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What to Pack: Miami

Spring is prime time to visit Miami, before the summer humidity moves in, and before most of the nation fully defrosts from winter. We packed your bags for you…



South Beach Daze

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Miami is a great city to let loose with flashy patterns and sunny colors, like this turquoise twist-front bikini by L-Space ($135). Throw in a few light tops like a white zip tank with hood ($110)—J. Lo would approve—and pyramid print tank in gold and white ($65). Don’t be shy with mixing patterns and color. This patchwork pink mini skirt ($21.99 by Mango) would go well with a cotton cropped patterned sweater in pretty pastels ($129.50). Playful accessories can really make your Florida outfit pop: snatch up these flamingo pink and gold stud earrings, available at the stylish South Beach emporium The Webster ($60), and these leopard and red ink sandals ($100) for strolling Collins Avenue.


Miami Vice

Particularly with the region’s South American flair, nighttime wear falls on the dressier side. Try this striking strapless orange silk jumpsuit ($400 by Catherine Malandrino) or an underwater print dress that has a sexy-meets-sporty feel ($242 by Clover Canyon). Both go well with this versatile zig-zag bangle set, a steal at $44. Ground your bolder styles with white pieces, like this lizard zip clutch ($85) and white leather lace-up jacket ($319.50), for a fresh graphic appeal. Pack a couple pairs of heels, starting with this strappy sandal with geometric heel ($79) and this vibrant, printed lace-up sandal ($129) which will definitely stand out from the crowd.



Poolside Fun

Like the ladies, colors and prints are fair game here. Dip your toe in, so to speak, with this mini floral short in an easy black and cream ($89.50) or this solid pink board short with 7" inseam ($59.50). Sneak in a bit of pizazz with this subtle leopard print on these MK Michael Kors rose gold aviators ($99). On accessories: seaside- or South American-inspired are good ways to go. Check out a natural leather and sterling silver bracelet by Miansai, a cool accessories label based in Miami’s Design District ($165), Havaianas flip flops in "Brazil green" ($28) and these natural-colored canvas lace-up shoes ($155). Keep the tops simple with a white thin-striped tank top ($21.42) or this marbled gray tee ($120).


Evening Games

Take advantage of Miami’s balmy temperatures, and go for a snazzy bird print in a short-sleeve button down ($310) or a fun coral tee with contrast pocket ($95). They’ll go well with a periwinkle chino ($250) or navy twill pants ($175) and make an easy transition from winter blacks. Keep the rest light and bright like these suede sneakers, linen and cotton-blend jacket ($480) and a unique fragrance made of synthesized lotus root by Malin + Goetz ($48).

Where to Stay

Miami is enjoying something of a renaissance period with a diverse mix of hotel options. For reliable Art Deco elegance, the Raleigh is tough to beat, especially with its gorgeous pool (great for Sunday brunching).

For the latest and newest, the 140-room SLS South Beach opened last year and is a good boutique option with excellent dining by star chef Jose Andres and an outpost of the LArestaurant Katsuya. Business travelers should opt for the brand new B2 hotel in downtown, featuring the Biscayne Tavern by Jeffrey Chodorow.

If the details are in the service, then The Betsy and Soho Beach House take top honors. The Betsy, which reopened in 2009, is well-polished and well-wired (there’s WiFi across the entire grounds), while exuding a friendly feel. The Soho Beach House, meanwhile, is further down the South Beach strip, creating an intimate, exclusive vibe and has spectacular well-appointed rooms. Plus, head to the hotel’s beach and you’ll find that beach chairs come with a complimentary cooler stocked with oranges, water, and coconut water, on the house.

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