Summer is Coming! — The Excitement Is Palpable


Let’s Talk Summer Essentials, part-1 + Preserving Craftsmanship

Do you get as excited for summer as I do? — Just chomping at the bit to wear open-toed shoes, sundresses, tank-tops, fun skirts … swimsuits and them some. I love everything about it (save for extreme heat), the clothes, the shoes, all the summery accouterments.

     “We are all stars, and we deserve to twinkle” ~ said Marilyn Monroe. Indeed, it’s time to shine!

I am officially tired of sweaters, I want to push them to the back of the closet. May has been a cool month (it’s called ‘May Gray’ for goodness sake) and I’ve been in layers … can’t wait to bust out my warm weather favorites and add some fabulous new ones to the mix as well. This is the time of year that I enjoy shopping most. Yes, So-Cal is a warm place by comparison, but it’s not exactly summery yet. May and June are usually overcast (June Gloom) and I’m so ready to bask in the sun, you know, before it gets so scorchingly hot that I’m complaining about it ;-) 

So, let’s talk SUMMER STYLE — All the fun, wonderful, lovely, things it includes — My list of essentials part 1. This is a 2-parter, (maybe a 3-parter) with more essentials to come. This gives us time to prepare and do some shopping, the most fun kind.

Round 1 of my summer list — The Lucky 7 — Also, push forward into your summer style, the following basics: favorite jeans, overalls, jackets (all things denim), light-weight cardigans, heels and flats (that aren’t wintery), plus any kind of pashmina or silk shawls.

  • 1) A Versatile Shirt: something kind of loose and easy to throw on with jeans, shorts, skirts; tucked in or worn out. Like a button-down, tunic or bib or henley style, pull-over blouse, or a smock-like asian inspired kimono style — for something new & different. A mens shirt works too, if it’s not too big. White or light colored cotton is the easiest to wear with a lot of things.

  • 2) A FUN Skirt: Cotton is best here too, but you can do silk if you prefer. I love and recommend a full-cut, but if you love slim cuts more, go for that. Get one with a little pizzaz, in a fun color, print, pattern — a dirndl style or something swingy half circle — or this unusual zip-off style, that’s both mini and midi (there’s only one). A fun skirt is such a great statement piece and so easy to pair with simple, basic, items like tops & sandals. *SEE other skirt options below*

  • 3) Summery Sneakers: Think low-top Converse — that’s what I’m loving. They’re classic, cool, and easy to pair with a lot of items. If you don’t like converse, find a style you love that pairs well with your clothes. Whites and neutrals will work best, but red can be pretty fun.

  • 4) A Boho Maxi Dress: Can’t get enough of these (get more than one if you can, you'll wear them a lot, trust me, they're worth it). These dresses will serve you long and well, pull-on and you’re done, says Vogue. So easy and kind of boho-glam. You guys know I love Liberty-prints, but I love solid colors too, with lovely details. These dresses aren’t going anywhere ... but they're going places, so enjoy them.

  • 5) Versatile Sandals: I love slides and thong styles, you might love more strappy styles. Solid colors, whatever shade you favor, work best because you can wear them with a lot of items. I love Nikola Sandals, handmade in Greece, variety of styles that’ll look great with all your kaj.ani pieces. Stylish, classic, versatile, you can easily get more than one pair to go with your summer wardrobe. Note: Comfort is key.

  • 6) Summer Bag: Be it a tote style, basket, or back-pack — whatever floats your boat. Something that’s fun, meets utility, and maybe more roomy. I love a leather-canvas combo that’s not too big, but big enough to fit your essentials, maybe a jacket, shawl or small blanket, plus water and snacks — If it’s going to be with you all day, pick something that you can handle carrying around comfortably. I like this kind of back-pack, this classic leather tote, that’ll be with you for a long time. I also love this sea-grass basket tote — it’s feminine and practical.


  • 7) Summer Whites! Are a must, at least one piece, a gorgeous, crisp white (or slightly off-white) item. I go for skirts the most (so easy to wear with simple tops), but I LOVE white dresses and can’t live without white tanks. You choose what you like most — don’t fear getting it dirty, that’s the worst reason not wear white — just get some Oxyclean and wear with confidence! My suggestions in eyelet are extra special and won't go out of style.

  • 8) BONUS: Remember good basic Tees! These are staples that’ll work with most of your bottoms; skirts, jeans, shorts, etc. Have some good tanks and tees on hand from your favorite makers.

 *Check out a few more items below — tops and skirts — they are real bargains. I hope you like and find this list helpful. As always, feel free to ask me anything. Stay tuned for more of the Summer Essentials list — things will get more beachy.

*Some additional options to the above essentials list — Tops & Skirts*

White Eyelet Blouse * Liberty Print Pull On 

Yellow Striped Fishtail Skirt * Embroidered Quilt Waist   

PS > If you missed the Spring 20% Off Dress-A-Thon — Find out, by asking me here or via email, how you can still get shop-discounts.

Part Two: Preserving Craftsmanship — Continued from the last blog post — What we can do. Every little bit helps. >> "How can traditional craftsmanship survive in the modern world?”

It's not easy, I know … but there are things we all can do to help preserve craftsmanship. The simplest answer I can give is:

1. Support the MAKERS by opting to purchase items they create. They may cost more, but they're worth it! Don’t get sucked in by cheap & deep price tags and mass-market (often slave-labor) goods. Buy less stuff, buy quality. You will not regret it.

2. Maybe learn some kind of craft yourself. You might acquire a nice skill and a greater appreciation of craftsmanship and its value, which may lead you to more easily support the work of other craftspeople.

When we value things they stick around longer. *BTW, cheap, mass-products also negatively impact small-biz boutique retailers that carry handmade-handcrafted goods. Their business suffers at the hands of (big retail competitors that sell cheap copies) knocked-off, mass-produced, slave-labor goods … more on this in the next post. Suffice it to say that it is up to each of us to vote with our wallets, to show what we value, or things could get pretty gross. — That’s my 2-cents. Have a beautiful June and I’ll see you in 2-weeks.