The Lemon Print Maxi Dress I’m Loving (& Some Thoughts on Hiring a Photographer on Vacation)

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was lucky enough to take a trip to Hawaii at the beginning of March! I spent a week on Oahu in Waikiki Beach with my best friend from college, Emma, and it was truly the trip of a lifetime. We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and I could not get over how beautiful the hotel was—I loved all the pink decor and having direct access to the ocean was a huge plus. Beyond the hotel, Hawaii is equally as stunning and the people there are so nice. And don’t even get me started on the food—the fresh fish is the best I’ve ever had and they also had amazing fruit and fruit juices. Needless to say, I would love to get back to Hawaii one day, and next time I go, I’d love to explore some of the other islands, too. I am planning on writing a full recap of our trip, and I will likely break it up into multiple posts given I took so many photos ;).

While I was in Hawaii, I hired a professional photographer to take some photos of me one morning. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know I used to do this often—both in DC and on my travels. Over the last couple of years, outfits haven’t been as big of a part of my content, and because of the pandemic, I hadn’t worked with a professional photographer in over two years. Emma is always such a great friend and takes photos for me when we’re on trips, so I went back and forth on hiring a photographer. (Not to mention, it was adding on an additional cost to an already expensive vacation!)

One thing I realized when planning this trip is that Hawaii is a high-pressure destination—and what I mean by that is that is that so many people make you feel like this is your one shot to visit Hawaii because it’s so far away and so expensive—and so therefore, you have to do your vacation perfectly. I’ve never felt that type of pressure for literally any other place!

But ultimately, I decided that it took me 31 years to get to Hawaii, so it probably isn’t going to be a destination I get back to as often as somewhere like Charleston or New York City. And, as a result, I decided to lean into some of that pressure and just go for it. I hired Stephanie H Photography and I am so glad I did! It was so fun to work with another creative to get some shots I know I’ll cherish forever. Even if you don’t have a blog, if you’re interested in getting photos of you on vacation, I say go for it! It’s such a fun way to capture your trip and remember a moment in time for years to come. Stephanie and I shot three different outfits together over the course of an hour around the beautiful Royal Hawaiian—we obtained written permission prior!—and I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from each outfit here on TOT. First up, this Chicwish Lemon Maxi Dress!

I was targeted this Chicwish Lemon Maxi Dress through Instagram ads for months and I finally bought it. It’s quickly become one of my favorite dresses for warmer weather, but I would recommend sizing a whole size down. Because it has tie straps and smocking in the back, it is very forgiving—I originally bought my normal size but I was swimming in it. I’m 5’4″ and it hits at the perfect place for me.

I’m not sure if any of you feel this way, but since the pandemic started, I’ve mostly been buying athletic clothing that I can easily wear around the house versus more professional clothing—or even weekend clothing! So my wardrobe has felt a little tired to me since I have been wearing the same things over and over again, which is another reason I was excited about adding this dress into the rotation.

I paired it with some tried-and-true favorites, many of which are years old at this point, but I’ve linked some similar options below!


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