Lighten up your fabrics for summer/iStock photo courtesy of STYLEdge®
By Patty Soltis, Guest Columnist
The long Memorial Day weekend is before us, the rainy season has started and we are about to enter Florida’s hurricane season.
This weekend officially shifts our wardrobes into lighter fabrics, bolder colors and the addition of prints. For Memorial Day weekend, here is your guide that will help you decide what to wear and when to wear it. Go and enjoy the long weekend in Tampa Bay knowing that you are always dressed to impress. (Also, take a moment to honor those who gave their lives to serve our country.)
Let’s start with dinner on Friday night, a time to unwind with friends at a local restaurant. For women, there are endless options, and as most offices have casual Friday, it’s easy to transition into the dinner with a simple dress and pair of shoes. Bring an unlined jacket or light sweater to the restaurant as it tends to be chilly inside at this time of year. Grab your dinner handbag, throw in your cell phone, wallet and keys and off you go!
For men, start the day with a pair of trousers and a button-down shirt. Add a colorful pocket square to your jacket and if you dare, don a pair of loafers or driving shoes without socks.
Saturday in the park requires more playful clothing; throw on a pair of shorts and a knit shirt, which will transition smoothly to lunch in the afternoon followed by a visit to one of our wonderful Tampa Bay area museums. An afternoon at the Florida Aquarium, MOSI, Tampa Museum of Art, the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, the new James Museum, or the Dali could be just the place, especially if it is raining.
Ready for summer. Shorts and a white linen shirt/iStock photo courtesy of STYLEdge®
Women, make sure that your feet are well pedicured with a pair of sandals or that your sneakers still look fresh, minus the grass stains and dirt. A simple cleaning will do the trick, and know when to replace them.
For a Saturday date night, throw on a pair of jeans. For women, add a top, maybe something with a bit of metallic of either silver, gold or brass. Or it could have the metallic sheen to it in another color. For men, wear a button-down shirt with a contrasting placket and cuff.
It’s Sunday and instead of thinking about going back to work, how about a day trip to the beach? After all, we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world along the Florida Suncoast. As you pull out your swimsuit, check it for fit. Make sure it fits appropriately in all the right places when you move, bend down and stand up. You don’t want a wave to give you a censored moment. And add a great cover up. For both men and women, a pair of drawstring linen trousers is perfect for an evening dinner at the beach. Add a button-down slightly looser linen top and you will feel as though you have transited to the islands.
For women, a cover-up dress is another option. Look for them in linen, cotton and cotton knit. The length should be to the ankle and no more than one inch above the knee — you want it to cover the top of your leg when you sit. Men often opt for that worn in T-shirt with their swim trunks; however, add a bit of style with an untucked shirt with short sleeves or roll the sleeves up to the elbow.
Monday is the ideal day for a barbecue. You simply cannot go through the Memorial Day weekend without something on the grill. A maxi dress is always perfect for this occasion. (Remember when they were actually called a patio dress?) For pants, add a pair of capris or cropped pants. Same rule for shorts as on the beach — no more than one-inch above the knee for adults. For men, a soft T-shirt or knit top is ideal for this. Not the T-shirt that is worn to the gym, but a vintage T-shirt. For knits, look for fabrics that are either interlock (smooth weave of the fabric) or mesh (textured weave). Often the mesh is more forgiving when it gets hot. Stock your wardrobe with a polo style shirt, which works for multiple occasions, in solids, prints and stripes. Add some interest to your polo shirt with a colorful placket, pocket or collar or perhaps stitching that contrasts with the fabric.
While it is supposed to rain all weekend, there will be plenty of days filled with sunshine for us, and remember to make sure that you have a rain jacket, umbrella and a pair of rain boots in your office and car to get through the unpredictable rain showers this summer.
More summer attire tips to look fresh through the heat and feel cool as the humidity and temperatures rise:
• Lighten up your fabrics with cotton poplin, linen and chambray as the summer version of denim.
• Color pops in the summer, while the contrast of black and white is always fresh.
• Prints abound in the heat of summer. Wear one that is bold or as the trim on your garments.
• Stripes are classic summer attire as they evoke the nautical feeling with being in the gulf or the bay.
• Substitute the base of black or navy in your wardrobe for softer shades of grey or beige for work.
• A lightweight sweater in a cardigan, pullover or three-quarter duster is perfect for women as it often cold inside buildings. Pick a lining (or unlined) that breathes as often the jacket becomes sweltering because of the lining.
Enjoy the languid days of summer, plan a vacation or take advantage of all that the Tampa Bay community has to offer. It is the perfect place for a staycation and day trips to surrounding areas like Orlando, Sarasota or the nearby islands. If you are looking to be more adventurous, hop to the Caribbean islands, it is so easy!
Patty Soltis/Photo courtesy of STYLEdge®
Patty Soltis has spent the last three years as a frequently sought-after image consultant who specializes in working with alpha business leaders to match their brand with a credible and professional image. She worked in retail for 27 years and was the general manager at the prominent retailers Lord & Taylor and Marshall Fields. Patty worked for nearly 14 years at Neiman Marcus, mainly as their vice president. She has worked with thousands of professionals over decades of change on their timeless image. Patty can be seen on television and heard on radio and podcast shows. She has been in media in print and online regularly as an expert. She is the author of First Impressions Last, a book for the professional woman to exude confidence, power and skill with her attire.
Her Five Modes of Professional Attire give the client an impression to start the journey to competence, power and success. Most of all, her clients make an impression that exudes leadership, achievement and results as an industry leader. As a professional speaker, Patty communicates how to dress for success in a candid and interactive manner. She educates and trains her audience how to put the Five Modes of Professional Attire into their life with ease and simplicity. Patty points out items to invest in for a “cost per wear” return and how to shop on a budget.
Be powerful, be impressive, be memorable.