Shore Dressing for Casual Success

Clothing from Caroline Boutique, Cape May

Posted 7/31/07
by Sandy d'Shor
Cape May, NJ - What do a clambake, a local theater production, walking the dog and dinner out have in common? In Cape May, you can wear flips flops to all of them.

Shore living (if even only for a whirlwind weekend) has it's own unique fashion code for dressing up:

You have to dress DOWN.

Cape May and other shore resorts are inherently casual. Not even the fanciest gourmet restaurant in town expects the proverbial "jacket and tie." And although a little black dress with a strand of pearls is certainly accepted, it would be, well, best suited for the city.

Lots of Color

Color is key - the brighter the better.

Hawaiian shirts for men are as popular in South Jersey as they are in the South Pacific.

Riotous jungle prints, exotic florals and multicolored "scenics" of all descriptions are everywhere. P.S. plaids are reappearing with a vengeance.

Basic White

Then there's white, white and more white, which bravely worn, bespeaks the fact that you are Vacationing and no-work-of-whatever-kind could possibly mar your crispy clean nonchalance of an outfit.

Natural or white linen anything, anywhere, will always be appropriate and if it's a little wrinkled from being packed in your suitcase so much the better. We Do Not Iron At The Shore.

Must have Flip Flops...

Important accessories for casual chic include the formerly disdained pair of flip - flops which have come into their own with a myriad of materials and embellishments.

The ordinary drugstore variety is great, and at that price you can do an Imelda Marcos impersonation or just replace them every second or third wearing.

Spiffy leather ones add an air of distinction to any guy's khaki slacks.

...And a Hat

Of course, the crowning touch is the hat - and it's not just any hat - it should be a panama straw, if possible discovered in a thrift shop hidden behind the aluminum coffee makers just to make a good story.

Straw hats are not just relegated to women and artist types anymore. We can all join in the fun and choose a broad brim floppy (The Great Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan) or a Fellini fedora (Tony Soprano ) or anyone in between.

One fast rule to remember concerning hats - never buy one for somebody else - it doesn't end well.

Add some cotton t-shirts, a simple silk or linen jacket, a good pair of sunglasses and you'll be looking cool and casual all summer long.

Note: Women's clothing from Caroline Boutique, Carpenter's Lane between Decatur and Jackson Sts. in Cape May.
Click here for store info.

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