Summer Style 101
What are three summer staples everyone should have?
For me, the most stylish summer looks all have a certain ease or effortlessness about them so a classic day dress in a light, breathable fabric like cotton or linen is always a winner. Personally, I’m a big fan of blues and whites this time of year - bonus points for midi lengths, of course!
Given the collection I’ve amassed over the years it probably goes without saying that I’m a total sucker for a wicker bag. Deceptively roomy with an unexpected pop of green the Rhodes style is my new go-to.
Finally, it’s hard to go wrong with a great pair of shorts you can easily dress up or down. I always recommend opting for a classic style with a fresh twist like a paper bag waist or scalloped hem. Speaking of, I’ve been wearing J.McL’s Petal Shorts (in white) nonstop this summer.
Now onto the fun stuff…
What are you wearing for a night out?
Funnily enough, we’ve always enjoyed late lunches and early dinners (in fact we have a routine of picking up dessert and winding down at home with it and a glass of wine) so my AM-PM style typically doesn't change all that much. Of course, I’ll always dress things up a little by swapping out my flats for heels and adding some sparkle - statement earrings have long been my go-to. If it’s a special occasion or if I feel like getting fancy then I’ll go all out!
Summer trend you are loving:
That’s a toughie! I love all the fruity prints I’ve been seeing everywhere lately but then that’s always been the case for me. However, one trend that’s (very surprisingly) grown on me recently is tie dye. I especially love seeing it combined with a super sophisticated silhouette - it’s unexpected and that’s what makes it interesting.
What’s in your wicker bag?
Oh wow! What’s not in my wicker bag? These days I always have an additional face mask (or two) tucked away in there along with my essentials. I’m a creature of habit so these haven't changed much over the years. No matter the day, you’ll find a tub of Carmex, house keys with a rainbow charm purchased during our very first trip to Charleston, a handful of credit cards (all scattered about because I’ve been meaning to replace my card holder for months now - yikes) and my favorite pale pink lipstick from Nars.
Your day at the beach uniform?
For me, it has to be a great one piece, denim cutoffs and a super versatile white linen shirt that can just as easily go from chic cover up when unbuttoned to easy breezy layer if knotted at the waist. On that note, you should never underestimate the power of a cute straw hat and oversized sunnies - they’ll elevate your look and hide a multitude of sins!
Why is Nantucket important to you? Is this a long love affair?
Where to start? Nantucket is an absolute dream for just about anyone but coming from Ireland, that famous New England charm feels particularly exotic and magical to me. The island is also one of the very first U.S. destinations we visited after making the move to Boston which only adds to that, everything felt like an adventure and so I associate Nantucket with a sense of excitement and possibility.
Where to Stay:
We’ve been lucky enough to experience stays with a number of very different but equally wonderful properties over the years. Last month we spent several nights at Hotel Pippa, the island’s most recent addition. Small but mighty we were super impressed with this boutique hotel which, for us, checked all the right boxes. Nestled in the heart of Nantucket, the location couldn't be more convenient, the space more stylish (think exposed beams and brass accents - I’m still not sure if I prefer their cozy, chic bar or that sun-soaked patio) or the team more helpful. Bonus? The coffee is amazing - as is the rest of the freshly made breakfast which just so happens to be included.
Where to Eat:
When it comes to good eats you’re spoiled for choice in Nantucket.
An island icon Millie’s is a bit of a jaunt from downtown Nantucket but trust me (and The New York Times) it’s absolutely worth the drive or even better yet, the bike ride. Serving up coastal fare inspired by New England and California, it’s my favorite spot for a casual lunch but those sunset views are pretty hard to beat. Order a lobster roll and a Madaket Mystery for an unforgettable refuel.
A White Elephant restaurant, Brant Point Grill offers some of the finest dining (plus an award-winning wine cellar) on the island. Ted and I have long considered it our go-to for brunch which may have something to do with that awning-covered terrace overlooking the harbor - their signature Lobster Bloody Mary too!
Bringing a distinctly different viewpoint to the local food scene, Proprietors is a culinary ode to the island’s history. Offering a somewhat smaller yet extremely creative menu both seasonally and globally inspired, every aspect of this unique restaurant (including the family style dining - something which Ted and I always enjoy) embodies Nantucket’s rich history of sailors returning with bounty from their travels abroad. P.S. if you’re lucky enough to meet him you’ll absolutely love Manny!
