“Dear Beach, I think of you all the time.”

These are my exact sentiments about Carmel by the Sea.  We will be going there next week for our end-of-summer vacation!   Our home away from home is a 1920’s cottage located between town and the beach….so lovely and quaint.

As soon as we arrive and unpack, we will take a short stroll up the hill to the bar at Cypress Inn, owned by Doris Day.  The bar is known to be the best dog watching spot in town. So, what do I suggest you wear to a dog-friendly bar? Something casual and chic….of course!  Loeffler Randall’s rainbow straw tote and rick-rack slides perfectly complement a green ruffle skirt. To complete the outfit, add a pair of green raffia hoop earrings by Oscar de la Renta….both chic and canine friendly!   

Since we will be there on a Sunday, we plan to attend service at Church of the Wayfarer (United Methodist Church).  A maxi dress or skirt is a great look for a seaside church service. How lovely is Sarah Vickers’s, (Classy Girls Wear Pearls blogger), blue print maxi dress matched with a scarf-lined wicker bucket bag?  Pretty lovely…right? Another stunning blue on our Pinterest board is a striped maxi skirt worn with a white short-sleeve ruffle top and a Cult Gia wooden ark bag. I’m thinking a pair of Bermuda blue tassel earrings would complement both dresses.  Can I get an Amen?

Who doesn’t love happy hour….especially at Clint Eastwood’s restaurant, Hog’s Breath?  Sitting outside and watching the sheep graze with the ocean view in the background is the ultimate.  A few happy hour looks on our Pinterest board feature blue ruffle skirts. And think about wearing a hat for al fresco dining!  Another happy hour look I love is a pair of white wide-leg pants complemented by a yellow off-the-shoulder top and blue espadrilles….and of course, Clint approved!

Seaside stripes are the perfect look for the 17 mile drive and lunch at The Lodge at Pebble Beach.  A colorful striped off-the-shoulder dress is definitely “on par” for sipping a cocktail at the bar. And a blue striped maxi dress and straw hat are beach vacation perfection!   Want to look coastal chic? A striped cross-back maxi is the ultimate…don’t you agree?

Did you know there are more than 80 prestigious art galleries within one quaint square mile in Carmel by the Sea?   Part of the fun is stopping by wine tasting rooms in between gallery hopping. For a fun day of art browsing, I’m loving yellow slacks worn with a flowy white blouse, complemented with a colorful striped clutch. A chic wine tasting style on our Pinterest board shows blue checked crops paired with a white shirt tied at the waist and a white Staud bucket bag.  Hmmm….I’m guessing its 5 o’clock somewhere!

When dining out in Carmel your style will look casually-chic with a lace or crochet outfit.  One of my all-time favorite Pinterest looks is a black lace top paired with white wide-leg jeans, Gucci sandals, a striped wicker tote, and Salvatore Ferragamo sunglasses…a perfect look for dining out in Carmel.  A white crocheted skirt paired with a black flowy blouse tied at the waist and strappy heels is unquestionably “Carmel classy”!

Photo: Mike Barton

But let’s be honest….the main reason you go to Carmel by the Sea is for the beach….right?  So what do I suggest you wear to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean? Absolutely anything you want to.  Though, I do have a few suggestions! Take a large beach bag for your sparkling rose’ and champagne flutes, and be sure to bring a few beach chairs.  

“Dear Beach, let’s plan to meet again…same time, same place next year.”


Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected].   Be sure to check out Holley’s updated Pinterest board here.