Relax

Where to Wear Resort Wear? Everywhere!

June 19, 2018

Growing up in the palm tree-lined streets of Miami, tropical influences were a large part of my youth. Nothing better showcased the bright, colorful atmosphere of the tropics than the vibrant prints and styles of what is called resort wear. In the 1960s, Lilly Pulitzer was making her mark on the Florida lifestyle with her now famous shift. I got to model one of her designs in a teen fashion show at Walt Disney World – and even had the opportunity to meet her in person. It was a powerful memory for me as a young woman to wear such beautiful clothing and meet a successful female entrepreneur. If you’re unfamiliar with the Lilly brand story, like most inventions, her famous floral shift came out of necessity. She created her colorful, vibrant prints to help camouflage the stains that were the result of making her fruit juices from her Palm Beach fruit stand. As the Lilly Pulitzer website states,

“She built a business on a spill and she lived in paradise year-round.”

Another influence in resort wear came even decades before, via Coco Chanel. Even though Chanel began with her hats, she expanded into what is considered one of the first true resort wear lines.
Resort wear has continued to evolve, and things have certainly progressed since I donned my first Lilly dress back in the 1980s to today. Resort wear is now worn daily, as resort living has also become year-round. Dressing in causal, colorful and relaxed clothing is no longer restricted to a season – it is now a lifestyle. In Bluffton and on the island, we see women dressing this way every day. You can now see floral shifts in the spring and vibrant pants mixed with colorful knit tops in the cooler months. It’s also not unusual to see relaxing and soothing styles in warm and pastel colors. The fabric may change for the seasons, but the relaxing styles, and eye-catching hues remain the same.

But styles have taken a slight variation – the shift still exists and is a staple – but so is Athleisure wear. Athleisure or “sport leisure”, is defined by Merriam-Webster as “casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use.” I pondered how this shift may have taken place and asked part-time island resident, Denine Pezone.

Denine is the Owner and Founder of Ardent Associates, a consulting firm focusing on branding and market strategy. Regarding the rise of Athleisure wear, she points out that, “While most fashion apparel markets are suffering, sport apparel is growing at faster rate than any other apparel category in the USA realizing continued year-over-year growth.”

Yoga, as I discussed in last month’s article, is now my sport of choice, with golf coming in second. Living in the low country gives women so many outdoor sports and activities – making athleisure wear a viable, fashionable clothing option. The performance materials make looking good easy and performing much more enjoyable, because as the labels state, sweat does wick.

Ms. Pezone reports, “Trends of athleisure goods and sports-inspired apparel are reported as sportswear apparel but will likely not be used for physical activity or sport. We have watched this category grow over the years, beginning with ‘casual Friday’ that took the golf apparel market by storm. Now, as consumers are looking for staple items that are declared comfortable, we see the yoga pants and active apparel bottoms everywhere. Much of the growth is realized by Millennials, but all age groups are contributing to this trend and we don’t predict a slow down any time soon.”

Millennial women grew up participating in sports in school, and athletic wear was a part of their basic wardrobe. It is so much easier now to incorporate those pieces in your day-to-day wardrobe as lines like Athleta, one of my favorites, makes clothing that can go from workout to going out. There are also many ways to layer these new performance lines with traditional ready to wear lines.
One bonus to the new wave of athleisure wear is added SPF protection – it keeps sunburn at bay while spending days on the river or beaches.

The shops of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island make it easy for you dress with resort flair. They have so many great options, as many of their shops are built around the resort lifestyle. As Ralph Lauren writes in his self-titled book,

“I’ve always believed one could live many lives through the way we dress and the places we travel to, even if just in our imagination. The world is open to us, and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves.”

Isn’t it so wonderful that the women of Hilton Head can dress in such vibrant and relaxing ways? To enjoy their days on the river and shores, at the gym, and dining outdoors. We are lucky to live the low country life – to make resort living a lifestyle…Relax, Reflect and Recharge- Resort Girls!

