(Family Features) - Bare feet in the sand, wind-blown hair and soft, easy-to-wear clothes evoke a kicked-back vacation state of mind. Most people believe that this way of thinking is reserved for escapes to a tropical island. Not so say the folks at Caribbean Joe, creators of casual clothing for men and women. It's possible to adopt this attitude every day, whether vacationing at a beach, relaxing at home or heading out for a night on the town.
How to Pack
Tom Westman, winner of CBS's "Survivor: Palau" and New York City firefighter, personifies this easy attitude. Tom drew national attention when he not only survived Palau in style, but was also named one of TV Guide's "Sexiest Men." With classic rugged looks he's most comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts, but he also knows how to dress for style without sacrificing comfort. When vacationing, he wants a simple way to look and feel great. His secret? It's all in the packing.
- Most people pack too much. Avoid checking a bag if you can -- that removes a lot of variables from your trip. If you need to check baggage, make sure you bring essential items for each family member in a carry-on. If your bags get lost, you don't want to be without a change of clothes, medicines, bathing suits, etc.
- Take less than you think you need. Lay out everything you plan to pack on a bed, then eliminate redundancies. Take only one pair of jeans. Make sure they're nice enough to go with a jacket, yet comfortable enough to dress down. Have a blazer or sport coat that you can wear on the plane. If you usually end up buying a T-shirt from the dive shop, or a polo from the golf shop, pack two fewer items in your bag.
- Do your research. Dress like the locals. In most countries, shorts are only worn by boys under 10 or men on a soccer field. Try to blend in.
- Leave the beret, sombrero, kafia and fez in the country in which you found them. There is always one piece of foreign clothing that you think will transition well into your everyday wardrobe. Resist the urge.
What to Wear
Whether lounging at the shore, sipping drinks at a barbecue or stepping up your style while maintaining comfort at home, the key to looking great is in the details:
- Opt for timeless, classic shapes and the relaxed, roomy cut of camp shirts, drawstring pants, full skirts and tank tops.
- Pick soft, sensual fabrics in all linen or cotton or in one of the easy-care blends that are soft and maintain color over time. These fabrics usually improve their look and feel with wearing and washing.
- Select deeply saturated, natural colors that are easy on the eyes or clean, bright whites.
- Look for great details such as etched, authentic shell buttons and finely finished seaming.
- Choose clothes that can be laundered -- not dry cleaned -- such as Caribbean Joe fashions for both men and women.
How to Wear It Back
There is nothing like that feeling you have during your first few days back from vacation -- your mind is clear and your mood is elevated. One way to keep the vacation attitude going, advises Caribbean Joe, is by mixing vacation wear with everyday clothes.
- Use a great pair of khaki-colored micro-fiber golf or drawstring linen pants to dress up a camp shirt in a silky material or dress down a collared polo shirt.
- Layer lighter-weight pieces with vests and sweaters. A solid polo adds a splash of color when it peeks out from under a crew-neck top.
- Pair whites with darker shades such as browns and grays for a toned-down, citified feeling.
A camp shirt is a look that works 12 months a year. These roomy shirts offer style and comfort for a range of venues whether on an island getaway, at the office or for an afternoon wedding.
Whether lounging together on a beach chair or relaxing at home on a comfortable leather couch, clothes can help keep that vacation spirit alive. Here a white flounce skirt and some white linen drawstring pants are paired with the darker, earthier tones of grey and brown to provide a civilized look that still offers all the comfort and style Caribbean Joe is known for.
A roomy patterned flounce skirt worn with a dark tank and matching chunky jewelry turns a summer skirt into a glamorous evening look.
For more information, visit www.caribbean-joe.com.