Raise your hand if you have a beach vacation coming up this summer! For so many of us, summertime equals beach time and with that comes a packing list that will carry you from the pool to shopping and back to the beach before dinner. Packing is second only to TSA security lines when it comes frustration levels so I thought I’d try and provide some packing pointers for those of you who are about to head to the ocean! I’ve enlisted the help of local fashion blogger and RVA native Stephanie Whitman at Drunk on Vogue for the best ways to pack for a beach vacation. And she should know: with a boyfriend who lives right outside of Miami, Whitman is on a plane once a month to visit with a bag full of bikinis and beach towels.
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“I love the culture of Miami. I definitely bring lighter clothing when I visit because it stays as warm as summer nearly year-round. The first time I was there in December, my body was thoroughly confused because I was walking around in a t-shirt and shorts - while listening to Christmas music!” (Photo courtesy Stephanie Whitman)
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Whitman may travel light but she “definitely [packs] lots of swimsuits! Since they take a while to dry, I suggest packing more than one.” She likes packing separates that are easy to mix-and-match so it feels like you have way more options. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Whitman)
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Dresses are a summer holiday dream; not only are they light and airy, they’re an instant outfit and take up less space in your suitcase! (Photo courtesy Stephanie Whitman)
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“I am absolutely crazy about 310 Rosemont! I recently discovered it hiding in Stony Point Fashion Park and fell in love with their diversity - I can’t imagine anyone walking into this store and not finding something they love.” (Photo courtesy Stephanie Whitman)
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Take advantage of the tropical vibes of a beach vacation and rock those palm tree prints. This top from 310 Rosemont would pair perfectly with a pair of white skinny jeans or tucked into a pink midi skirt for a beachfront dinner one evening. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Whitman)
Richmond magazine: I see from your blog and Instagram that you travel to southern Florida regularly. What brings you down there so often?
Stephanie Whitman: My boyfriend just happens to live in southern Florida so it’s given me the opportunity to travel down to visit him about once every other month for the past year.
RM: Awesome! That means you’ve probably got packing down to a science - can you walk us through your packing process when you're getting ready to head down south?
SW: Packing is definitely my specialty! I focus on basics first and I try to make sure every piece is made of thin and breathable material to put up with the heat! I pack at least one pair of pants, 2-3 pairs of shorts with tops I can mix and match, 4-5 dresses, sandals, one pair of heels and plenty of sunnies and swimsuits!
RM: What’s your number one secret packing tip?
SW: My key packing tip is to roll your clothing instead of folding them. If you pack each piece in like a roll of paper towels, you’ll save so much space. If you pack hats in your luggage, stack them and put any accessories or underwear in the crown to hold the shape. No matter where you’re heading, pack only versatile pieces— ones you can dress up or down with either a pair of heels or sandals, a statement necklace or a denim jacket. If you do this, you’ll be able to make a plethora of outfits out of only a handful of pieces.