Mr. Kate's Essential Vacation Checklist

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If you follow me on Snapchat (username mrkate) or on Instagram, you might know — Joey and I are going to Cuba! This trip has been a while in the making, and my wardrobe for it has as well. I like to have a theme, or a feeling, that my vacation wear evokes, and when planning for Cuba I was so inspired by the vintage visuals of the country.

I put together a curation of clothing that will help me live out my 1950s fantasies while exploring and becoming inspired and integrated into the culture around me. But I didn't stop there — I also put together a checklist for those of you who need a little guidance on planning for your vacation style and a shoppable moodboard of my Cuban wardrobe.


  • Check the weather report for where you're traveling. Then, if you're unfamiliar with the area, do some broader research on the climate. For Cuba, I knew the heat would be rivaled only by the humidity, so loose fits and breathable fabrics were pivotal.
  • If you're a planner, make moodboards or lists of your outfits, considering the activities you know you'll be doing and a few spontaneous wildcard moments. If you're not a planner, get on board for this step, because it's only once you've moodboarded that you realize what you do, and more importantly, don't have.
  • Now what to do about those "don't haves?" Hmmmm, I guess you'll have to go SHOPPING.
  • Even if you do have all the "do haves," go shopping anyways. Because life is short, and #whynot? First stop: the carousel at the bottom of this post!
  • Taking photos on your phone of styled looks ahead of time is key to getting excited about your trip style and not over-packing. I create an album on my phone just for the trip so I can keep track of how many outfit options I have. Cher Horowitz from Clueless definitely inspired me on this one, remember that computer program she had? This is the next best thing.
  • Find items, especially bottoms (because they don't get as stinky, if you wear underwear), that you can mix and match with a couple different tops for a casual or dressy look - see some of my Cuba outfit examples below.
  • Take a shot and put on your cardio playlist — it's time to pack!
  • By this point, your cat has likely decided to set up residence in your half-packed suitcase with all of the gumption and divine purpose of Christopher Columbus staking his flag on the American shores. Cover your arms with the closest thing resembling chainmail and remove the kitty.
  • Roll your clothes! Folded stacks take up more room. I like to roll like items together so I know where to find things but you could roll each outfit. Finish packing (repeating the cat removal step as necessary).
  • Before you zipper that suitcase up, double-check and consult your list— do you have the following: sunglasses, phone charger, the #bestbookever, at least one emergency pair of diamond earrings (or rhinestone, whatever suits you!), glitter mascara, and a healthy sense of adventure? If not, locate missing item, and pack immediately.
  • Determine your Instagram filter or flatlays for all vacations photos. Consistency is key, people.
  • Practice your smize, rehearse your poses, but know that it's all probably for naught — once you're wearing the clothes that make you feel great in a beautiful new location, the smile and the fun will be genuine.

Processed with VSCO with a9 presetProcessed with VSCO with a9 presetStriped mini skirt styled two ways. One casual daytime and the other look for dinner.

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Nude sneakers work double duty for workouts and are chic enough for daytime looks. Rose hat + Lips Sunnies

Processed with VSCO with a7 preset Matte red Smashbox 'Bing' lipstick for that retro feel.Processed with VSCO with a9 presetProcessed with VSCO with a9 preset Black high waisted shorts styled casual and dressy. Also notice the repeat shoes for lighter packing.

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A lightweight straw clutch for evenings and a Mr. Kate Bar Ring is simply chic!

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