I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet. -- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

24 May 2008

Summer Prep-The Basics, Part I

What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.-- Jane Austen
With Memorial Day weekend here(how did it get to be Memorial Day already??..my tulips are still up!)we traditionally launch the start of everyone's favorite season-S U M M E R!! At least that's what the movie industry tells us. In New England we really don't get ramped up til after Father's Day but the invisible gates to the bridges over the Cape Cod Canal do swing open this weekend.

Do we all flashback to a time in our lives when school let out and we had what felt like an endless stretch of time in front of us? As you get older the sand between your toes season gets shorter and shorter and weekends are precious gifts.

For me Memorial Day weekend is about putting my summer life in order. The winter turtlenecks, sweaters, suedes, leather bags... get wrapped up and put away and out comes- the pink, skorts, shorts, sun dresses, flip flops, Jack Rogers sandals, Dr. Scholls and cotton and straw bags. It may not get to the appropriate temperature to wear any of these in the days ahead , so there are some sweaters and long sleeves left out, but I will be ready when it does.

There are certain basics you need to make it through a new summer season-let's get ready:

1. NEW White T shirts-get rid of the washed out, yellowy, tired looking Ts-NOW! I love color and surround myself with it in every spot in my life but white can often be my favorite color of all- Crisp ,clean, calm and cannot do without white Ts are for me the essential no brainer. Three Dots, The GAP, J Crew, American Apparel and a UK company called the White T Shirt Co using sustainable green cotton

2. Sunglasses-There are sunglasses piled up in a basket by my back door. I lose them, I sit on them, I drop them, I break them, I forget where I left them(hello-on top of your head!)...so whenever I see a style I like, or I want a fresh look, I scoop up a pair. I don't spend a lot, and I don't think you need to buy expensive glasses for everyday-splurge and treat yourself on a pair that you have to have, but because I am hard on them I like to have spares. On a recent trip to Italy I brought three pair and lost one, broke another and went scrambling to buy spares to get me through. I usually am a tortoise glass girl but I have black and white to work with the look of the day and I am fussy about the frame size and shape. NEVER buy glasses without a buddy-you need the "how do these look" opinion.

3. Shorts-OK this category, like swim suits. is between you and your mirror. There is no single piece of clothing that is less attractive on every woman than shorts. I don't care if you are 5'9" and all legs...shorts are not flattering. Yes I wear them, we all do, and you need a couple of new pair each season,but give me a flirty skirt or skort any day. The Gap, Banana Republic, J Crew and LL Bean are good options with cuts that help but just be sure your legs have some color! Visit Harolds for cute skirts and skorts!! and The Snappy Turtle has a great party skirt.

4. Sandals-I will walk around my office barefoot in February if there is no snow on the ground. My toes need to think it is summer all year round. We all have feet issues-short toes, long toes, high instep, wide, narrow...I think the one style of shoe that MUST be comfortable are sandals. The psychology of heels and pumps is different from snadals-you are "dressed", "businessy", "party pretty". In sandals you are "kick them off', "walk around", "walk the dog"... Sandal season is all about comfort so don't do anything that pinches, blisters, pokes, cuts...(if you do check out Band-Aid Blister Block). Start by tossing the Flip Flops that are all yucky and worn down. Flip Flops are essential! We all have more than one pair and there is no excuse not to do cute. There was a time when Flip Flops were drugstore fare but we know that is no longer the case, don't dismiss the drugstore though for a spare pair-some cute styles for little money can be found there. If you want "serious" Flip Flop style Check out Havaianas limited Edition SLIM Crystal Mesh $195.00.

I like Jcrew for Flip Flops- a style for every mood, well made and well priced. Everyone is doing Flip Flops, including Burberry-visit Nordstroms.

Tory Burch has done a signature FF with colorful blowfish- visit Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale's has her leather signature FF. Tory has also done some Patent style sandals that I love...

The Breely Thong with the floral applique and Tory signature is coming home with me.

CROCS have stepped into sandals and done some new styles that do not require Jibbitz! Spotted the Cleo style on feet in the Caribbean this winter and I like the new Adara style too. Here comes my fashion confession...For everyday life I wear what I have been wearing since High School!! Dr. Scholl's are on my feet in every color-why? because nothing makes my feet happier and now the Dr. is going Green by doing Eco-Friendly Renew Original Scholls from sustainable wood and corn and hemp.

I love the new Flex style as well. My favorite all time sandal that I try to own in every color comes from Jack Rogers-classic, colorful, comfortable... perfect!-check out The Snappy Turtle for a great selection!

5. If you are showing toes your feet need to be in shape. EXFOLIATE, SCRUB, POLISH!! I am a fan of the Lather line, created by a woman who suffered her whole life with migraines she developed a clean fresh line of skincare that is luxurious, natural and works! Lather's Hand Evening Primrose hand Cream is all over my house and office and I like the lavender and eucalyptus Foot creme. I am also a bug fan of Liz Earle, her Energizing Body scrub gets rid of the winter flakes. Good old Burt's Bees has a great line for the footsies-I like the Coconut Foot Creme and the Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey and Bilberry Foot Creme, great for softening and uncovering new feet to show off. Philosophy makes Soul Owner a great exfoliator for the feets. Now to paint...Sometimes I think I have an easier time selecting paint for walls than I do for my toes. I need polish that will wear like iron because my toes are out there for months and I do not want to be painting every AM. I love Lippmann and OPI-like a kid in a candy shop with their colors-Argenteeny Pinkini , Make Men Blush and Kiss on the Chic are favorites. For wearability though I go to The drugstore brands-L'Oreal and Revlon do long lasting, fast drying polish . My nails are always barely there or blush but my toes... a red called Thrill! or classic Revlon Red.

OK...now you need a bag(Correction..you need BagS!) stay tuned for Bagging Summer!