“Come summer, a good dress, a good hat and a good sunscreen are absolute summer essentials for a little lady like you,” my very Southern grandmother Flo would sing.
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Sustainable Summer Essentials
“Come summer, a good dress, a good hat and a good sunscreen are absolutely essential for a little lady like you,” my very Southern grandmother Flo would sing as she swung her baby blue Volkswagen into the Kaneohe Mall parking lot.
Like the zinc oxide she smeared across my 8-year old freckled nose, her advice stuck. Forty years later, a good dress, a good hat and a good sunscreen are summer essentials that I dare not go through the season without.
A Good Dress
For three summers I have lived in this dress. I love, love, love it! This year I have added two new styles to my wardrobe that I equally adore.
This prAna Cali Maxi Dress is elegant and sporty with a beautifully flowing skirt and playful, strappy racer back. I’m sold on it and coveting one in solid black to carry me into fall with this sweet cardigan.
Then there’s the prAna Berry Dress. Oh my! It is over-the-top comfortable and is the perfect work-to-play crossover dress. A blend of organic cotton, recycled poly and a touch of spandex make it graceful and flattering. The bodice shirring and the wide waistband are a sweet, feminine touch. I kick around in it in flip-flops or dress it up with a pair of wedge sandals. It really is that versatile, stylish and fun.
All these dresses are from prAna and deliver much more than just great style. prAna’s commitment to quality and the love they show our planet has made me one of their biggest fans. prAna goes to great lengths to source sustainable, recycled, fair trade certified goods. Not only that, but prAna supports the hemp industry (yes!) and gives back to communities all over the world.
What Makes a Good Dress
- Natural, sustainable fibers like hemp and organic cotton
- Easy wash
- No-iron, no-fuss
- Comfortable—one you could live in all day
A Good Hat
Wide-brimmed, floppy or cowboy—summer hats are so much fun!
If it’s sun protection you are looking for, Wallaroo hats are hard to beat. How can you not love this just-a-little-sass Catalina Cowboy hat? It’s made from sustainable raffia and features a wired rim that lets you adjust the brim to the look that’s perfect for you.
For maximum sun protection, choose a hat like the Wallaroo Breton Womens’ Sunhat. You can flip it up or down for even more coverage and it’s packable, too!
What Makes a Good Hat?
- 3-inch or wider brim
- Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or higher
- Internal drawstring for an adjustable fit
A Good Sunscreen
Now that we’ve got the pretty dress and sassy hat covered, it’s so important to take that extra step to protect your natural beauty with a good sunscreen.
I grew up in Hawaii in the 70’s and 80’s and am now paying the price for not regularly wearing sunscreen. Ugh! Prematurely aging skin and two basal cell cancers didn’t scare me as much as the squamous cell cancer that was carved out of my chest a couple of years ago.
Today, I rarely spend time out in the sun without protecting my face, neck, chest and shoulders. For the sake of maintaining my vitamin D levels (oh so important), I certainly have not given up time in the sun—I just practice safe tanning.
For everyday protection I like these tinted SPF moisturizers. When I have plans to be out all day I throw vanity aside and go for a zinc oxide-based body sunscreen like Goddess Garden Organics Everyday SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen. Sure the white tint that it leaves, especially if not rubbed in quickly and thoroughly, is not the most desirable, but it is worth the peace of mind I have knowing that it’s chemical-free and safe for my family.
What’s In (or not in) A Good Sunscreen
The Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide has you covered with all the must-have facts, and sun-protecting products to consider and avoid. The fewer chemicals the better. And please considering doing our oceans a favor by choosing sunscreens that are Coral Reef Safe.
Take 15% Off prAna This Month
With the official start of summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time shop for your favorite summer essentials. For a limited time, prAna is extending a storewide 15% discount to all Flo & Grace readers (thank you prAna!). And when you spend over $99, shipping is FREE.
Just use code MSS17FG at checkout through June, 2017.
Now go kick up your heels (or flip flops) and get out and enjoy all the good that summer has to offer—just don’t forget that hat and sunscreen!
Photography by Amanda McKinley.