From left to right: J. Crew, Rag & Bone, Tory Burch and Frame Denim
We are pleased to announce a new column by one of our style crushes, seasoned stylist Lucia Tait. First up – how to achieve that inimitable Hampton’s style…Enjoy!
It’s no secret that New York’s fashionable and most fabulous – think Tory Burch, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and every designer in between – spend their summer weekends in the Hamptons. Despite all the hype, this enclave of East Coast elite is actually more cool, calm and casual than Revenge would have you think. Most residents spend their days grabbing groceries at farmer’s markets or relaxing poolside with a chilled glass of rose. Hand in hand with this laidback lifestyle comes an enviable fashion sense that seamlessly blends classic and sporty, adding just a touch of glamour. Best of all, you can recreate this look anywhere in the world as long as you follow our tips to achieving the perfect Hampton’s style.
Outfit 1: Tailored tunic & white jeans
One size fits all does not apply to Hamptons dressing – expert tailoring is really what counts. A boho basic, the tunic, gets a streamlined makeover and travels from the souk to the patio thanks to cool fabrics such as chambray, as championed by J.Crew. A no-fail option is Tory Burch’s best-selling Tory Tunic, which comes in a flattering microprint and with easy to accessorise black border detailing.
Warning – do not pair your tunic with anything flowy or maxi unless you want to look like a Coachella refugee! Denim is your perfect match. It’s all about looking sleek and polished, so leave your ripped denim at home, and replace them with white jeans. Keep it modern with a straight, tight and slightly cropped fit, such as these ankle-grazing jeans from Frames or Rag & Bone’s stretch-blend.
From top left clockwise: Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Charlotte Olympia and Kotur
Outfit 2: Floral dress & statement sandal
Nothing says garden party quite like a floral print dress. We’ve seen digital florals on the runways for a few seasons, and this strong trend is quickly becoming a summer staple. We believe it is best worn short and sweet – longer lengths overwhelm you. Go ladylike with a multi-coloured shift, like this Dolce& Gabbana brocade style, or keep it simple in a sleeveless style by Hamptons clan favorite, Oscar de la Renta.
When it comes to the shoes, have some fun! Kotur’s amazingly over-the-top Jardine sandals are sure to get you noticed in the sea of espadrilles that pervade most summer soirees. While wedges are a common outdoor footwear choice for battling grassy spaces, a thick-heeled platform can perform just as well -with added style points. Try Charlotte Olympia’s crimson-hued Madga for a dose of edge.
Left to right: Saint James, Stella Jean, Hentsch Man, Solid + Striped
Outfit 3: Striped top & gingham suit
Stripes are the unofficial uniform of the Hamptons. Like a page out of The Preppy Handbook, everyone and their dog can be seen sporting stripes on the streets.
For a beach look, pair a timeless Breton top, like this Saint James, with a retro gingham bikini from Stella Jean. To get the guys in on the print-mixing action, choose a casual cotton stripe shirt, such as a Hentsch Man’s, and add gingham trunks from Hamptons-based Solid and Striped.
Mastering the art of mixing depends on the right accessories – when you’re wearing a prints party, neons, metallics and lace need not be on the guest list. Neutrals will pull your look together.
Top left clockwise: Pret-a-Surf, Illesteva, Cynthia Rowley and Jimmy Choo
Outfit 4: Wetsuit & mirrored sunnies
The shores of Montauk are filled with surfers and increasingly, surfettes. It’s all about chic surf wear, and wetsuits like this colour block creation from Cynthia Rowley and Pret-a-Surf’s rashguard are both fashionable and functional.
No hipper-than-thou ensemble is complete without the ultimate cool kid accessory – mirrored sunglasses. Jimmy Choo presents a quintessential shape, and cult brand illesteva now offers completely customisable ‘Build Your Own’ shades.
Surfside, it is imperative you leave your heels at home – barefoot is best. Finish off the look with boho flair by adding tribal luxe jewels from Dezso by Sara Beltran.
New York transplant Lucia Tait Tolani is a writer, stylist and brand consultant with a decade’s worth of experience in the fashion and lifestyle industry. Visit her blog on www.luciataittolani.com.