Sand, Sarongs, & Stones: A St. Barths Style Guide

Photos by Chrystel Tournier

White Ellen Dress, Otte NY, on sale // Signature Starfish and Aqua Gemstone Belt, Swanky Belts c/o // Bronze Arm Band, Free People // Sequin Skull Scarf, C.Orrico Palm Beach // Rockras Agate Stone Necklace by Kimberly McDonald // Cocktail Ring, Francesca Romano // Bracelets, Hermes // Shades, Aldo // Nails, “Fifth Avenue” by Essie Polish // Lips, YSL Rouge Volupte Shine, #5 Fuchsia in Excess

When it comes to summer wardrobe staples, a white dress is one item that you can base your entire season of looks off of. A white dress is timeless, never goes out of style, can be embellished, dressed up, down, or worn alone with the ultimate summer accessory: a killer tan! 
When wearing white, the sky is truly the limit: I love my white OTTE NY Ellen Dress, so much in fact that I purchased one last summer and bought a second one in the same ivory white this year because it wears so well, and, so often, is just EXACTLY what I want to put on. Perfect in both city and country settings, the ideal piece to pack for a weekend and to base a myriad of outfits off of. Belt it, layer it, and accessorize the heck out of it, and this dress looks completely different every time! It’s sheer but strong fabric is light weight and seemingly made for combating the heat and deflecting the sun. However the way the ivory hue catches the moonlight wonderfully illuminates your skin and metallic sandals on a summer evening too.
While in St. Barths this is my day uniform- the length provides enough professional coverup, but allows me to work in the hot sun nonstop without getting drenched in sweat. Since, on my most recent trip, I was in St. Barths on business, planning and orchestrating a wedding for a client, wearing white for the evening events was obviously reserved for the bride. But this dress would be perfect for any summer bride for the morning of festivities or casual rehearsal dinner, and especially a morning after brunch in any destination setting.
When it came to accessorizing this white look, I was completely inspired by the gorgeously untamed nature of my tropical surrounds. Here I play with agate and gemstones, staying in the green color family to echo the bright aqua of the ocean and the beachfront vegetation. Again I paired my favorite summer accessory, a Swanky Belt buckle, this time in gold and blue-green tones to give the dress a little shape for a lunchtime meeting. A Kimberly McDonald necklace I found while vacationing in Hawaii a few years ago fit right in in the St. Barths setting, picking up on the earth tones and textures of the rocky hillsides and vertical gardens that play such a wonderful part of the design across the Anse de Flammands. My headscarf is actually a beautiful maze of sequined gold skulls that seem to float in an aqua sea of chiffon, which is a little wild nod to the pirates that must have come across St. Barths centuries ago. I have to believe they must have fought to the death for control of this absolute ultimate treasure of the Caribbean.
So, I hope this summer white shoot inspires you to pull out your (non tennis) whites, work on your tan, and show off your accessories and pops-of-color pieces this weekend. Thanks for reading and happy Saturday loves!

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