Summering in the Hamptons with Catherines

Since I moved to NYC ten years ago, I’ve always wanted to go to the Hamptons for the summer.  Scheduling, budgeting, and one [terrible] wine tasting trip to the North Fork thwarted my efforts year after year, and it was starting to feel like one of those things that would just never happen.  Then my babes at Catherines reached out to see if I wanted to join them in East Hampton and try out some of their new summer styles.  It felt serendipitous, and I was happy to join in.  I was also excited to try out more of Catherines’ summer styles, including their swim!

When we arrived to our house, it was just the type of chic upscale casual vibe I’d envisioned.  The black jumpsuit I traveled in suddenly seemed out of place, and I immediately changed into this bold but minimal tee dress.

This vibrant orange hue was something of a risk for me – I had it in my head that my pale skin tone didn’t work with this shade – but I ended up loving it on.

It is one of those easy to wear pieces with major impact – my favorite kind of clothing!  I added a summer straw hat and a long anchor motif necklace to amp up the summer vibes.

I finished the outfit with my new go-to pair of day to day sandals, these demi-wedges from Catherines.  They add just a bit of height with none of the discomfort of heels.  I can happily walk in these all day (I’m actually wearing them as I write this post, too!)  Also, how pretty are these hydrangeas?

Once we all arrived to the house, we couldn’t help but take advantage of the lush grass to play some of the yard games (the fact that this one matched my dress perfectly may or may not have been part of the reason I chose it).  Meghan from Little Lime Dress and Tiffany from Lace N Leopard looked super cute in their Catherines outfits too – we had an inadvertent early sunset theme going on.

After we wore ourselves out in the sun, it was time for lunch, which was an impressive barbecue spread by the pool.  You can probably see the look of admiration on my face.

*cheers to a gorgeous start to the day*

I have to admit that we did not heed the common wisdom about waiting 30 minutes after eating to swim, as we were all dying to jump into the sparkling pool by this point.  Usually I wouldn’t be overly enthused at the thought of putting on a swimsuit directly after chowing down on a LOT of BBQ, but this one piece from Catherines has amazing support, so I felt comfortable and cute even with a stuffed belly.

My inflatable flamingo friend Charlie agreed (yes, I named him) 😀

BFF (Best Flamingo Floatie)

I’ve been really into maillots this year, and the cutout neckline on this one is the perfect bit of added interest on this classic silhouette.  This suit fits true to size, too – a pleasant surprise when I usually have to go a size our two up up from my clothing size for swim.

This mesh coverup was a great poolside accessory, and right on trend with the sheer detailing.  I could see styling this with a black crop top and mini skirt to wear for a night out.

I was pretty much in heaven splashing around in this gorgeous saltwater pool (#backyardgoals – it didn’t destroy my hair!) with Meghan and Tiffany.  I’m a Cancer, which just means I have a zodiac justification for my extreme love of water.    We all stayed in the pool til the sun dipped below the trees and our fingers were basically prunes, so I was intensely happy.

The next morning was my birthday, and I woke up excited to see what the day would bring, and ready to start off my 33rd year in style. Fun fact: Catherines has petite plus sizes, so I can get maxi dresses without having them drag on the floor!  At 5’4″, I’m on the taller end of petites, but still way too short for many brands regular length.   This pretty mixed media white dress would work on a woman even more petite than me.  I also purposefully made this shorter by adding a simple tie belt to pull the white dress and black accessories together – I love the look of this at mid calf length.

After breakfast, we were told to dress casually for our first surprise event, so I switched into something a bit more laid back.  We didn’t know what we were doing, but when I heard Kellie say the word “slip” while giving the driver the address, I had a hopeful guess.

My wish was granted when we pulled up to the Star Island Marina and walked towards our ride for the day: A gorgeous (and giant) yacht.

As we sped across the shining ocean water, I realized this might be my fanciest bday yet.

Though I may not yet be rich enough for my own yacht, these linen pants from Catherines played the wealthy-casual part well. #fakeittilyoumakeit

Casual yachting, dahling

Once the boat stopped, we got started on some deep sea fishing.  I grew up fishing with my Grampa using bobbers in little Michigan ponds, so this was a whole new experience for me.  The captain and his first mate handled all the fiddly bits for us (no hand-baiting required!), and then handed off the rods to us.  Tiffany, our first time fisher, was a natural and caught the first catch of the day.

My first catch was less than impressive, but still had me beaming ear to ear.

Poseidon apparently knew it was my birthday, because each catch just got better from there on out.

I ended up with this giant sea bass, and when I went to pose for a picture with it, all the girls started randomly singing happy birthday to me while the fish flopped around in my hands.  I don’t know when I last laughed so hard.

Yes, I took a selfie with my catch.  No, I have no shame.  

We released all the fish we caught, but were all craving seafood, so we ended up at the Hamptons stalwart Bostwick’s Chowder House.  Once again, here I am gazing at my food lovingly.  What can I say, yachting is hungry work 😉

Afterwards, we all went back to the house to unwind and enjoy the pleasant summer weather.  We didn’t leave again until the evening, when we headed to East Hampton to check out the little shops and galleries dotting their Main Street.

I had so much fun hanging out with Tiffany and Meghan, and they both had me cracking up throughout the trip.  I may have even startled some Hamptonites with my unbridled laughter while we were on the town.

(This is not cute blogger laughing – this is the real deal, as you can tell by my eyes’ disappearance)

(still laughing)

My dress is one of those versatile LBDs you find yourself reaching for time and time again, with the pretty crochet hem detail adding a summery feel.

You can dress it down with flat sandals and a beachy straw bag, or you can dress it up like I did here with sleek accessories.  These lace up wedges are subtly sparkly, adding just enough *fancy* without overdoing it for a more laid back destination like the Hamptons.

With this statement enameled parrot necklace (also from Catherines!), I felt pulled together and ready for dinner at Nick & Toni’s.  I highly recommend their cheese board and the razor clams.

I had an amazing time with Catherines and blogger babes Meghan and Tiffany.  Thank you to Kellie and Kate for organizing this lovely summer getaway!  I left pining for a saltwater pool of my own, and very impressed with Catherines’ swimwear.  I’ve also been wearing some of these pieces again and again, particularly my little black dress and the orange shift.  My sandals, both casual and fancy, have also been getting a lot of wear.  Bonus: Catherines has a wide range of sizes, going up to size 34W in some items (including my swimsuit!)  Have you tried out Catherines for summer wear yet?

Shop all the looks from my trip to the Hamptons here!

This post is sponsored by Catherines.  All thoughts and opinions my own, as always!

All photos by Lydia Hudgens