Lazy shopping: what to pack for spring break

I grew up in cold, snowy Chicago, and for a week every spring, my family made an escape to Florida. It came at that time of year when you were just about at the end of your rope in terms of weather, and there was something about sun, sand, and sea that just totally revived your will to live. Even though New York is not quite so desolate (especially with the exceptionally warm winter we've had this year), MW and I like to preserve the spring break tradition. This year we went to Turks & Caicos, which I'd highly recommend—white sand beaches, the most gorgeous turquoise-blue water you've ever seen, great snorkeling, beautiful weather, friendly residents, and so on (it should be noted, T&C is ridiculously expensive, however). As I consider myself somewhat of a pro at packing for a beach vacation at this point, here are my essentials for a chic spring break.

Lazy shopping: spring break essentialsClockwise from top left: 

A tan always looks better with gold jewelry, and I prefer to wear one big statement-making necklace, preferably with a vintage inspiration. Stella and Dot Bianca Tassel Necklace, $138

Ocean Potion is my favorite sunscreen in the world—it smells amazing and provides anti-aging protection. Ocean Potion Ant-Aging Sunblock, $8.65

Oversized sunglasses are key—the bigger the lens, the more protected your eyes are from the strong Caribbean rays. ChloĆ© round frame sunglasses, $103

Trina Turk teamed up with the Turks & Caicos Club (one of the area's most chic resorts, and MW's and my favorite lunch spot) to create an exclusive line of swimsuits inspired by the islands' bright colors. There are multiple styles in the line, but I'm always a fan of the traditional triangle bikini.  Trina Turk Turks and Caicos Triangle Bikini, $92 & $78

The beach is one of the few places you'll ever see me in flats, so I always make sure they're chic. These are bright and have a little bling.  Pour La Victoire Rayder Sandals, $130

I tend to treat vacations as an excuse to stock up on maxi dresses; they're perfect for dinner and can even function as a swim cover-up.  Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent silk maxi dress, $332

Sarongs make excellent beach cover-ups, and, in a pinch, can function as a beach towel and/or blanket. Go for a bright color. Calypso St. Barth Shibori Sarong, $75

Confession: I like to get tan, but only on my body—I keep my face well shaded with a huge straw hat. J.Crew has some great options with wide brims, and straw ensures packability. J Crew beach hat, $35

A beach bag needs to hold sunscreen, iPod, iPad, sunglasses, water bottle...and, in my case, all of my husband's stuff. What better source than the queen of Palm Beach, Lily Pulitzer?  Lilly Pulitzer printed tote bag, $68

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