Packing for a trip to the beach with your beau doesn’t need to be complicated. You just need a checklist. It’s true that his idea of the perfect summer vacation wardrobe – gym shorts, flip-flops, a hoodie, one t-shirt – is lacking, but there’s also no need to freak out while trying to expand his fashion horizons. So, take a deep breath and think about what you’ll be doing on your trip. Tropical vacations are usually a combination of days at the shore and evenings and occasional afternoons exploring a nearby city or the local beachside neighborhood. That should tell you a lot, like that you don’t need all ten of those meticulously planned outfits for him and you to look like a stylish couple. Rather than go crazy packing, turn to the experts for guidance. It really doesn’t take a lot of attention for your packing job to be spot on.
TWO PIECES FOR HIM, TWO-PIECE FOR HER
Organization is key when you’re packing for any trip, so approach your summer vacation with some semblance of order. One easy way to do this is to think in pairs. You’re packing both halves of your bikini for you, and a pair of swim trunks with sunglasses for him. When it comes to style, try a lettuce edge hem on your two-piece and surprise him with mural print trunks. Trendy but easy, right?
MORE FOR YOU, LESS FOR HIM
It’s a fact of life, really. His swim trunks can easily double as beach shorts with a t-shirt thrown on top. You, on the other hand, have a little more work to do. Sure, you could steal one of his button-downs and drape is seductively over your two-piece, but why settle for that? Pack more for you than him. A simple flounce dress paired with leather sandals and round mirrored glasses are perfect for strolling in the sand. Bring along a book and you can go for a nice dinner afterward and upstage him with your smarts and Belle-like charm.
MAKE HIM DRESS UP
Casual for the men in our life is often so relaxed it fails to look like fashion at all. He might gladly arrive at the airport in that beach t-shirt and swim trunks without a care in the world. Easing up on vacation is excellent, but only within reason. Get your guy to dress up right for your wait in the airport and plane trip to the tropics. This isn’t hard to organize. All you need is a manly equivalent to whatever you end up wearing. If you’re traveling in a flouncy blouse and flared jeans, have him accompany you in designer jeans and a nice button-down. Convince him to wear a belt and tuck his shirt in and you’ll have that cute couple aesthetic down pat.
KEEP THINGS FRESH
We don’t just mean under the sheets. A blouse and jeans are great for the airport, but they shouldn’t be the only alternative outfits you bring along. Consider packing a poplin shirtdress and wedged sandals for those trips to seaside shopping outlets and local museums. For him, think polos and dressy shorts. Swap out his flip-flops for boat shoes or loafers and you’ll have it made. These make great semi-formal dinner outfits too if you want to invest in a proper date night out.
REPURPOSE YOUR OFFICEWEAR
Wearing office clothes on vacation probably sounds like a terrible idea, but hear us out. We’re not asking you to wear a suit or bring your shiny shoes. There just might be something to packing that black-and-white striped dress you wear for casual Friday. For him, toss in an extra pair of jeans and maybe even a trendy sweater. You’re going to be warm down south, but looking all dolled up and sophisticated in a 4-star restaurant with air-conditioning is worth the minor hassle.
Packing for a vacation away with your significant other doesn’t have to be stressful. You just need to plan a bit. Take these pointers to heart as you arrange your getaway wardrobes for a warm weather week that fun, relaxing, and super Instagrammable.
— Julie Grossman