If you're dreaming of tropical shores and lucky enough to take a break from the cold weather this spring, just remember to take your fashion sense with you. But before the clothes come off and the beach party begins, here are a few tips to keep your cool and avoid having a spring break style meltdown.
—Do keep it natural. Who really wants to wear a ton of makeup in hot weather? The smoky eye may be all the rage, but smudged "raccoon" eyes at the pool are not setting any style trends. Invest in some waterproof cosmetics if you feel like you need to, but otherwise, keep it natural and enjoy the freedom of a bare face.
—Don't skip the sunscreen. It's a necessity — and should even be worn year-round if possible. There are now lots of beauty products with built-in sunscreen, so check your labels and make sure you're covered. Makeup that is mineral-based tends to work well because it is not as greasy as some other oil-based cosmetics.
—Do cover up. Even if you have the body of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, you'll need some sort of cover-up if you are outside in the hot sun for any length of time. Ditch the beach towel wrapped around your waist and go for something a little more chic — a long striped zip-front cardigan, a flirty romper or a geometric print maxi dress. These cover-ups are also great for easing into early evening cocktails or dinners by the shore.
—Don't get sloppy. Yes, vacation is a time to loosen up the rules a little bit, but there are still some limits to dress decorum. Beaches are filled with fashion "don'ts." But remember there are lots of cameras out there, and they can record your every faux pas. So if you don't want to go viral, avoid the worst offenders: swimwear that doesn't fit. If it leaves anything hanging out, you don't want to wear it in public. Period.
—Do layer it on. One of the best style tips when the weather warms up: You can always add more layers if you need to. There are lots of ways to keep cool this summer, even if you start with the bare basics like a swimsuit or a pair of shorts and a tank top. Lightweight jackets and cardigans can be your best layering friends. Long flowing skirts and breezy caftans are another way to add high style.
—Don't forget accessories. Surviving a heat wave often does mean less is more when it comes to accessories. But just because it's a little humid outside doesn't mean you have to forgo all the fashion extras. Grab a scarf to tame frizzy hair. Stash your valuables in an oversized canvas tote. Rock a pair of leopard print espadrilles. Top it all off with a debonair straw fedora and retro-style sunglasses.
—Do indulge. Take time off from your normal "office" attire and breathe a little. Lighten up in sheer mesh tunics, ruffled sundresses, floaty palazzo pants and painted T-shirts. Swipe on some turquoise nail polish. Discover unique gift shops in tropical ports and find that one-of-a-kind beaded necklace or set of handcrafted bangles. Break out of the heat wave, stay cool and explore your inner fashionista.
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.