I know what you're thinking … who has time to lounge? While you probably don't spend afternoons lying on a chaise lounge in silk pajamas drinking champagne, there are undoubtedly moments — especially as summer approaches — that your only destination for the day is the back yard or, better yet, the pool. And what about lazy Sundays when your highest ambition is to walk out to the curb and grab a newspaper?
Those are lounging days, my pretties. I adore delicious days with nothing on the to-do list, but there's no excuse for those days to be absent of style. Toss those torn sweats and rubber flip-flops; let's lounge glamorously.
If the shoe fits
Those who know me know that I seldom head out on the town without wearing alarmingly high heels. But around the house, I prefer to take things down a notch. Frustrated with tacky slippers and cheap rubber flip flops, I've taken to wearing ballet flats as slippers.
My favorites include the soft leather Corso Como Festive ballet flats ($60), Gabriella Rocha's Francesca ($37.50) and Bloch's Luxury Ballet Flat ($115.50); all available online at Zappos.com. The benefits of wearing the ultra-comfortable ballet flat include protecting the bottoms of your feet from wear and tear (keep that pedicure working for you longer) and providing arch support. And, since ballet flats are bona fide shoes, you can step out at a moment's notice.
Dressed to chill
house • dress (n.): A simple, usually washable, dress suitable for wearing while doing housework.
The definition of the housedress may seem archaic to the modern woman, but the concept is timeless. Where is it written that while lounging you can't be comfortable, chic and crease-free? Enter the concept of the housedress, a cozy, flattering, wash-and-wear dress that is perfect for everything from catching up on The Real Housewives to heading to the beach or taking the kids to the park. Yep, the housedress has most certainly evolved (unlike that velour tracksuit).
Key elements to look for in a housedress include wearable fabric (it must be washable and it can't wrinkle easily) and comfort (no tight belts or elastic straps — you're lounging, after all). I like the IRO knit mini dress ($178 at Saks), the stripe flutter-sleeve knit dress ($29.50 at Delias.com) and Tommy Hilfiger's striped knit shift ($59 at Macy's).
My favorite housedress, currently hanging in my closet, is cotton with a sequined skirt. Yes, sequins.
Lock down casual style
Even I have to admit that lounging glamorously should not include an hour spent working on hair and makeup (such a shame)! Not to worry, I've got three quick hair styles that women with many hair types can easily master.
1. The Side Bun: Sweep hair into a low ponytail secured behind the ear on one side of your head. Twist the ponytail into a bun (tight or messy depending on your preference) and secure with a bobby pin. Wear the side bun sleek or, for curly or wavy hair, leave locks loose and casual.
2. Undone Side Braid: Flip your head over and run hands through hair to create volume. Next, pull hair to one side and braid — just the very bottom portion of hair — and secure with a small rubber band. Done.
3. Half Updo: First, apply a dab of mouse to fine hair or opt for a quick spray of dry shampoo for oily hair. Part hair down the middle and separate just the sides of hair; twist both sides of hair and secure them at the crown of your head with a small clip or bobby pins leaving the rest of your locks flowing.
And while your "housework" may be gardening, babysitting, running errands or just relaxing, you're sure to look effortlessly chic wherever you lounge.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.