Level Melia Caribe Punta Cana (+ more beach coverup reviews)

off shoulder ruffle beach coverup1

Swell ruffle dress (also in navy), Philippines clutch (similar), Talbots sandals (similar)
Panama Jack hat (borrowed from Khatusimilar), Accessory Concierge necklace c/o

Many of you know that I’m a big proponent of formulaic dressing, and especially while on vacation! A hat for keeping the face shaded + a breezy dress/cover-up + comfy neutral sandals was my daily uniform. My second keeper from Swell was this cream ruffle dress. I love the sultriness of an off-the-shoulder style but without the fuss and struggle of keeping the sleeves up. This has thin top straps and also an elasticized bust, so the fit is secure and the off-shoulder sleeve things are decorative. Please note that although there’s two layers, bright swimsuits or garments underneath does show through, so if you want to wear this alone as a dress be sure to wear nude-colored undergarments. A size S fit well for me as-shown and can easily be worn through maternity days…heheh.
off shoulder ruffle beach coverup
Also as you may be able to tell, I’ve really been liking Accessory Concierge pieces lately. The costume jewelry quality in my experience so far has been weighty and durable, plus the company is run by two moms which I admire and am happy to support! Along with this necklace, I did request this scarf, just to be able to test out the quality as a suggested dupe for my ASOS one and report back. It’s big and cozy and the print is on-point (see on me), but be warned something about this material was statick-y for me and caused wild lion hair. They have another navy/green plaid similar to my LOFT one on sale, which I thought was adorable on Fran and didn’t look as frizz-generating against her hair. While playing around, I came up with a new favorite way to tie an oversized square scarf and will post a step-by-step soon.
lush dress beach coverup2

Lush “Kendal” dress sz XS (on sale in many colors/prints), Essie “mint candy apple” polish

I wanted to bring another versatile cover-up with sleeves and thought this Lush dress (see it styled 2 other ways) was perfect for the occasion. As much as I appreciate silks and other finer materials, this type of polyester travels very eaisly, dries quickly, and takes up minimal luggage space and weight when rolled up. I balled up each of these dresses and used them to stuff underwire bikinis and keep them “shaped” in my suitcase.
lush dress beach coverup
I’ve mentioned this before, but since the Lush dress has an elasticized waist, you can adjust the length of the skirt just by tucking more or less material under the elastic. Also if you find the crossover neckline to be a little too revealing, I typically wear this dress with the bust safety pinned an inch up for more coverage.
lush dress beach coverup1

Reversible tote c/o Sole Society (reviewed here, similar for a bit less)

We had a tough time choosing a resort out of the myriad of options in Punta Cana so decided to stay at a few! I’m glad we did as each was so very different and really gave us a flavor of the range of options. These photos were taken at the Level Melia Caribe which was the most spread-out property we stayed at. The resort had expansive lush gardens, spanish-inspired architecture, and exotic-looking birds galore roaming free. At one point Nick and I had found what we thought was a secluded patch of ground to take photos on, before noticing a pack of peacocks encircling us and zoning in with sharp beaks and beady eyes…I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a high-pitched shriek from my future husband and seen him scurry so fast ; ). The beach was approximately a 10 min walk from the rooms (unless you stayed at the closer adults-only section) so most people opted to get around via little train shuttles or call for golf carts. It wasn’t the most convenient so we personally preferred other resorts that were more concentrated.
off shoulder ruffle beach coverup2
The “Level” is just a subset of the overall Melia Caribe resort with extra access to a designated restaurant, pool, and beach area in addition to the general amenities. The lodging was the most spacious out of all the places we stayed, and Nick especially enjoyed his Presidente beer in a bubbly hot tub that opened into the bedroom (and most importantly, ESPN on TV). Unfortunately one thing consistent at all the resorts we stayed at was mediocre food at best, and you do have to be careful if you have a weaker tummy.
melia caribe
Leaving you guys with this snapshot of our breakfast by the Gabi pool – it was my first time trying passion fruit which is a tart little thing. Wish I knew some of your expert serving suggestions from Instagram (mixing with sprite, sugar, and other desserts, etc.) in advance!
melia caribe pool fruit

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, your response just make me smile because I always buy clothes 1 – 2 sizes up for my daughter too because she grows out of her clothes so fast (not like her mom of course) . You are so cute. Love your style

    Posted 3.2.15 Reply
  2. Love that white dress on you! Very angelic!


    Posted 2.24.15 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Different anonymous person here, but, I saw the current Topshop swimsuit and I thought I'd try one on. Now, I'm 5 feet tall, 00P, and wear a 30C bra. I tried on the size 2, but it was so tight. So I thought, size up to 4. Still the same issue, too tight, but after much much MUCH wiggling, I got it on me, but the bust was still too small and I didn't want to have to struggle to put on my suit. So I thought to try to size up to 6, just to see how it was. It fit me with no wiggling or struggling. The suit is about a inch long (since I am quite short), but I think I can tuck it a bit at the waist and sew it, or perhaps have a tailor see what they can do about it. But just to put sizing into perspective, these suits run very small. I was shocked to go up to a size 6, but it covered my bust without fear of slippage, and it wasn't big at all at the bust. If you do have any doubts, I'd suggest to try them on in store.

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Hi Tara – I've looked at their stuff extensively but was concerned sizing would be big (since they are already designed to be casual, looser fit). I do love the concept of the company and the styles. Here are a few everlane posts from fellow petite bloggers in case it may be helpful for you:


    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    Oh, thank you for the alert on the restock! I posted about that one early last fall (before my Mom claimed it) and they had been sold out for several months now. It's a great scarf and I'm thrilled they brought it back.

