Country Club Chic: Staying Stylish in A Lillywhite World
I grew up in a lot of pink and green. My mom used to dress my sister and me in matching smocked dresses, Lilly Pulitzer ensembles and lots of dresses with bows. Now that I'm older, my style has developed into a much more edgy and bold aesthetic. I love fur, all black outfits, outlandish accessories, and sky-high statement shoes. But these looks are harder to pull off when the weather gets warmer. And having just got back from an extended trip to Florida, summer seems like it's just around the corner and warm-weather dressing is on my mind.
While my style works perfectly for my life in downtown New York City, it doesn't always translate to the country club crowd with whom I spend a lot of time in the summers in New England and in the winters in Florida. So how do I stay chic? I like to wear outfits that are a twist on classic country club looks. I've rounded up some of my favorite pieces from my winter and spring family vacations and things that I'm going to stock up on before summertime arrives and I am surrounded by colorful sarongs (Theodora & Callum make some great ones like the one I wore below), preppy dresses, seersucker and tennis whites.
Everyone I know lives in white jeans when they're in Florida for the winter and at the beach in the summer. But why not stand out? Last spring, I found the perfect variation on the white jean. They are one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe and look equally as chic in Palm Beach and Nantucket as they do in New York. I never fail to get compliments on them in even the most conservative of crowds (or lots of stares, at the very least). The wide-leg, white and blue striped Hudson Jeans are not only edgy but extremely slimming and elongating and are the perfect twist on the white jean. (Plus, now you can get them at Saks Off 5th for a third of what I paid, under $80!)
Another great take on the classic white jean is to do it in a wide leg. Frame makes some of my favorite jeans and this wide leg version is no exception. Or opt for these statement-provoking striped, wide leg Roberto Cavalli pair.
Another, more subtle, take on white jeans is to do a cropped white jean with a rough hem, like these Mother Denim pair. A pair like this will keep you stylish without getting too many disapproving looks from Aunt Millie.
Beyond white jeans, I tend to wear a lot of all-white outfits. It is a classic look but still makes a bold statement. My favorite way to wear all white and still stand out at a cocktail party is by wearing an all-white jumpsuit like this one. I once wore a similar all-white jumpsuit to a black-tie event at my parent's beach club and got all the envy of the over-50 crowd. This look is a winner.
If you're going to make a statement but wear something that doesn't offend your Mother - opt for a fun coordinate coverup set for the beach like this dramatic, off-the-shoulder and split-leg pinstripe set. (Which is under $30, amazing!) This set was the perfect way to stand out and my sun-turban didn't hurt, either. Combine a look like this with bold headpieces to make beach wear glam. Eugenia Kim makes a great turban (as well as a great statement hat which I happen to live in when I travel) or if you want a turban but think you might only wear it once at most, grab this version for $12.
Spring break may be over but I can't wait to make a splash this summer with bold takes on country club looks. Have your beach looks get everyone wishing they were there (enjoying a cocktail with you)... Hat below from Eugenia Kim.