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Summer Packing Guide: Miami Beach

In general, people never tend to believe me when I first tell them I hail from Miami Beach, FL. "But why are you so pale?" some ask. "You don't really strike us as a 'beachy' kind of girl," others remark.

Indeed, I called South Florida home up until I graduated from high school, and now head back for mini-trips whenever I can. I may have taken that beach proximity and ample sunshine for granted as a teen, but appreciate it far more now that I've got limited access. While perhaps not as slick and cosmopolitan as some metropolitan areas, Miami Beach has a booming art scene, great dining and prime people-watching. Few other cities in the continental US, after all, regard a string bikini as a complete ensemble.

Click through the gallery to see some of the items I'd love to pack for my annual end-of-August trip back to, in Will Smith's immortal words, "the city where the heat is on." Bienvenidos a Miami.

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From the South Beach color palette to the wetsuit-style silhouette, everything about this maillot is pitch perfect.

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Mirrored lenses in deep pool blue? Yes, please.

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We got no troubles, life is the bubbles, under the sea....

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Whether or not you're wearing them to be ironic, tropical prints always work in SoFla.

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Big enough to fit everything you'll need for a day by the shore, bright enough to banish all thoughts of the standard-issue school backpack.

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An absolute necessity in Miami.

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Half skirt, half shorts, all awesome.

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Bracelets and necklaces leave tan lines. But if you've ever wanted to test drive the statement earring trend, Miami's the place to do so.

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Comfy enough for hours of walking along Lincoln Road.

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But when it's time to change for a seafood dinner alfresco, these beachy wedges are a great choice.

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Protect your smartphone from sand—and support one of Miami Beach's coolest stores—with this exclusive iPhone case.

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It's actually set in Palm Beach, not Miami—but Heartbreakers is perhaps the funniest Florida flick ever. Bravo, Sigourney.

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If you can only pack one thing for your trip to Miami Beach, make it a white dress. This summery staple works for absolutely everything in South Florida.

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