Cotton Kaftans for Easy Cover

When I want to make a dramatic entrance at the local beach, pool or even bar, kaftans are what I go for.  I just love kaftans, more than I should, really.  They are great cover ups that are especially perfect for vacations.

My Latest Caftan

This Farrah Fawcett embroidered-cotton kaftan from DAFT is one of my favorites at the moment. DAFT is a Milan-based company known for its Indian infused style.  This white embroidered cotton kaftan features has a bohemian feel with a deep V-neck, long sleeves and maxi length. Its stripped design and delicate turquoise embroidery at the neckline and sleeves just make it exude elegance. I just feel so comfortable in its loosely cut silhouette.

Accessories

I accessorized with Thierry Lasry Butterscotchy Cat-Eye Sunglasses. These sunglasses are as chic as they come. They have white frames and gold accents at the horns and are made of acetate with metal inserts.  In addition to looking glamorous, they offer 100% protection from UV rays.

I also wore a turquoise headscarf and oversized earrings from the website of a designer known as Fernanda Sibilila. This Buenos Aires-based designer takes inspiration for her collection from her travels through Latin America. With a passion for blending traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge techniques, Sibilia’s pieces are timeless and unique. By the way, statement earrings are in the midst of a major comeback!

 

5 Tips For Dressing For Success While Having Fun in The Sun This Summer

Clothes are our first line of defense against the sun’s rays and despite popular belief, covering up with clothes in the summer won’t make you hotter. You can cover up while staying cool and fashionable as you take advantage of the beautiful weather this summer, and here are five ways you can do it.

Purchase UPF labeled clothing.

All clothes provide protection from the sun’s harmful rays, but some manufacturers provide a UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor) label on their clothes that tell customers just how much protection their clothes provide for ultraviolet rays. These labels read much like a bottle of sunscreen does, with an article of clothing rated as UPF 30 meaning that it blocks all but 1/30th of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The higher the rating the better protection the clothing provides. Cabana Life and MOTT 50 are two great places to shop online for UPF labeled clothing.

Cabana Life

Mott 50

Choose the right materials.

Choosing the right material can make all the difference in staying cool this summer. Natural silk or lightweight synthetic materials such as rayon, polyester, and nylon are good choices for blocking out harmful rays while allowing you to stay dry and cool. Workout clothes are also a good choice as they provide protection while also ensuring comfort.

 

Avoid tight fitting clothes.

Wearing tight fitting clothes traps heat and moisture against our bodies, causing us to feel hotter. A much better choice for the summer months is light and loose fitting clothing that allows air to circulate around our bodies and carry off excess heat. You will be much more comfortable in a long, loose, flowing cotton dress than you would be in a pair of tight fitting jeans.

Choose bright or dark colors.

Many people think they should avoid wearing dark clothes in the summer because they will make them hotter, but actually dark colors absorb more of the sun’s ultraviolet rays than light colors do. As long as you are not wearing too thin of a material, a black shirt will allow less ultraviolet rays to penetrate your skin than a white shirt will. For this reason consider adding more blacks and reds to your summer wardrobe.

Add a wide-brimmed hat and 100% UV protection sunglasses.

Skin cancer occurs more frequently on the head and face than any other part of the body, so be sure to remember to also provide protection for your head, face, and eyes. The best way to do that is by topping off your summer outfits with a fun wide-brimmed hat and 100 % UV protection sunglasses. For the best protection choose a hat that is made of tightly woven material and has a three inch brim, as these have been shown to reduce sun exposure by two-thirds. Make sure to protect your eyes as well by wearing a stylish pair of sunglasses that are labeled to offer 100% UV protection.

Maxi Skirt

I love a casual ensemble as much as the next easygoing woman, but sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with a laidback outfit for the day that still slays—or at least, you know, get people to look at you twice. And since I’m a woman who has been set in my sun sensible ways, I can’t exactly sport a trending pair of cropped jeans or striped cut-offs. Hence, one of my casual outfit go-to’s is the maxi skirt.

Granted, the maxi skirt is not something that is limited to my kind of wardrobe—so many other women incorporate it in their street style or work wear. But the maxi skirt works on a quintessential level for me. I’ve found that, in addition to covering me up well against the sun, it also adds glam to a casual outfit.

My take on it is romantic-chic. I wore a long cotton-skirt by Temptation Positano, who is known for elegant, hand-sewn pieces worthy of a trip to the beach or the countryside. The cotton skirt itself has intricate lace details, and is very breathable and lightweight. There was no need to expose more skin because the fabric let in enough air to keep me cool. I wore it with a matching loose, lace top that has ¾ sleeves. It’s not the usual full-length sleeves that I wear, but the coverage was good enough.

For accessories, I put on a fedora and mirrored pink sunnies. I also donned some delicate jewelry—I mixed metals for a more vogue statement. A set of the same metals would be too drab, especially since the outfit worked as a canvas for something more experimental with accessories. But I went easy on it because I didn’t want something that was too overpowering. A couple of choice, exquisite pieces is enough.

I stuck to light, pastel hues for my outfit, except for a bright, beautiful woven handbag that added a splash of color and interesting texture that blended well with the rest of what I’m wearing.

nj portrait photographer_elena_112

nj portrait photographer_elena_108_Retouching_v01_vis01 nj portrait photographer_elena_106_Retouching_v01_vis01 nj portrait photographer_elena_104 nj portrait photographer_elena_100 nj portrait photographer_elena_098 nj portrait photographer_elena_101

Rashguard Surf Suit by Mara Hoffman

If you’re curating pieces for a sun sensible wardrobe like I am, it’s always important to invest in fabulous accessories. And by fabulous, I mean fabulous: go all out! Choose hats that add a lot of character and sunnies with topnotch quality. The incredible thing about women’s fashion is that nothing—not even accessories that protect you from the UV rays—is underrated. There are designers who produce pieces that are both lovely and functional.

