Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shore Fashion a la Jen

I love It's a fun fashion blog for people who might not have a lot of cash to spend on looking fab.

The fine ladies who run the site were kind enough to do a post about my book. In their honor (and in Daily Candy's honor since they featured me in their Philadelphia email blast today), here's my take on what you'll need fashion wise this summer down the shore.

The most important thing to remember is that it's the Jersey shore. It's casual (which is probably why I like it so much). Even 99 percent of the nicest restaurants are casual, so your clothes should be, too.

You'll need, of course, shades. I'm a big fan of aviators, but this year have opted for rock star sunglasses:

These are the Oakley Breathless glasses in polished gold. A better view:

Not usually my type, but I think they're fun, and they double as a headband. They're a bit dressy but not silly flashy like some other styles I've seen. I'll be going back and forth between these, my Under Armor running sunglasses, and my aviators all summer.

Next (for the ladies at least), you'll need some going out wear. I'm an Avalon girl, which means that weekend nights a usually spent at dinner then The Princeton. Some gals go all out (last year, me and my housemates had a fun time making fun of girls in booty shorts and heels), but the fashion tends to be a bit more casual and light.

For shirts, light, breezy and sleeveless are perfect. I like this Freepeople top (though I'd ditch the necklace):

This Ann Taylor Loft top's cute, too:

I'm also a fan of the plain ol' white tank, as you can see in this picture, which was taken Labor Day weekend 2007:

You'll also need some sort of long sleeve shirt to throw on at night because it can get cool down the shore. I have this American Apparel cardigan in gray and blue:

I fell in love with their line of 50/25/25 blend clothes while researching the book -- I wore the gray tank constantly (after washing it, of course). It was perfect for hot hot weather.

For pants, I rely heavily on my one pair of Joe's Jeans. I bought them three years ago and will wear them to their very end (expensive pants, but I wear them all the time). I'm not sure exactly what kind I have, though they look something like this:

I got mine at Six Clothing in Haddonfield. It's a good place to shop if you're going to make the investment -- Sumer (the owner) realizes that they're not cheap, so she won't sell you something that does not look good. If she doesn't have something that works for you, she'll tell you where to get it.

The denim's not too light or dark, and mine are very comfy and worn in.

I also rotate in a pair of dark denim capri jeans that I bought at Ann Taylor a few years ago. They look something like this (albeit a bit different on me as opposed to a Victoria's Secret model):

I also don't sport three inches of exposed mid drift. I mean, I run a lot, but not that much.

Of course, sometimes it'll get too hot for jeans, especially if you're heading out to dinner around 6pm (or doing a mid-day book signing). I stocked up on casual cotton dresses this winter by scouring the deep discount racks at Loehmans (e.g. it's February and we still have summer stuff from last year, so get it the heck out of here).

I found one made by a line called Four Stars that looks like this GAP dress (though mine's a bit more fitted):

It's one of those dress up/dress down pieces that layers well. I wore it to Asbury Park not too long ago on a warm day and paired it with a navy blue cardigan when it got chilly out. It works with sneakers and sandals -- I expect to wear this one to a book signing in June.

I see a lot of dresses like this GAP one down the shore, too, either during the day or even out at night:

I shy away from that kind of waist line because I think it makes me look like I'm with child. I did pick up a blue and white version from Loehmans, and I'm coming around. I've been marathon training since January, and it shows when I wear this dress. Plus, the one I got was $7. I think it's worth the fashion risk. And if not, it becomes a bathing suit cover up.

I'm also digging this dress from Title Nine (which I just ordered):

I like the color, plus it has a built in bra, solving so many issues in one shot. This print one, also from Title Nine (also, which I just ordered), is cute, too:

And what about those shorts? I'm still not a big fan of short shorts paired with heels as a 'going out' look. It takes a certain kind of leg to wear that, usually of the model type. But I'm not opposed to bermuda shorts paired with heels for a night out. In fact, I wore something like these pants with nude heels, v-neck shirt and casual jacket to my book reading on Thursday night:

I'm a sucker for plaid shorts, too. They're great for wearing around during the day and can even work at night. I've tried these kinds of patterns in shirts and dresses, but it never works quite as well. These are from Roxy...and on sale for $19.99:

I think it would look cute in skirts, but something like this JCrew skirt doesn't work for me:

I don't want to get too much into the "what bathing suit is for you" thing (every woman's magazine on the planet will push that one at you), but I'm shocked sometimes by how expensive they are. I have this Victoria's Secret bikini in two colors, and the whole thing -- top and bottom -- is $19.

