Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Miamify my wardrobe

Dear ESB,

I am moving to MIAMI in the fall for work. I read your fantastic guide to the city and am so so excited for the food, the beach, Wynwood, speaking Spanish, and a new place.

But. I'm nervous, too. I have moved around a ton and always found a great community and made a great life, but this is going to be worlds apart from the Midwestern and East Coast cities where I have spent my whole life. 

My fear of moving is manifesting in the particular anxiety that I don't know how to dress in Miami (I don't think I will have much use for the oversize sweater/short skirt/wool tights outfits that I have perfected). 

I get that fixing my clothes isn't going to resolve the larger problem, but humor a girl. I have a bit of a bonus coming my way soon -- if you were going to spend about $500 to update your wardrobe for such a move, what would you get?



WHO SAYS the right wardrobe won't fix everything?? I would never make that ludicrous claim.

Since I have not once set foot in Miami, I brought back the badass Caro, our resident Miami expert....


The key to being happy while living in Miami: Live like you’re on vacation. Or at least pretend like you’re on vacation as much as you possibly can. I.E. Go to the beach, drink Miami Vices, wear shorts everywhere.

My six tips for MIAMI-fying your wardrobe:

1. Neon is a neutral. Over here it’s summer year-round, which means you can wear color all the time. Ever since neon arrived at J.Crew, I’ve been keeping these shortst-shirts in heavy rotation.

Editor's Note: Stock up! That shit is on sale.

2. Always bring a sweater. Miami air conditioning is not subtle. Find a goes-with-everything cardigan [also on sale] you can leave in your purse because the transition from 90F to 65F every single time you walk into a building isn’t something your body acclimates to all that quickly.

3. Always have on hand: emergency flip-flops and emergency heels. After-work thunderstorms and after-work happy hours are equally likely – you should be prepared for either. Keep a pair of flip flops in your purse to protect your work flats in case of tropical weather, and a pair of black pumps in your car to switch into once you get to the bar.

4. You need at least one dependable clubbing/bar-crawling outfit. Bar-hopping starts at 11:30 PM at the earliest and everyone outside of Wynwood will expect you to wear heels. I default to colorful stilettos and a black minidress I bought at Forever 21, but if I had money to burn I’d go with this BCBG body-con dress [sale sale sale].

5. You need two bathing suits: one to look cute in and one to tan in. And if you heed my advice about living like you’re on vacation, you’re probably going to wear them out pretty quickly.... so consider your tanning bikini an investment. I like the bandeau tops from Victoria Secret because they’re not egregiously expensive and even though they have that fun strappy back detail they don’t actually leave horrendous tan lines.


6. Frizz-EaseBecause the humidity is real.


And a few updated Miami recommends because my lady Caro knows how to live......

Eat: Butcher Shop, Khong River House, Swine, Uvaggio.

Drink: Broken Shaker (it’s permanent now, and still awesome), The Reagent Cocktail Club, the Martini Bar at the Raleigh Hotel, Wynwood Brewing Company, AC’s Icees.

(Image via Freehand Miami, home of the Broken Shaker)

Be Merry: Spend a day at the Standard, go get cinnamon buns at Knaus Berry Farm, check out the new art museum, rent some kayaks, host a bbq at the beach.

Just because you’re living like you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you need to pay vacation prices for your booze. Find reasonably-priced craft beer without driving to BFE (“Butt-Fucking-Egypt”, aka Kendall, aka, really really far) at: this gas station, this unassuming convenience store, this other unassuming convenience store. And this gas station has a tapas restaurant and an imported wine selection with great priced.

In my original post, I told you the wonders of Publix (cookies, pastelitos, etc), but now that you’re going to be a local, you need to know about PubSubs. Publix Sub Sandwiches: you can order them online ahead of time at most locations now, and getting a chicken finger sub to pair with a cucumber-lime Gatorade and some chilled pinot grigio for a day on the beach is nirvana. Trust me. They put chicken fingers IN THE SANDWICH. You’re welcome.

Finding parking on South Beach takes the same sort of blind faith ancient cultures put into rain dances – believe there will be parking and it shall appear. Be patient. Also, be sure to download the PayByPhone parking app – you can add more time directly from your phone and if your address is local you'll save 20%.

No one is on time anywhere.

Probably because they’re looking for parking.

But don’t take public transportation, seriously. That stranger who punched my friend in the face on the train, he’s punched other people now.

Uber is still not available, but UberX and Lyft are operating illegally anyway and staying true to the city’s time-honored tradition of ignoring most vehicular-related legislature (using your turn signal is widely regarded as a sign of weakness).


Image at top: Zara S/S 2013 via Style Pantry (Maybe more Palm Springs than Miami? Miami style scares me a little, you guys.)


  1. I now want Caro to do this for every city in the world.

    Shit is THOROUGH. *applause*

  2. Add Gramps to your bar list for Wynwood! It's awesome.

  3. Nicely done! One addendum: "using your turn signal is widely regarded as a sign of weakness"-- unless you use your turn signal to indicate right... AND THEN YOU GO LEFT!

    1. ^^ Anon over here knows what she's talking about, especially when this happens from the RIGHT TURNING LANE. Which, shockingly, IS NOT RARE.

  4. just buzzing by to approve how you told us to stock up at j.crew. heh.

    1. *grins*

      even I haven't shopped there in a minute!

    2. except ummmm i might have to get that cardigan. whoops.

    3. I will repeat: That shit is on SALE.

  5. Dress code staples: Light fabrics. You can wear long sleeves, long dresses, pants, black, etc as long as its light weight. Anything chunky can be stored in the back of your closet for the one week that Miami gets cold in December.