Whether you’re a seasoned traveler with a bag always ready to go, or a novice with a penchant for overstuffing your suitcase, local stores are stocked with pretty packables. Sometimes the best finds are serendipitous, like Stein Mart’s men’s cargo water shorts by Clearwater Outfitters (a steal at $19.98), or compression socks fitted by pros at Florida Surgical Supply. We shopped local malls and retail districts all over town to ferret out more great travel gear.
1. Brooks Brothers has curated a selection of its favorite duffels, totes and luggage from legendary outdoor supplier Filson, including this handsome wheeled carry-on bag with storm flaps and double leather buckle ($545, above). Brooks Brothers, 1500 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 954-7545.
2. Sarasota’s go-to source for waterproof watches has the new Proton World Time model by Reactor ($525), with bezel that easily turns to the correct time zone and even knows if a region follows daylight saving time. Coffrin Jewelers, 1829 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, (941) 366-6871.
3. Smart travel dressing essentials from Chico’s include a Collection snap-front hoodie ($109) and Neema Ellie zip-pocket short by Zenergy ($65). CHICO’S, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941) 957-6426; 443 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota (941) 388-1393; 8141 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch, (941) 388-0507.
4. Treat your feet to Relaxology, a just-launched line from Tommy Bahama that’s unbelievably comfortable and lightweight (most styles weigh less than 4 ounces). The men’s Double Gore Slip-On, shown, is $98 at Tommy Bahama, 371 St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, (941) 388-2446.
5. Assume a Euro-chic air with Marcello Sport’s exclusive lightweight Italian wool sweaters made for unexpected cool spells while traveling abroad (from $175). Marcello Sport, 18 S. Boulevard of Presidents, Sarasota, (941) 706-1357.
6. Designed to screen out the Florida sun, this pretty and packable straw hat with four-inch brim ($38) is a must-have to filter harmful rays wherever you travel. Evelyn & Arthur, 1480 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 365-2210.
7. Gossamer-thin for packing, the color block top with overlay in sheer silk georgette ($278) is dramatic and romantic for dressy evenings with its light-as-air layers. Eileen Fisher, 1501 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 365-2435.
8. Cuddle in the luxury of a cashmere and silk pashmina shawl on a long-haul flight or drape one on in a chilly bistro. You know you’re getting the real thing from Kashmir when you order from Sarasota-based AnneTouraine.com ($150).
To see more Sarasota shopping finds, click here to read Heather Dunhill's Fashion I.Q. blog. >>