Packing guide // Kauai Wedding

 

What: Destination wedding

Where: Kauai, Hawaii

Venue: The Sheraton Kauai

When: Late June

Duration: 4 days

Special Notes: As a plus one, I’d never met the bride or groom so there were no girlfriends to call for dress code tips or “what are you wearing” advice.

DAY 1

Catamaran Outfit

Event: Catamaran Cruise to the Napoli Coast

Time of Day: Midday to Sunset

Dress code: Not stated

What I wore:

  • Printed bikini from Yamamay (find a similar style here). I discovered this bikini brand while vacationing in Florence and have yet to find a better fit for a natural-looking padded top and Brazilian cut bottom. 
  • Off-the-shoulder eyelet tunic from Nordstrom (similar style here).
  • Willow hat from Brixton. This hat was an impulse buy while waiting for the man to finish surfboard shopping at Proof Lab in San Rafael. Since then, I’ve gotten a shocking amount of use out of this $58 purchase. 
  • Mossimo platform sandals from Target. I have to be honest, I bought this sandals on sale for $9.99 as an experiment. I figured that the platform Birkenstock trend was a step too trendy, even for me and something that I wasn’t fully on board with. That said, an extra 2 inches of leg with the comfort of a flat still intrigued me. I told myself that I’d only wear them when I wasn’t around the man, that way I could limit the “what on earth are those” comments. Well, not only does he think these shoes are “pretty cool” they are also surprisingly flattering and have also been worn down to their soles. I think it may be time to invest in the real deal here.

The Result: I felt perfectly comfortable, appropriate and just a bit sexy.

Welcome Drinks Outfit

Event: Welcome Cocktail Party on the beach

Time of Day: 8 pm

Dress code: Beachy casual

What I wore:

The Result: I felt perfectly comfortable, appropriate and just a bit sexy.

DAY 2

Beach Surfing Day Outfit

Event: Rent an open air Jeep, explore the island and find some surf

Time of Day: Daytime

Dress code: “Babe, we are leaving in 5 minutes”…

What I wore:

The Result: All the bits and pieces stayed exactly where I wanted them to.

Day 3

Kauai Wedding Outfit

Event: Wedding at the Sheraton Kauai Resort

Time of Day: 5pm

Dress code: Semi-formal

What I wore:

  • Coral printed, high low dress from BCBG (newest version available here).  I originally bought this dress for a trip to Greece 3 years ago and this is only the second time I’ve had the opportunity to wear it. Since then it has traveled to 3 weddings abroad and been borrowed by numerous friends for that hard to fulfill “breezy cocktail” dress code. 
  • Gold strappy heels from Nine West (similar pair here).
  • Hand beaded clutch from on a trip abroad 5-6 years ago. This clutch always gets a compliment or two and I wish I could remember where exactly I was when I found it.
  • Hair/makeup: A simply blow out and bronzed glowing skin, I was pressed for time so I let my tan do most of the work for me.

The Result: I have never felt more spot on with a dress code. Guest arrived in linen suits and bright chiffon dresses and I fit right in. -Sigh of relief-

DAY 4

Airport Travel Outfit

Event: Straight from post wedding brunch to the flight home

Time of Day: Morning/ Afternoon

Dress code: Not specified

What I wore:

  • Silk crop top from Forever 21.
  • That same Willow hat from Brixton. I have learned never to pack my hats in my bag, even if it’s a carry-on. It is far easier (and chicer) to incorporate them into your travel outfit. 
  • High-waisted printed silk pants (similar style here).

The Result: What’s more comfortable than fashionable pajamas?

And finally, a few snapshots from the weekend. Enjoy!
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More about the trip coming soon but for now I hope this helps. Enjoy!

💋 Brooks

Why it’s harder to pack for 3 days vs. 3 weeks.

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As you have probably noticed, I’ve been traveling a lot this year. When I say a lot, what I mean is that I’ve been out-of-town 3 out of 4 weekends a month for the past 6 months.

 

Turning 30 means I’ve officially entered into what is commonly known as the second wave of wedding seasons. Between bachelorette parties, bridal showers and destination weekends, my free time has been taken over by shopping for, planning for, packing for and unpacking from a constant stream of 3 to 5 day trips.

