One island with two distinctly flavored sides, St. Martin and St. Maarten has peaceably blended its French and Dutch leanings, respectively, on one sun-dappled, sea-ringed destination. Particularly known for fine French fare and friendly locals, this Caribbean isle is an ideal escape from winter's polar vortexes. Here are some wonderfully light and bright ideas on what to bring along.
Mullet Bay Beach Bumming
With 37 beaches to choose from, sun-lovers will have their pickings. For a mellow mix of tourists and locals, check out Mullet Bay on the Dutch side in this one-piece tank suit with sweet ruching ($98).
Footwear should be easy to kick off, such as these leather thong sandals in saddle-colored leather ($65).
Especially if your skin has been winter-conditioned to colder climes, slather on sunscreen, which you can tote in this charming raffia orange tote ($118).
Also pack additional physical sun protection, like this crochet detail sun hat ($38).
There are convenient food stalls at Mullet Bay, but for a stop into town, cover up with this reversible blue- and mustard-striped kimono dress ($198).
Grand Case Dining
For an island with excellent dining, the ville of Grand Case truly stands out. The culinary heart of St. Martin, there are several top-notch establishments to choose from, like the classy Le Pressoir. Slip on this colorblock maxi dress in sea blue ($129) for the event.
Accessorize sparingly (let your fresh tan do the talking) and choose pieces with elegant impact like these sterling silver drop earrings with moonstones ($39.99).
A clutch is an evening staple. Choose one with natural accents like this lime leather style with wood frame ($195).
Light, slightly preppy separates also read well with the Caribbean setting. Button this sleeveless white shirt on for size ($59.50).
Wear with a swingy skirt or these stretch denim jeans in lovely lavender ($14.90).
Dawn Beach Sunning and Surfing
Ready for surf? Head over to Dawn Beach, known for its spectacular sunrises and surfer break, in these coral and blue paisley swim trunks ($88).
A tonal pocket tee in go-with-everything khaki is a smart vacation solution ($36).
Any flip-flops will do in a pinch, or throw these white Converses in the backseat for a change of footwear midday ($60).
With so many sunglass brands out there today, how to choose? Perhaps go with something offering a mix of modern and classic, such as this tortoiseshell frame with blue lens ($175).
Or, bring a couple of options and toss them into this cream canvas travel bag, for a quick and easy way to change up your look ($228).
Being on a sun-blessed isle gives you license to experiment with color. Shorts can be a place to start like with this seafoam green pair in cotton twill ($110).
Keep the top clean and minimal with this white linen-blend short-sleeve shirt ($58).
Finish the outfit with nonchalant, beachy footwear. One option: suede espadrilles ($165).
If your dining plans are fancier than Marigot's famous lolos, then perhaps a printed blue button-down is a snazzier choice ($39.99).
Pair with selvedge jeans, here in summery wheat ($155).
Photo credits: Mullet Bay Beach Bumming: Courtesy of J.CREW; Nordstrom, Inc; Of a Kind; Nordstrom, Inc; Zappos.com or its affiliates. Grand Case Dining: Courtesy of www.anntaylor.com; J.McLaughlin; www.anntaylor.com; Cost Plus World Market; UNIQLO CO., LTD. Dawn Beach Sunning and Surfing: Courtesy of J.MCLAUGHLIN; Mr Porter; Apolis Holdings, LLC; unionmadegoods.com; Mollusk Surf Shop. Marigot Browsing: Courtesy of J.McLaughlin; BOP LLC.; macys.com; ZARA; J.CREW