When I first moved to Florida 2 and a half years ago I had this rich fantasy life evolving in my head. It was a life that looked like the pages of a Slim Aarons coffee table book, including umbrella stuffed cocktails, a convertible sportscar, a cancer-free flawless tan, and lots of eligible bachelors that looked just like Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs.
In reality, I didn’t see enough episodes of Gator Boys on Animal Planet to clue me in, the bachelors are better candidates for hip replacements than sunset walks on the beach, and I’ve got more bug bites than I do tan lines. I did make good on the convertible though…
I digress….let’s get back to the Slim Aarons coffee table book….as a point of sartorial inspiration, it’s unique in my life. It’s an adjustment from the all-black rigor of New York City life. That’s a place where you want to look fabulous but your princess feet can’t make it to the subway in the heels you calculated against your upcoming rent. In Florida you don’t even have to wear shoes half the time, much less battle with the expense of indulging a craving for them at retail mark-up.
Since coming here I have learned that I am not the only young woman hankering for the glamorous, comfortable ease of a caftan. The stuff of bygone decades and elaborate border prints. Liz Taylor on holiday with Richard Burton. Vogue editorials with leggy, coat hanger thin models… But just try finding one that really suits you! I should know – I used to sell them in a little vintage store in Salt Lake City, Utah called Grunts & Postures…(now defunct, it’s another story for another day). The memory of yards and yards of Nixon Era polyester laced with mothballs just didn’t jive in the reality of 90 degree sunshine and subtropical humidity. I was talking about Caftans with my coworker Liz last week and she told me all she wanted for Christmas was a caftan like her mother-in-law wore during a recent stay at their home. So she tasked her husband with finding out where she got them. Upon inquiring, she replied, “Are you kidding me? That thing is my nightgown. It’s old. I can’t help you.”
So not only finding the right caftan, but also the lounging around Poolside aspect of this fantasy has been long in coming. In a previous post back in ahem….May…I had purchased this printed silk during a trip to New York in a swoony moment of elated daydreaming of palm trees, flamingos and pineapple daiquiris.
I wish I could say I whipped this up in no time and promptly booked a long weekend in South Beach. But no…here I am on the day before Christmas, months and months later and long since my last blog post. Some things are worth the wait, however, as I am about to depart for a holiday at the beach. Sans snow, sans holly berries, mistletoe and itchy party dresses. I’ve got the perfect thing to wear.