What to Pack for the Best Spring Break Ever

Never forget your sunglasses—or sunscreen—again.

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Design by Morgan McMullen

Compiling the perfect spring break wardrobe boils down to several key items: romantic tops, comfortable pants, and loud accessories, preferably in bright colors to match your daiquiris. You want to be cute but comfortable and maybe fit everything into one suitcase. (A hard task for us fashion folks.) In order to avoid overpacking and make sure you have the best pieces to assemble an outfit, we put together a quick shopping list for you. Whether you're going to spend all day by the pool or explore a new city, here are all the travel essentials you'll need. If there's room in your suitcase, afterwards, thank god—you still need to buy souvenirs!

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A Colorful Swimsuit
& Other Stories stories.com
$55.00

This swimsuit's juxtaposition of minimalist designs with bright, feel-good colors creates an easy-breezy vibe well-suited for a laid-back trip. Wear to the pool or the beach with a pair of denim shorts. 

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A Straw Bucket Hat
Urban Outfitters urbanoutfitters.com
$39.00

If someone told my eight-year-old self that I'd wind up loving the very accessory I used to get huffy and puffy about having to wear, I'd be mind-blown. But, here we are. Besides this woven hat's practicality (you know, preventing an unfortunate forehead sunburn), this accessory brings an effortless flare of style to any casual warm-weather look.

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A Pair of Denim Shorts
A.P.C. shopbop.com
$190.00

Give your denim shorts a modern upgrade with this zipper-forward pair from A.P.C. They are a mid-rise style, but flare out slightly for a nice fit on your legs. These look sharp with just about every type of top, from cropped tees to a bodysuit, which is rare for denim shorts. 

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A Fresh and Subtly Sensual Perfume
Malin + Goetz malinandgoetz.com
$95.00

Stem, the newest scent from Malin + Goetz, evokes the clean and subtly sensual feeling of getting out of the shower. That and the feeling of you frolicking through a field of flowers. Ask any of my co-workers, I couldn't stop smelling my wrist the first week I wore it because I loved it so much.

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A Dinner Shoe
LPA revolve.com
$198.00

You should pack at least one slightly fancy shoe with you just in case. My pick are these flirty and, surprisingly, comfortable mules from LPA that bring a fashionable flare and pop of color to any of your evening ensembles.  

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A Pair of Shell Earrings
Catbird catbirdnyc.com
$65.00

These earrings pay homage to the beautiful seashells you spot on the beach of your resort. I'm thankful these sculptural hoops doesn't require me to fork over a lot of cash, while the neutral color means I can bring just this pair and match all my outfits.

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A Retro Bikini
Faithfull The Brand net-a-porter.com
$170.00

The dainty florals on this bikini will look gorgeous against any  tropical backdrop. The top looks effortlessly romantic when paired with a flowing skirt too, which means you can maximize the mixing-and-matching of your outfits. 

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Reformation
A Breezy Skirt
Reformation thereformation.com
$148.00

This slim skirt practically radiates sunshine. Decorated in daisies, the shape is elegant and the vibe is chill—making it super easy to dress up or down, depending on where your adventure leads.

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A Multi-Purpose Accessory
H&M hm.com
$9.99

Channel your inner Grace Kelly with this springtime accessory that can turn into a scarf, a headband, or hair tie. The possibilities for how to style this are endless. 

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A Leg Sculpting Moisturizer
Sol de Janeiro sephora.com
$45.00

If bikini season gives you heart palpitations, might I suggest Sol de Janeiro’s all-over body cream, which visibly improves the elasticity of skin and creates an illusion of firmness? With more than 2,341 five-star reviews on Sephora, I’m not alone in being a diehard fan of Brazilian Bum Bum.

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A Top That Goes With Everything
LPA revolve.com
$148.00

Allow me to introduce you to the puffy-sleeved poplin top you're going to put on every day of vacation. This can be worn with cotton shorts, underneath overalls, with a skirt (like that Reformation one), or with jeans. 

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A Bucket Bag
Cesta Collective net-a-porter.com
$375.00

Cesta Collective is a brand that makes a really cute bag that also empowers women. Their accessories are handwoven by female artists in Rwanda with leather craftsmanship details added in New York. This little lunchpail is perfect for day-to-night activities, with enough room to hold your wallet, sunglasses, and phone.  

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A Denim Jumpsuit
Lovers + Friends revolve.com
$208.00

Behold, a denim vacation jumpsuit that does it all. This effortless one-piece is great for a fun night out, a laid-back excursion around town, or a romantic dinner. Just pair with heels. 

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A Sunscreen Set
SUPERGOOP! nordstrom.com
$25.00

Sunscreen is the greatest defense against aging and is vital for time spent outside. Suitable for all skin types, this set from SUPERGOOP! includes a water- and sweat-resistant SPF 40 sunscreen, an SPF 50 setting mist that sets makeup and controls oil and shine, and an SPF 40 moisturizer.