Looking for something sweet? Homemade ice cream from The Juice Bar is a must - don’t worry, the line usually moves fast! Likewise, you can’t visit Nantucket without stopping by Aunt Leah’s Fudge. As for coffee, my new favorite spot might be Born & Bread which is also an artisanal bakery boasting cookies, cruffins and cupcakes that are otherworldly!
What to Do:
One of my favorite things about Nantucket? No two days on the island need look alike! There’s truly a little something for everyone, foodies, beach bums, and photographers and art lovers included. For me, the following are all must-dos . . .
Rent a scooter and head to beautiful Siasconset A.K.A. the home of all those rose-covered cottages you’ve seen on Instagram - many of them dating back to the 1700s.
Simple as it may sound, a stroll around downtown Nantucket is always a good idea. Each and every corner is bursting with charm, the shopping is amazing and those with a sweet tooth (um, me!) will love Aunt Leah’s Fudge which is famous the world over and for good reason.
Spend a day soaking up the sun on one (or maybe even two) of the island’s beautiful beaches. With calm, shallow waters both Jetties Beach and Children’s Beach are great options while Madaket is known for it’s surf-ready waves. Steps Beach is a personal favorite and even better enjoyed with a picnic.
Whether it’s the history or the photo op that appeals, the many lighthouses of Nantucket are a must-visit. In the mood for a drive on the beach? Even the journey toward Great Point Light will feel like a mini-adventure. Brant Point Light however, is not only the second oldest lighthouse in America but one of the island’s most popular. Easy to reach and short in stature with a signature boardwalk it’s a local tradition to throw a penny into the water as the ferry passes by the light to ensure a return trip to Nantucket.
Where to Shop:
Relatively new to Nantucket, 28 Center Pointe might just be the chicest home and lifestyle store on the island - which also makes it one of the most dangerous! Whether you’re looking for a chic hostess gift, a rattan bar cart or one-of-a-kind accessories (handcrafted from vintage Hermes scarves no less) you can consider this perfectly curated gem your brand new happy place.
Needless to say, I have quite the soft spot for all things J. McLaughlin and Nantucket just so happens to boast one of the brand’s most ridiculously charming stores. Framed by a rose covered white picket fence you might (like me!) mistake the boutique for one of the island’s quintessential cottages at first glance but I promise you’re more than welcome to walk on in. The entire team is beyond friendly, super fun to play dress up with (here’s looking at you, Jess!) and the selection is always incredible - last time around, I actually left the store wearing everything I’d just snagged!
Given the amount of positive coverage this female-founded concept store has received over the years you’ve more than likely heard of Olivela before. Featuring an incredible line up of brands and designers (ZIMMERMANN, Tata Harper and Mansur Gavriel included) the idea itself is as simple as it is groundbreaking. In short, every time you treat a loved one (or yourself!) to something new, Olivela gives 20% of the proceeds directly to one of their partner children’s charities. Yet another cherry on top? The Nantucket store actually stocks a number of extremely hard to find goodies.
What to Pack:
While I’m hardly the lightest traveler there ever was, even the mere thought of overpacking is enough to cause me a severe amount of stress - probably because the idea of maneuvering everything through a crowded airport (not to mention returning from vacation and immediately facing into endless hours of laundry) is my idea of hell!
With that, no matter where I’m headed, I try to pack only those pieces I consider “one and done” or can easily mix and match.
One and done: possibly the hardest working pieces in your closet, these dresses and jumpsuits will easily take you from AM to PM - whether you feel like swapping out your accessories or not. My suggestion? Opt for a classic with a twist (think open back or ruffled hem) whenever possible - neutrals that still pack a punch are always a good idea.
Mix and match: I’m a sucker for separates (particularly midi skirts) because they can easily be used to create multiple different looks. My Petal shorts look just as cute paired with a cozy sweater as they do styled with something silkier for dinner at one of our faves. Since accessories are so often on the bulkier side and/or easily damaged in transport, I try to ensure any sandals or earrings packed work well with as many potential outfits as possible.