Costa Rica

sunny steals: ten affordable essentials for your mid-winter escape

Here at Style Actually, winter is one of our favorite seasons. Not only does it give us the chance to enjoy seasonal outdoor activities like ice skating and snowmobiling, we love snuggling up with a loved one or a New York Times bestseller as the snow falls gracefully outside. Winter is also a wonderful time for fashion; there is simply no other season when we can avoid making big decisions and layer on all of our favorite garments and accessories.

With that said, there are times during the colder months when we yearn to swap our leg-warmers and knee-high boots for skirts and sandals. For many people, an escape to a warm weather locale is the perfect cure for the mid-winter blues. If you are considering hopping on a plane to soak up the sun this season, here are ten essentials that you must pack in your carry-on bag. And don’t worry about your wallet; none of these stylish sunnies exceeds forty bucks!

1. a breezy maxi.

Warm weather vacations tend to be filled with casual days on the beach, followed by wining and dining in the evenings, so it can be difficult to know how to fit all of the appropriate attire in your carry-on bag. A simple maxi dress is casual enough to wear by day, but when paired with the right shoes and accessories, it can also be dressy enough for an evening on the town. The lightweight fabrics featured in these affordable designs will keep you cool, while the unique side slits and high-low hems allow the ocean breeze to hit your legs at just the right angle.

Flowy Maxis

Forever 21
$15- forever21.com

H&M
$33 - hm.com

Charlotte Russe
$15- charlotterusse.com

Xhilaration
$28- target.com

2. a printed beach tote.

A large beach tote may be convenient for a day of soaking up rays on the sand, but it also provides you with enough room to haul all of your essentials for an action-packed day checking out the local sights and sounds. A beach-themed graphic or colorful pattern adds a splash of fun to an otherwise plain canvas or vinyl tote.

 

Beach totes

Cafe Press
$17- cafepress.com

Color Work Studio
$26- etsy.com

Charlotte Russe
$4.99- charlotterusse.com

Forever 21
$2.80- forever21.com

3. sunny shades

Sunglasses may have a simple and practical purpose, but that doesn’t mean they have to look boring. Keep your eyes safe with a set of shades in a unique shape, such as these heart-rimmed sunglasses from American Eagle Outfitters, or go for a more colorful approach with rainbow-tinted lenses or printed frames.

Sunny shades


H&M
$6.59- hm.com

Forever 21
$5.80- forever21.com

Charlotte Russe
$5.99- charlotterusse.com

4. flattering swimwear

According to a recent study by South Australia’s Flinders University, shopping for swimwear shifts most women into a negative mood and increases their tendency self-objectify. With so many swimwear styles on the market, refrain from selecting a suit just because it’s on the cover of a magazine; instead, choose a style that makes you feel comfortable and confident. This geometric-print bikini from Forever 21 (far right) is flattering on straight and boyish bodies, while this Kohl’s tankini (far left) is perfect for those who may want to slim their tummies. A halter style accentuates those with lots of feminine curves, providing extra support in the chest area and slimming in the waist.

Swimwear

Hula Honey
$24 (each piece)- macys.com

Forever 21
$11 (set)- forever21.com

Xhilaration
$26- target.com

OP
$20- walmart.com

5. flat sandals

It may be tempting to pack a different pair of shoes for every day of your trip, but you may wind up in your hotel room with an aching back if you pack such a heavy bag. In order to ensure that your shoes will match any ensemble you put together while you’re on vacation, pack one or two pairs of flat sandals in solid neutrals that coordinate with just about anything. Don’t worry, those wild leopard heels will be waiting for you when you arrive home!

simple sandals

Charlotte Russe
$7.50- charlotterusse.com

Forever 21
$20- forever21.com

Old Navy 
$23- oldnavy.gap.com

ASOS
$33- asos.com

6. color-pop shorts

There’s just something about bold, tropical hues that puts a person in a good mood, so forget those dark denim cut-offs and khaki bermudas that are currently in your closet. Paired with a draped-fit tank in a neutral shade, the feel-good colors of these bottoms will look great as you soak in all that paradise has to offer.

color pop shorts

Miss Me
$35- buckle.com

Forever 21
$16- forever21.com

H&M
$13- hm.com

Old Navy
$22- oldnavy.gap.com

7. a floppy hat

Not only does a floppy straw hat add a fun touch of flair to any outfit, it is a useful piece to have on hand when you have soaked up too much sun. While its casual vibe will help you to truly relax and maintain your laid-back demeanor, a floppy hat also does a great job at shielding your face from the harsh rays of the morning or mid-day sun.

floppy hats

 

Urban Outfitters
$34- urbanoutfitters.com

Forever 21
$9.80- forever21.com

Forever 21
$8.80- forever21.com

Merona
$15- target.com
8. swingy skirts in solid shades
Whether you prefer mini skirts with attitude or maxi skirts with bohemian flair, packing a couple of swingy skirts in neutral, solid hues is always a wise idea when heading to a sunny destination. Not only will they they match virtually any top, they will also keep you feeling cool and comfortable throughout your trip.
swingy solid skirts

Forever 21
$13- forever21.com

ASOS
$26- asos.com

Body Glove
$32- zappos.com

Xhilaration
$18- target.com
9. draped-fit tanks

A mid-winter vacation should completely remove you from the constraining pressures of daily life, and that includes restrictive garments. Fully embrace the casual ambiance of island life by packing several draped-fit tanks in a variety of shades and textures. Any of these lounge-chic tops could easily be paired with any of the color-pop shorts or swingy skirts that are also in your bag, or they could even function as bikini cover-ups.

sleeveless tops

ASOS
$15- asos.com

Gap
$23- gap.com

Forever 21
$11- forever21.com

Love 21
$16- forever21.com
10. brilliant bangles
Ditch the heavy weight of large statement necklaces and big baubles; instead, slide one or two dainty bangles onto your arm to add some lightweight glimmer to your look. Being that they are lightweight enough to pack several into your carry-on bag, try a new look each day of your vacation!
bangles

Nico New York
$24- nordstrom.com

Forever 21
$7.80- forever21.com

$13- modcloth.com
How are you beating the mid-winter blues?
We would love to hear about your adventures, so comment below! :)
Casey Lindberg-Coghill