen mini skirt
- Cotton Beach pants
- 1 cotton sundress
- 1 short party dress
- 2 swimsuits
- Flip flops
- Heeled sandals
- Small, convertible handbag
- Beach Tote bag
Don’t forget your face sunscreen, body sunscreen, and a broad-rimmed hat! I brought 2 hats because I knew I would wear them every day and wanted options.