Jeweler Anna P. Jay's Packing List for Summer in Nantucket
Updated: May 12
If Nantucket is on your summer travel bucket list, it means one of two things. One, you've fallen in love with the island on previous trips and it's calling you back, or two, you've seen it all over Instagram and you're finally getting to experience "The Little Grey Lady of the Sea" for yourself. Either way, an updated Nantucket summer packing list is in order.
For that, you'll need the advice of a Nantucket expert. Anna P. Jay, a private jeweler and current island resident, falls into the former category. Its lighthouses, hydrangeas, and grey skies and siding are synonymous with home for Anna, who grew up visiting the island during the summer. In 2017, after living in New York City for a short stint, she decided to make her happy place her full-time residence, forgoing 12-hour-long days for more time spent in the place that made her the happiest.
Since moving to Nantucket, Anna started her own business as a jeweler and concierge service, where she specializes in jewelry curation and personal shopping for clients, with a particular expertise in diamonds. Her eye for classic pieces you'll wear forever (and feel comfortable in), however, extends past the jewels and into her personal style.
Below, see what Anna P. Jay recommends packing for a trip to Nantucket in the summer.
Travel Style Q&A with Anna P. Jay
How would you describe summer style in Nantucket?
New England Bohemian—it's a combination of timeless preppy pieces (stripes!) and bare feet.
In the summer, my daytime styling usually consists of...
If I’m going to get dressed up, I’d usually go with...
A polished dress. We have a great Ralph Lauren store on the island, where every summer, without fail, I find a timeless piece (or two) that makes me feel feminine and beautiful. But if I’m not in the mood to be dressed up, I’ll throw on a blouse, cashmere wrap, and a pair of cute sandals, and I’m off to the races!
Biggest style mistake you see tourists making when they come to Nantucket?
Nothing drives me crazier than seeing tourists in sky-high heels! You can always pick out the people who have never been to the island before based on their footwear. Downtown Nantucket is a combination of treacherous cobblestones and uneven bricks (part of why we love it), and I’ve seen more people sprain their ankles than I’d care to count.
3 things you always keep in your Nantucket summer bag:
1. A wrap. Nantucket is an island, so it can get chilly quickly. I always have a scarf or cashmere wrap stowed to cover me up—whether I'm at the beach, a brewery, or out to dinner.
2. Sunglasses. Perfect for blocking the bright sunny rays or hiding a hangover.
3. A book. If you’re visiting Nantucket in the peak season, you’ll likely be encountering a wait of some sort. I love to stash an Elin Hilderbrand book in my bag to read while waiting to pick up my sandwich before the beach, in line for a reservation, or to have ready at any moment. Much more enjoyable than being on your phone. Elin is a local writer, and you can sometimes cross paths with her at some island spots. Forgot a book? Check out Mitchell’s Book Corner on Main Street for your local bookstore fill.
What to Pack for a Trip to Nantucket in the Summer
Something that can be worn walking around and shopping but also while out to dinner.
The absolute go-to. I prefer ones without holes, so you can them wear out to dinner, too. Don’t forget a Tide stick, though!
I'm always cold, so I pack a cute sweater I can throw on over dresses, a tank, or a swimsuit.
Honestly, is there anything more Nantucket-y? I'm partial to long sleeves because I love a long sleeve and shorts moment, but you can’t go wrong any way you splice it.
A Sundress or Two
Just as cute at the brewery as it is out to dinner.
I know every packing list has a raincoat on it, but Nantucket can be wet. It also can serve as a great windbreaker if it gets windy. I prefer the unisex version for a slightly boxier fit.
Classic Gold Hoops
Nantucket is the place of understated cool. Nothing fussy, but equally chic day to night. No need to pack extra—just pack well.
Although it can be cool and blustery, you will get sunburnt. Pack SPF, and use it! I have super sensitive skin, and this is the best hypoallergenic sunscreen. It can apply white, so be sure you put it on before you head out for the day to make sure it’s fully rubbed in.