Please find this story and others in “The Breeze” magazine.  June issue, pages 19 – 20 by Samantha Williams, Lifestyle Editor (and founder of Resort Girl)

Photo courtesy of Cocoon Boutique of Bluffton, SC: June Advertisement in “The Breeze” pg. 21

Recharge

Resort Girls, Add Flair to Your Resort Wear

June 15, 2018
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Resort Girls – This is a fun #repost on how to “Wear your Resort Wear”…

A flare gun isn’t needed when Resort Girls come out in their own style and showcase their flair. It definitely leaves its mark as others remember a RGs steps and style. And, when it comes to trendsetting style, glamorous athletic wear is now all the rage.

Professional athletes, actresses, and even country music singers, are now coming out with their own activewear lines. However, for many years, the choices in attractive active wear were very limited.

Years ago, when I began taking up golf, I spent a lot of time shopping around for women’s golf apparel – only to discover the lack of stylish choices. During my teens and twenties, I worked in the fashion and cosmetics industries, and I enjoyed styling for the course. And now, I’m delighted to see that glam athletic wear is popping up everywhere.

One place you can find the latest athletic wear fashions is at the wonderful PGA Tour superstore in Atlanta. This store is an amazing hub of all the top golf lines, featuring both apparel and accessories, for men and women – and all under one roof.

The store also has its own private line, from which I bought a lace golf skirt – now that’s flair! I made my latest visit during the East Lake PGA Tour dates when I needed to find just the right thing to complete my look since I had an invite the next day for one of the rounds.

As I was in the hotel locker room before the tour, a Resort Girl said, “Your outfit is so fun!” She went on to say, “I like how your colors match, all the way down to the knee socks, shoe laces and soles. I will remember that for the next masters, since so many of our outfits look alike.”

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As we chatted, we discovered that we were both of the same opinion that golf course and sport outings were just like any other social events – women want to stand out – they want to have flair. No woman wants to be on the same green or fairway in the same outfit.

This trend of a offering a wider selection of glamorous and stylish athletic apparel for Resort Girls to mix and match makes it so much easier for RGs to add flair to their wardrobe.

In my first photo shoot to promote Resort Girl, I chose pieces from Chris Evert’s new Chrissie line with Tail. The outfits in this line are amazing, with a high fashion vibe.

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My Chrissie tennis dress (above) was so elegant with the white silky fabric and delicate top netting – it easily went from the court into evening. I just popped on some leggings with a slim sweater and it was a winning set!

Now that it is fall and winter, flair can be added with socks, leggings, sweaters, stylish jackets and even beautiful woven caps and headbands. There are so many furry and warm options.

Resort Girls, let us know how you add flair to your resort wear in the cooler months. Share your style and flair withy us on Instagram and tag your pictures with #ResortGirl.

Recharge

Yoga – An Exercise for the Mind, Body and Soul

May 1, 2018

Resort Girls, are you looking for a year-round exercise routine that not only challenges your body – but also your mind and soul? Yoga is an excellent choice. It can be taken up at any age and stage in life and requires as little as 15 minutes a day. It’s an excellent way to kick start your day or it can be a staple to your exercise regime with hourly classes. You may even go further with your practice and take weekend workshops.

My love of yoga began five years ago, when I was going through some major life transitions. The stress was high, and my body needed a way to release that negative energy and wind down. And, since I was approaching middle age, I also wanted a way to build up physical strength and stamina.

To my luck, there was a beginner class offered in my plantation clubhouse and taught by a seasoned yoga instructor. I emphasize “beginner” because, as with any sport or exercise, you need to start slow, learn the basics and then move forward. You need to see how your body reacts and, trust me, yoga will let you know.

That is one of the beauties of yoga. You start to feel your body again. Your mind becomes alert to where you need to stretch more, bend more and build up more. You begin to view the world from many different angles by sitting on the floor, looking upward and downward and walking barefoot more often. It is truly a mind, body and soul experience and it allows your soul to begin to open to new possibilities.

Since then, yoga has become my main form of exercise. My body has built up strength, balance and increased muscle. I have found it is also a great way to add flexibility and stretching for other sports such as golf, tennis and running. Some take yoga just to enhance their performance in other activities or just to age more gracefully by achieving increased balance and muscle tone.