 

It’s not that I’m complaining, these short jaunts have been a welcome reprieve from the extensive planning that goes into a 1 to 3 week vacation.  I take smaller yet more consistent chunks of time away from work and, in turn, feel far less burn out than usual. And honestly, who really needs more than 5 days in Hawaii? But here is the thing I didn’t quite expect – packing for 3 to 5 days is much harder than packing for a month away. Let me explain…

 

  1. I’m now traveling with a man. Yes, a man who thinks that bringing any bag larger than a weekender is considered over-packing. It doesn’t matter if the trip is for 2 nights or 2 weeks, he will still pack a barely full carry-on with three outfits inside. You would think that after a year and a half together I would get over my need to appear low maintenance and spontaneous yet also always impeccably and appropriately dressed. Alas, no, I will forever obsess about being prepared for every possible last-minute situation he could throw at me. “Surfing lessons? Beach volleyball tournament?” “Why yes, I have the perfect bikini that won’t fall off or ride up and it just happens to be lying here” …..”Last minute drinks with my business contact you’ve never met that happens to be vacationing here with his wife?” “I’d love to, let me just throw on that fashionably artistic yet conservative shift dress I packed last minute.” You can see where I am going with this.
  2. I may be a bit OCD when it comes to dress codes. I’ve found that most people simply want to be sure they don’t look like they are “trying too hard” or are “inappropriately dressed” for events; I, on the other hand, have a full checklist of requirements. I’d prefer to be over-dressed to under-dressed — I can blame my Italian grandmother for that. I’m sure that my therapist would tell you it’s my way of countering the anxiety I feel in new social situations. You know the drill, obsess over the elements you can control because you have no influence over the rest of it.
  3. Method traveling. We can talk more about this concept at a later date but in summary it is the term my sister coined for my obsession with character dressing while I travel. I have always thought of my life as a series of short scenes from a movie and myself as the heroine (as well as the costume designer of course). “What would my character wear as she sauntered through a marketplace in Barcelona?”… “And what about when she first sees him across the cafe sipping espresso?”… “What dress is she wearing, standing on the cliff of a beach wedding, that perfectly swirls around her as the wind catches it?” My character clearly has a consistent sense of style and individuality but she fully emerges herself into each experience. In my opinion, her (my) wardrobe should reflect that. And, let’s be honest, it makes for some beautiful photos. My therapist would also have plenty of thoughts on this one, but I’ll stick with my theory that I’ve always had a penchant for the theatrical, even if it’s only in my mind.
  4. Ok, it really is ridiculous to pack more than a small piece of luggage for a weekend away. Smaller suitcase equals less space equals tighter editing. Gone are the days of having 3 outfit options for every occasion as well as a few extra pieces “just because there is extra room.” I’ve learned to edit, to commit to my outfits beforehand and yes, I’ll say it, to pack less shoes. I’ve finally excepted that shoes are the killer of a perfectly packed suitcase.

 

So after countless weekends away, I feel as if I have almost perfected the art of the short-term, condensed packing. And because I would like to save you all from the hours of Pinterest scrolling, Google searching and Facebook stalking of your most stylish friends, I’ve decided to breakdown some of my recent trips into outfits and corresponding events. I’ll leave the rest up to you.

 

Note: Yes, I’ll fully admit that I have searched the hashtag #weddingseason to determine what’s appropriate to wear for various events. 

 

I hope you enjoy and safe travels!

💋 Brooks

Travel Journal // 5 o’clock in Portland

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This last month has been a bit of a whirlwind with work and it has forced me to be on the road a bit more than usual. I’ve spent so much time behind the camera lately that I haven’t had a chance to play in front of it. During the day, I’m the Creative Director for an activewear company — check out my designs at BBDfitness — and this month we had the opportunity to showcase our newest collection on the FashioNXT runway in Portland, Oregon.

The constant fittings, meetings, shoots and travel made me adjust my typical work wardrobe from boots and dresses to a comfortable, easy yet stylish athleisure look. My go-to items? My favorite worn-in motocycle boots, sneaker wedges, flannel shirts and leather leggings. My favorite accessories? My Canon Rebel and some electric blue hair.

Some of my favorite moments from Portland and Seattle:

  • Finding amazing industrial walls and warehouses to shoot
  • Eating my favorite sea-salt dark chocolate caramels at Boehm’s Candies in Issaquah, WA (20 mins outside of Seattle)
  • Shooting with one of my favorite models Taylor Bodine for the new Bleeding Edge collection
  • Sewing alterations at 1 am in my hotel room
  • Exploring the Pearl District with our founder Rachel Sigl and the team

I’m excited to share some of the new designs from the BBDfitness Fall/Winter Collection with you on the blog as well as some of my favorite shots from the shoot above. Stay tuned for more this week on the blog.

💋 Brooks

Weekend Guide / Point Reyes