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Archive for September, 2016

The Dress Code

Posted on: September 26th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

We live in a really awesome place.  Not just because of the beautiful weather or the amazing water in our backyard…we live in an amazing place because of the wonderful people who live here.  The Florida Keys are one of the only places I’ve ever lived that embrace and welcome new people with open arms. Maybe its because so many of us have come from different places and made the Keys our home, or maybe its because we’re the best small town in America, whatever the reason, I believe the people are what make this place so special.

One of the ways the Florida Keys locals are so amazing is our support of one another and our causes.  During “season” there is a fundraiser or event for a different organization or nonprofit every weekend.  And we help fundraise, donate silent auction items and buy tickets to attend these events without batting an eyelash.  Below are a few tips to help you dress stylishly for each dress code while supporting worthy causes.

Zero Dress Code

Formal Gown from Zero Dress Code Boutique in Islamorada

Black Tie or Formal – This is the most formal of dress codes and is common for most Gala’s or Ball’s such as the Mariners Hospital Bougainvillea Ball on Saturday, January 28 – so save the date!  If you see that in the title, it may be an indicator that it is a more formal event. For men, black tie means dark colored suits or tuxes with white shirts, a tie or bow-tie and dress shoes. For women, a floor-length evening gown or knee-length cocktail dress is appropriate. Pair it with fine jewelry and sparkly heels for a sophisticated look.  Go to baptisthealth.net for more information.

Purple Jewels perfect for the Purple Pumpkin Gala from Zero Dress Code boutique

Purple Jewels perfect for the Purple Pumpkin Gala from Zero Dress Code boutique

Purple Tie – On Saturday, October 1, the Purple Pumpkin Gala benefiting Rett Syndrome will take place at the Islander Resort.  Hosted by Michelle and Travis Bennett in honor of their daughter who has Rett Syndrome, this beautiful night will provide much needed awareness for Rett Syndrome while raising money for this worthy cause.  Enjoy dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and dancing on the beach. For this unique dress code, wear cocktail attire appropriate for the beach.  Leave your heels at home and instead opt for a floor length, midi-length or cocktail dress with sandals such as a metallic color or rhinestone embellished pair.  For men, tuxes, suits and cocktail attire are appropriate but consider your footwear as it will be on the beach.  If you can work in the color purple, all the better. 100% of proceeds from this event go to support research for Rett Syndrome.  Go to rettsyndrome.org/purplepumpkingala for more information.

Cocktail Attire – For cocktail parties such as the Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys Annual Cocktail Party held every year on the first Friday of March, the dress code is cocktail attire.  That means short dresses for women and sport coats, or dress shirts with slacks for men.  Instead of throwing on your LBD, opt for a dress in a fun color or pair your LBD with bright heels to refresh your look.  Go to HabitatUpperKeys.org for more information.

Key Casual – The majority of the events in the Florida Keys all have one thing in common, the Keys Casual dress code.  Women typically wear dresses or skirts with sandals as this works for our weather year round.  For men the rule is, if you’d wear it fishing, don’t wear it to an event.  Instead, men should wear leather sandals or loafers with flat front shorts or pants and a short sleeve polo, short sleeved collared button down dress shirt or Oxford long-sleeved button down shirts. Anything made by Tommy Bahama is the perfect Keys Casual attire.  Save the date for the 5th Annual Aquatic Crawl on Saturday, November 5 at the Ron Levy Aquatic Center at Founders Park and the Island Dolphin Care Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, November 19th.  Keys Casual will be ideal for both of these special events as you celebrate with your Florida Keys friends and neighbors.



How Not to Dress Like a Tourist When You Live on an Island

Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by Leah No Comments

In the Florida Keys, we do not have the typical four seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall.  Instead our seasons consist of hurricane season and tourist season.  As we approach the cooler weather months and the onslaught of tourists, here are a few tips to spot them and make sure you’re not dressed like one of them.

Beach Chic

As a local, your wardrobe should look more beach chic than beach bum.  For women: think lightweight colorful dresses, sandals, shorts, and ladylike tops.  For men, opt for kahki shorts, button down shirts, polos, leather sandals, and loafers.  Beach bum looks to toss: Hawaiian shirts, long white socks with sandals, and any t-shirts you might find at a souvenir shop.

Beach Chic romper and fringe cross body bag from Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada.

Beach Chic romper and fringe cross body bag from Miss Monroe Boutique in Islamorada.

Dress for the Weather

In the middle of winter, its easy to spot the tourists.  On a cool January day, the locals will be wearing sweaters and slacks while the tourists will be in t-shirts and shorts.  Even though it feels cool to us, fur is really never acceptable when standing next to a palm tree. Save your cold winter attire such as fur for the truly cold weather up north like when you’re visiting Tallahassee.

Avoid Socks

I remember when we first moved to the Keys, the weather got cool and I knew I’d become a local because I threatened to put on socks.  Unless you are planning to go for a run, there really isn’t any need for socks in the Keys.  The Keys are all about comfort and the one who can get their toes in the sand quickest always wins.

Wear Sunscreen

Tourists always have the most amazing tans…said no one ever.  When friends visit us from the north we are constantly reminding them to apply sunscreen.  They seem to think that in January, when the weather is cooler that they won’t get a sunburn.  As locals, its important to wear sunscreen every day unless you want to make weekly trips to the dermatologist.

Capture the Moment

You used to be able to spot a tourist a mile away by the bulky camera hung around their neck.  Todays tourists are a bit more techie and can instead be found huddled around their selfie sticks.  We locals know its important to capture the important moments in life, but we leave our selfie sticks at home.  Instead, we ask our local bartender friend or acquaintance at a neighboring table to take the picture.

The Fanny Pack

The 1980’s popularized this awful contraption as a way to keep valuables safe and tourists have been donning them ever since.  I realize the fanny pack could be considered convenient with their hands-free wearability and easily accessible zipper pockets but even if you are chasing after your kids at the park, opt for a crossbody bag or backpack to keep your items secure.

Slow Drivers

I always know when it’s a holiday weekend in the Keys because of the horrendous traffic.  It’s especially bad the closer you get to bridge.  The cars slow, the cameras come out and everyone seems to forget that they should be focused on the road.  We locals know that the best place to take in the view and the salty air is at our favorite watering hole with a drink in hand – not while driving on the Overseas Highway.

If you’re a tourist reading this and I just described you, don’t take it personally.  After all, most of us came to the Keys on vacation and never left.