So, how can you begin your personal journey with yoga? Many of the plantations in Bluffton offer yoga as part of their gym exercise schedule. There are two studios, Jiva Yoga and Downward Dog, that offer classes on a per class open enrollment status. If you’d like to reconnect with nature and while practicing, you can hop in your car and rise and shine with classes at Coligny beach.

As a beginner, ask your gym or studio what classes they may suggest. Let your instructor know you are new to the practice. They will be able to guide you in proper poses and alignment and maybe even point out some moves to avoid while starting out. If you have had any operations or injuries, they will offer suggestions to modify positions as part of your training.

And finally, yoga opens your mind up to new possibilities and positive energy. It allows time for peaceful reflection, a few moments of quiet, and a chance to reconnect to your soul. In addition, breathing is an integral part of yoga which can also be used also be used to reduce anxiety.

I hope this article inspires all of you, both men and women, to consider yoga. It has a powerful impact by giving one strength, agility, centering, and mindfulness.

And I thank you for reading the premier article on “Living the Resort Life” in The Breeze Magazine, May 2018 Issue.
For the past few years, I have been sharing my stories about the Resort Girl lifestyle on this travel blog,  and I am now excited to bring a series on “Living the Resort Life” to The Breeze magazine of Bluffton, S.C. as their Lifestyle Editor.  If you have any need for these types of articles for your publication, please use the contact section of this site to inquire.  Thank you again for reading this article and any inquiries.

(Photo of Monica Redman of Jiva Yoga, Hilton Head Island, S.C. by Christine Williams)

Reflect

What Are the Dreams in Your Eyes, Resort Girl?

March 29, 2018

“It’s as if as you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, like you wrote the guide on it or something,” Resort Girl Chelsea commented. She went on to say, “I think that you just can do with a few more pictures to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is an excellent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.”

So, in response to Chelsea’s suggestion, I decided to share a personal story on how this Resort Girl’s wide-eyed “what” dreams came true.

In my late twenties, my relationship and career consumed my life. As a young woman with big dreams in her eyes, I knew it was not where my destiny was. I was living in a small, basement apartment, with a 9 to 5 job in a finance field where, back then, very few woman advanced.

As I plugged away day and night in my tiny dark cube, hitting the calculator keys for hours, I realized this was not the right place for me. 9 to 5 life did not suit my energetic and creative personality. I had studied for a business finance degree and always been good in math, so therefore it was just the chosen path for my first careers. But I struggled daily, I had little passion and, thus, I had limited success.

THEN…. one night I had this vision – a dream life picture! I was dancing in a beautiful European square, in a formal dress, with the moonlight shining above and music playing throughout the crisp air.

This resort girl had a dream… I wanted to see and experience the world!

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And there was my personal Resort Girl first “where” and “what.” What I wanted my dream life to be. Each night when I went back to my little dark and stark apartment, that glorious and grand vision appeared in my head. It gave my soul the light it needed to keep shining.

I traded in my truck for a used VW bug convertible – the wind in my hair inspired my dreams.

Of course, I am a dreamer and a bit odd, so my creative mind tends to get away from me at times! Thus, this Resort Girl has learned the hard way to keep her visions real and down to earth. So, I next enrolled in a Master’s program in Finance, but took international finance courses. The firm offered to pay for some of my studies, as long as they related to the business. Fortunately, there was enough international subject matter to satisfy me.

At night, I would leave those cold calculator keys and go learn about the bright, big world and how it worked. Even at my young age, I knew education was the avenue to success and to a better life. Learning is an excellent way to live in words and lessons before actually living or doing something. The books, internet and the experts you encountered along the way give you inspiration and ideas to bring your plan to life.

But, that first Resort Girl vision started me on the “what” of what I wanted for my Perfect life plan. Very soon after enrolling, I met my partner in life and business for the next two decades. He was an international finance professor, and we went on to start a successful small business in corporate training (I had also learned at the time that this Resort Girl had to work for herself.)

