Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes


aviators (mall kiosk)
white cami (Old Navy)
green cotton blend dress (Billabong via surf shop in NC)
rose gold sandals (Old Navy)
black cotton dress (Old Navy)
green cotton blend dress, same as left
pink cotton blend dress (Billabong via surf shop in CA)
aqua polyester blend dress (Billabong via surf shop in CA)
khaki castro hat (American Eagle)
black castro hat with buttons (Roxy via surf shop in SC)
rose gold sandals, same as left

You guys!  I'm back from my vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina!  My husband and I try to get away to the beach for a week every summer, but this was our first trip to OBX.  I really enjoyed the laid-back pace of the area, and since other travel plans prevented us from getting to the beach last summer, my week spent in the sun listening to the waves was even more restorative than usual.  Normally I like trying out new places, but I would happily return to the Outer Banks in the future.

Growing up on the West Coast, I spent a lot of time at the beaches in SoCal, especially near my grandparents' house in Santa Barbara.  I've always loved going to the beach, but now that I'm older, I'm struck by how calming I find it to be near the ocean.  I love sitting on the beach and watching the waves come in and out (wearing plenty of sunscreen, I promise!).  I also love hearing the waves in the background while I engage in my otherwise everyday activities, like laying in bed (with no alarm!), running (on the sand!), and reading (in my beach chair!).  The ocean calms me down, and for some reason, the repetition of the waves forces me to slow down enough to look outside all my academic pressures and get a glimpse at the bigger picture.  At the beach, nobody really knows I'm an aspiring university professor with more work to do than I can ever actually accomplish (though they might grow suspicious when they see what I'm reading with a pen in hand).  It's not that I want to be anything else, but being in a different environment reminds me that I'm not only an aspiring university professor.

I also love that being at the beach gives me an excuse to dress very differently than I can for my professional responsibilities.  After a HOT day at the beach, all I want to put on to go out in the evening are easy summer dresses.  I look for them everywhere, but I find myself gravitating most frequently toward the ones sold by Billabong.  Though I think other surf brands make cute dresses, I like that Billabong dresses tend to add interesting details to simple silhouettes, especially since I don't wear any accessories when it's hot.  The aqua dress has ties on the sides and a great embroidery detail (plus, its name is "Liz," so how could I pass it up?!), the pink one has cute lace and eyelet detailing, and the green one I added to my collection this week has pockets!! and some woven accents that highlight the tie-dyed inspired look of the material.

Flat sandals are also a must for puttering around a beach town, and I wore these t-strap rose gold sandals every single evening.  I like that they're one step up from flip flops and they "go" with absolutely everything, but what I like most about them is that they are as close as I can get to barefoot while still wearing shoes.  I always take these two castro hats to the beach to help give my face some protection, and I find that I end up putting them on in the evenings, too, though I don't often wear hats in regular life.

As I prepared to put this post together, it occurred to me for the first time that I might be getting a little old for surfer gear.  But I've decided I don't care, even if it means I could run into a teenager wearing the same dress somewhere.  I've also seen several moms running after their little ones in similar dresses, and I've never done a double-take, so I think I have several years left to enjoy these styles.  Plus, while on vacation, I don't think I should have to think as much about what my clothing says about me as a person.

Thanks to my beach vacation, I feel rested and ready to return to my final month of office work before I get to switch over to my teaching position.  I hope all of you enjoyed a relaxing weekend and that those of you here in the States got to enjoy some extra time off for the 4th of July!


  • What places or activities help you relax and unwind from a difficult academic year or gear up for another one?
  • What do you wear when you go on vacation?  Does your vacation style differ from your daily style as much as mine does?


La Historiadora de Moda said...

It looks like a very nice and restful vacation! I'm not going to take any work with me on my honeymoon, so I'll be an incognito academic on this next trip of mine.

Anonymous said...

I just went to the Outer Banks a few weekends ago for a wedding! It was my first time there as well, and I loved the laid-back vibe. It was really beautiful and the perfect setting for a wedding. I brought things I wear in the summertime, but found myself paring back my accessories. I found simpler was better.

Your outfit is so beachy-cool! I love the bright green dress.

From Shrimp to Lobster said...

After a rather rough academic year, I love to go to the beach and have a glass of red or go hiking somewhere in the mountains. Really just get away and have something else occupy my mind completely for a bit.

I understand about the age appropriateness of surfer clothing, and I also don't care when I really think about it. It's vacation! Kick off your shoes and just be sassy and comfortable! Everyone dresses like that at the beach anyways. Even the women who are too old to be wearing it don't look that strange because hey...everyone's doing it!

KP said...

Getting away from the academic year is difficult with my situation, but I try to plan weekends away. I've found that finding a nice hotel and just relaxing with my boyfriend, whether it be in the mountains or at the beach, is essential. I tend to leave the work behind and have even issued no cell phone edicts before. Disconnecting entirely is the key.

Scholar Style Guide said...

I love the cute dresses you wore for your vacation! And I've seen you wear those sandals IRL, and I like them a lot as vacation shoes and regular shoes.

I think it's interesting to talk about what styles we're too "old" for (or for that matter, too "young" for). Because I definitely think there are looks that one grows out of (onesies? major extreme, hehe) or styles that should not be worn past a certain age - see: Mariah Carey, who has a rockin body but almost always looks like a mess because she dresses like a teenager, wearing clothes that are too tight, too short, and too revealing. Basically, they wouldn't look good on a younger gal, but look even worse on someone who should know better. ::end rant::

...I got a little off-topic. My point is that with casual, fun clothes ("surfer gear") worn in a casual fun setting (the beach), you look comfortable, relaxed, and yet still like the polished, styled non-vacation Liz.

My vacation style doesn't change much from my regular style. Though I do tend to wear shorts on vacation, but now that I've incorporated them into my regular wardrobe, I'll pretty much have the same look - just minus the high heels - as always.


Scholar Style Guide said...

Ever since I saw you in those flats, I've been on the look-out for rose gold everything. The color complements my pink-undertoned skin better than yellow gold shades.

So glad you had a relaxing vacation, and so glad you're back!

- Anne-Marie

Rad_in_Broolyn said...

I love the beach so much too, even more as an adult. I don't think that you are too old for surfer gear when you're on vacation. In fact, I think on the beach, anything goes, and I am happy to see the diversity of bodies enjoying themselves in the sun.
Your dresses are very cute and you look very relaxed.