As odd as this may sound, there are certain smells I love taking in and can put a smile on my face. These scents range anywhere from the smell of sweet corn to fresh rain on asphalt to the whiff of Pine Lake get when driving uptown. This past holiday weekend brought one of my favorites with family gathered and grill lit – the summer BBQ.
If your family barbeques are anything like my family’s, it’s all about spending time with loved ones, catching up on life, and chowing down on good food. It is a time to be comfortable, relax and forget about your day-to-day worries. Now, simply because a family barbeque allows you the precedent to dress comfortably, I strongly believe there is never a time, when in the company of others, that one should look sloppy. Your family generally consists of those you love the most, so why wouldn’t you want to put on something better than that t-shirt they’ve already seen numerous times along with those sneakers which don’t match your worn out shorts?
I beg of you to review your wardrobe and think of ways to step it up without taking you out of your comfort zone. Below are three different looks often found at barbeques; find the one that sounds most like you, and read on to see how you can step it up a notch to easily become one of the better dressed attendee’s…
1. Old t-shirt, denim shorts, and flip flops – this is a classic look that can easily be made chic. Instead of throwing on the old t-shirt you wear while cleaning and exercising, opt for a fitted tee or classic button down shirt. Just make sure it doesn’t come in unisex sizing. If it does, you remain underdressed and need to re-think your choice. Instead of faded denim shorts, simply switch to a pair with clean lines. My favorite shorts are those with a cuffed bottom and trouser pockets. Tailored shorts still offer comfort with a put together feel. Finally, leave the Havaianas at home and slip on a sandal not meant for the beach. Try one with a slight half-inch heel to give you just a bit more height.
2. Jeans, tank top, flats – this look can be one of the easiest to step up a notch! Simply make sure that your denim jeans have a good wash. A jean’s wash is the coloring the denim is dyed to be. A few examples include: stone wash – a light colored jean, dirty wash – one that contains a bit of fading where the underlying color is of a yellow/brown tint, and the more extreme acid wash, just to give you a throwback 80’s visual! For this season, have fun and try a paid of neon overdyed jeans – sweet coral, flaming red, vibrant yellow! Invest in a pair of denim that fits you well, and has a dark wash, which is flattering on all. Just as the wash makes all the difference in denim, the type of fabric can make all the difference in a tank top. Skip wearing that cheap, cotton, spaghetti strap tank top, and choose one that flatters your figure and flows well. Fabrics such as silks and rayon fall over the body nicely and are lightweight to help keep you cool. Go ahead and keep the flats! Just choose the pair in your closet with a bit of fashion flare such as added jewels or animal print.
3. Skirt, printed blouse, heels – to step up this dressier look but still remain casual, simply switch to the skirt’s sister, the dress. One of my favorites this summer is the maxi dress. Maxi dresses are in stores everywhere, by popular demand, and are available in tons of different cuts, fabrics, and prints. Choose from strapless, halter, racer-back, crisscross, and classic strap options. Pair your dress with this season’s favorite heel, the wedge, and you’ll be comfortable and stylish for hours.
Remember accessories speak loudly and can transform and outfit on their own. Add a fedora, floppy hat, or fascinator for some extra punch. A nice pair of earrings compliment any look and a necklace dresses up simple necklines.
Wherever you’re barbequing and whoever you’re with, challenge yourself to step out of the box and step up your look!