Travel Loot

Get the Goods: Ipanema Style

by Pavia Rosati

Albums for sale on the street in Santa Teresa, Rio's emerging hilltop neighborhood. Photo by Pavia Rosati.

Pavia Rosati just got back from a week in Rio, where she picked up some minimalist Carioca style.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Here's a useful tip when packing for Rio. Before you go, open your suitcase and get rid of 3/4 of everything you've packed. If it's formal, expensive, or flashy, leave it home. Cariocas (as the locals call themselves) like it simple, easy, beachy. Seriously: Rio makes L.A. look uptight. Come prepared to bare it all. This isn't a town that likes to cover up. This means you should leave your inhibitions home, too.

1. The Bikini

The first time I visited to Brazil, I was engaged to a Brazilian who pulled my bikini bottoms out of my bag and asked, "how many people are going to fit into this?" There's no such thing as a too-small bikini in Rio. This snakeskin number from Vix (£55.10) will flaunt it all. (See the above note about inhibitions.)

Osklen field jacket

2. Anything Osklen

Osklen is the ultimate Carioca brand for men and women — breezy, sporty, and fun. When I was in Rio, I fell hard for their sneakers made with unusual fish skins, but they're no longer available. The hooded field jacket ($459.69) for men is very fresh for now.

Frescobal Carioca Boogie Board 

3. Boogie Board

Boogie board in style with Frescobol Carioca's mini surf board ($271) hand-crafted in Brazil from several pieces of beeswax finished wood.

Rio Jewelry 

4. The Jewels

The shops may sell ridiculously blingy jewels like dangly AS29 silver and white diamond earrings ($15,717), but that's a look saved for private house parties. On the street and on the beach, the look is low-kew and cheap, like Topshop's mini hoop earrings ($10) for him or for her.

Joao GIlberto

5. The Sounds

Modern Brazilian music is elegantly bookened by a father-and-daugher musical duo: João Gilberto (Voz E Violao is the essential album) and Bebel Gilberto (Tudo is now available for pre-order). To really make it a family affair, wife and mom Astrud Gilberto recorded her fair share of seminal bossa nova tracks as well. Getz/Gilberto is the classic album that opens with Astrud singing the ultimate Rio tune, "The Girl from Ipanema," the song that ages but never, ever gets old.


Travel Loot: Asia Major
Travel Loot: Amalfi Coast
Fathom Rio de Janeiro Guide