It's simple, classic and holds up to body surfing, which is very important, at least for me.

A few days ago, The North/South Jersey Blog posted about the difference between what North Jersey girls and South Jersey girls wear out to beach bars. He said stilettos were for North and flip flops for South. Almost...but not quite. I've seen my share of stilettos at the shore, sometimes out of place and sometimes not (out of place would be at the OD's "no shower happy hour" where most people are sporting sandy feat. Stilettos look silly there). But the heels that most girls will wear are even casual looking, usually along the wedge or espadrille lines. This Nine West shoe, for example, would be perfect:

Or these from Target:

Or even these, also from Target:

Pretty flats are great, too, especially if you're wearing capri jeans like the ones I showed above. Something like these would work with jeans, shorts, dresses -- whatever:

Of course there are flip flips -- all kinds of flip flops in every shape, size and color. I have three pairs of reef flops (black, brown, black with blue) different colors. They look something like this:

But my problem with reefs -- and all flops as of late -- is that they hurt my feet because they offer no support. I'm being told that I should go to an outdoor store and check out their flip flops, which offer support, but it's one of those "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of things.

Now, I have a pair of Crocs. I do. I wear them after I'm done running and rarely out in public. Why? Because they are ugly as anything. I mean, come on. How could anyone thing this is attractive:

It's like the Uggs-with-miniskirt trend: why why why? But you'll see it all over the Jersey Shore. I don't advocate it, at all. Sometimes they look cute on kids -- I'll agree to that -- but not so much on adults.

If you're over the age of 12 and must "Croc" down the shore, may I suggest these?

I picked up a pair in Cape May last year and have worn them all over the shore (and for a two day trip in New York). Casual, comfortable and not hideous. Works for me.

I know a lot of women wear open toed shoes out down the shore, and I can't exactly blame them. It is, after all, the summer. But if you're going to a popular shore bar and wear open toed shoes, you're going to get bar junk all over your feet. Gross. That's why, more often than not, you'll find me wearing these:

I know. They're not girly. They're slightly "angsty teenager." But I get a lot of comments on my chucks -- I've had guys come up to me at the P and talk to me JUST because I'm wearing sneakers. And I don't get blisters, which I can't say for all of my shoes.

I'm surprised at how much I wear the chucks. I got them out of a clearance bin at the Converse outlet in Atlantic City and figured for $20 they'd be worth a shot. Now they've ended up being the shoes I've worn in quite a few photo shoots:

You can throw them in the washer to clean, which isn't just wallet friendly but eco friendly (and key after that first photo...yes, I'm standing in bird poo).

Guys, I don't have much to say to you fashion wise except this: no mandles, no man-pris, and no t-shirts that say you're a bikini inspector (though this shirt is allowed if you're under 35 and at the Windrift). And please, for the sake of humanity, don't wear anything like this:

Photo taken on the Ocean City boardwalk yesterday. Yes, Ocean City. Odd.

If you're down the shore and need that extra something, you have a few options.

If money is no object: Belissima Boutique in Avalon; Mimi's in Stone Habor; Free Shop in Stone Harbor and Cape May. If you're budgeting: The Walk outlets in Atlantic City; The Attic in Stone Harbor (next to Mimi's); Whatever in Ocean City (accessories only) and, believe it or not, Hoy's 5 & 10 (especially flip flops). She Be Surfin' in Avalon, Caroline Boutique in Cape May, and The Pier Shops at Caesars in Atlantic City fall somewhere in between. Yes, the pier has beyond pricey items in chi chi stores, but I've scored deals at the Charles David store there, and the prices on the LeSportsac bags are reasonable. Depends on where you hunt.

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ZoeyBella said...

Way to go, Jen! Keep those Jersey Girls lookin' good this season! Of course, I feel so out of touch as I don't seem to own half of those things. I guess I need to do some shopping!

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Jersey Shore and no mention about "wife beater" shirts for guys? I think I can name over 5 beaches - North or South - where these unfortunately exist in large numbers.