sunbody hats

Packing for the Beach House

While it may be tempting to overpack for your stay at the beach house, I caution against it. Your much-deserved time in and by the ocean shouldn’t be eclipsed by an excessive amount of belongings. I take my most casual items of clothing to the beach. No iron, no steamer…just five of the same tank dress. In addition to practical clothing, family-friendly games, classic movies, and wine all make for a celebratory time.

Works Sighted

Estelle Colored Glass Champagne coupes // Chateau du Petit Thouars Cremant de Loire Non Vintage // The Hygge Game // sunscreen // chapstick

Warby Parker sunglasses // Summersalt sidestroke // Charlie Holiday sarong // Sunbody Hats straw hat // Hermès Oran sandal // L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

J.Crew short-sleeve pajama short set (hydrangea) // S’well water bottle // Holiday // My Paris Dream // tank dress

Beach Essentials

The number of items I deem necessary for a trip to the beach depends on the location and duration of my stay. If I’m going to Cape May for the day, I’ll need a chair. A towel will do if I’m planning to sit by the water for an hour or two. For a leisurely walk in the sand, I’ll forgo a bathing suit and opt for a sundress instead. If I find myself at a European beach club or seaside hotel, I’ll leave the serving of the food and drinks and the seating arrangements to someone else.

Works Sighted

hat // bathing suit // / sunscreen // chapstick // bag

umbrella // sunglasses // pen // notebook

towel // chair // cooler

Escape to the Chateau

Outfits inspired by Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau. Two dresses and gardening clothes for your visit to Château de la Motte-Husson.

You’ll recall that a bottle of Chateau du Petit Thouars Crémant de Loire prompted me to travel virtually to the Loire Valley this past November. Visiting the makers of my favorite Crémant has been on my to-do list since the holiday season, but Channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau is starting to inspire a full-scale Loire Valley itinerary. I’ve recently added Château de la Motte-Husson to the list of stops.

The nineteenth-century house is a two-hour drive from the Château du Petit Thouars, but stops in Tours, Angers, Le Mans, and Laval are bound to extend the trip north by a few days. The venue is available for hire during the wedding season, but its owners offer other opportunities to see the chateau first-hand. I envision myself taking part in the gardening days and food-filled festivities. The grounds are also outfitted with pods for glamping.

It has been a joy to see Dick and Angel Strawbridge transform this 45-room house. I’m currently on episode 3 of season 3, and there are 7 seasons in total. If you’re in the UK, you’ll be able to watch via Channel 4, but as a resident of the US, I’ve been tuning in via Peacock TV. Dick and Angel are such a creative team! I can’t predict what improvements I’ll bear witness to next, but I’m sure I’ll find myself in awe several more times as the series progresses.

Works Sighted

The Floral Society apron and glove setJ.Crew linen shirtCOS pantsSuperga 2750 Cotu Classic

Sunbody Hats straw hatJessie Zhao silk scarfKayu tote

Alex Mill dressSuperga 2750 Cotu Classic

Aurate earringsMiss Dior eau de toiletteL.K.Bennett clutch

Staud dressSarah Flint heels

Art elements from thechateau.tv

When Only a Sundress Will Do

Loft Outlet dress, Castañer Carina espadrille, and J.Crew rattan clutch.

When the temperature surpasses 90°F, a sundress is the only option. In case there is any discrepancy regarding the definition of a sundress, I will define it now. I consider this type of dress to be made of a lightweight natural fiber such as cotton or linen. It has skinny straps and a length that hits somewhere around the knee or mid-calf. A maxi dress does not fit this definition. The purpose of a sundress is to keep the wearer cool in the ridiculous summer heat. How can you stay cool in a maxi?

I generally gravitate towards dresses with defined necklines, and I don’t come across sundresses that I like often. In fact, this striped number from Loft Outlet is the only one of its kind in my closet. My friends have dubbed it the Megan dress because it suits me in more ways than one. My personal style is so defined that anyone who knows me can guess whether or not I’d wear a particular item. I can’t resist cotton and stripes, especially when the two are combined as they are in this particular dress that I purchased last year.

Works Sighted

Loft Outlet dress (old); Kate Spade sunglasses (old); J.Crew rattan clutch with chain strapCastañer Carina 60mm Wedge Espadrille; Sunbody swinger 5-inch wide brim Guatemalan palm leaf straw hat

Further Reading

Club Monaco belted A-line dress; Everlane cotton weave picnic dress; J.Crew tie-waist midi dress in seersucker; Tribe Alive linen slip dress; Brooks Brothers floral-embroidered cotton eyelet dress

The Charming Sun Hat

Sunhat by Sunbody Hats, J.Crew seersucker shirt, Hobbs skirt, and Castañer Carina espadrilles.

Although I don’t require an umbrella at the beach, I do need sunglasses and a little bit of shade for my face, otherwise I feel overheated. One summer day, after sitting on the sand with my family for many hours, I vowed never to spend an unprepared eternity in the sunshine again. My sunglasses hadn’t provided enough shade for the cloudless day. Thus, I set out on a mission to acquire a sun hat before our next stay in Cape May.

I’ve never been able to wear one-size-fits-all hats, and finding one that was offered in numbered sizes proved challenging. During the course of my search, I stumbled upon Village Hat Shop, an online retailer with five brick and mortar locations in California. They carry a brand by the name of Sunbody Hats, which is based in Houston, Texas and specializes in palm leaf designs. Village Hat Shop offers an extensive range of products from this brand, and I ultimately decided to purchase one with a 5-inch brim. It was delivered in a rather large box and the packaging inside somehow suspended the product so that it wouldn’t get jostled around whilst in transit. Although I purchased this hat to wear on long beach days, I also wear it in the city when the temperature rises. It provides UPF sun protection in the 50+ range and makes this Northerner look a little Southern.

Works Sighted

Sunbody swinger 5-inch wide brim Guatemalan palm leaf straw hat; J.Crew classic-fit boy shirt in seersucker; Hobbs skirt (old); J.Crew rattan clutch with chain strap; Castañer Carina 60mm wedge espadrille