With the weather cooling in most of the US, a trip below the equator is just the thing for end-of-year defrosting. With its mix of beach and city culture, Sydney, Australia offers plenty to do on a family vacation or romantic getaway. Here are some packing ideas for a trip Down Under.
Daytime Down Under
Sydneysiders (as residents are called) enjoy sunny days nearly year-round. And with Bondi Beach nearby, vacation attire should include some form of swimwear that can double as daywear. Put on your favorite bikini or one-piece (or better yet pick one up at the many boutiques in Sydney), and cover up with this loose
top with sweet print by popular Aussie brand Something Else by Natalie Wood ($114.99). For cutoffs, try a slightly retro cut with higher-waist in a cool light blue ($59). You'll have room for both a beach towel and wallet with this roomy black leather tote with double-zip detail ($198). (Travel tip: To keep things organized, keep smaller items like lip gloss or loose change in neat pouches, like this recycled leather one by Erin Templeton, stowed in deeper bags for quick access.) Don footwear in black leather as well; try these strappy flat sandals by Matt Bernson ($143). Final trendy touches: a white baseball cap ($34.99) to protect eyes and geometric stud earrings by accessories designer Ana Claudia ($45).
Stay Cool Under the Stars
Channel the local boho chic with this print frock by Sydney-based swim and clothing label Zimmermann ($350). In case of night breezes, add flower power with this mulberry floral cardigan ($168). Nighttime also means you can amp up your accessories, such as these tall nude and snakeskin print wedges ($84.99), matching straw-clutch with shell clasp ($175), and statement shield ring by Aussie model Samantha Wills ($85).
Surf culture is alive and well Down Under, and especially with the bounty of Australian brands in the active space, surf-inspired daywear makes for easy pickings. Slip on these Quiksilver shorts—the label is now based in Southern California but got its start in Australian board shops—in a multi-functional deep green ($55). Soften up the look with a graphic tee featuring a floral print ($26.50) and these blue Ray-Ban Wayfarers with print lining ($160). For footwear, flip-flops do the trick, or for another option, these mesh slip-ons ($70) are just as breathable but more polished. Plan on checking out the Aussie music scene? Melbourne-based indie band Cut Copy has been making international waves. Show your support with the band's cotton-twill tote bag ($20).
Night on the Town
Though it has plenty of beachy spirit, Sydney also runs on a cosmopolitan scale. Pull your after-sunset look together with these dark gray jeans ($80 by Topman) and a white tee tweaked with pocket detail ($35.97 by Nike). Add this burgundy knit beanie ($16) and leopard print sneakers ($364) for city style points. The finale—Ksubi's interpretation of the classic denim jacket ($359). This Aussie streetwear brand gives onlookers plenty to ogle over with jet black studs at the elbows and contrast patch in back.
What to Do
For fashion-hounds, Australia's young designer scene is booming. There are the more widely recognized labels like Camilla and Marc, Zimmermann and Sass & Bide, which, by the way, has five eponymous shops scattered about Sydney. But for those scouting for the next hot thing, keep your eyes open and ears peeled. A stop into Incu, a multi-brand boutique in the Galeries, features a smart mix of local labels like Dress Up and Vanishing Elephant mixed in with more international fare.
Over at Bondi Beach, Tuchuzy (which will be launching an online store end of the year) features high fashion fare like the buzzy Dion Lee, who has also been impressing buyers in Europe and the U.S. with his knack for innovative print and cuts. The store also stocks style-conscious swimwear like Sydney-based Seventh Wonderland, which flaunts a pin-up aesthetic.
Your wallet had enough? Wheel and deal, and possibly snag a bargain, at over 200 stalls comprising the outdoor flea Kirribilli General Market. There's everything from second-hand designer clothes to home decor and knick-knacks. Check their calendar for details.