What Do You Really Need to Pack for Spring Break?

In this installment of Help Me Dress Myself, a stylist runs through every item you should bring on a beach vacation, from swim trunks to flip flops.

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Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’re efficiently and fashionably packing a suitcase for your upcoming tropical vacation. Cowabunga, baby!

What to Pack:

Item #1: Cheap Sunglasses

Rather than worrying about losing or scratching your favorite sunglasses while drunkenly taking a dip in the jacuzzi or playing frisbee on the beach, Rayne recommends picking up a cheap pair from a resale store like T.J. Maxx or Ross. That way, it won’t be such a big deal if they end up lodged in the pool filter.

Item #2: Solid, Light-Colored Tees

Versatility is everything on spring break, especially if you don’t want to check a large bag full of your entire closet. “You can wear solid T-shirts for two days in a row, and no one will notice,” Rayne explains. “You can’t pull that off with printed tees.” She also emphasizes the importance of bringing light-colored T-shirts, as they’ll make you look tanner than you really are. Who doesn’t want that?

Item #3: One Light-Colored Button-Down

“If you get a last-minute invitation to a dinner party or meet a chick you want to impress, you don’t want to wear a plain old T-shirt,” Rayne explains. So it’s always a good idea to have at least one light-colored button-down just in case.

Item #4: One Lightweight Sweater

You never know how cold it will be at night, even at the most tropical vacation locations. That’s why Rayne recommends packing one lightweight hoodie.

Item #5: Patterned Swim Trunks*

“The men in my life love beer and food,” Rayne explains. “If you’re anything like them and have gained a little weight as a result, patterned swim trunks will actually draw the attention away from your stomach.” She also recommends once again avoiding dark-colored trunks, as they’ll make you look more pale than you actually are.

*Come back next week for an entire installment of Help Me Dress Myself on how to pick out a bathing suit that looks good.

Item #6: Light-Colored Shorts

“Above all else, you want to avoid golf shorts [unless you’re actually golfing] and pleated shorts,” Rayne warns, as they’re sort of old-timey and outdated. “Instead, grab a pair from J. Crew or H&M that sits at the top of your knee.” She adds that light colors—like a light grey—are a little more festive and appropriate for spring break.

Item #7: Pants

Just like it’s always a good idea to bring a button-down shirt, you never know when you might need to ditch your swim trunks for a pair of pants.

Item #8: Canvas Shoes

“Canvas shoes like Converse, Keds or Vans are great for traveling because they slip on and off easily,” Rayne explains. “You can also wear them at the beach, when you’re off being a tourist and even at dinner.” Just make sure to bring along a few pairs of short socks that don’t poke out above the shoe.

Item #9: Flip Flops

If only to trek across some steaming hot sand, flip flops are a must pack for any spring break. Which also means, you absolutely have to take care of your toenails. “If you have toenails that look like something’s been chewing on them all year, you have to get a pedicure,” Rayne says. “Both women and men notice them.”

Now get out there and spring break in style. Just don’t do too many beer bongs—those things will catch up to you.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.