The absolute best piece of packing advice I ever received (and subsequently doled out) is to pack in a singular color palette. In other words, if you only include similarly hued items in your suitcase, then everything can feasibly be mixed and matched, which means more outfit possibilities and fewer headaches. It's my travel trick, and I rarely detour from it.
I recently headed down to Key West, Florida, for the launch of Target's collaboration with Vineyard Vines. (You know the brand. It's the one with all the breezy, versatile separates that make you want to head to a beach, piña colada in hand.) Keeping my mantra in mind, I cobbled together pieces in a minimalist palette of blue, white, and black, which also felt like a subtle nod toward the classic nautical trend. But I didn't stop there; I also decided to challenge myself to assemble an affordable vacation wardrobe I could re-wear all summer long that rang in under $300. Did I pull it off? Was I successful? Continue onward to find out.
First things first: the bikini. If you're headed somewhere warm, you should always have a swimsuit in tow, whether it's a one-piece or a bikini. I went for a blue-and-white ruffled one, and for out-of-water lounging, I tied a linen button-down shirt around my waist for extra coverage. Sadly, I still managed to get sunburned, but I digress.
I know that denim cutoffs are the popular choice for tropical locales, but I'm really feeling the khaki pants and shorts trend right now. It still feels lightweight and airy, but the neutral tone comes across as more polished to me. Also, you could easily swap out this white blouse for a bikini top and wear it on a boat—so versatile!
Last but not least, an evening outfit. If you're somewhere sunny, then you probably won't ever need heels or anything overly dressed up; a breezy top and skirt will do. To finish, a bamboo-handle bag and flat lace-up sandals.