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    Oh, bummer! I've seen this paisley one pop back on occasion, but their frequent new prints are also worth checking out!

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  7. Jean wrote:

    Hi Christina! It's Laura Mercier lip glace from this old post: http://www.extrapetite.com/2014/11/holiday-makeup-velvety-skin-cheery-lips.html The color faded a bit to look the way it does in this current post

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  8. Jean wrote:

    Hi ladies! Oh whoops – No news from me! Was just thinking ahead in the same way my mom always bought me clothes 2 sizes up in grade school hoping they could be worn for years to come (but of course I never grew).

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  9. Jean wrote:

    Your country is gorgeous! I wish the resorts served more local cuisine (versus pizzas, hotdogs, etc) as I would've loved to try it.

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

    Hello there – I have a size 2, however mine is from last summer. This year's version is a little trickier in sizing so I left a more extensive review on Nordstrom's website listing for it. I got the same 2 in this year's version and couldn't get it past my hips…however if I sized up, the bust cups would be too big. And yes I usually wear my suits under dresses since I was often hopping in and out of the sun, so it made things easier.

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  11. Jean wrote:

    Aw, what an honor! Thank you : )

    Posted 2.23.15 Reply
  12. Tara wrote:

    Jean, thanks for posting during your vacation! Quick question for you — any chance you'd be able to do a review of Everlane items, especially their shirts (silk, heavyweight tee, and anything else you deem worthy)? I'd love to know if they're going to be way too long/boxy, and always appreciate your opinions on fit!

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  13. Chloe Yang wrote:
    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  14. mybeautrip wrote:

    Lovely pics!
    I want to be there!!!


    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  15. Punta Cana is paradise on earth! Love that place!
    And you look stunning with both looks! My favorite was the white dress <3

    Helô, from Vestido do dia

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  16. I had exactly the same thought! Any news to share Jean?! 🙂

    Looks like you had a lovely time, hope you enjoyed the break!

    Bethany (UK)

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  17. Becky wrote:

    That lush dress is perf.

    Please come live in my closet and style me on a daily basis. But bring your closet with.

    Posted 2.22.15 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm really surprised you haven't mentioned, that I've seen anyway, this scarf from target that is so similar and has excellent reviews.

    Posted 2.20.15 Reply
  19. GREAT dress! Glad to see it's on sale!! And I love how you styled with a hat!

    All the Cute

    Posted 2.20.15 Reply
  20. Gorgeous cover ups! And the peacock story made me chuckle haha.

    Easy, Frugal Style

    Posted 2.20.15 Reply
  21. Paola wrote:

    So pretty! I love your white dress and your clutch

    Posted 2.20.15 Reply
  22. Linette wrote:

    Lovely cover ups and sounds you have a lovely vacation! Passion fruit is delicious! I love it over some plain yoghurt.


    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  23. Monica wrote:

    I love the Lush dress. Sad that I can't find the paisley print on the website. I think they're not selling it anymore. 🙁

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  24. Christina wrote:

    Can you tell me what lipstick you are wearing in the close-up shot of your white cover-up? Beautiful!

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  25. Michelle B wrote:

    Wait. "…and can easily be worn through maternity days…heheh." What does this mean?! o_o

    Anyway, bought this Lush dress after your first review and love it. Hope you enjoyed your vacation!

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  26. Love your outfits and how well you look in any weather! Also, maybe try different (4.5 star and up) hotels. We stayed in Excellence in Mexico and the food was delicious I must say.
    Last dress is so pretty – I love it!


    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  27. Talia wrote:

    You have such an amazing sense of style. I look forward to all of your posts and try to copy your looks.

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! I love your Lush dress! Do you usually wear your swimsuits under your dresses? Also, I noticed on your instagram a darling swimsuit from Topshop, but you said that the sizing is a bit small. May I ask what size suit you have?

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    So glad you guys enjoyed my country with all your beautiful dresses! What a shame about the food. Those resorts can be expensive, they should try and deliver better quality.

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  30. Love the first cover up!! I'm going to Punta Cana soon as well and I'm looking for hotels so this post was perfect! Loving all of your looks!!

    Karen from London

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  31. Love all of these cover ups! I'm 4'11" and I am just loving your blog! It's hard to find clothes that fit sometimes, but your suggestion are very helpful. Us shorties have to stick together haha


    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  32. wow! these dresses are so adorable!! Looks like you had an amazing vacation~~ yay! <3

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  33. The white dress & hat are marvellous.
    such a fun idea that tub!

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  34. Sasa Zoe wrote:

    The little white dress is so cute! I love it<3

    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  35. Sounds like a great relaxing vacation! Welcome back to the cold weather!

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  36. Looks amazing ! We just got back from Punta cana . Stayed at the Melia reserve Paridisus . Loved it but same complaint : mediocre food and the grounds were beiatofuk but so spread out 🙁

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  37. Everything here looks so pretty…from your outfits to the scenery!

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  38. Beautiful photos! Love your blog, Jean. In fact, one of the first blogs I've ever followed. You got me dreaming of summer~

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  39. Diana wrote:

    Lovely photos!!
    || D I A N A ||

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  40. Sophia W wrote:

    Beautiful! I'm going on holiday soon(ish) to Malta and your latest posts have been giving me so much inspiration xx

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  41. This resort looks so beautiful. Like a dream! I love all the dresses that you are wearing. Youloks stunning!



    Posted 2.19.15 Reply
  42. What beautiful cover-ups – I love the flowy white one the most – it's so pretty!

    Staying at different resorts sounds like a great idea…it's always hard to choose… so mini-breaks in several places is very smart 🙂

    Posted 2.19.15 Reply

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