And, it is how I built my dream Resort Girl life… to experience the world.

As most of our clients were Fortune 500 and international firms, we traveled around the world, at times even in a private corporate jet. I remember one trip, when we visited 11 countries in 16 days for a firm. If you are on an international path, they keep you going forward to save airfare. While it’s not ideal for your ear drums, it is good for your wide, dreaming RG eyes.

Pre-9/11, and also during pre-recession years, international travel was so much more relaxing and carefree . The events we spoke at were always held in top-notch resorts and were designed to train and honor the hard work of all of their their dedicated associates and partners. My partner and I got to tag along and experience some breath-taking places—and, best of all, much of it was paid for, so we would add a quick vacay at end of them! We worked long hours and took many risks to get there, but we made it.

This Resort Girl got her “what.” I did get to dance on that European street in my formal dress – several times over.

But success brings change… and people change… and sometimes, so does your life.

So now, as a single woman again, I am on my next vision… Resort Girl Worldwide:

…Resort Girl, a lifestyle brand, enchants the adventurous woman who dreams of far-away places, relaxing but recharging experiences, and words of wisdom to reflect upon. The Resort Girl…the new “it” girl…is a woman who is on an ongoing journey, exploring her physical and mental abilities while enjoying and living gracefully with nature.

What are the dreams in your eyes, Resort Girls? Tell us how you are discovering and exploring your “what.”

Relax

Is this a Better Way to Spend Resort Girl Days?

January 17, 2018
Resort-Girl-Roadtrip

Consume less
Buy less
Reuse more
Un-store
Give away
But save for a rainy day
Share because you care
Dare to
Downsize
Right size
Resize your mind
Find more time
To be kind
Put your worries on delay
Discover a new way
Don’t let your thoughts scatter
Focus on a new matter
When it comes to stress
Refuse to say yes
Get up and move
Find your own groove
Stretch more
Step outside of the door
You just might
Find life
Is brighter
As your spirit is lighter
And your soul soars
With fewer chores
Grab a cup of joe
Let its warmth glow
Hibernate inside
Under the sheets
Delight in a movie
Until it’s complete
Have a lazy day
You may
Just say
This is a better way
To spend my days!

Recharge

Resort Girl Reflects on Life’s Second Chances

December 20, 2017

What if, by chance, you were granted a second chance?

Many times over the course of our lives we think, “If I could only do it over again, how could my life, career, and family have played out differently?” As we get older, and we reflect on this question even more, as by this time, life has tested us many times over.

Our daily pattern looks set in many directions – many ways look good, some look so-so and a few appear to be not so good. It is when we start to focus so much on the not so good that we fail to overlook the valuable aspects of life. Society has become increasingly critical, allowing us unprecedented access to other people’s lifestyles. Life has been photoshopped and chopped into showing only the excellent moments of life, beauty and family. But where the true beauty lies…in my eyes…are in the imperfections of life.

Real…not reality. This comparison hit me while studying the vegetables in the produce department of my local grocery store. Reality can be compared to the orange that has been grown organically, but whose skin has spots of brown and green. Contrast that with the almost unreal bright, unblemished and dyed orange skin that was grown with chemicals. Sitting side by side, the artificially enhanced orange appeals more to the eye; BUT, when you peel them back, it is the natural one that melts in your mouth with its genuine, sweet taste. It is how nature created it. Though it may not look as good on the shelf, it is the one with the greatest flavor.

So, maybe we don’t really need some of those second chances in our lives. Maybe we just need to keep all of these photoshopped moments of the most excellent life in perspective, and recognize that maybe some of the ups and downs that are part of our imperfect days can help us realize how sweet our life truly is.

It’s okay to have a few blemishes in our life. They help us grow. They help us know our core. They help us find our true gifts. They help us discover who our true friends and partners are. So, when you see that perfectly photoshopped moment…rejoice in allowing yourself to be a bit imperfect. It made you who you are and lends to the creation of your true life. How sweet it is, Resort Girls and Guys!