Today, I’m highlighting some of my favorite accessories. I wore a rashguard surf suit by Mara Hoffman, which features a quirky, fun print that captures the colors of that playful morning on the beach. The rest of the outfit was pretty light and bare, because I wanted to run around and catch a bit of the early morning rays. I only put two choice accessories on: one is a pair of sunglasses from a beloved Berlin-based eyewear company, ic! Berlin. The materials these sunglasses are made with are second to none. The lenses provide absolute protection for the eyes, and the shades are lightweight, unbreakable, and do not leave any marks. Not to mention, the design is stylish! Just look at that pink rainbow flare!

Another thing I accessorized with is the Yosuzi “Simea” hat. It’s not too hard to fall in love with it. It has a refreshing, vibrant design that bring on notes of warm sand and summer dreams. It features a flat top, but the brim of the hat can be turned up or down to create a different hat silhouette. The pompom embellishment on the hat completely perked it up. Venezuelan craftsmen made this by hand.

Sticking to the summery color palette, I wore a pulled over pair of coral linen beach pants.

Functionally, outfits like this work well because after frolicking on the beach, I was able to wear the same clothes to a late breakfast at a seaside cafe.

Elena-Meehan-8286_Retouch_v1.01_vis01 (1) Elena-Meehan-8371 Elena-Meehan-8322

Anyone For Tennis?

There’s no doubt tennis is a wonderful sport and something I am passionate about.  It’s not just the thrill of hitting the little green ball and perhaps winning an important point, it’s the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is good.  Not to mention there’s a fantastic social side to it too. I’ve made many new friends since I started playing tennis so I’ve always got a tennis partner when I want a game. It’s an invigorating sport, great for keeping fit and it’s something all the family can enjoy.  As well as playing, it’s super to watch too – who doesn’t feel themselves totally immersed in the US Open, Wimbledon or the other Grand Slam title tournaments?  Plus I love picking up tennis tips from the tennis greats!

My Body Loves Tennis…

I don’t play tennis to win trophies of course; I play it for pure enjoyment and mental exhilaration.  I also play tennis to stay in shape because it gives me a full body workout.  When you play tennis you are always on the move.  You are up on your feet, running to get to that lob, twisting your body to play a backhand and turning to slice the ball over the net. Unlike going to the gym, I don’t even notice the workout because I am so engrossed in the game I’m playing.  It’s much more pleasurable experience than a gruelling hour with my personal trainer!  As an amateur player (although I hope I can hold my own when I play a game with a semi-professional player) I burn up to 600 calories an hour. I think that’s a fantastic way of staying healthy especially as I’m on court up to 2 hours at a time.

My Heart Loves Tennis…

Playing tennis is good for the heart too. The constant movement helps your heart to pump blood round your body and reduces blood pressure.  I find it’s a great stress reliever, if ever I feel a little anxious just one hour on the tennis court helps me to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. This is good for the heart because your heart doesn’t need excessive stress.

My Mind Loves Tennis…

Tennis is a sport which engages your mind, you have to think strategically and make split second decisions.  This is excellent for working out your brain as it stimulates it, making it think very quickly.  Did you know that it’s a sport recommended for those with early stage dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?  This is because our brains need oxygen to work and the more exercise you do, the more oxygen you bring to your brain so tennis helps your brain function better.  A healthy brain can help to boost memory and your capacity for learning. Dementia sufferers often report feeling large amounts of stress and tennis soothes a worried mind.

Remember, tennis is very social so it helps with growing social skills too. Not only that, tennis has beneficial effects on mood, helping you to feel positive and happy and I believe it’s great for mental determination and emotional strength.

Staying Safe Playing Tennis

The best part of playing tennis for me is being outside, feeling the breeze, enjoying the sunshine, the handsome tennis club’s building I play at and the scent of freshly mowed lawns if I’m on a grass court.  I do play indoors if the weather isn’t good but it’s not quite the same so I prefer outdoor courts.  However, living in a hot climate means there are safety risks when it comes to the sun so I play early morning or late afternoon/early evening when the sun isn’t as strong. I never play between 11.00am and 4.00pm as the sun is too dangerous.  I am very conscious of the sun’s harmful rays, whatever time of day, so here are my top tips to staying sun-safe while playing tennis:

  • I always make sure that I am wearing sufficient amounts of sunscreen on all exposed areas and I only use factor 50.
  • I also make my own flavoured water, I slice strawberries, lemons and limes and drop theme into a 3.5 pint bottle of water. This sweetens the water naturally and stops me from dehydrating.  Another tip is to drink before you play a tennis game in hot weather, but don’t be tempted to over-drink because there’s nothing more uncomfortable than running around a court with water sloshing in your belly!
  • I wear a hat to protect my hair, top of my head and my face.
  • I wear tennis whites but I choose special clothing which has its own UPF protection. You will see here I am wearing my Nike Dri-FIT UV top with a Nike Tennis Skirt.  This skirt has built-in leggings (sometimes called Skapris) keeping my legs cool and protected.
  • I prefer to wear specialist sunglasses to play tennis, I love my Bolle tennis sunglasses because not only do they look fabulous, they protect my eyes from the sun and because they are specialist, they also give me the ability to see the tennis ball against any background.

Tennis always makes me smile, I believe it’s impossible to play a game without feeling content and even when I’ve had a tough day I feel I lighten the load after a good game. What sport makes you smile?

Tennis and Sun protection

Tennis and Sun protection 3 Tennis and Sun protection 2 Tennis and SPF Tennis and Hydration-2 Tennis and Sun protection 4