Summer’s Shade

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Photographed by Andrea Dryhaug

(Hat: Madewell, Shirt: Nordstrom BP (Similar), Shorts: J.Crew Factory, Shoes: Target (Similar), Belt: The Limited (Similar), Bag: Longchamp, Watch: Michael Kors, Bangles: J.Crew (Similar), Earrings: Madewell, Rings: Madewell)

If there is one accessory that really throws me off my game it’s a hat. I love them on other people and I buy them thinking I will wear them, but I can never really seem to put them with an outfit when the time comes. This hat is inspired by my favorite blogger, she wore it and I thought I needed to give this hat thing a try. I think from my beach hats I find hats to be, in general, more casual but that is not the case. They can be dressed up or down and even worn with a cute skirt. If you are starting with a darker hat, like this one, add accents of that color back into your outfit. This will help you feel like you are not top heavy with the darker color.

I think if you choose to wear a hat (and you should!) make sure you own it. You can drown under a hat if aren’t feeling totally comfortable. Start small, wear you hat for a short amount of time or to an event you know has a time limit. Don’t just wear hats when you have dirty hair, you will start associating hats with that and you won’t feel put together when you do wear them.

I hope this fall brings us many more hat outfits!

Patriotic Props

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IMG_0945Every year for the Fourth of July I am in charge of the table décor. Over the years I have tried many different themes and ideas, some relating to the patriotic holiday and some that are more summer focused. With Fourth of July weekend right around the corner, I am sharing one of my table settings from a few years ago. This particular table was red and white themed with touches of gingham and burlap. I like to look for ideas on Pinterest and maybe change the color schemes or focal points. I like to include sand, rocks, candles and flowers in some way for all of my tables. Our family usually eats outside so these elements look great on the beach or on the patio!

We prepare mostly traditional foods like grilled pizza or ribs followed by fruit pizza and fireworks. There is usually a favorite drink of the year, last year was big gingers and this year will probably be Moscow mules. We spend the day boating, swimming, sunning and playing games. The night ends with a bonfire and watching the fireworks. I love this cabin and family focused holiday, it’s a great way to celebrate the summer season. Have a safe and fun filled holiday, and may your table be beautiful!

 

Swim Style

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As a female, one of the most dreaded pieces of clothing to wear is a swimming suit. When a vacation or summer rolls around you are almost never feel ready to flaunt your swimsuit body. Many people feel the pressure to get a small bikini to show off what they got. Newsflash, bikinis don’t look flattering on most people and the last thing you want is to feel self-conscious while baring all! With the kickoff of summer this upcoming weekend, find yourself a suit that suits you!

Spend money on a great suit. Once you have seen the benefits of spending a little more on a swimming suit it will change your life forever. The fabrics, structures and support really change with the price tag. Also, don’t be afraid to tailor your suit. Find a suit that fits you at your biggest part and have it taken in, it’s not just for short people!

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I found this periwinkle Badgley Mischka one-piece at Swim and Sport. Due to the low cut nature of the bathing suit I had to have this altered to ensure no mishaps on the beach. I got it taken in in the shoulders and near my ribs for the best fit. Alterations took about a week and costed $54, swim material is harder to work with so it can be more expensive.

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This one-shoulder Miraclesuit, fabulously named Jena, was from Nordstrom. This is my show stopper swimming suit and I get complimented every time I walk out of the house in it. The one-should makes me feel so chic on the beach. When tanning I pull the strap down and wear the suit as a strapless so I don’t get a weird line. Also when paired with a simple black strapless dress it looks very elegant, you can’t even tell the one-shoulder is from your suit.

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Everyone needs a “tanning suit” it’s that suit that you wouldn’t actually wear into the water but looks beautiful on the beach. This one is from a swim boutique in Edina called Nani Nalu, they pick out suits for you based on fit. Due to the fact that the majority of the suit is white, wearing it in the water, especially river or lake water, would gradually turn it yellowish. It is for this reason that I only wear this suit to catch some rays and sip a cocktail.

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If you are feeling self-conscious with your current beach figure try finding suits with ruching. Ruching can hide many unwanted areas. Another tip for hiding certain areas is choose the right cover up. Dresses are always a great way to style your suit and stay cool during the summer. They can give you shape while hiding your arms or legs and add a splash of color. Don’t forget to think about your straps! It can look awkward if you have random straps or lines hanging out of your dress. So find a coverup that looks good with your suit as well as alone!

Lately I have also loved pairing my suit with a romper. They are easy to slip on and very comfortable. The most important part of a romper is the torso length, if it fits you in the torso it will look much better on you. For chilly days or nights you can also put a light or sheer cardigan over your romper. If you are wearing a shorts romper I recommend wearing a longer open front cardigan that hits at a similar place as where your shorts end.

For a more bohemian feel pair your suit with a kimono and flower headband.

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Don’t forget to accessorize your swimwear! Hats, headbands, sunnies, sandals and even a little jewelry can add a lot to your beach attire. Don’t go too over the top but add subtle accents to enhance your look. If you plan on adding jewelry to your beach look go with one type so it doesn’t overpower your bathing suit. For example, pick between a ring, earrings or a necklace don’t do it all!