Thursday, April 7, 2011

Are You Ready For Summer?

Today has been a rather long day.  I can always tell when I have reached the point of being weary - not simply tired, but truly weary.  I turn to fashion magazines at that point. I flip through the perfume-scented pages and make plans to buy pretty things. I review the designer lines, check out the columns telling how to get the look for less, and plan entire wardrobes without spending a dime. It's totally free therapy.

The weather today was warm and mild.  Perfect weather to sit outside and turn the pages until the knots in my neck relax. Perfect weather to plan for summer.  I love summer. I always have, but now that I am a teacher, June, July, and August are a little more special.  For six weeks, I do not have to do a single solitary thing.  I can sleep late.  I can watch bad television.  I can float in the pool for hours at a time. Teachers can deal with all the stress that comes with the career of an educator because of June, July, and August.  We return revitalized... and tan.

Of course, summer requires planning. First and foremost, you need a cute swimsuit. Summer in the South is HOT.  By late July and early August, to be outside, you need to be in the water.  Pools, lakes, beaches... they all require that you wear a swimsuit.  Now, women do this crazy thing to ourselves.  We go shopping for a swimsuit when we are still pale.  No one looks good in that little clothing when they are pasty white.  Stores may have magical mirrors to trick your eye, but I have never tried on a bathing suit before I have a little color and thought wow, I look great in this. Use a little self-tanner before hitting the store.  Fake the color or trust me... you will walk from rack to rack looking for a suit that does not make you look sickly. Pick a great suit that makes you smile.  You are going to spend a lot of time in this so don't hunt for the bargain rack.  Buy a suit that makes you look in the mirror and feel confident. Confidence is what makes the suit look good. I've seen women with amazing figure look bad poolside because they were visibly ill-at-ease in their own skin.  You are you. Embrace that truth.

Once you have the suit, you are going to need accessories. What these are depends on you.  I absolutely need a big floppy hat.  My friends laugh at these.  By the end of summer, the hats are mis-shapen and discolored from being wet so many times.  I love them though, so I buy one every year.  My friends on the other hand wear visors typically.  Same concept as my hats, but they are slightly more stylish.  My niece wears a baseball cap.  Whatever style you choose, you need a hat of some kind to block the sun and help your sunglasses do their job. Choose whatever style makes you smile. Speaking of sunglasses, they are required unless you want to end the summer with deep lines that will be etched into your face forever.  Protect your eyes. Other accessories you need to consider are beach towels (choose a pattern that is bright and cheerful), beach bags (you need to carry stuff to the pool afterall), pool shoes (flip flops,Keds, Sperrys, wedges), beach chairs.  You MUST have sunscreen.  We want you to be beautiful for years to come.

Books are also a must. I have a Kindle (an electronic reader) which I love, but during the summer, I dont risk it around the water.  Instead, I head to the nearest cheap used book store or library and load up on whatever books catch my eye. I love to read. During the summer, there are no essays to read or lessons to plan so I can read whatever I come across.  It's truly one of the best parts of summer. If you have a suggestion, I'm open to new authors although I really don't like the whole vampire as a romantic figure thing.

Of course, you don't spend all your time in the water. After a while, you become wrinkly. You will also need cute clothing to hang out with your friends and go on excursions to wherever you end up.  This is my pick for my first summer outfit.  It's from Lands End.  I love it... I love wearing skirts during the summer.  They look like you have made an effort even when you haven't in a way that your favorite pair of faded shorts just can't.  Look at the picture.  You think she is running errands, but I know the truth.  Under the cute preppy outfit is a bathing suit.  In the bag are her beach towel, books, and sunscreen.  She is ready for summer.  Are you?

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