Diving into poolside glam

Into each and every fashionably frenzied life, there comes a time to recharge the Energizer Bunny batteries. A time to find inner Zen, not the closest H&M. A time to acquire more chi than Gucci.

Recently, between drowning in work deadlines and tossing out a life preserver to save my sinking Visa (the summer sales had turned me into a trend-driven Tasmanian devil), I decided it was time to breathe and reboot on a stylish summer vacation. Unfortunately, the closest thing I had to the smell of sea air was the Michael Kors Island fragrance wafting over from our beauty department. But with my mind wandering from Mainbocher to Maine, and with no immediate getaway appearing in my crystal ball, the question was raised: In the summer, what is a city girl to do? The answer: Find a higher power, or rather tower. Destination: The Four Seasons Hotel’s rooftop pool for a little stylish summer sizzlin’.

That weekend, I ditched my DVDs and reached for my SPF, armed and ready to become a lady who lounges. The look? Poolside glam. Think: beaucoup de blanc, gold accessories, black oversized sunnies and a juicy summer read.

Summer wardrobes have very much become a game of “destination dressing”—whether your getaway is a plane, ferry or subway ride away. We each have our own set of ready-to-wear-rules. Par exemple:

The Patio: sipping G&Ts in your D&G top and jeans.

The Party: batting your lashes in Temperley’s silk butterfly dress.

The Pool: doing the front crawl in your leafy-print Ferragamo one-piece.

Designer Ralph Lauren is perhaps best known for his interpretation of destination dressing. After all, he is the crown prince of poolside glam. Summer season after resort season, he somehow manages to sew the spirit of summer into his collections. Waves of white, black, red and navy blue wash up onto the runway. Stacks of bangles are piled high on bronzed wrists. Raffia and straw bask on bags and belts. Touches of metallic shine like the midday sun. The look is cool yet classic. Easy yet elegant. A sort of grounded glamour. Even the RL ads in the glossies manage to capture this luxe, light lifestyle. We want to dive right in because the water there is warm and one’s weariness seems to just swim away.

On my way to work the Monday after my poolside weekend high above the city’s heat and hustle, I looked rested (courtesy of my golden glow), and I felt relaxed. Well, almost. Alas, my deadlines somehow didn’t manage to swim away.

Designer Michael Kors has said that he believes in “the optimism of an endless horizon and blue skies ahead.” Regardless of how short or long, or how far away, a summer vacation simply allows us to see those blue skies that are sometimes hidden within each of our stylish souls.

View a slideshow of Sarah’s poolside picks.