Warmer temperatures, sunnier days, flowers in bloom... all signs that it’s time to put away the winter clothes and inject some fresh fashion pieces into your repertoire. Here are some of my favourite trends for the season. The best part is that they're not overly trendy, so you'll be able to incorporate them into your wardrobe for years to come.
I used to consider animal prints a fall/winter thing, but this year, they’ve moved into the perennial category and are now ubiquitous year round. We’re seeing animal prints in camis, skirts, dresses, jackets, sandals, and loafers. The only animal pieces you’ll want to pack away is anything made in an overly heavy material. And, fashion buyers tell me that animal prints are still big for fall, so don’t think of them as trends, they're decidedly staples. The above cami is by Zadig and Voltaire, a French brand. I love it on its own or under a black blazer or leather jacket.
Straight Leg Jeans
There was a time when I swore nothing would come between me and my skinnies. Now, when I put on pair of stovepipe jeans, they’re feeling almost a touch dated, not to mention a wee bit claustrophobic. The hot denim silhouette for spring is the straight leg, preferably a bit cropped, which is easier to pair with shoes than a longer leg. Wear them hemmed, ragged, or cuffed. With sandals, low and high, and of course, with sneakers. The ones above are from AG, one of my favourite brands of jeans, not only because they have lots of great styles but because they're a very environmentally-conscious brand.
We can thank Gucci for this one. The brand brought loafers back in a big way, and I’m very happy that they’re sticking around, mainly because they’re so comfortable. I tend to wear mine with pants, I don’t love them with skirts and dresses, as it can look a little too 80s prep school. When in doubt, go for a loafer in a nude colour. (Or any spring/summer shoe for that matter.) I love these above from Sam Edelman. Excellent price, super comfy, and they go with everything.
Blush and Lilac
When it comes to colour, two of the hottest shades right now are blush (or other soft pinks) and lilac. Never in a million years did I think I’d wear a lilac suit, but there’s something very modern about this shade right now. The above suit is by Part Two. I love the slightly cropped pant, perfect for showing off some cute kitten heel shoes.
Light pink is more versatile, I like to wear it as a neutral. It pairs well with almost any other colour, but my favourites are pink with black, white, navy or olive green.
And in the below, I'm pairing a few of my favourite "trends" together, dusty pink and leopard print, with some straight leg jeans. You can never have too much of a good thing. ;-)
I always love bringing home a little treasure (or two) that I find while traveling. One, it reminds me of my vacation every time I look at it or wear it and two, it’s nice to have something that no one else has. After scouring the island (it’s a hard life) I have learned that there’s some seriously good shopping on Maui, much better than when I was here five years ago. (Though a few of my favourites then have disappeared.)
Whether you’re looking for clothes for yourself or gifts for loved ones at home, here are a few of my top recommendations:
When you live in Vancouver, finding a good swimsuit can be a real challenge. We simply don’t have that many swim stores and the selection at department stores can be somewhat lacklustre. If you are looking for a new one, Hawaii is the place to get it. And for one of the best and nicest selections of swimsuits in Maui, head to the Grand Wailea’s Cruise - a swimsuit shop. They carry some beautiful one-pieces, bikinis, cover-ups, beach bags, and some jewelry. There’s also a location in Whaler’s Village.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BOUTIQUES
I don’t generally do much shopping at high-end hotels because my wallet doesn’t allow it, but the Four Season Maui has a trio of really good shops: Cabana, Ports and 22 Knots. (Two are women’s, one is men’s.) They have a really beautiful selection of beach wear, casual wear, shoes, and jewellery and you can often score some deals on the sales racks. The store carries many well-known and designer brands, but also great coverups, which I find can be hard to find in non-tropical locals.
Say what?! I went into the Gucci store at The Shops At Wailea, to gaze at a bag that I’ve been coveting. After checking out the price, I had to rub my eyes and look again. Why so much less than on the mainland!? Apparently due to the proximity to Asia, the Gucci stores in Hawaii go by Asian pricing on handbags. As a result, the prices here are 25% LESS than what you’ll pay in other places in North America. So if you are looking to buy something from this designer, and you are planning a trip to Hawaii, wait and get it here. (Just don't forget to factor in exchange rates and duties, if applicable.)
HONOLULU COOKIE COMPANY
I love macadamia nuts as much as the next gal but now that they are so easy to find back home, it’s nice to bring back a little something different. The Honolulu Cookie Company makes a variety of delicious shortbread cookies, all in the shape of pineapples - the symbol of hospitality. I especially like the adorable and reusable tin packaging, seen above. Makes for a nice gift. Or in my case, a great souvenir from Hawaii.
When you’re ready to go beyond beach and resort wear, head to Imrie, with two locations on the island, one in Wailea and the other in Paia. This store carries a lot of trendy brands and a nice selection of leather belts, on-trend denim, and sophisticated Ts. You can definitely do some damage here, bank account permitting. Plus, they are items that you can also wear in colder climes, like cashmere sweaters and jeans.
For the young or young at heart, visit Keliki at the Wailea mall. They carry cute sundresses, straw bags, inexpensive sandals, and some cute jewellery. You’ll spy some familiar brands here, include Faithful the Brand (an Australian line that is becoming increasingly popular in North America) and Rails. I bought a really cute puka shell bracelet here. Yes, puka shell jewellery is coming back in style!
This adorable up-country village has some of the best shopping on the island. The shopping strip is basically in the shape of an L, with little crafts stores, boutiques, and art galleries on all sides. The shops themselves are also beautifully designed, perfect for a photo opp or two. A few of my favourites are Driftwood, seen in the photo above, Pink by Nature, and Designing Wahine Emporium. Even the unassuming little shops have some nice treasures. I bought these slides below for $30 at Community, and the best part is they’re super comfortable
There is no shortage of T-shirt and souvenir shops in Maui. But my favourite one is the Malibu Shirts, which carries a collection of T’s with vintage -style prints. They include high-end replicas, to licensed products to their own designs. If you’re into aviation (think TWA) and for those interested in the retro-vibe, it’s a great place to pick up a few gifts and souvenirs.
NUAGE BLEU AND LUNA & TIDE
Paia has quite a few nice boutiques and homeware shops. But two of my favourites are Nauge Bleu and Luna & Tide. The former has clothing, jewellery, and some knick knacks while the latter has mainly housewares, but also some great jewellery and hats. Nauge Bleu also carries its own line of pretty dresses and coverups made with beautiful printed fabrics. I bought the above piece there and wore it the very next day. The material is very light and breezy and it will work as a coverup or a dress.
Did I miss any of your favourite stops? If so, be sure to leave me a note in comments below. Mahalo and happy shopping!