No Dressing in the Dark Here…

Last week the Punk’s team jump-started the process of choosing staff uniforms.

Allowing ourselves to acknowledge our own fashion hang-ups (Dave has a strange aversion to khaki pants, Sheila tends toward “hobo-chic”, and Jeff gets hives at the site of gold-toe socks), we made the wise decision to call Jessica and Rand at Simmons Ardell Design to help turn a mess of uniform catalogs, Pantone chips, and logos into the perfect backyard-casual uniform collection.

In looking for a little inspiration for the Punk’s uniforms, it became apparent that dressing oneself for a backyard cookout can be more challenging than it might seem, since various social and safety considerations make dressing for these events worthy of numerous articles and message boards. One article made 17 suggestions about backyard attire only to close with: “Don’t put too much though into it as it is supposed to be a fun day.”

What’s so hard about picking a cookout outfit?

Backyard cookouts are casual affairs by nature, precluding many formalities such as sitting while eating, using silverware, or finishing one beverage before opening another. So in most cases, it’s probably safe to toss on the old t-shirt and come as you are.

But of course there are some cookouts where its best NOT to come as you are. Maybe the cookout is a date with someone really special. Or perhaps it’s a date with someone not very special and you’re planning to find an “upgrade” among the other attendees. There are too many examples here, but you get the picture — sometimes a casual backyard cookout requires serious outfit planning.

You don’t have to face your closet alone…

While Rand and Jessica work on our outfits, it seems only fair to pass along some advice on how best to dress for your backyard party.

Safety, of course, should always be a primary concern. So if you’re the one behind the grill, make sure none of your attire dangles in the open fire. Once you ensure that only the charcoal will go up in flames, here’s some advice on how to “flaunt your summer style.”

For the ladies who want to stay cool while fanning the flames, here’s a guide to “casual yet sexy” summer dressing and another that promises to help you avoid looking like you’re at the “MTV Spring Break Beach House circa 1998.”

For the gents who want to take that mint julep to the next level, this comprehensive guide to wearing seersucker is essential.

So get studying — you have less than two weeks to plan your outfit for July 4th!


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