If the big chill of winter has you booking a trip to a tropical paradise, then start packing now. And if fun in the sun is a mere mirage on snowy evenings, you can still do a little dreaming of sandy beaches and the ultimate vacation wardrobe... whenever you do finally escape from the deep freeze.
Here's the shortlist of essentials for a glam getaway:
—Start with swimwear. If you're headed to a beach vacation, then swimwear and cover-ups are probably at the top of your packing list. Thanks to online shopping, you can easily access swimwear any time of year no matter where you live. If you know you've got a tropical trip coming up, then start the process early so you can order several styles to find the best fits. This year, the biggest trends are the one-shoulder suits, floral prints and hot pink and purple. Pick a color palette and build your getaway wardrobe around one or two hues to simplify packing.
—Add several cover-ups. What you put on top of those swimsuits can be the key to making your whole travel wardrobe work from day to night, on and off the beach. And you're in luck this resort season. Think flowing caftans, loose wide-leg pants, long tunic tops and sheer maxi dresses. Throw in a generous oversized knit sweater or lightweight nylon anorak for chillier nights. Easy, breezy. Mix and match and layer over swimwear.
—Don't forget your jeans. Since you're trying to pare down to the bare essentials when you pack for a vacation, rely on a few classics to ground your wardrobe. Denim is a tried-and-true basic that easily blends with other warm-weather separates. This spring, cropped flares are popping up in designer collections that are frayed, hand-sanded, ripped and distressed. Pair your denim with your swimsuit or a denim jacket or chambray shirt. Stick in a pair of white jeans to wear with everything.
—Wear the unexpected. Vacation is the perfect time to experiment with your wardrobe. Get adventurous. Wear a satin bomber jacket over your bikini top. Wear a comfy tracksuit on the plane. Shake it all off at the Tiki bar in a fringed slip dress. Go incognito. Now's your time to be a fashion diva. You'll be back to the Michelin Man parka and snow boots soon enough.
—Change it up with accessories. These are easy to pack and will give you plenty of ways to switch things up. First of all, comfort is critical. Wearing heels on a plane is not a great idea. Your feet may not have seen the light of day since October, but that doesn't mean you want to have blisters before you even get to the beach. This spring, one of the biggest trends is wearing socks with sandals...a much better option! Save the flip-flops for later. Fanny packs (or the new "belt bags") are perfect travel companions. Giant scarves double as wraps and sarong cover-ups. Big-brimmed hats in packable styles save your skin. And of course, always remember to take your sunglasses. The palm trees are always better when seen behind rose-colored glasses!
(SET IMAGE)(SET CAPTION)Sheer tunic cover-ups are must-haves for a beach vacation. Vix cotton ruffle tunic (www.vixpaulahermanny.com).(END CAPTION)
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.