Island style runs from cool elegance to beachy chic on St. Armands Circle, the “it” destination for vacationing and local fashionistas. The scene is casual, but don’t be deceived: Some of the hottest international fashion designers and emerging stars can be found in these trendy stores. Stock up on Vineyard Vines at Island Pursuit, check out Burberry and Armani at The Met, and find the hippest new lines at Influence Boutique. Take a pizza or pasta break at an outdoor café, taste-test amazing olive oils and spices at unique specialty stores, and sample the latest treat from Paris at Le Macaron. Creativity reigns at art-to-wear palace Dream Weaver, and don’t miss the new political caricatures at David O’Keefe Gallery. Spend the entire day or take a shopping break from the nearby beach.
Paradise Found Get your vacation groove on at the striking new Tommy Bahama lifestyle store, where this spring’s fashion theme is destination relaxation. (Linen Waikiki Breezer shirt, $98.) Tommy Bahama, 371 St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-2446.
Beach Batik Peacock Alley’s new Martinique tropical floral print is the closest you can get to sleeping on the beach. It comes in sea-glass blue batik linen with lots of coordinates. (Queen duvet, $625). Square on the Circle, 25 N. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-1322.
Table of Contents Table décor goes modern with the cool elegance of Chilewich place mats in techie woven textures from basket weave to bamboo that belie their easy-care practicality ($16.50 for 14-by- 19-inch size). Exit-Art, 26 N. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-2877.
Picture Perfect Lilly Pulitzer’s colorful patterns are feminine, romantic and pretty as a picture. The Eryn boat neck dress in organza ribbon stripe is but one example ($298). Lilly Pulitzer, 443A John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-3091.
Jump The perfect gift for guys who love unique timepieces is the new limited-edition William Baume Jumping Hour watch in chic 18K rose gold ($19,900). Only 40 were made; you’ll find No. 24 at McCarver & Moser, 482 John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-3666.
Go Nude! The hot new beachwear color is no color at all. Juicy Couture’s Lacy Layers add dimension to a skin-toned shade (called Pebble) so the beach police won’t think you’re wearing your birthday suit. Bandeau top (no tan lines) is $87; skirted bottom, $98. Aqua Beachwear, 331 John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-1025.
Colors, shapes and textures may change with the season, but one constant remains: St. Armands Circle is shopping mecca for handbag fashionistas. When your own initials are enough, try the low-key elegance of exotic skin and embossed leather B.May bags at the Met (from $425). The Met Fashion House Day Spa & Salon, 35 S. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-3991. Head to Addison Craig, the region’s go-to store for eco-friendly Big Buddha Bags that express your individuality with an irresistible array of shapes and sizes, including the newest canvas totes and pouches (from $45). Addison Craig, 28 S. Boulevard of Presidents, (941) 388-3400. Travel in lightweight comfort and style with the Boho-chic Staci crochet hobo ($230) at Brighton Collectibles, 443B John Ringling Blvd., (941) 388-3230.