The Tauk of the Town: Montauk Summer Lookbook 2020

Bonjour mes chéries! How are you? I am currently recovering from slight sunburn and a long week of bad sleep, so I sincerely hope you’re all in much better shape than I am! 🥴

I know 2020 hasn’t been the easiest for any of us. Between what is going on in the world, the states, and in our own worlds, it’s hard to not think this year is a total wash. But In unprecedented times like this, I find myself appreciating the things I used to take for granted and finding excitement in the little things, like a new flowers in my vases or the ability to sit outside at a café or the slow start of fall right around the corner! But as summer comes to an end, so do my summer park picnics and Hamptons trips. While I didn’t get to go as often as I wanted to this summer and things were not quite the same in Montauk, I am so grateful to have spent Fourth of July weekend and a self-created long weekend in August with my girl squad in Montauk.

There are many ways to summer in the Hamptons that require many different types of outfits. Now I’m no expert (hopefully will be after we get an actual house for summer 2021) or Serena van der Woodsen when it comes to the Hamptons, but I can share with you my outfits and observations this summer.

For When You’re Out in Town/at a House Party

Outfit #1

This first outfit is a perfect cover-up for days when you’re going to be out around town between time at the beach OR when you’re going to a house gathering but may slip into the pool or hot tub at some point. I find that pairing a crop top, plain or dressier like this one, with either a wrap skirt or short loose skirt gives you a carefree beach girl vibe while still looking chic and polished. People do wear tanks and shorts or beach cover-ups, but let’s be honest: if you’re a single Manhattanite summering in the Hamptons, you’re not opposed to shopping for your upper-class husband here. 😜 I wore a tangerine bikini that peeked through my top because my rising Leo really wanted attention that day, but you can easily pair your outfit with a bathing suit that doesn’t show through for a more fashionable look.

Top: Zara
Skirt: Moon River, Nuuly subscription
Sunglasses: Just Fab
Shoes: Sam Edelman

Outfit #2

This second outfit is perfect for evenings where you aren’t going to be at the beach or poolside. I dressed down my statement top with casual high-waisted denim shorts. Sometimes you wake up, start your day, and truly have no idea where the adventures will take you. Whether it’s a house party, a trip to Wolffer Estate Vineyards, day drinking at Crow’s Nest, or partying it up at Common Ground or Ruschmeyer’s, an outfit like this can be the perfect mix of casual but dressy for any events that unfold. You can swap out nude sandals for a chunk nude/brown wedge and the jean shorts for white or black jeans to head to a sunset dinner at Duryea’s or Sole East in the evening. The only thing I will warn against is adding too much jewelry to an outfit like this. Let the statement piece speak for itself, and don’t overwhelm your outfit. After all, no matter how upscale the Hamptons events can be, it is still a series of beach towns!

Top: Rococo Sand, Nuuly subscription
Shorts: Zara

 

For Nights Out

For nights out at Southampton Social Club, fancier restaurants, or upscale events, you will need more formal attire. Unfortunately, COVID prevented us from truly experiencing fine dining this trip. However, we made the most of it and dressed up for a more casual meal in the spirit of celebrating our first reunion since late January.

You’ll notice quickly that I’ve been on a tangerine kick lately (see my row of orange photos on Instagram). This dress is my latest obsession, enough for me to consider purchasing from my Nuuly subscription. (If you haven’t checked out Nuuly yet, I highly recommend it! It’s just like Rent the Runway but more affordable and suitable for every day wear with brands seen at Anthropologie, Revolve, and Intermix to name a few.) When choosing a dress to pack, choose one that is made from quality fabric. Trust me, it makes a difference.

This dress has such a luxurious feel to it. The dress is thick and durable, but the fabric itself is thin and fine. The cutting allows it to drape perfectly off your frame and flow with the wind instead of flashing you by flying open in the wind. You may notice that I did have some slight issues in the chest area (because I forgot to bring a strapless bra, never forget essentials ladies!!!), but overall this would have been the perfect dress for a fancy dinner out in the Hamptons.

If you know there may be more upscale events or dining in your itinerary, bring an elegant cocktail dress or maxi dress. Flat shoes are recommended for the most part, so I’d avoid skinny heels and stick to wedges or comfortable thick block heels if necessary. Doing less is doing more when it comes to summer fashion for the Hamptons/Montauk, so be minimal with your jewelry as well even when dressed up. Mejuri and other fine jewelry is more suitable.

Dress: Azulu, Nuuly subscription
Wedges:
 Steve Madden

 

For Between the Beach and Beach Bars

Outfit #1

We all need a cute outfit for the days you dash between bars and beach. Tank and shorts just doesn’t hit the same here in Montauk. Whether you choose a dressier beach coverup or actual clothes, make sure your on-the-go outfit is comfortable and doesn’t collect sand. As you can see, loose skirts do a great job of that! This outfit was perfect for my escape to Nick’s On The Beach mid-day (RIP Sloppy Tuna) since it allowed me to quickly and comfortably cover up.

