Friday, April 24, 2015

Dressing for Theme Parks

So, I live in Orlando (have I not mentioned this 17 million times yet?), and I spend a lot of time visiting various theme parks. Why? Because there is some seriously world-class entertainment in Central Florida and many of these attractions are literally in my backyard. I didn't grow up here and I won't live here forever, so there is still a novelty in deciding on a random Saturday afternoon that I feel like riding Pirates of the Caribbean and eating a Dole Whip...and doing it!

In addition to being a theme park nerd, I am also a hardcore people watcher. Sometimes that is the best part -- settling on a bench with a huge iced coffee and just watching the world go by. I am always interested and sometimes fascinated in what people wear as they're chasing down thrills and costumed characters. You kind of see everything -- super dressed up, incredibly dressed down, and everything in between.

I pass no judgment -- you're on your day off, so you wear what you like.

BUT, I don't think you have to give up your personal style for the sake of comfort and functionality on a long hot day in a theme park. In fact, you probably have some great park options sitting in your closet right now. Whether you're planning a big summer vacation to Disney or just hitting your local theme park for the day, here are some of my go-to park options that feature one of my favorite wardrobe basics: a good classic white button-down.
Gap Fitted Oxford Button Down ($50)

1. This is my go-to outfit for a day of hardcore park-hopping. Crisp, cool, totally put together -- you'll be able to ride every stomach-churning thrill ride again and again and still look great in all of those goofy photos you'll end up want to taking.

I just ordered these cute graphic print shorts (saw an awesome flash deal that brought them to less than $25 with shipping) -- this simple, chic print looks great with a classic button-down. Comfy shoes are a must -- you may get wet! -- and a chunky watch and sleek shades are practical and cute. A small cross-body bag is a must for keeping cash, keys, phone, water, snacks, and extra sunscreen.

2. The weather in Florida is not always your best friend, and a rainy day can happen at any park. Your button-down is a great choice for layering under a light, slim rain coat (that can be folded into a little pouch if the sun shows up). I'd add a light pair of cropped jeans and rubber wedges (similar), perfect for staying dry in the deepest puddles (note: I own the Tretorn wedges pictured and they are the best rain shoes ever -- I regret not stocking up before they were discontinued). I wouldn't bother carrying a lot of extra stuff -- just a little card wallet with some cash and credit cards is all you'll need.

3. Maybe you're heading to a park for something other than rides and junk food -- theme parks all over the country have food festivals, concerts, and fine dining options. A button down is great over an airy maxi dress, just knotted at the waist (think Gwyneth Paltrow in The Talented Mr. Ripley) -- it is a perfect extra layer during the day to keep the sun from broiling your skin (and then you can tuck it in your big, roomy bag when the sun goes down). These mini wedges look comfy and have a kind of jolie laide quality to them. I have these sunglasses and they're amazing, and I love a simple bold necklace.

4. OK, so maybe you want to have a little fun -- here's my version of cute but still fabulous character-inspired dressing. A nod to Minnie Mouse, the chicest rodent ever.

The white shirt is perfect with slim cropped red pants and comfy slides. I almost always want to wear giant sunglasses and a big rose gold watch, so why not here? I'll admit, I'm kind of afraid of a fanny pack this little sleek one seems perfect (I like to keep my hands free for Mickey Bars). Just add your sparkly mouse ears and you're ready to go!

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