Summer looks that easily transition into sexy bar outfits with Hot Miami Styles
I’ll never forget my first year in South Florida; more specifically, as a cub entertainment reporter on Miami Beach. I sweated my way through Swim Week, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Miami Beach Boat Show, the red carpet at the Latin Grammy Awards and dozens of live celebrity interviews outside Regal Cinemas on Lincoln Road. It wasn’t your normal kind of sweating either…
It was a whole other level. I had water coming out of parts of my body I never knew existed. That’s not all: after a few short minutes in the Magic City humidity, my extra bouncy hair would fall perfectly flat, sprouting into a halo of frizziness, my pristinely powdered television make-up and smoky cat eye would melt zealously into the tears of a gothic clown and my clothes would eventually become disheveled, wrinkled and borderline saturated. It was pure agony, torture and sadly, it seemed to never end…
Everyday I would ask my videographer, Alex: “When will it cool down?” He would just smile at me and say: “Make sure you drink plenty of water.” Frankly, there wasn’t enough liquid on planet earth to quench my thirst and I hadn’t even made it through summer yet. Alas, I finally understood that cheesy 80’s song by Bananarama called: “Cruel Summer.”
Eventually, I found myself giving up on my polished appearance. I mean, what was the point? I was just going to sweat it out or off. Maybe, just maybe, it was time to let go of my television vanity and let Mother Nature have her way with me. During my first year on-air in Miami, I knew that (at times) I didn’t look my best, but I had no idea just how bad it really was…
Until one fateful night, when I happened to catch late-night Deco (the 11:30 rebroadcast of our live show). O-M-G. It was DEFCON status. I saw myself doing a live shot and looked as if a truck had hit me (make that a water truck). I was mortified — humiliated, even — and promised myself never to be seen in public again. Sigh.
Of course, that was next to impossible, seeing as my actual job was being on television. Despite contemplating my early retirement and/or a possible career change, I decided to pull my big girl britches up (however soggy they may be) and become an expert on “Beach-to-Bar” fashioning.
In other words, I had to learn how to look sexy (or in my case, at least presentable/professional) amongst the surf, sand and sultry nights of South Florida.
So — I studied other entertainment reporters who had been in the Miami market for years. I noted how they dressed, wore their hair/make-up and asked them about their “tricks of the trade.”
I learned a little, but the real wealth of knowledge came from the abundance of gorgeous Latina actresses, models and TV presenters who befriended me (who seemed less afraid or threatened by a young reporter from New Mexico trying to make a name for herself in Miami).
THEY taught me about fake hair, false eye-lashes and loose fitting, yet appealing clothes. This “Beach-to-Bar” blog (featuring looks by Hot Miami Styles) is an ode to the many beauty secrets I’ve learned along the way and the beautiful women who taught them to me.
I’ll never forget what one very famous actress (whom I had interviewed many times) said to me: “You can’t stop the heat, but you can sure as hell learn how to look good in it.” A-MEN! There was no looking back and that was over ten years ago.
Over the last decade, I’ve collected an arsenal of great advice; taking the best of it and making it my own. On insufferably hot days, I opt for high and tight hair and I always, always, always use waterproof, high definition make-up.
Also, I pack a portable, battery-operated fan in my pocketbook and take it everywhere I go. A slight wind on my face controls my sweat from beading and in turn, stops my make-up from blotching. Of course…
My clothing changes with the seasons, albeit only slightly and a lot of it depends on fashion trends, too. Right now, I’m obsessed with three things from Hot Miami Styles: maxi dresses, rompers (with a long train) and one-piece bathing suits. Each garment allows me to move from “Beach-to-Bar” with ease, elegance and style.
I love big jewelry, too (because I don’t have to worry if I’m swollen from the heat). I just drape on my favorite baubles and let them do the talking. My most prized statement pieces come from designer, Josette Redwolf. Her jewelry is all about the unbridled beauty of nature and they mix beautifully with the glamour of South Florida.
Last but not least, I love finishing my look with a fashion-forward pair of shoes. I prefer an interesting (not too high and not too low) strappy sandal. Just Fab On-Line and Melissa Shoes are both beach-friendly brands. Back to the beginning…
Eventually, Alex, my photographer, answered my question about the relentless heat. Even though it took him a few years, I remember it like it was yesterday because it was during Hurricane Katrina. We were actually doing a live-shot in front of a hotel on South Beach where MTV was trying to host a pool party a day before its big music awards, but Katrina, well, she had other plans.
As their famed silver moon man (that had been perched atop the hotel) flapped violently in the wind, Alex shouted out to me: “We go live in about a minute.” I nodded my head and tightened my rain slicker. It was the first time I had worked a real storm and at the moment, sweating took a backseat to the torrential rain and wind. “You know, sometimes it cools down after a hurricane,” Alex said matter-of-factly. I looked at him awkwardly. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I think that was the point.
I guess you could say, after all these years I’ve adjusted to the heat and elements pretty well. In fact, I consider myself a warm weather kind-of woman. I love living in the tropics (during the good and the bad) and going from “Beach-to-Bar” without breaking a sweat is definitely one of my favorite things.
Shot on location at Ritz Carlton, South Beach
1 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
All fabulous cocktails pictured in the blog were provided by Ritz Carlton, South Beach. They’re listed in order of appearance: Blackberry Colada, Watermelon Crush and Mandarin & Twist.
All wardrobe provided by Hot Miami Styles (prices and details available on request.)
Purple necklace: www.dominiquecoralgables.com
Yellow & Green necklace: www.josettedesigns.com
Orange sandals: www.justfab.com
Clear Beige Heels: www.shopmelissa.com/Melissa
James Woodley Photography
Styling: Jackie Kay
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Editor: Matthew “A Gothic Clown” Auerbach
Special thanks to Amanda Williams