Sunny days are here again, which means most Portlanders are going to be excavating their closets for the relics of yesteryear—namely, flip-flops. I guess that's okay, but you know the other cities are making fun of us, right? Right. Just a few suggestions for adjusting to the climes of Portland's best-kept secret: perfect summers. This week is dedicated to the ladies, but next week's episode will feature tips for the gents from first-ever guest columnist Brett Glass. (I know! I'm excited too!)
So let's start where it all starts: shoes. Comfy, strappy platforms and wedges are actually almost literally a dime a dozen at Portland's thrift and vintage warehouses, which if you're anything like me you're in the process of re-appreciating in These Economic Times. There are a handful of mint-condition specimens tucked away at Nationale (2730 E Burnside), which—by the way—has an essential ingredient for your low-maintenance summertime personal care regimen: Savon de Marseille olive oil soap cubes. Great for skin, hair, and hell, even scrubbing the bathroom. I don't even supplement with conditioner (and my hair is long and tangle prone). Don't question, just trust.
A somewhat bigger—but I would argue no less sensible—investment are the Vialis Greek-meets-Pocahontas sandals at Halo Shoes (1425 NE Broadway), which at $152 will carry you through at least a couple of summers to come. What, too rich for your blood? Hey, at least I didn't recommend the $819 snakeskin Jil Sander stilettos, ye of the faint of heart.
Moving on: swimsuits. The Malia Mills selection at Lille Boutique (1007 E Burnside) is hip and offers all kinds of flattering engineering tricks (horizontal and vertical stretchiness?!) to help with the horror that suit shopping can be. Also consider the high-waisted adorableness that is the '50s-referencing Lover bikini at Frances May (1013 SW Washington), as well as the always-winning fits by Portland designer Pamela Levenson's Popina (4831 NE 42nd).
It's also the time of year when you can just throw on a dress/tunic/your boyfriend's tank top, get a couple bracelets, some good shoes, and call it good. Just have fun, go with your instincts, and you'll look as good as you feel.