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What to Pack: Rio de Janeiro

With the World Cup less than a year away, now’s the time to visit this sizzling South American city before the soccer crowds descend. Plus, with Rio de Janeiro‘s south-of-the-equator positioning, summer is in full swing come December, January and February, making the "Cidade Maravilhosa" (or the “Marvelous City”) a perfectly timed winter break. Here’s a primer on what to bring.



Into Ipanema

Soak up the city’s beachy atmosphere by strolling the patterned boardwalk of Ipanema in these casual but cheerful local flip-flops ($20).

With the Atlantic Ocean just a few steps away, be ready for a quick dip in an exotic print bikini (top, $69; matching string-tie bottom, $69).

For a midday sandwich and juice stop—there are excellent options just a beach down in Leblon, along with stellar people-watching—throw on this white broderie anglaise caftan beach dress ($184).

A pair of slouchy linen pants ($34.50) in sunny yellow would also work well, topped with a casual open-work sweater.

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Neatly go straight from the beach to happy hour by packing up your wet pieces in this beach vacation travel bag set ($66).


Samba Nights

Try your hand (or, rather, feet and hips) at samba in the Lapa neighborhood. The music pumps in to the streets and on late into the night. Choose stretchy, movable pieces like these low-rise ankle jeans ($178).

Balance out your slimmer cut denim with a loose and flowy top in Rio red ($215).

Keep your personal items close and secure with this smartphone wristlet wallet ($155).

For fancier music venues, like bossa nova joint Vinícius in Ipanema, go for an all-in-one dress instead, like this top and sequined skirt combo ($59).

Add strappy high heels, such as these colorblock stunners from Brazilian brand Schutz ($230).



Surf’s Up

Considering the mellow Carioca (Rio resident) vibe, it’s no surprise surfing is popular in Rio. Off the Arpoador (the big rock near Ipanema), the waters are usually jammed with bobbing surfers and their boards. If you have the time, take a 45-minute drive to Prainha instead. (Nearby, in Praia do Pepe, there are also options for kite- and wind-surfers.) Be sure to wear your board shorts, or these snazzy swim trunks in minty aqua ($97.89).

On top, cover up with a slub Henley cotton tee in sun-reflecting white ($25.99).

For a more relaxed day, go for these twill chino shorts instead ($39.95).

Punctuate the look with a bright pair of limited edition Nike sneakers: the "Beaches of Rio" Air Max edition, naturally ($110).

These classic Ray Ban Clubmasters, given a modern finish in sleek aluminum, will pair with just about any look ($205).


Lagoa Nights

Come dinnertime, head to Lagoa for dining with a view. Though the temperatures are normally nice and balmy this time of year, bring along this quilted denim shirt, which can double as a lightweight jacket ($387).

During the summer season, give lighter colored jeans a try, like this cream pair ($205).

To add warm-weather flair, choose unconventional prints, such as this black floral striped tee ($44).

Or, this peach tie-dye button-down will stand out all on its own ($180).

When it comes to nighttime footwear, think sporty, but still polished enough for reservations at finer venues. These gray leather lace-ups offer just the right mix ($99.90).

Photo Credits: Women Day: Courtesy of Aguaclara;; Victoria’s Secret; BOP LLC.; Ipanema, Grendene USA, Inc. Women Night: Courtesy of Nordstrom, Inc.; BOP LLC.; Gap Inc;; Nordstrom, Inc. Men Day: Courtesy of; MANGO-On Line, S.A.; Luxottica group;, Inc. or its affiliates; Ltd. Men Night: Courtesy of;; Need Supply Company; Saks Fifth Avenue; ZARA

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