When it comes to summer dresses, we know what we like: A skirt that flutters in the breeze, a natural-fiber material like cotton or linen in a fun print, a top that shows some skin without being too skimpy. We'd like a dress that can be slipped on after a dip in the pool, a dress that could take us out to dinner or out for a chocolate snowball.
The dress that has our vote this summer is a pink and yellow Tahitian floral number from Garnet Hill. The dress, cut on the bias, has a circle skirt that hangs beautifully, a timeless jazzy print evocative of Paul Gauguin's paintings and a sweet taffeta ribbon belt. Available for $168 at Garnet Hill, www.garnethill.com, or by calling 800-870-3513.
FOR THE RECORD - The Style File in Sunday's Home & Family section gave an incorrect store for one of the cosmetics featured. Lather's Daily Defense Treatment is available at Bloomingdale's at Tyson's Corner in McLean, Va.
The Sun regrets the error.
Beach towels are so not the bland white rectangles of terry cloth that they used to be. They're bolder, brighter, fresher. Pinks and oranges, stripes and squares, and loud floral prints are de rigueur. We've seen some towels that are printed with a checkers grid, hopscotch game or Twister board ($10 at Bed Bath & Beyond) and come with their own game pieces so that you can engage in some good clean fun while you dry off poolside. Those cushy, extra-wide towels for two ($20-$29 at Bed Bath & Beyond) certainly sound romantic, but we're not sure we want to share. Better yet is the big hibiscus-shaped towel ($14.99 at Target) that you can spread out on the sand and invite your little sand crabs to take a seat and enjoy a sandy little picnic of animal crackers and Hawaiian punch.
Ah, now this is the life.
A spray for today
Aqua Net. It's the big ole can of sticky aerosol hair spray that gets a hon's hair into the perfect beehive and makes even the most unruly locks behave. But at what cost? Aerosols cause pollution. And if you spray on too much Aqua Net in a small space (i.e., a bathroom), the fumes can be enough to make you loopy.
Aveda wants your tresses to behave, but not at the environment's expense. Aveda Air Control is a new high-performance aerosol that doesn't adversely affect the earth's climate. It even comes in a recyclable aluminum can. How well does the can of $23 hair spray work? At recent runway shows, the product's performance was rated "exceptional" by stylists.
Aveda Air Control is available at such salons as Edward Amato Salon in Mount Washington and at the Aveda store at the Mall in Columbia. For information or other stores, go to www.aveda.com.
Now about that loopy feeling ...
Face the sun with confidence
Keeping your skin free from sun damage calls for a pretty strong line of defense. You know the drill: Wear a hat, wear sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Lather's new Daily Defense Treatment aims to protect your face from the harsh effects of too much sun. The botanical-based lotion has an SPF of 26 and is fortified with such antioxidants as green tea, grapeseed oil and sunflower to hydrate and soften skin. The water-resistant, nongreasy formula contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and Parsol 1789 to reflect ultraviolet light.
Lather New Daily Defense Treatment costs $24 and is available at www.latherup.com and at the Nordstrom store at Tyson's Corner Mall in McLean, Va.