Travel & Packing

“French” Beach Vaycay Wardrobe

Were I ACTUALLY French Beach-ing…

Happy day, Reader Dearest!

Sooo… The other day I get a text from my bestie saying, I potentially have a great fun deal for you! But it’s time-sensitive–give me a call this morning!!

First, I think, Hmmmm. Her phone’s been hacked. And then I think, Well, the least I can do is call her.

Lo and behold, not only was her phone NOT hacked, but after a long explanation (Because, as you can tell, that’s how we roll!) she says that they planned a trip to Hilton Head Island next week and her hubby has to stay at home and HE suggested she call me and see if I wanted to join her. (Yes, it came out in one long over-conjunctioned sentence. Just like that.)

Do I want to join her? For a few days at the beach?

Of. Freaking. Course. I. Do.

After a frantic morning of expert logistics work, as in: Who’s got the grandkids when? And who will keep an eye on Mama? I text back, HHI, here we come!

By the time you read this, we (Godwilling!) are both safely home. One thing I CAN tell you–My logistics flail did NOT include what to pack.

I know–What to pack creates panic for many, but not me! I’ve got a system; I start with a 4-3-2-1 pack and adjust as needed. This time, I’ll slot in pieces from 2022’s French Girl Summer Style Grows Up and see how far that takes me. (Not that I’m French. Or that it’s even summer. But why not channel a (faux) je-suis-a-la-plage vibe!)

4-3-2-1 (Packing Countdown)

A 4-3-2-1 Pack is my standard template for anything longer than a long weekend. (For that, I’ll usually go for a Six-Pack). As you can see, the 4-3-2-1 breaks out into:

4 Tops

3 Bottoms

2 Toppers

and 1 Dress

These 10 pieces do not include accessories, so add those at your own discretion! (I have been known to overpack shoes… Oops!) Sometimes I’ll adjust these numbers, like I did here for my Capri Staycation Pack a few years ago.

For more short-trip-travel-packs, check out this post!

French Summer Wardrobe

Now let’s look at the pieces we have in the French Summer Wardrobe!

Combining the Two

What do we have ready to plug-and-play? Additions to fill the categories are in italics!

4 Tops: White Blouse + Denim Blouse, Striped Top or Tee, Pink Silk-y Shirt

3 Bottoms: Straight Leg Jeans, Printed Midi-Skirt + White Shorts

2 Toppers: Drab Blazer, Jean Jacket

1 Dress: Short Dress

Extras: I will definitely pack/wear my espadrilles and my straw basket bag. The bathing suit is up for grabs. I could go for classic and take my One-Piece; a bikini, however is more my beach style! Don’t think a 60 year old should wear a bikini? I’m not asking you to. I just know I’m happy in one.

TIP: Don’t pack your favorite sunglasses for the beach; I’ve lost one too many an expensive pair to the waves! I buy an inexpensive grocery store pair and expect they’ll never make it back home.

Here’s what my pack is looking like so far! (I’ll dress for travel from this 10 as well.)

Now to add swimwear, a few shoes, an accessory or two AND an umbrella and I’ll be ready to go!

(As I’m writing this before we go, I’ll let you know if I made any changes AND how it worked out.)

How it Worked Out

I made a few changes to this pack and it styled fabulously! It easily went to from biking to dinner at some lovely restaurants, a surprise night out for wine and nibbles at my friend’s cousin’s house. (Thank you Jay and Wendy! I had a lovely time and it was a pleasure meeting you and visiting your simply gorgeous home!)

I swapped the striped tee for a striped tank, the denim top for a striped chambray blouse and the pink blouse for a short sleeved pink mixed-media vee neck that I really don’t love. Why did I bring it? It was a combination of a test to determine if I want to keep it, and that what-the-heck-I-won’t-be-heartbroken-if-it-gets-ruined attitude. Answer? Letting it go.

How About You?

Do you have any vacation plans? Where are you going? Do you find packing stressful? Or fun? Do you have a system? Have you ever passed on a trip because you didn’t know what to take? Let me know in the comments below… I LOVE to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,


  • Lise

    4-3-2-1 seems like a great strategy. I will remember this. Your capsule seems perfect but I would have skipped the blazer for a beach vacay. Did you use it? What is a multi media T?

    • Liz K

      I did use the blazer, Lise! I wore it with shorts and a tee to create a more polished look for dinner. Often I will pack a casual jacket and a cardigan! That multi-media top is strange; from the front it looks like a silky vee neck shell, but the back is tee shirt fabric. It’s a great color, but the neckline and jersey back are not my favorites!

      • Lise

        Oh I get it! On both fronts. A blazer and shorts sound like a good option for a more polished look for dinner. I have never worn one like that. I think I will give it a go. As for tops with different materials in the front and back, definitely not m favourites either.

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