The rules of keeping cool

A summer fashion primer


Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 12:36 p.m.

The sweltering heat, the lack of sea breezes - summers in Gainesville can certainly be less than comfortable, weather-wise. But before you shunt style in favor of a closet full of cutoffs, think twice. Given the right pieces, you can keep your look from suffering summer meltdown.

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The Chatmans: On TONI, LEFT: Pipe Dream sunshine-print capri pant by Womyn,$155, Orange shirt, 100-percent cotton, by Womyn, $32. Purse, H50542 June Signature lime/white, by Brighton, $125. Anklet, J90192 Figaro multi, by Brighton, $25. Sunglasses, A10055 Little Women, by Brighton, $60. On CARLIE: "2%" striped Capri pant, by Womyn, $155. Green tank with silver buckle accents, by Womyn, $76. Necklace and earrings, Blue Figaro, by Brighton, $47 and $31. Orchard watch in Lime, by Brighton, $75. Sunglasses, A10645 Edelweiss, by Brighton, $60.

ROB C. WITZEL

Dianne Gates, manager of Four Seasons The Village Jeweler, recommends keeping your June-through-August wardrobe light, simple and easy. The focus is on looking relaxed and staying cool.

"Gainesville for the summer is not about high fashion," Gates says. "It's going to be more casual and pulled together."

You might try basing your outfits on staples like capri pants and flip-flops. Sweeping your hair up into different hairstyles, like a chic chignon, can add some variety to the look.

"Most folks are going to be working out and taking summer vacations, so they want clothes that they can pack well that add to an easy lifestyle," she explains.

Another smart warm-weather option involves - put simply - clothing removal.

"Usually, when they send us our summer stuff, their big thing is layering," says Kristi Gaver, Old Navy manager. "That way, you've got, say, a sleeveless tank underneath a different shirt. You want to layer to take off in the summertime."

COLORS

Summer clothes feature the bright, bold end of the color spectrum: tangerines, yellows, limegreens and turquoises are making a splash. But one cannot overlook that most pristine of shades.

"White: It's the new black. It's the new pink. It's the non-color of the season," says Tammy Gordon, agenda consultant for Stein Mart. Which is convenient, since it's also light, breathable and simple to match.

THE BOHO LOOK

Much of the season's styles take a stay-cool cue from the Age of Aquarius - bohemian fashions that are well-suited to the sultry days of summer.

Opt for some crochet pieces, or try a fun "broomstick" skirt, which fans out for a breezy feel.

"Very summery, very practical and cool and comfortable because they're airy," Gordon says. There's also the tunic option, a simple piece that hides what you want to hide without sacrificing sexiness. And the tunic, which Gordon calls "the new poncho," also doubles as a bathing-suit cover-up.

Accessorize with some turquoise to complete the look - the stone is showing up everywhere from sandals to earrings.

THE COUNTRY CLUB LOOK

But if your look is more preppy than beatnik, the country-club casual style - say, polos and sundresses - might be more your speed for the summer.

Wearing cropped pants, for example, is a smart way to keep cool this season. What's more, it is no longer a faux pas to combine your favorite pair with a taller shoe.

"It's the 'it' thing," Gordon says. "You used to only be able to wear them with ballet flats or sandals, but now you're wearing them with high heels."

MENSWEAR

As far as menswear is concerned, Gordon recommends trying heat-combatting lightweight wool suits for work. Weekends, however, call for Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian-print shirts that lend an appropriately tropical feel. Look for fabrics that are breathable but don't require the hassle of dry cleaning - think cotton/ linen blends and silk/cotton blends.

"The linen now, because it has cotton in it, is not as wrinkly, so it looks much better," Gordon says.

KID STUFF

Outfitting the kids this summer is simple, as the "Mommy-and-Me" style is big. Any fashions that Mom likes can probably be found in miniature versions in the girls' section, and the same goes for boys - racks are filled with tiny polos and khakis that echo what's hanging in Dad's closet.

BATHING SUITS

When it comes to beachwear, the bikini-shy will be pleased to note the prevalence of the tankini, which lends a bit more belly coverage. And the beloved sarongs and cover-ups that keep "trouble spots" under wraps just became easier to match.

"A lot of them come together. One thing that we're selling a lot of are the skirt bottoms with the tankini, so it actually covers your thighs," Gordon says. "You can take them off, or you can wear them as the bathing suit, so it is more flattering to the figure."

PUTTING ON THE GLITZ

Although your main concern may be keeping the heat at bay, it's hard to resist the pull of a little summer glamour. Glittery accents are huge, whether it be sequins on a belt, embellished shoes or rhinestones on a tank top. Limit your sparkle to a single item and keep the the rest of the outfit simple, recommends Gordon.

As far as shoes go, you'll spot plenty of high heels in bright or metallic shades, with all the beads and baubles of the season. And of course, the requisite flip-flops and sandals are a must for any summer outing.

HAIR

But your look wouldn't be complete without a heat-proof hairstyle.

"Bangs are back in force and, like hemlines, are fashionable at any length," says Diana Castine of Salon La Di Da. "The best way to manage bangs during the summer is to blow-dry them with a fine-tooth comb."

