Sunshine on Your Shoulders

By Patty Soltis, Guest Columnist

Think about the beach and a soft smile will form on your face.  After all, there’s everything to love about having the water, sand and surf so close by. For the simpler way of life on a Florida beach, our clothing becomes more relaxed whether it is for a day of fun in the sun, dinner, watching a sunset or celebrating the weekend with family and friends.

This is the time of the year when the humidity and the temperature seem to be twin cousins  —  it is 90 degrees outside with 90 percent humidity.  The brief downpour does little to cut the heaviness of the air and we all feel the need to escape to the beach.  How lucky are we that it is close by, just a short car ride can get us to the fresh breezes of the Gulf of Mexico.  There are endless possibilities to head over for a week to luxuriate, enjoy a long weekend or a delightful afternoon.  Few things seem as beautiful as watching the sun set on the horizon of the Gulf.  One view of the water and a feeling of tranquility takes over and your mind drifts along with the waves.

To add to the carefree attitude of the beach, here are some ideas to make it simple and easy to pack for this time of year when you head out on vacation. Now is the time for bright colors and bold prints; wear them on your swim suit or beachwear.  All white is so chic. Think head to toe with a bit of metallic to accent this look.  Add a beach hat with a wider brim or a baseball cap to protect your face in style.  Linen and cotton are two great fabrics for the beach, and great progress has been made with synthetic fabrics that dry quickly.

Let’s start with a lovely afternoon on the sand.  First, make sure to bring  shoes that you can wear on the sand, which often gets hot.  Think flip flops or outdoor sandals.  Try on your swim suit ahead of time to make sure it fits in all of the necessary places.  For men, check out the waist and length of your shorts and trunks.  Go for something colorful on your trunks whether it is bold color or prints.  For women, you have so much more to check. Most importantly, make sure that the suit stays in place when you move.  Check the cheeks, the bust, the shoulders and if it’s two pieces, the lower half at the waist.  There are so many choices for women’s swimwear now, including a maillot or a two piece that is a tankini or bikini.  Swimsuits now are available with shaper panels. (Did Sarah Blakely think of everything?)  A bright beach towel and complementary beach bag complete everything you need.

Sunbeams and moonbeams highlight a summer evening on the beach/iStock photo courtesy of  STYLEdge®

When you’re out to dinner and then sun starts to set, this is the perfect time for men to wear an untucked, button down shirt with a pair of tailored shorts and casual loafers or boat shoes.  Bring on the linen here and, yes, it now wrinkles less!  For women, a maxi dress or a pair of wide leg pants are just perfection. Think loose, flowing fabrics that drape the body and blow so gently in the faint breeze of the beach.  A pair of summer sandals on pedicured feet wraps up the outfit.

Beach weddings in summer are popular along the Florida Suncoast/Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The beach wedding:  how many of us grew up dreaming about getting married on the beach?  A few choose to actually make it happen, and we are always excited to be invited.  For men, think cool fabrics, a button-down shirt with short sleeves or long sleeves to roll can work. Add a pair of lightweight cotton or linen trousers.  If a jacket is needed, make sure to wear one that is unlined.  A soft summer sundress is deal for women, and there are many options in styles, colors and fit.  Think about a sundress in fabrics that are light like chiffon, or a light weave of poplin cotton.  For shoes, remember that this is a beach wedding and are you going to wear shoes on the sand.  Most likely the dinner or reception will be indoors, so throw on a pair of summer shoes for that.  Drivers or loafers for men and sandals for women are just what is needed.  Schedule your pedicure ahead of time.

You’re now read with some fashion ideas to escape the heat and humidity of the inland air and head to the beach for a welcome break.  On a fraction of a tank of gas, the sand stretches before you and the soft crash of the waves becomes the sound you hear.  Don’t forget your sunscreen to stay protected and bring along a pair of over sized sunglasses.

Enjoy the summer and take advantage of Florida’s surf and sun.

Have a question? Please send your questions or ask for more specific information to me at

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.





Welcome to Tampa

Masthead | Advertising | Contact Us

Greg C. Truax - Publisher

David R. Wheeler - Contributing Editor

Joe Registrato - Contributing Editor


Subscribe to AliveTampaBay
Get the latest content first.