My Summer Vacation

        Sneakers are perfect to wear all day long during a trip to the mountains/iStock photo courtesy of  STYLEdge®

By Patty Soltis, Guest Columnist

Remember in about the fifth grade on the first day of school your teacher assigned an essay about your summer vacation? Well, this summer we’re still making memories with our families and friends as we relax and enjoy our precious time away from work.

While we have the advantage of living in an area that offers so much, there is nothing like time away to reinvigorate ourselves. As we celebrate America’s independence this week, many of us will enjoy time in the mountains or Florida’s beckoning beaches. Either one will recharge your batteries and help you forget about life’s day-to-day necessities.

Here in the Tampa Bay area, we are so fortunate to have the most beautiful beaches literally in our backyard. From the activity of Clearwater Beach to the tranquility of Bellaire Beach to the quaint area of Pass-a-Grille, we have it all. There are beaches from the Gulf of Mexico up and down the west coast, and in a few short hours, you can drive to the other side of the state to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean. The Keys are an adventurous car ride or a short plane ride for us. People up north say that we are all so lucky to live here, but we have all made a conscious decision to live in one of the best places with so much to offer.

A winding trail leads to the white sand at Pass-a-Grille Beach/Photo by AliveTampaBay 

There is nothing like the soothing sound of the waves crashing on the shore to soften the stress of everyday life. But there is no need to stress about what you are going to wear during a stay at the beach. Let go of the confines of professional attire, and move full on into Weekend Wear. The only requirement for a weekend at the beach is to bring on the color since bright colors bounce right off the rays of the sun and all white attire is just so perfect!

For men, two pairs of swim trunks are a must. Add in a couple of vintage T-shirts to wear knowing the only rules are no stains or holes. Light fraying and faded fabric can be a plus here. Throw in a few pairs of comfortable shorts and polo shirts with a pair of canvas sneakers. Finish up your bag with a pair of linen trousers and a soft cotton or linen button-down shirt to wear to dinner.

For women, first, check your inhibitions about your body. Remember, here are so many options for beachwear for women. A light gauzy dress or two make the perfect cover-up or throw in a pair of beach pants with a cotton T-shirt. Pack only enough for one beach look per day. For evening, add in a maxi dress or wide leg pants with a lightweight fabric. A bit of turquoise or coral on your jewelry is just perfect. There are so many options for swimwear, from the classic maillot to the bikini to the tankini. Pick one that you feel best in and wear that. Just like jeans, you are going to have to try on several to find the right fit.

Here is a list of must-haves for the beach.

Beach Packing:
1. Swimsuit – at least two because you need one to wear and one to dry.
2. Beach towel – same as a swimsuit, one to use and one to dry.
3. Beach attire – an outfit per day with a coverup or complementary piece.
4. Beach shoes – flip flops, slides, anything to keep your feet off the hot sand, but don’t forget to have a pedicure.
5. Sunscreen – we all know the dangers of the sun by now. Protect your skin and get a soft glow.
6. Hat – look at the brim of the hat, you want something to shade your face and back of the neck.
7. Sunglasses – this is the time to go for an oversized pair of sunglasses.
8. Loungewear – this will double as something to wear in the mornings; sleep in as much or as little clothing as you want.

Take a break by leaving the hair tools and makeup at home. Let the salt in the air give you beach waves that typically takes product and styling work. Give your skin a rest and let it breathe in the fresh air.

The mountains bring such a delightful change of pace – and weather. The air is crisp and clean, the way that the clouds kiss the mountains and the twisting, winding roads add a bit of adventure. Time in the mountains could be just what is needed! Get the car packed with all of the supplies including attire, and enjoy the road trip.

Remember to pack a lightweight jacket for that trip to the mountains/iStock photo courtesy of STYLEdge®

A bit of plaid goes a long way in the mountains. Think about wearing plaid from the traditional patterns to buffalo check to gingham to madras — the mountains are the perfect place for this. For the women, leave your heels at home and relax your feet in comfortable shoes and booties. A bit of distressing on your jeans can work here too, but don’t overdo it. Look for a frayed hem on a cropped pair.

Mountain Necessities:

1. Lightweight jacket – something to throw on when the temperature dips a bit.
2. Sweater – cozy, soft and warm are the three requirements.
3. Sneakers – perfect to wear all day long and pack a couple of pair.
4. T-shirts – bring out your favorite ones, maybe one with the band that you grew up listening to.
5. Shorts and pants – bring both for when the temperature climbs and dips just like the mountains.
6. Sunglasses and sun protection – for all the outdoor activities, keep your skin and eyes covered.
7. Jeans – top off your jeans with a nice shirt to wear to dinner or during the evening as it gets delightfully cooler.
8. Hat – pick one from a baseball cap to a sun hat and throw it on your head.

Enjoy your time away and while doing so, be thankful that we live in this great country. To all of the military personnel that keep us safe and protected, our thanks and appreciation to you during this holiday week and always.

By the way, have you thought about how much influence the military has had on fashion? It is tremendous, from brass buttons to epaulets to bomber jackets to aviators to khaki.

Surf’s up and go climb a mountain!

Be powerful. Be impressive. Be memorable.

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.


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