Words by Tara Michie. Photos by Tara Michie.
Growing up in Hawaii, the old saying “No white after Labor Day” was a foreign concept to Teva Explorer Tara Michie—it simply didn’t exist in a place where it was perpetually summertime.
Pictured: Han Kjobenhaven collaboration sandals.
“I decided to do some digging and found that the tradition of wearing white during the hotter months was not just about fashion, but function, as well, since the color white helps reflect the sun’s rays and heat,” she says.
The last few weeks have led Tara to two very different places—Montauk in New York and New Orleans in Louisiana—but white seemed to be the clothing color of choice in both. And since white is the most prominent color in her closet, we challenged her to style all-white-everything looks for both sojourns. No white after Labor Day? We’ll take that as a challenge.
The idea of donning white from head to toe is a little intimidating to me, so I like to change it up and add a pop of color to all of my outfits. I got this great two-piece linen outfit from Sir the Label and like to pair it with the Teva Retro Flatform sandals. They give my outfit the perfect pop of color and a retro feel. My friend Ashley likes wearing really bright statement bikinis to the beach (like this Mara Hoffman two piece) and usually wears a flattering white cover-up. She rocked the über cool Han Kjøbenhavn collaboration sandals the whole weekend. Side note: white and bright is always really flattering for your tan!
Hang out on any stretch of beach in Montauk. Ditch Plains is the quintessential Montauk experience and quite a scene to experience. You have to have a permit to park at any of the beach parking lots. To avoid getting a ticket, park in town and walk to any of the beach accesses or rent a bike to get to just about any stretch of beach you want.
The Beach House
If you want to skip the crowds on the beach, you can always relax by the pool at Montauk Beach House. They’ve got a great mezze platter and plenty of yummy drinks to keep you occupied. There’s a great boutique called Poolside if you want to take a dip then do some shopping, and on the weekends you can rock out to featured DJs while you’re in the pool. They give priority to hotel guests so be sure to check with the front desk before you make your way to the pool or, better yet, treat yourself and book a room at the hotel if you want full access.
This is one of my top three places to eat in Montauk. They have a great location on the lake and a delicious Mediterranean menu to match the vibe. They also have the Melet Merchantile pop-up shop right next to the restaurant filled with unique, eclectic finds. They don’t take reservations and are usually always busy on the weekends, so I suggest getting there right before sunset. Put in your name at the restaurant and then walk down to the beach bar and enjoy a drink by the lake for sunset!
After a weekend in Montauk, Ashley and I decided to head down south for a road trip to New Orleans. I had never been and wanted to experience the culture, music, and food. We just so happened to get into New Orleans on “White Linen Night,” a block party in The Warehouse District held once a year to liven up the art and merchant scene. If you know me, you know I have an obsession with white linen.
I couldn’t have gone to New Orleans at a better time. I busted out my white linen dress and broke one of my style rules—I wore white on white! Ashley and I both wore these super cool Han Kjøbenhavn collab sandals the entire time we were in New Orleans! You have no idea how many compliments we got on our sandals. They were a total hit and so appropriate for the occasion.
Going into the French Quarter is a must when you’re in New Orleans. Bourbon Street is an incredibly touristy thing to do but totally worth it! There are so many great spots to enjoy music and meet some real characters, and you can roam the streets at night until you find a bar that plays your kind of music. Don’t forget to say hello to “Mama”— the most fun and energetic woman on the block! She is a fixture on Bourbon St. and will make your New Orleans experience complete. Just look for her wagon that says “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself.”
This is probably one of the best seafood restaurants I have ever eaten at. Ever. We tried just about everything, so don’t hold back and try as much as you can. Be sure to make a reservation because it is always packe, and don’t leave without trying the Louisiana and Alabama style mussels to figure out which one you like better. There’s a difference!
Stop at Bacchanal, too, where you enter into the wine shop, choose your wine and cheese, then head out back where you can order additional items for dinner (they usually always have a great band playing). When hurricane Katrina hit years ago, the owners opened up the restaurant to unemployed chefs and had pop-up shops featuring a different chef’s menu weekly.
Rent a Bike
Like all cities, parking and driving around the city can be a headache. We decided to park our car at our hotel and rented bikes the whole weekend. It was a great way to see the city! We stayed at the Ace Hotel in the Warehouse District and it is just a short peddle to the French Quarters.
New Orleans is really bike friendly and safe, especially when you’re going through narrow streets in the French Quarters that are hard to access by car. We got to hit up spots that would have been hard to get to on foot!
Shop all of our summer and fall styles at Teva.com and #strapintofreedom!