Hot attire for outdoor dining at the Taste and beyond
1 Grace Lehto
8, student and birthday celebrator, Lansing, Mich.
Tell me about your outfit: “My grandma (Grandma Rose) got a dress for me for my birthday.”
Do you feel comfortable? (shyly) “Yeah.”
How else do you feel? “Happy.”
And the pink backpack? “My grandma (Grandma Lehto) made it to hold my (American Girl) doll.”
The back story: It’s a family tradition. Ken and Kelly Lehto have taken each of their three daughters — Grace is the youngest — to Chicago for their 8th birthdays and a shopping trip to the American Girl store.
Why it works: A little girl in a sundress always rocks.
2 Joyce Tam
21, graduate student, Chicago
Opening statement: “I just prefer skirts in the summer. It’s a fun season for clothing. … When spring and summer roll around, my wardrobe gets a lot more comfortable.” (She sewed the skirt herself!)
Why it works: Cute flats are comfy. (Target, bought two years ago.) A denim vest is a nice finishing touch. (From a friend “digging through her closet; she said it didn’t fit anymore.”)
3 Duncan Hall
62, on a grand tour of the U.S. with his wife (Joan, 57) and mother (Fiona, 83), from Staindrop, County Durham, England
Your hat … : “The best part is it just folds up and you can put it in your pocket.”
Why it works: Jaunty, distinctive, packable, and it keeps the rain and sun off.
4 Ellis Cowart
15, Jones College Prep student, Chicago
Do you feel as if you look good? (smiling) “Yeah.”
What he’s wearing: A loose linen shirt (Banana Republic, bought by his mom for a trip to Egypt); a wood bead necklace (“a rosary I got at Navy Pier, but the cross fell off”).
Smart accessory: If sun gets intense, there’s a baseball cap clipped to his shorts with a carabiner.
Why it works: A button-down beats a T-shirt any time, and linen is a nice fashion touch.
5 Terry Thielen
61, mayor of Upper Brookville, N.Y.
Describe your traveling style: “This is just low-maintenance, throw-it-together.”
But there’s great color in the necklace, and the green sweater matches your watchband: “With gray hair, you need color. Jewel tones and white, not cream. This lime green is a favorite color of mine.”
It’s not really lime: Husband Jeff interjects, “chartreusey-olive.”
Why it works: Crisp black and white classics are slimming and offer good coverage (unlike capris, which cut off the leg and are unflattering). Colorful accessories give punch.
6 Dawn Robinson
28, recent M.A. grad from the University of Chicago
What were you thinking when you got dressed today? “Just dressing for the weather. It’s been kind of unpredictable. A hoodie, cotton tank, shorts and my sneakers.”
Her aunt Pamela Todd, visiting from Detroit, chimes in: “But they’re silver shoes, and they pull together your silver earrings and silver hat!”
Why it works: Aunt Pamela is right. Silver touches add polish. A lightweight cross-body bag leaves hands free. Layering.
not to wear:
Are you kidding? Sore feet can wreck your good time.
If your body from waist to knees is not your best asset, try longer shorts. Patch pockets draw the eye to the posterior — not always a good thing.
Heavy backpack: Don’t be burdened with a donkey load of stuff.
- BYO water, and you’ll have more cash for food.
- An umbrella can keep the sun off.
- Bring something to sit on; a large garbage bag will do.
- Look in the mirror before leaving home.
- Don’t forget sunscreen.