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Sophie Elkus

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What to Pack: Amalfi Coast

Raise your hand if you’re a serial over-packer.

Have you ever done the squat-on-the-airport-floor-while-rearranging-your-luggage move? Made BFF’s with the airline agent who turned a blind eye to the scale? (They don’t accept cash bribes). Made your boyfriend adopt a second carry on since you have three?

If your bag’s been one, two or fifteen pounds overweight in an effort to pack everything you need for a stylish vacation I’ve been there done that and am here to tell the tale: it’s not worth it! Lugging around extra stuff sucks, period. I’m usually very organized and make detailed lists before trips, but was rushing to pack the night before flying to Italy recently and didn’t nail it. I now realize how much easier it would’ve been to ditch the unnecessary pieces I only wore once, or not at all.  At least I had options! Since my friends over at Salt and Wind recently asked me to share my top picks for an Amalfi Coast vaca, I thought I’d do a whole post on it: below find the hero pieces I wore multiple times that embody the beautiful coastal towns of Positano and Capri.

1. Tie Front Shirt

A light button-up like this one by Madewell (I like a subtle stripe or crisp white) will be your jack-of-all-trades top, no matter if you style it over white jeans, a cotton tank dress, or a swimsuit.

2. Dressed-Up Short

Save your cutoffs for another time and instead pack a high-waisted linen or cotton short like these tie-front shorts. Wear them with that tie-front shirt and a hat for a look that is minimalist but elegant.

3. Off-the-Shoulder.. Anything

The look of the summer—off-the-shoulder tops and dresses—epitomizes vacation glamour. Show off your shoulders in white lace, a subtle print, or this blue linen number by MISA.

I also love this striped feminine silhouette, this beachy white lace blouse, and this embroidered denim number.

4. Pop of Red

I love a pop of red but don’t manage to wear it much while going about my day-to-day in LA. There’s something about being in a beautiful setting that inspires me to whip out a brighter color for nighttime, paired with a bright lip and tanned skin. This red dress is just fitted enough to flatter while still maintaining that relaxed vacation vibe—perfect for a sunset cocktail at Le Sirenuse. I also love this gorgeous Self Portrait dress (after my friend Kat wore it); a bit more of a splurge.

5. Classic One-Piece

Yes, you can wear a black bikini anywhere, but I like to channel Gwyn in The Talented Mr. Ripley and pull out a classic one-piece, like this CHROMAT x Bustier Suit, for European getaways. Since you’re more covered in a one-piece, don’t shy from a super low-cut front, open back, or dramatic (in the best way) piping. This scalloped one-piece with a flattering cut-out is also top of my list, and this gorgeous crochet suit is part of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale right now.

6. Boater Hat

Traveling with a hat can be a pain (I know it – this was the last trip I’ll go on without a hat box, after crushing 3 poor hats in the overheard compartment!! #rookiemove). But if there’s a place to deal, it’s Amalfi! A hat is the essential accessory, say, for a photo opp perched on the edge of a Riva boat. Rather than go trendy, take a classic like this Rag & Bone boater—you’ll feel just as glamorous looking back on photos in years to come. If you’re not a fan of the round boater shape, a white fedora with a black ribbon is classic.

7. Cat-Eye Sunglasses

Where else are cat-eyes more appropriate than Amalfi? And white ones by Thierry Lasry at that? Sunnies this classic elevate even the simplest shorts and tees. I also love this more price-friendly pair with a fun shape, and this neutral pair.

8. Chic Beach Bag

You’ll need a beach bag for laying out at chic beach clubs like La Fontelina and any old tote won’t do! I love the pom-poms on this neutral striped Capri Tote. Here’s a more subtle version, too.

9. Statement Jewelry

When it’s August-in-Europe kind of hot, I want anything heavy off my skin. So my jewelry choices are a subtle stud earring or delicate necklace for daytime then a statement piece for dinner. Bold earrings are the easiest way to dress up your look, and they don’t have to be a heavy metal either — look for a beaded, fabric or embellished earring like these drop earrings.

10. Saddle Bag

My go-to bag style for any vacation is usually a hands-free crossbody bag. And for an the Italian coast, I love something neutral with feminine gold accents.

11. Espadrille

The cobblestone streets of Positano and Capri don’t do your stilettos (or ankles) any favors, so go wedge instead. A straw wedge or espadrille in a low-medium height will work with any outfit or time of day, and they’re comfortable enough to wear on shorter travel days. Truth is, Amalfi Coast is so glamorous, I was tempted to swap my sneakers out for these Soludos shoes whenever possible. I also love the leather-toe version.

12. Festive Clutch

My splurge item of the moment for an Amalfi vacation is a colorful Antonello clutch. I can’t think of anywhere else better to rock this colorful piece.

If you’ve been on a summer vacation recently, what did you pack? I’m curious to hear which were your hero pieces!

 

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