It’s summer and that means it’s officially shorts season. Perhaps you are wearing a pair as you read this? Or, are you like me and will do absolutely anything you can to avoid wearing shorts? There’s no way around it: with the warmer weather come certain expectations (even if they are self-imposed) about what one is “supposed” to wear as the temperatures soar and we all spend more time outdoors.
I live with someone who loves shorts. She puts them on in May (sometimes April) and they don’t come off until sometime in November! And, when she finally has to give in and don a pair of long pants, she is noticeably despondent for days. I, on the other hand, have not worn a pair of shorts in well over a decade, and I have absolutely no intentions of changing that anytime soon.
Given that, the question arises: if you do not wear shorts, what do you do when you go to a baseball game, family barbeque or the neighbors’ pool (and in case you are wondering, it has now been 11 years since I’ve worn a swimsuit).
Some of you are sure I’m crazy, and you can’t imagine summer without your favorite pair of shorts and sandals. To be honest, I am in awe of you and more than a little envious that you look so good and feel so comfortable in shorts. I wish I did, but I don’t and the relief I felt when I finally realized I never had to wear shorts again if I didn’t want to was palpable! And, I know I’m not alone.
You’re possibly wondering what to wear if shorts are not an option, right? Basically, I have created my own rules. My neighbor loves to see me heading to the beach, which I don’t do very often, but since we live only a block from the ocean and Marion, my partner, loves the beach I do go occasionally. She teasingly calls me Casper the Ghost since I am so white and never tan, and she marvels at my “beach outfit.” It consists of a blue knee-length cotton jersey skirt with a matching tank and cardigan (which I don’t necessarily need because it’s cool, but I always need it to protect myself from the sun after the first 15 minutes). The outfit is comfortable, casual (by my personal standards) and relatively easy. As you can imagine, most people at the beach are not dressed like I am, but that’s okay with me. I’m all about personal expression!
The beach is one thing, and certainly most people will wear a bathing suit, but there are plenty of other summer occasions that crop up throughout the season. As I contemplated the various inevitable invitations, I immediately began thinking about all the possibilities for how to dress for them. This led me to think about the idea of casual dress overall.
Do you remember when “business casual” first exploded into offices everywhere? We’re talking over twenty years ago. Everyone was so excited and said, “this will be so easy. I can wear what I wear at home and feel comfortable.” Within a short amount of time, however, most women realized it wasn’t as simple as it sounded. There is a wide range of clothing that is considered casual and not everything translates well from one occasion to another or even one body to another! What originally seemed like a great benefit turned into a regular source of frustration. Even though business casual prevailed, the sense of confusion that enveloped it in its early years has not completely disappeared. In fact, business casual still confuses many people because the concept of dressing casually, in general, is not as effortless as it sounds like it’s supposed to be.
Let’s forget about business for the moment and just talk about casual summer dress, in general. Let’s say a good friend of yours snagged tickets to a Major League Baseball game and has invited you. It’s possible your first thoughts are, “Yippee, I’ll wear my khaki shorts and my favorite team T-shirt and I’m good to go.” No question, you’re all set. Then there are the rest of you who are thinking, “Do I have to go? Maybe I have something else that day/evening and I can meet everyone after the game instead.” Or your thoughts run something like this: “I’d love to go, but I have no clue what to wear and I feel silly saying that out loud to anyone. Why can’t I even dress for a stupid baseball game!” Let’s nip these worries in the bud while the summer is still young. These three ideas are for you.
Baseball Outfit #1:
This outfit is for you if you want to wear shorts, but you don’t feel comfortable exposing your thighs and you feel dumpy in a traditional T-shirt. It’s casual, comfortable and pretty. I’ve even given you a choice of sandals vs. sneakers in case the temperatures are cool or the stadium is dusty or muddy.
Baseball Outfit #2:
Jeans feel too hot and heavy, but you don’t want to wear shorts. This outfit combines a pair of cropped (not ankle length) chinos with a simple top (make it sleeveless if it’s really hot out), cute flat shoes and a fun hat. Okay, so the handbag is a little fancy, but I couldn’t resist (and if it suits your personality you can pull it off!). You can always substitute a more basic tote instead if that makes you feel better.
Baseball Outfit #3:
The summer is short so why not take every opportunity to wear a pretty sundress (if you are so inclined to wear sundresses). This one is created so you can pair the dress with the jean jacket, rope bracelet and flipflops for the game and then switch into the dressier wedge sandal, sparkly earrings and soft cardigan (leave them in the car) for dinner out later.
As you can see, the options are pretty varied. These are just ideas to get you out of the shorts and T-shirt box. What is most important is that you express who you are in the choices you make. When you do that you will feel comfortable and can focus on having fun at the game rather than feeling distracted by what you are wearing. Who says there’s just one way to dress for a ballgame?
I would love to hear if one of these outfits speaks to you or if you have a favorite way of dressing for a casual summer event like a baseball game. Please share a comment below. I will randomly choose one winner after noon on Saturday, June 29 to receive a free copy of my new book That’s So You! in ebook form. So, be sure to check back a day or two later to see if you were the lucky winner and so I can get you all the download information.