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A Wireless and Waterproof Speaker
Bose amazon.com

Bose's wireless and waterproof micro bluetooth-enabled speaker is well-suited for trips on the slopes or by the ocean. Create a shared Spotify playlist, then crank it up on this speaker. You'll be the real MVP of your friend group. 

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A Boyfriend Shirt Cover-Up
Tommy Bahama nordstrom.com
$68.00

This is the boxy boyfriend shirt of my dreams. It's cut from a light and gauzy material, so you won't overheat in the sun. The top can be worn with shorts or as a causal beach cover-up. Did I mention it's only $68?

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A Pair of Comfy Sandals
Ancient Greek Sandals net-a-porter.com
$245.00

There's a reason why you're seeing the brand Ancient Greek pop up everywhere this season: Its Italian-crafted sandals are beyond comfortable and work for every type of travel. You can wear these to the pool of your resort or through the spice markets of India. The price is steep, but they'll last you many a spring break to come. 

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A Hydrating Lip Balm with Benefits
DIOR nordstrom.com
$34.00

Keep your lips soft and supple when you're out in the sun with Dior's hydrating and color-reviving lip balm. I love that the formula adjusts to each person's unique pH for an immediate and customized flush of color. (FYI: Meghan Markle even wore the brand's coral shade on her wedding day.)

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Réalisation Par
A Flirty Mini Dress
Réalisation Par realisationpar.com
$210.00

Vacation wouldn't be vacation without at least one Instagram post. And what you wear for it can be pretty important. My outfit choice goes to this Insta-approved dress, worn by the likes of  Emily Ratajkowski and Kaia Gerber, which has taken social media by storm. 

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A Beach Tote
Hat Attack shopbop.com
$100.00

If you hate getting sand in your tote, opt for one that's more beach-friendly like this straw one. It's spacious enough to hold all your sun-tanning needs and also cute enough to bring to lunch. 

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A Pair of Cat-Eye Shades
Lucy Folk net-a-porter.com
$335.00

These shades from Australian designer Lucy Folk are inspired by the cat-eye frames worn in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 Lolita and are a work of art in their own right. The accessory features gold-tone details and have a marble finish. (They recently graced the face of Beyoncé at a pre-Grammys party.)

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A Leopard One-Piece
Ganni mytheresa.com
$160.00

Let it be known that I don't monkey around when it comes to animal print. Featuring an open back and a ruched center, this printed halter one-piece is equal parts wild and chic.  

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A Casual-Chic Blouse
Wilfred Free aritzia.com
$24.99

This sunshine-yellow Aritzia top is almost too perfect for vacation. It embodies that easy, relaxed look we all strive to achieve while traveling. And pro tip, additional lovely shades are currently on sale. 

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A Pair of Jeans
Reformation thereformation.com
$128.00

Allow me to introduce you to the only jean you'll need for vacation. This lightly-washed pair with a rip at the knee goes well with every top you own, from a plain tee to that leopard print swimsuit that doubles as a bodysuit. Wear with Ancient Greek sandals or a mule heel. 

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A Natural Highlighter
Giorgio Armani Beauty sephora.com
$62.00

As someone who dedicates a maximum of five minutes to doing her makeup in the morning (I devote another five minutes to changing my outfit multiple times and allocate 30 minutes to laying on my bed in a towel and spacing out), I can personally attest to how life-changing this highlighter is. The application requires the bare minimum of effort and my skin looks immediately more awake with a natural glow that stays all day.

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A Cheeky Basic T-shirt
H&M hm.com
$9.99

Speaking of tees to pair with that Reformation jean...this one from H&M speaks to my soul on all levels. It's my vacation mantra. Also, my vacation diet.  

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A Hair Regeneration Travel Kit
Christophe Robin net-a-porter.com
$50.00

I can't recommend this hair regeneration set enough, if, like me, you're trying to tackle frizzy hair during vacay. The set includes a mask that helps restore color and adds shine, a regenerating balm, and shampoo, all of which are infused with prickly pear oil—a rare ingredient with powerful antioxidants. 

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A Pair of Nipple Covers
Nordstrom Lingerie nordstrom.com
$15.00

To ensure you have the right nipple coverage for all the backless, plunging neckline tops you're bringing, pack a pair of silicone petals that be re-worn throughout your trip (this pair lasts up to 25 wears). As someone who frequently forgets to get these, I suggest ordering yours right now. 

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A Pajama Set
The Lazy Poet net-a-porter.com
$145.00

Pack a pajama set so chic you'll want to wear them everywhere besides bed. This set includes separates that could easily pass as daywear, featuring a leaf print that's fun, yet sophisticated.

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A Carry-On
Away awaytravel.com
$345.00

If regular carry-ons are too small for you, try Away's larger option. The suitcase is roomy enough for a five-day trip and comes with its famous rechargeable battery. It even has built-in organizational compartments Marie Kondo would approve of. 

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