If the flirty, devil-may-care style of Miami Beach intrigues you, it’s easy to make it your own, with just a few insider tips on shopping in Miami. First, you head to the destination many consider to be the very heart and soul of South Beach: Lincoln Road. To call the “Miami Modern” or MiMo-designed promenade a pedestrian mall is like calling a Ferrari a foreign car: the description doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Picture block after block of cafés where tanned patrons in artfully rumpled linen shorts and sexy shift dresses toast each other with chilled glasses of rosé. You can acquire that look in a flash when you head to these South Beach boutiques.
Make waves in the crowd with sexy togs from OndadeMar (which means “Wave of the Sea” in Spanish). This Colombian emporium of bohemian beachwear turns out beautifully made swimsuits and maxi dresses that South Beach residents love. As you slip into a cover-up in the dressing room, the combination of cut and color flatters your features; the new look gives you a little swing in your step. For guys, there are Bermuda shorts and linen button-downs that mirror shades of delicious fruit sorbets. The vibe here is all about celebrating the tropical sun and exuding joie de vivre. Sure, the company produces terrific one-piece bathing suits, but keep in mind that women in Miami, both young and more mature, prefer the freedom of a bikini.
When you’re out on South Beach during the day, you find that beauty isn’t about wearing layers of makeup: it’s about soft, healthy, radiant skin. Many Miamians swear by cult skincare brand Kiehl’s, originally founded in 1851 in New York City. Their streamlined, laboratory-like shop seduces you with its selection of lip balms and facial cleansers for both men and women. Kiehl’s staff helps you try out a variety of lotions and potions, and carefully explains how the ingredients in one shampoo can tame your locks in the Florida humidity. Another big draw is that their 50 SPF sunscreen goes on matte—a big plus in the tropics. Waving goodbye, you loop the minimalist brown shopping bag over your arm, and it’s on to the next stop.
In South Beach, having a wardrobe of flip-flops is as natural as owning stacks of sweaters in Vermont. While some brands come and go, Brazilian Havaianas remain a beloved classic that will perfectly suit your new pedicure (another must while shopping in Miami). Try a slim-fitting black pair with hot pink hibiscus flowers printed on the soles, and model them in front of the mirror. You can’t resist the chic black and white ones called “Slim Swirl,” so you wear them right out of the store. Save the high heels for nighttime; your Havaianas will keep your toes deliciously cool as you see the sights.
Now that you are truly decked out in effortless style, it’s time to show off what you’ve achieved while shopping in Miami. Take a table outside at AltaMare, a nautical-themed Italian restaurant specializing in seafood. Savoring a glass of Prosecco with a very grownup afternoon snack of chilled oysters. You lean back and enjoy another particularly South Beach pastime: watching the parade of beautiful people as they pass by.