San Francisco Chronicle

Posted on May 11 2016

Five Easy Pieces for a Perfect Vacation

Packing for vacation these days can strike fear into even a seasoned traveler’s heart. Carry-on restrictions, baggage charges and misrouted luggage are just a few of the hurdles en route to a blissful getaway.

Elizabeth Hynes, a former merchandising and product development executive for Gap and Banana Republic’s outlet stores, experienced the ultimate packing challenge in 2008, when she got married. She and her husband left their jobs, bought a sailboat, and spent 18 months visiting Australia, Bora Bora, Fiji and St. Barts.

“Everyone wants to look fantastic on vacation, but traveling is such a nightmare,” Hynes says.


Vacay Fiji 2-Piece Maxi Dress

VacayStyle is a new resort capsule collection line made in San Francisco. The Fiji collection Max Dress, at Auberge du Soleil in Napa.


Even after returning home, she couldn’t shake the idea of re-creating the perfect travel capsule collection. So she left her job last September to start VacayStyle, which began introducing collections in June. The question, she says, is “Does this piece earn its place in the suitcase?” Each five-piece collection — Antigua, Barbuda, Nantucket, and brand-new Maui and Fiji — when combined with a few wardrobe staples like shorts and white jeans, can create 12 to 16 different outfits.

Her signature $158 Max dress may be the most versatile: Its two pieces — a lined skirt and halter top with shelf bra — can be worn as a maxi dress, top or skirt. Caftan tops do double duty as swimsuit cover-ups, or as tunics.

Vacay Maui 2-Piece Dress shown 3 ways

Pictured is the Max dress from the new Maui collection. The pieces are designed to be worn multiple ways.



The clothes are made from travel-friendly rayons, poly chiffons and crinkle cotton gauze, and are produced in San Francisco in runs of 40 items. Hynes, who lives in Marin and has three young sons, sells VacayStyle online, and at boutique trunk shows, and offers a 20 percent discount to those purchasing five pieces ($450-$600 pre-discount).

As an added bonus, Hynes will throw in a cute patterned tote bag — perfect for fitting just a few multi-tasking garments.



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