When I was young, I remember getting ready for the Memorial Day parade with my family. I usually was in it, whether through Girl Scouts or the marching band, so we always had to take care to look good on those mornings. My mom would always dress up in her Sunday best, along with the other kids. But, I also distinctly remember how hot those days could be, even in NY, and how much walking we all had to do to keep up with the parade through the very end. You see, the very end was also important, because it ended at the memorial stones set-up in front of an old school, with one of them bearing my grandfather’s name. I had never met my grandfather, but always felt such pride to see his name on that stone while they memorialized all the great soldiers who had proudly served our country.
Now, many years later and transplanted to South Florida, I still seek out those parades. But, as many of you might know, South Florida can be very hot in May and Sunday’s best will not cut it in this humidity. As a mom, I needed to find more practical ways to dress and still look dressed up, so I came up with some style tips.
Find a good pair of comfortable shoes to walk in
If you are going to be proudly watching your offspring march, you are going to need some good shoes. Heels will never work and sandals might come across a bit too informal for paying your respects. I am in love with hybrid shoes that appear dressy, but feel very soft and comfortable inside.
I was provided with a pair of Taos Footwear Samba mary janes to try out, and I will have to say they definitely fit the bill. They have a short heel, but feel like flats. They have soft leather both inside and out, with great attention to detail in the stitching and soles of the shoes. I also love the straps, which appear to be the snapping kind, but are really velcro, so you can get them on and off easily. Inside, they have a removable leather-covered Curves & Pods™ footbed, which make them very comfortable to wear. I found them on Zappos for $140 with free shipping (not an affiliate link), and you can check out various views of the shoe and a video there.
Wear a loose-fitting top with metal embellishments
When the heat is turned up, loose-fitting clothes can keep you feeling cool as they allow the air to pass through. It is also recommended to wear light-colored clothes, though as you can see below, I opted for color-coordination for the holiday. Metal embellishments can add a sense of military pomp and circumstance. I got the Navy blue top below at Ross for about $11.99. The material it is made from actually wicks away perspiration.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
The military is renown for badges, medals, straps and chains that adorn their uniforms, so adding a bit of accessories to your outfit should fit right in. I bought the bracelet below from a disabled female vet for $12. She used strong parachute cord laces to create it and it actually doubles as a survival tool as the laces can be unraveled and used to do a variety of things. I found this cool tutorial on making a parachord bracelet, along with ways in which you can use it. You can even make them to donate to Operation Gratitude.
Opt for Pants over a Dress or Shorts
Okay, with the heat I know why you might think this is crazy. However, if you are going to the park or someone’s yard for a BBQ, you could encounter ticks and mosquitos. And although, it might not be cute, tuck your pant legs into your socks if you are walking a path prone to ticks. Be sure to use insect-repellant as well. Shorts might appear too informal and a dress can also make it difficult to wrangle in the little ones. For the purpose of keeping cool and color coordination, I opted for these white christie-fit London pants I bought from Victoria Secret for about $40. You could buy something similar by clicking HERE (not an affiliate link).
Overall, I am comfortable and stylish for a day of parades, BBQ’s and remembrance. What are you wearing today?
Disclosure: I received a sample of the shoes for my review, and purchased all of the other items mentioned. All opinions are my own and I was not monetarily compensated for this post.