May 3, 2016
They were always really nice about it; her nephew always sent her the “Annual Beach House Room Reservation Worksheet,” just as if she was going to be there for at least a weekend or two.
But she never went. Until now.
When the email arrived, she took the single room, for the Memorial Day Weekend. Shock waves reverberated around the extended family!
She realized that the things that kept her away weren’t really “deal-killers” after all!
It’s possible to have a perfectly nice beach vacation without actually swimming…
Nobody is contractually obliged to wear shorts at any time in their life…
And you can walk in the surf while wearing shoes. In fact, one does not EVER have to wear sandals…
She might be considered a bit eccentric, but they’re going to be SO happy that she’s with them that they won’t mind a bit! And she might even go back for the 4th of July…
Taste of France says
What a lovely story! Dresses can be great because you don't have to worry about coordinating top and bottom, they look a little dressy (ha ha), and the fabrics can be more forgiving of being scrunched in suitcases.
Love the story. How nice to have family! Dresses are great. In my part of the universe much easier to wear at the moment when it's so hot for Autumn. X Chris Australia
This post looks so happily "Summer" !
On another note, I have meant to tell you how much I appreciated your comment to embrace my " uniform rut " on the podcast ! I wear slacks/ trousers/ pants or whatever the going term is currently, year round, although that includes capris and pedal pushers in the summer,along with a top of some varied sleeve length, depending on the warmth of the weather, plus a topper of some style and fabric. 9 months of the year, the ensemble includes a scarf, for added print to the otherwise plain clothes. I do alternate with necklaces. As I am retired, and live in a country setting, this suits me just fine — except — I really, really, really would like to diversify with a couple of sundresses over the summer. However, I am heavier than I want to be, despite continuing to work on that, and at my age change comes more slowly in the weight department, so I have not yet taken the plunge for sundresses. Maybe this will be the " oh what the heck " year ! Food for thought.
Shrebee – Please don't wait to add a sundress or two to your summer wardrobe! You are (and every other woman on the planet is) beautiful right now and deserve to enjoy wearing dresses. Select a style that most flatters your current figure and go for it!
I agree with Lena. I seldom wear skirts and dresses due to my heavy shirt legs and now knee brace. But in the summer I can step out into my femininely with such great maxi sundresses which are elongating and so slenderizing! Go for it! You are and will be beautiful in your sundresses.. Janice Collins, Washington DC
Lena and Janice,
Thanks for the lovely thoughts and encouragement to branch out ! Yes, life is short, and if I wait too long, I won't have to worry about dresses vs pants or anything else for that matter ! OK, you've sold me — here goes !
OK, I just did it — I've ordered the sage green sundress from LL Bean, shown above. Hope that it fits ! I'll do a follow-up post later this Summer, if that's OK with Janice.
Janice Riggs says
Heck YES it's alright with me – you were who I had in mind when I wrote this! Well, someone like you… I'm delighted that you've taken the plunge.
Shrebee – Bravo! I am SOOO glad that you have ordered the lovely dress from LL Bean. Remember, everything looks better worn with a smile…and you have plenty of reasons to smile :) For one, you've added value to TVF community by connecting us in a positive and encouraging way. I look forward to your follow-up post later this summer.
Hooray! Shrebee ! Great that you will be wearing that lovely dress this summer! So happy for you!
I can't wait for hot weather and will be thinking of you when I wear mine! I'm also looking forward to your follow-up post!! Yea! Janice Collins, Washington DC
Good for you Shrebee!! Life is short! We all tend to forget that………..be happy NOW!! Linda
Way to go Shrebee! I'm sure you're lovely in whatever you wear. I agree with Lena: I always enjoy your contributions here.
Quite possibly one of favorite VF posts!! The story, the colors. We often go for long summer weekends to casual, beachy places. And I love wearing dresses in the summer. Somehow, I never put those two together. All I need is a pair or two of those "small clothes" shorts (because our weekends are active and I want my lady-bits to stay private) and I'd be all set!!
Yes, dresses, hats, and a long, languid walk on the sand in the cool of the day is definitely my way to do a beach trip. :)
I love the clothes in this group! Dresses are great for summer, comfortable and pretty. I would add a swimsuit and shorts, but people should wear what suits them.
The colors in this wardrobe are beautiful and I love th heart warming story. Thanks for making me smile this morning!
Thank you for the story and the urge to live fully now and say what the heck.
Deb from Vancouver
Madame Là-bas says
I have an LL Bean order coming this week. I have been inspired by your blog to order a couple basic pieces. I've been repurposing some of my "sand" coloured clothing with turquoise and blue. It means that I can wear my gold jewelry as well as silver. So many women that I know avoid the beach when there really are no "beach wardrobe police".
Janice,I don't know if it's possible, bit I would love it if I could plug my pinterest wardrobe items into your templates, especially the 4×4 and whatever's clean 13. Please keep up this amazing work, I look forward to your posts everyday!
