• Exploring the Dominican Republic with Mia Colona

    Mia Colona recently visited the Dominican Republic and brought some UO with her. Since we were feeling extremely inspired by her photos, we had her tell us her favorite spots to visit and what pieces she loved to style on this trip. Read on to find out more!
    Photos by Mak Kemenosh

    Above: Out From Under Printed Tie-Front One Piece

    Mia's Guide to the Dominican
    There's nothing like beginning the new year with a vacation to reset, refocus and recharge before diving back into work after the holidays. I was lucky enough to kick off 2018 with my boyfriend and his family at their beautiful beachfront oasis in Cabarete, a laid-back Caribbean village in the Dominican Republic. What makes Cabarete special is that there's so much more to it than just a tropical getaway - the town itself is rich in culture, tradition, and a sense of community that makes you feel right at home from the moment you step off the plane. Maybe it's the local artisans and musicians, or the amazing family-owned restaurants, or the breathtaking beaches flecked with colorful kites that give Cabarete an irreplaceable authentic charm... or maybe it's the unique combination of it all that has me dreaming about my next visit.

    Above: Cyra Statement Ring Set

    A typical day would start with a cleansing dip in the ocean (the water is always warm!) and an early stop at Vagamundo Coffee + Waffles, the local coffee shop and my favorite breakfast spot. They have the most amazing smoothie bowls and gourmet waffles topped with fresh fruit from the Island. They're also an extension of a non-profit organization called Niños de la Luz that works to home street kids in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and South Sudan, so I can feel good about giving back to the community while getting my essential morning caffeine fix.

    Above: Half Moon Drop Statement Earring

    Above: Elizabeth Stone Moon Gazer Drop Earring

    Mak (my BF) likes to frequent Encuentro, a secluded surf beach on the Northern Coast. He'll catch some waves and I might relax and read a book by the ocean. I leave my phone at home - not only because there's no wifi, but because I want to use this opportunity to fully disconnect and appreciate my surroundings. In the afternoon, I like to head over to Natura Cabana, a cluster of bungalows engulfed in lush greenery. They have an outdoor yoga temple by the sea that's pure magic... the perfect place to gain clarity and perspective.

    Above: Cloverpost Peek Necklace

    Afterwards, we might hop on a motoconcho (basically a motorcycle-taxi in the DR!) and explore the town, or walk through Kite Beach, where you can find hundreds of kite surfers from all over the world flying through the air like confetti. We usually end the day with margaritas at sunset in the Palapa, an open-air hut with a palm thatched roof overlooking the ocean. For dinner, we'll either cook at home or grab a bite to eat from Gorditos - a delicious, no-fuss Mexican joint with the absolute best fish tacos in the world. 

    Above: Auguste The Label Eve Wrap Maxi Dress

    Mia's Favorite UO Pieces
    When I pack for trips like this, I try to think about what's going to be the easiest and most versatile. Mak's mom (hi, Barb!) has a term she likes to use for dressing on vacation called "sea hag," where you basically just wear what's going to be the most comfortable, and I'm really into it. I've always been a fan of maxi dresses, no matter the season or temperature, because you always look effortlessly put together without having to think about it. I rolled up this tiered button down maxi-dress in my suitcase, and somehow it wasn't wrinkled when I dug it out 3 days later. I've since worn it a million more times, and the soft-knit fabric feels like pajamas. It's definitely a new favorite dress of mine!

    Above: Tavik Emme One Piece Swimsuit

    The Auguste The Label Eve Wrap Maxi Dress is another wardrobe staple for me. I love a good plunging neckline, especially on vacation, because you can layer it over a bralette or even a bikini top and still look chic. I paired this look with a kimono, which is such an easy piece to throw on if it cools down a bit at night. I love this one because of the slits.. it adds a bit of drama and movement without being overdone.

    Above: UO Forever Tiered Button Down Midi Dress

    I used to try to be minimal in my accessories on vacation... until I realized minimalism just isn't my thing. I love to stack rings, bracelets, necklaces, you name it.. the obsession is real. This dainty Heart Signet Ring reminds me of something my grandma would have, and my grandma is pretty much the coolest person on the planet. I've been layering the Cloverpost Peek Necklace and the Cloverpost Heart Pendant Necklace together for the same reason - I'm drawn to their vintage-inspired designs. 

    Above: ASTR Melinda Smocked Mini Dress

    I don't know if it's just me, or because I'm 5'11, but I really struggle to find a cute one-piece that's cut for my proportions. The Out From Under Printed Tie-Front One-Piece Swimsuit hugs me in all the right places, and I love the contrast of the striped top with the solid bottom. So good!