With my twins entering Kindergarten this fall, I am acutely aware this summer is very special for us, a last moment of calm before the storm of schedules, reading, writing and school activities hit. Lavender Hill Farm on Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from our home in West Seattle, was an easy day trip for us, a picnic packed in the back of my car.
For starters, the ferry ride was gorgeous. And we did not have a long wait for the ferry, which is not always a given during summer.
When we arrived at the farm, we learned it was the last week they were open (end of July). Lucky us! What a charming property, not very large, with a private home (that is available for rent most months of the year), picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and a quaint store.
You can cut your own lavender or buy a bunch already cut for $6. They have a wide variety of products in the shop including hand creams, body scrubs, and, of course, lavender oil, of which they have a few varieties. They grow 20 varieties of lavender on the property, and they distill their own oil. The lavender season is short, 6-8 weeks, so plan ahead and make a point of visiting next year.
All photos by me.—Bethany
The people of Seattle don’t want you to know how gorgeous the weather is a lot of the time. I’m serious. All you hear about Seattle is the rain, but have you once heard about how beautiful it is in spring and summer? That is half of the year, by the way. My apologies to the natives of the Pacific Northwest, but the secret is out. Now you know. The sun can be out all day here, and the mercury won’t reach above 75 – 80 degrees on most spring and summer days. That is my definition of perfect, people.
Speaking of perfect, look at my fabulous street style star Julie in this rich yellow sweater, printed top and white jeans. Many blonds think they cannot wear yellow, and here Julie proves them wrong. It is all about finding the right tone of yellow for your skin, hair and eye colors. This saturated yellow works nicely with Julie’s body colors. Another nice trick she is applying here is she has placed the yellow a little bit away from her face by choosing a top with a neckline that is closer to her face than the sweater. Therefore, the yellow is there to make a happy spring statement without overwhelming her look. A+!
Stay tuned for more fabulous fashion from the Seattle streets.—Bethany
A well-balanced wardrobe includes what I call cake and icing. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? The cake of your wardrobe are the wardrobe classics. These are the pieces that are available in some version year after year. They include a white cotton shirt, a blazer, a cardigan, quality t-shirts, a pencil or a-line skirt, jeans, a leather handbag, a pair of pumps and a pair of flats or loafers. The design and fabric of these pieces change a bit over the years, but you will always be able to walk into a store and find them.
The collage below, which I created in Polyvore, shows you two types of dresses, one is a wrap style, which is fitted through the waist, and the other is a shift style, which flows over the waistline. Every woman regardless of her age and her lifestyle should have one dress that fits her well and makes her feel like a million bucks. Not to be overlooked in our list of classics, one should own either an overcoat or a trench coat. The coat in this collage is something of a cross between a classic wool overcoat and a trench coat.
While wardrobe classics are great, they often lack flair. This is where the icing comes in. The “icing” in the collage below (created in Polyvore) may not be your flavor, but the point is, the icing includes the pieces that show others who you are. The icing most accurately communicates your personal flair and style. These pieces mixed with classics create interesting outfits.
Some of us are cake girls, and some of us are icing girls. And some of us like both! Guilty! We may find ourselves with too much cake and not enough icing or vice versa. Assess your wardrobe for cake and icing. If you are lacking basics and classics, it is difficult to create outfits, as an outfit often begins with basics. On the other hand, not having the icing to give your look its flair will leave you feeling like your outfits are boring.
If you identify an imbalance, make a wish list and start shopping. The spring and summer deals are heating up. If you need help assessing your wardrobe, call me. We’ll determine your best pieces and make a shopping list together. A well-balanced wardrobe is a must!
Some of you face a dilemma this time of year. The temps are creeping up, but you are not a “shorts” person. What is a gal to do? Allow me to suggest an alternative, which is universally flattering. Enter the circle skirt. This skirt has ease around the hips because of its slight a-line shape. This is great for the gal with more down below who needs a bit of room for comfort, and this is also great for the gal who lacks shape to give her the appearance of curves.
The ideal length is to the knee (either just above or just below). I realize the midi skirt is very popular right now, which goes to mid-calf. However, this length is extremely difficult to pull off if you are not particular tall or thin as stops in an odd place at mid-calf (much like the Capri pant), creating a shorter leg line and visually widening the wearer. The last time I checked, no woman has ever told me she wishes she looked shorter and wider!
I created the following set in Polyvore to provide you with a couple of ideas for wearing this skirt. I paired both skirts with a button front shirt, which looks a bit more dressed up than a simple t-shirt is able to accomplish.
Two pieces of advice on the top: roll the sleeves and make sure the hem of the top ends around your hip bones. If you do not tuck your tops, and the top is too long, ask your tailor or dry cleaner to cut it, a very simple alteration. Rolling the sleeves is heightening, and it certainly makes sense now that the mercury is rising. Finish the outfit with your favorite sandals, bag and jewelry, and you are done.
So easy, right? Hop to it! Happy Friday and thanks for reading!