Enjoyed this dress-based post – I'm doing my own fashion experiment right now based on dresses: 10 dresses for 10 weeks. That means wearing each of them 7 times, and try to create looks that are as varied as I can make them within that rubric. I chose dresses instead of mix&match capsule pieces to take the variety out of my clothing options and force myself to focus on learning about how to use my current accessories and shoes to better advantage. In the fall, I'll return to my regular wardrobe.
I'm already learning so much. For example, my gold sequin brocade sheath looks beachy and fun with sneakers, a sun hat, and a few simple, casual bangles! Already this dress has quadrupled it's ROI: it had been living unworn in my closet waiting for "dress up" occasions since it's original purchase for a New Year's Eve wedding. Last week, I wore it under a blazer-shaped grey cashmere sweater with moto-ish short boots. This week, I plan to wear it with ankle-tie sandals and a bohemian fringe necklace. The simpler dresses, (navy shirt dress, black shift, floral wrap, etc,) should be piece of cake next to this former one-trick-pony! Really putting all of my Vivienne-Files lessons on balance, mood, and proportion to the test with this experiment.
Also have determined that from here on in, I'm a major fan of washable dresses with pockets. For casual or for dress, those really matter to me. : )
Reetay Ononlay says
Throckmorzog, I love this! You've inspired me to make the dresses in my maternity capsule work MUCH harder. I have 5 now, including a recent hand-me-down from a co-worker. Off to scheme in the closet… :) Thanks!
Throckmorzog, great to see you are experimenting. I like that you have 10 dresses. If you decide to just rotate one after the other you will wear each dress on a different day of the week and the people on this day will see you in a different dress. I amd short so I tend to wear summer tunics as mini dresses. I don't have great legs but it is hot weather. For the last couple of years I have designated January (southern hemisphere summer) as tunic month. A uniform but different from what I wear the rest of the year. Have a great time!
Also Janice love the dresses. Very cool and summery. Carol S
Reetay Ononlay, I actually got the idea from my friend currently in maternity wear! She has been wearing the same few maternity outfits over and over but never looks dull or frumpy. It's a lot like travel packing, and Janice's posts on that have been amazing for this experiment.
Anonymous: January tunic month! I love that idea: a uniform that fits a specific season, like my Janice-inspired holiday-wear capsule does…Brilliant! I almost wish I had saved my dress experiment for July/August, as you just made me think of how often I wear a swimsuit and cover-up during those months, then scramble to get dressed in weather-appropriate clothing for everything else…a uniform of dresses that also work as swim-suit coverups would solve that whole time of year for me! I learn so much on this blog. Can't wait to see which 3 or 4 of the 10 dresses I am working with make the cut to 'final wardrobe'. : )
What a cool experiment! I don't own 10 dresses(that fit anyway)but such an interesting way to address your wardrobe!Be sure to post back at the end of your experiment!
Coco Colmani says
Dear Janice, this is a life-changing post for me! I love the beach but almost never swim, so hardly ever go. Such pretty, gentle, easy clothes … Now I'm on for a beach walk any time. Yessssss!
Robyn in Tasmania
Lynne in NC says
Oooh. Love this! Love the colors, the versatility of the dresses, and the idea of a beach vacation without shorts or swimsuit — perfect. Thank you for another post featuring dresses. Cheers!
Laura Kaye says
I'm loving this 3-dress series! I love dresses! I've been inspired! In 1 1/2 weeks, dh and I are going away to FL for 4 days. I will now pack only dresses, many of which I haven't worn for quite a while because of the weather, so it will be a treat. ;-)
I love your character sketches! They're like miniature stories…you have a talent for writing!
J. B. Kholodenko says
Janis. I wanted to thank you for all of your excellent work on your website. I've always been a frugal shopper. Previously always felt a little bit challenged by mixing items from different brands unless I stuck with very expected combinations. This weekend I felt like I was able to select pieces that all had a consistent feel to them even though I shop both at Bean and Forever 21 and a few places in between. I've had excellent durability from F21 apart from one blouse which said that it could go in the dryer when that was a huge mistake. Just wanted to mention that not everyone who shops there is looking for disposable clothing. Anyway, I previously purchased the faux wrap dress listed first in this post from Bean, when it was offered in a different color a few years ago. It runs huge. I usually take medium size at Bean and most places, but this one I have in x-small. It is still in great condition. I've come to dislike the proportions of it on me. The skirt is super full and it makes me feel bottom heavy. I have tried various types of cardigans and denim jackets with it but nothing seems to be balancing it out. A cardigan in the long length pictured above doesn't work for me with this dress and I'm wondering if you or any readers might have a trick for balancing this very full on the bottom silhouette. Thanks.
Great story line! Wish I had family with a beach house! I like the idea of a beach vacation with dresses. Something to think about!