Outfit #2

Above is what I wore on the last day of our weekend before I headed on the LIRR home. I matched a loose linen maxi skirt with a more full coverage bikini to be flexible for the day since our bags were packed. Depending on how you are spending your summer weekends in the Hamptons, you don’t always want to pack your entire closet. Finding pieces (like these skirts) that serve dual purposes is not only efficient but can make you look quite fashionable on and off the beach.

You’ll also notice that I wore the same nude sandals and sunglasses throughout these photos. I highly encourage you to find pieces that are not too precious (just in case you lose them or beat them up) and easy to match with everything. Lastly, adding the dainty jewelry I mentioned earlier helps elevate your look, even if it’s just a bikini top and skirt. The heat was suffocating so I took a few layers off, but you can see how small necklaces can make you look elegant and more put together… even when you’re half naked!

Bikini set: Monday Swimwear (Puerto Rico top and Byron bottom in Clay Crinkle)
White skirt:
 Anthropologie

 

For the Beach

Outfit #1

Let me just get it out of the way and say, I’m very proud for looking less like a ham even at the end of summer in quarantine. My body is nowhere near my goal, and I was injured and unable to workout for months. However, nobody in this world is 100% happy with their bodies even if we weren’t in a pandemic so why not just love ourselves regardless? Post those bikini bod pics proudly, mes chéries! If this ham can, you can too! 🥰 (Note: My humor is naturally self-deprecating not because I lack self-esteem but because that’s just me, so just roll with my “I look like a ham” jokes. 😂)

For my final beach weekend, I brought out all my new sets from Monday Swimwear. (Side note, I do want more bikini sets that aren’t over $150 a set. If you know of any quality bikini brands/sites, please comment below!) Like I mentioned, I’m on a tangerine kick lately. I tend to go into phases with colors, and this summer was the return of my orange phase. When choosing a bathing suit for the Montauk shores, it’s best to go with something classy. That doesn’t mean ditch thong bottoms or Brazilian cuts! It just means choosing colors, fabrics, and patterns that not only frame your body shape well but also “look expensive” even if it’s not. You won’t find busy and common mass-produced patterns or mismatched bikini sets on these shores.

Bikini set: Monday Swimwear (Barbados top and bottom in Tangerine Rib)

Outfit #2

Ignoring my AWFUL tan lines above 😂, this last bikini set is one of my favoritess. Personally, I love one pieces with artistic cutouts and shapes, but I hate awkward tan lines (I know, ironic). However, I highly recommend those one pieces for pool parties when tanning isn’t the main activity! I did not have any of those this trip, so I stuck with bikinis.

In case you haven’t noticed, I have an extremely strong affinity for floral patterns, especially when they include leafy plants. I chose this pattern because the tones are complementary to my tan. However, the colors also match almost every skin tone beautifully because they’re colorful yet neutral. I chose the cut of the top because the shape is very elegant and supportive. I chose the cut of the bottom to minimize tan lines (ironic since mine are SO BAD from a previous bathing suit). You’ll also notice that all my Monday Swimwear tops ride higher than bra straps or other bikini tops (see the rough tan line in the second photo and large gap between my rib tattoo and the strap). Not all their styles do this, but the ones that do offer a little extra support for the gals despite making my tattoo look off 😒.

At the end of the day, no one is going around tallying the price tag of your swimsuits. Just because you’re on a beach in an upscale area does not mean you have to go out and buy a $150 bikini set or one piece. You can simply look and feel bougie by choosing patterns, fabrics, and cuts that flatter your body shape and complement your skin tone!

Bikini set: Monday Swimwear (Maui top and Palma bottom in Amazonia)

 

And that’s a wrap on summer! I hope you enjoyed my Montauk lookbook. If you loved any of the three Nuuly pieces I showcased here (the orange midi dress on my Instagram is also from Nuuly), be sure to use my link to get $10 off your first subscription! Like I said before, it’s a monthly subscription service (like Rent the Runway) but with more affordable brands and unique styles ranging from modern to bohemian. I’ve often found unique pieces and pieces I couldn’t afford full price on online stores like Revolve on Nuuly for rent (and purchase for 30-80% off). I have often purchased items in my Nuuly and will most likely be purchasing the Rococo Sand top and possibly the Azulu dress (both are quite high in price even at ~35% off) and another dress from my rental this month. Nuuly also has extremely polite and accommodating customer service representatives if your clothes missed quality control and come defected or not as clean as it could be too (which does not happen often) which I highly appreciate.

Until next time, please continue to stay safe and wear a mask. Don’t forget to register to vote (and vote) and drink water in this heat! We’ll chat very soon, mes chéries. Bisou bisou…

 

 

 

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Erica Huang
Erica Huang

Based in New York City, Erica Huang is the creator and voice behind Bouge & Rouge. This blog is a playground of her thoughts where she invites you to join her on her journey through her 20s. Erica shares her lifestyle, fashion and beauty tips, adventures, and personal thoughts with the goal of inspiring others to always persevere and be unapologetically yourself.

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