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The Unofficial Start of Summer

May 19, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend is known by all New Englanders as the unofficial start of summer. Though the seasons don't technically change until the longest day of the year in late June, it is traditionally this weekend that marks the beginning - Newport beaches open, boats dock off into the water, summer sushi starts at Clarke Cooke House. MDW may be my favorite weekend of the year - it usually holds the first nights out in open air at Bowen's Wharf and meeting old friends who are returning for the season, but best of all, the whole summer is ahead of you - bright, balmy, and glistening. 

It is also always our biggest sales weekend of the year at Harper & Tucker's Newport shop. There is no better feeling than greeting faces we haven't seen since last year, and showing off all of the summer collections filling our boutique. We prepare for this weekend for months - making sure we have curated just the right pieces that our customers will fall in love with - and then bask in the sight of Newport coming to life in the blink of an eye. 

This year, the unofficial start of summer comes with a twinge of sadness for me. There is no denying the greater struggles going on in the world with the global pandemic. The plans so many of us laid for this summer have been cancelled or rescheduled, and the traditions I look forward to all year are looking just so different. Harper & Tucker's boutique on Bellevue won't be open for in-store shopping this weekend, and that alone is a loss and hard to imagine. I feel it would be dishonest not to acknowledge the loss of that carefree, spontaneous spirit that usually blossoms this time of year, but I didn't bring you here to commiserate. I truly believe that summer is a state of mind as much as it is the sum of all of our usual experiences this time of year. I hope one day soon we can have a Newport summer more like the ones I treasure in my memories, but until then, we are taking the lemons life has thrown at us and mixing them in a cocktail.

Just because MDW looks different this year doesn't mean we can't greet it with joy and in style. I personally will still be wearing my new summer pieces, even if the furthest place I'm going is my deck. Natalie and I put together a Memorial Day Weekend Collection with all of our hand-picked favorites for the start of summer. Standing out to me is this Valentina Set by Whimsy + Row

Valentina TopValentina Shorts

Nothing says Memorial Day like crisp white, and this linen set is summer chic in every way. The top is reversible, so you can have the tie in the front or the back, and the shorts are the perfect balance of breezy comfort with just a touch of flattering structure. Because bright whites are my favorite colors, I have to show you another crisp option from Spell

Spell White Daisy Chain Maxi Skirt

This White Daisy Chain Maxi Skirt can be paired with other whites for a full sun bleached look, or brights for a pop of color. Either way, it's sweet, timeless, and feminine and I guarantee it will be a favorite in your closet all summer long. 

I would pair any of these whites with my favorite Macrame Tote Bag in Mustard. I am just loving this sunny shade for summer.

Macrame Tote Bag

I also love this bag paired with this Tigerlily Roxanne Midi Dress by Monte. It brings out the yellows in the floral for a sweet, sunny effect.

Roxanne Midi Dress

The dainty floral print contrasting with the subtle sexiness of the flattering v neck is 10/10. 

I also love blues for MDW - it's almost like a preview for July 4th and stands out that much brighter under the summer blue skies. Here are my fav blue picks that we have in the shop - all playing into the Chambray trend that is so big right now.

Rylie Romper

If you want casual comfy chic, nothing will take care of you better than the Rylie Romper. She is made of the softest Chambray I've ever felt - the blend of Lyocell and Linen gives you all the softness, without the wrinkles.

Daph Dress

Then the Daph Dress is for our inner Goddess - we love this take on the original Amery Dress in the soft Chambray Color.  She comes with a slip, so you can show off the embroidery on the chest while being completely covered, or you can take the slip out and rock her like the original Amery, showing a little skin through the mesh panels.

Blue Life Grace Wrap Set

Finally, possibly my ultimate favorite is this striped set by Blue Life. The Grace Wrap Skirt and Wrapped Top make for a set that is extra in all the right ways. You can wrap the top to tie in the front or the back, and the skirt can sit high on your waist to minimize midriff showing if you prefer. The tie on the skirt allows for a cinched in waist, and I am just loving the two well-placed side slits that show some leg when you walk.

These are just a few of my favorite picks, but there is something for everyone in our Memorial Day Weekend Collection! We hope you will find just what you need for your summer wardrobe and your weekend festivities, even if we are celebrating summer from afar.

When quarantine began, we teamed up with an alliance of small businesses called TOGETHER APART to offer you 20% off and donate 5% to Feeding America. This has been such a bright spot of small, mostly women owned businesses coming together in a tough time, and we have loved being able to give you a treat while also giving back to an amazing organization. This is the FINAL weekend for the sale - it ends MEMORIAL DAY, this Monday, May 25 at 11:59pm EST. Take advantage of your last chance for this amazing sale this weekend - we hardly ever offer a side-wide promotion, and there is no better time to get all of your summer styles than with code TOGETHERAPART. You support small business, give back to those in need, and get a deal for yourself - it's a win, win, win! 

This MDW, I have accepted that you won't spot me at Midway Bar drinking Newport Waters and snacking on avocado rolls. Instead, I hope to be busy at the store packaging up orders for all of you - and I am challenging the store to still make it our biggest weekend of the year. If you want to support us, we are more grateful than you could ever know. If you are craving that in-store experience, or thinking about how you would normally drop by the store this MDW, book a Virtual Styling Appointment! We would LOVE to hang out with you via video or voice call, text, or email - we can sip bubbly and shop virtually together, as if we were hanging out in the boutique. If you live in RI, we will drop off the goodies you pick in our styling appointment (or order on the website) the same day.

Natalie and I will also be popping up for H&T Happy Hour this Friday at 5:30 EST on InstagramLIVE @harperandtucker - come by, bring a cocktail, and chat with us about MDW, summer style, and what we are doing this year to celebrate our favorite season.

Happy summer, and much love!