Te amo Hector y Javi
Here’s some knowledge transfer (a term we use at work) from Mexico (really, some random findings and non-findings I already knew but wanted to disperse to the world):
1. Never cut your own bangs. Especially right before a vacation. I had done it only once before and they turned out fine so I mistakenly trusted myself since I had just gotten them trimmed by my beloved stylist, Hiroshi, a week and a half ago. However, I cut them a tad too short and ended up wearing my bangs back after the first two days. Braiding my bangs near the front of my head was my go-to hairstyle for the trip as shown below. Now I don’t want bangs anymore and will either be chopping my hair off to above shoulder length and getting a loose body wave or will be growing my hair out long and straight.
2. Bodysuits, jumpsuits, and one piece bathing suits are glorious. However, you should not wear two one pieces together for the avoidance of time-consuming bathroom trips. This is especially crucial when you are in the bathroom trying to get your act together only to come out of the bathroom to see that your tour group is waiting on you and only you.
And while we’re on the subject of one pieces, I strongly recommend against wearing a jumpsuit on an airplane, unless it’s a tube top one that you just pull up and down when going to the bathroom. I decided to wear my new Topshop denim jumpsuit on the flight back, fully knowing the side zipper is difficult to zip up. This causes delays in the tight plane bathrooms in an environment that is already too full of delays.
American Apparel bodysuit, Arthur Chang bathing suit via Urban Outfitters, Guess shorts, Nike sneakers
3. Bring a warm piece that compliments your dresses for nighttime. I say “compliments” because your jacket or heavy sweater doesn’t have to perfectly match everything you bring. I knew that my blue H&M faux leather jacket didn’t match the exact shades of blue in my LOVE YAYA dress, nor did it go with my American Apparel shiny peach dress for the sheer fact there was no blue in it; yet, I knew the colors complimented one another. I was still warm while feeling dressy in my mini dresses.
LOVE YAYA dress via shopbop.com, H&M jacket, Steve Madden sandals, Kenneth Jay Lane earrings via shopbop.com, Besso handbag via a random handbag store in LA
Lotta Stensson dress via CoutureCandy.com, H&M jacket
4. Suppress your desire to be jeweled out per outfit. In the past, I have overpacked jewelry and have ended up not wearing half of the pieces I packed. This time, I only brought:
– Two gold diamond staple necklaces that I layered like usual- my “M” initial and star/moon necklaces
– Statement earrings- in this case they were one of my pairs of large hoops, which can be worn with any outfit or bathing suit
– Fancy earrings- for an extra sparkle at night
I didn’t bring any bracelets nor rings as I didn’t think they were necessary for any of my outfits.
Kenneth Jay Lane earrings via shopbop.com
Nadri earrings via Nordstrom, “M” initial necklace via QVC.com, Nordstrom star and moon necklace
5. Don’t discount wearing lingerie as a cover-up. I found the below sheer flowy confection in both the Cover-Ups and Lingerie sections of VictoriasSecret.com.
Victoria’s Secret cover-up
6. Following up on #5, don’t discount wearing obvious undergarments out as a stand-alone piece. I paired this slip with dark skinny jeans to avoid the potential oops I neglected to put on pants today stares.
Victoria’s Secret slip, BDG jeans via Urban Outfitters
7. Bring headbands and hair scarves for those bad hair days and just off the beach and don’t have time to shower times. They are your allies, and they’ll help you look pulled together.
Blue & Cream sweatshirt via Singer22.com, Urban Outfitters t-shirt, Coach hair scarf
And I was checking out this pareo from afar for the tribal print and earthy look because I like those elements. However, when I lifted it from its drape, I saw the strategically placed faces within the figures’ bodies and decided, mmmm maybe not so much.
8. Bring a hooded sweatshirt like the one above. I love The Lamptons sweatshirt (Singer22.com had this in the item description: “Definition: Lampin verb: To just chill back and relax while being totally unproductive ‘Said she’s just lampin, chillin on campus’ – Kanye West”). I want to stress the importance of having a hoodie because I certainly utilized the hoodie during a number of overly air conditioned times on the plane and in our tour van (and in a damp bathing suit from cold cave water to add to my discomfort).
9. Limit your pairs of shoes. I would not have said this a year ago, but times have changed and I always try to avoid paying the extra fee for a 50+lb suitcase. I brought:
– a pair of flat gold sandals for the daytime and to pair with certain outfits at night- the neutral gold is a versatile color choice
– a pair of heels for nighttime when you want to get dressier- I brought black high heel sandals for those outfits that needed bolder accenting with black rather than gold
– a pair of comfortable sneakers for the plane ride and physical activities
– beach flip-flops that you don’t really care about, ie. they can get super dirty and even anal people like myself shouldn’t care
10. I had pulled a few bracelets aside at one of the various jewelry stores, and every time I asked the guy how much each bracelet was, he’d say the same statement each time, “You like something different. Very unique.” I took it as a compliment because while most wouldn’t have pulled the rather large seashell bracelet, I do gravitate toward those pieces that some would overlook. That’s why I kept saying (though not to any of the jewelry sellers) that they should lower their prices because no one’s going to ever buy some of those pieces besides me!
But I ended up not buying any jewelry. I was thisclose to buying a ring at the last hour of our trip- the design had an Aztec feel to it with a row of different stone triangles splitting up two other chunks of stones- a combination of Turquoise, Lapis, Tiger’s Eye, Pink Coral, Black Coral, and Moonstone. However, I had to remind myself of the ten other items I love about 50 times more back home that I have been wanting to buy- and that was plenty reason to walk away from the deal. You have to love what you buy and have to get excited to wear them. And if you know that there’s a potential deficiency in excitement, then you walk away. You shouldn’t buy souvenirs because they’re cheap and you’re in a different country. You have to buy because you loooove them- something I only learned about a year ago, also influenced and amplified by the current state of the economy. Tomorrow I’ll post the items I bought that I looooved (4 “o’s” required).
And lastly, I know you were waiting for it- here are the two men we hearted in Mexico:
Hector works at the front desk of the lovely hotel we stayed in. He has very cute features and is super nice. He’s quite tall, especially in this photo since we’re all wearing flats.
Javier, or as we called him, Javi, worked at one of the local street restaurants. He seemed like a promoter as he was so cute trying to hustle people in- and was pretty successful. Must have been those hip gray Converse sneakers.