Here’s a tip when packing for St Barth, are you to be so fortunate in the near future: all you need is a bathing suit, a cover-up, and a pair of Bensimon sneaks. You know you’re on the right track when you go into a store and your party is addressed in English, but you’re addressed in French.
We popped into the Strand one night, on my mom’s recommendation, after a late-night tender over after dinner by ourselves. It was pretty swanky, and I stood behind Rob in my sneakers and dress, peering over his shoulder on my tip-toes.
No need to regret leaving heels on the boat; when the gorgeous waiter handed me a menu, he leaned back, peered under the table, and said, pointing at my sneakers, “Is good!”
[Chez Hotel Ile de France. Bikini fashion shows around your table while you each lunch? You bet. p.s., ShopBop? I owe you for life for creating these tunics, which I wore in 3 colors almost daily on the trip.]
Speaking of on-island retail therapy, if you’re not hypnotized by the Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Calypso, Jimmy Choo, and other ample opportunities to blow your life savings, there are really just 3 stores you need to visit while you’re wearing your Bensimon sneaks and working off a Rosé buzz:
Pain du Sucre, where I snatched up my second of their perfect-fitting bikinis. Never in my life had a swimsuit fit so perfectly; busty ladies take note.
Europann, where my father has for years supplemented his Euro side with candy-colored linen button-ups and tunics. I bought Rob a beautiful blue linen tunic for Christmas with faint white stripes that makes his eyes so blue… er, just never-you-mind.
Pati de St Barth, and I know what you’re thinking, but this is not your average “I Heart NY” tourist t-shirt shop. These t-shirts are badges of honor, people! They also have amazing jewelry, including a rustic turquoise cross I see when I sneeze.
Don’t believe me? Tommy Ton agrees… so does Giovanna, who has the cashmere version:
The shop next to the St. Jean location of Pati de St Barth has a beautiful collection of Bensimon sneaks, by the way. My French was just good enough that the shopgirl and I could converse happily over a basket of Bensimon Mary Janes, ballet slipper versions, and an array of new shades, hot off the presses.
So, I guess, really all you need to pack is a credit card. One with a hefty limit.