Vacation clothes are a lark: lightweight, lighthearted, usually simple, always packable.
I don't drop serious money on summer-holiday wear: the season is short, and why worry about dribbling vinaigrette on a $300 top? But neither do I want to look like a retired gym teacher in dependable khaki. And the days of tying on a little sarong are over; I need more cover.
I've discovered clothes by Lilikoi, sold at a neighbourhood boutique (Any Direct Flight, for Torontonians), other shops and on their web site.
Lilikoi pieces are the intersection of interesting, functional and witty. A top like the Karina ($110), of viscose made from bamboo, looks relaxedl but not sloppy. Okay, not cheap, but its virtues are many: hand-printed, from a super-green company and well-made by decently-paid people in Nelson, B.C.. My oldest Lilikoi looks great after three summers. Sizing XS to XXL.
Rose Garden dress, available in red, grey or black, $162. Wear to a seaside restuarant or city museum. And so much more comfortable on a plane than pants.
Not all Lilikoi pieces are printed; here's the Flamenco skirt, $132 in bamboo, organic cotton and spandex. Feels like baby clothes (in a good way). Grey, black and ivory.
I don't like to carry jewelry on vacation, so usually take one pair with screw backs that stay put during any activity and dangles for evening.
But if shopping for one versatile pair to wear with everything, I'd pick these Gurhan silver and gold hoops, 1 1/8 inch diameter, $525 from Twist.
Or I'd wear Ross-Simons' 1 3/4-inch diameter turquoise hoops capped in 14k, price $125 (and 25% off), essence-of-summer against black, white, colours.
When touring in the sun, a hat is wise. But I have left some costly chapeaux on chairs. Here's a good-looking packable straw cloche, the Cloche Belle (Style PA02). Not as massive as a huge-brimmed hat, so fits into your handbag, and it's only $16, from Berkeley Hat.
This witty Albertus Swanepoel hat is the other end of the spend spectrum, at $950 (from Barney's), a sly wink of a hat. Borrow the brio and add a bright band and flower to your Cloche Belle.
Pile everything into a sunny orange "Casiana" leather tote, $399 from Floto.