And of course, you must prepare to battle the dreaded frizz factor that accompanies the sultry weather.

"At Salon La Di Da we use the 'grip and slip' cocktail to fight frizz on curly or straight styles," she explains. "Apply a product with 'grip' first like Aveda's Retexturing Gel. Next apply a product with 'slip' like Bumble and Bumble's Defrizz. After styling, finish with Aveda's Brilliant Hair Spray to lock in smooth hair."

MAKEUP

As for makeup? Yvette Berman of Lancome at the Oaks Mall Macy's suggests thinking tropical.

"Bright floral colors, pinks, corals and oranges paired with slightly earthier greens for eyes, and sheer tinted lips with gloss," she says. "A sun-kissed look is an easy trick with bronzers or self-tanners."

Comfort may trump all else during the summer months, but it's also OK to be daring. After all, the bright colors, bold prints and glitzy embellishments of summer put the focus on you. So embrace your hot-pink-loving, glitzy side, slick on some sunscreen and most importantly, never let 'em see you sweat.

OUR MODELS

THE CHATMANS

Toni Chatman is an employee of Pappas and Tapley Orthodontics who says that her family - daughter Carlie, 18, son Cody, 14, and schnauzer Bernie - is her life.

Carlie is a freshman at Santa Fe Community College who plans to study political science at the University of Florida in two years. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and dancing, although she says she;s pretty swamped with schoolwork at the moment.

Toni and Carlie have been modeling for television and print advertisements for Four Seasons The Village Jeweler for more than a year. Although she says her mother got "talked into" doing it, modeling is a pursuit Carlie says she loves and hopes to continue for as long as possible.

THE JASZCZAKS

Erin and Jeff Jaszczak are college sweethearts and University of Florida alumni who enjoy taking their son, Bryan, 6, and daughter, Robyn, 2, on outdoorsy family-trips - everything from kayaking to skiing to rock climbing. But they also never lose sight of what's most important: giving back to others and helping the community.

Jeff was involved with the Boys and Girls Club before becoming a property appraiser eight years ago. He is also a regular on the coaching circuit, which is convenient, since Bryan plays every sport from baseball to soccer to T-ball.

Erin works as a child care coordinator at Trinity United Methodist Church, running the children's nursery and teaching for the Our Day program. She has been a member of the Gainesville Junior Woman's Club for 10 years, where she has been involved with numerous projects, including sponsoring a mother and child at Pleasant Place and throwing a Valentine's Day party for the children at Shands.

Erin is also involved with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation she helps coordinate a monthly book club and volunteers at Bryan's Littlewood Elementary classroom.

One of the most rewarding experiences for Erin has been realizing she has successfully instilled a sense of generosity in her children. When she asked Bryan what he wanted for his birthday last March, he replied, "For every toy I get, I want to give one away to somebody who doesn't have one." And when he carried those toys into Peaceful Paths himself, Erin knew that he really "got" it.

THE GRIGSBYS

Born and raised in Gainesville, Shaw Grisgby Jr. has been a professional angler for about 21 years, and his TV show, "One More Cast," airs three times a week on the Outdoor Life Network. He grew up with a sincere passion for nature, a value that his children, Amy and Shaw, and his wife, Polly, all share.

"Just having the appreciation and the love of the outdoors - that's what's most important to me," Grigsby Jr. says. "It's so awesome to be outside and see nature up close and personal, and that's what you get when you're out hunting and fishing."

Daughter Amy, 19, is working on her nursing prerequisites at Santa Fe Community College. She works at a pet shop, Paradise Pets, and enjoys breeding animals, from birds to sugar gliders. Shaw Grigsby III, 18, will graduate from Gainesville High School in May. In addition to hunting and fishing, he's also an avid paintballer - he'd be out playing every day if it weren't for school, he insists.

THE MCADAMSES

Bradenton native Jeff McAdams is an officer with the Gainesville Police Department, president of the Gainesville Fraternal Order of Police and director of the Reichert House. He is also involved with Gainesville Veterans of Foreign Wars, the NAACP and the National Rifle Association and has served on several local boards of directors, including the East Gainesville Development Corp. and the Alachua County Boys and Girls Club.

McAdams met his wife, Terumi, while serving with the U.S. Air Force in Japan.

Terumi works part-time as a Japanese-English translator and volunteers at J.J. Finley Elementary School, where their daughters, Jasmine, 10, and Vanessa, 7, are in fifth and first grade, respectively.

Terumi enjoys swimming, reading, listening to classical music and playing piano.

The McAdamses have lived in Gainesville since 1992, and they visit Japan each summer. Terumi is proud to note that their daughters have a healthy and thorough appreciation for both their Japanese and African-American heritages.

A SPECIAL THANKS to our store consultants: Kristi Gaver, manager of Old Navy; Tammy Gordon, agenda consultant for SteinMart Dianne Gates, manager of Four Seasons The Village Jeweler; Diana Castine, Salon La Di Da coowner; Yvette Berman, Lancome at the Oaks Mall Macy's.

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