Newport Manners & Etiquette: Fun Memorial Day Weekend Dates + Sailing Into Summer In Seersucker
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
NewportManners this week. Two or four favorites asked about guidelines for what to do and what to wear and what not to wear Memorial Day Weekend.
Best Memorial Day Weekend
Q. I'm taking my girlfriend to Newport, RI. for the Memorial Day Weekend and in planning our time we're looking for special things to do that are somewhat off the beaten track and we're also hoping to hear live music. She's done the house tours and weather permitting we want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Any ideas? JC, Brooklyn
A. In honor of those who have served our country, Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of the summer travel season and the grilling season here is the northeast, with the requisite cookout or BBQ dinner party.
But what we love most is that it is finally warm enough for picnics!
Take it slow and easy over the long weekend with a blanket and a picnic basket, and wile away an afternoon at the beach, on a sunny bluff or sailboat, or tasting local wines at a premier vineyard.
- For the best picnic take away: Rosemary & Thyme Cafe , Sweet Berry Farm, Flo's Clam Shack and the Newport Lobster Shack -- all terrific sources for prepared picnic food to go.
Why not take a road trip or bike ride around Aquidneck Island out to Greenvale Vineyards (greenvale.com) in Portsmouth, RI, for an afternoon of listening to live jazz while picnicking and sampling exceptional wines.
- Greenvale Vineyards is a family-run historic farm on the Sakonnet River featuring an exquisitely restored 19th-century summer house and stable, which is now the vineyards' Tasting Room. Family members produce small batches of wines from vintage grapes. Many of these wines can be sampled to accompany your picnic, while listening to the sounds of a live jazz group on a lazy afternoon.
By the way, the only price of admission to Greenvale Vineyards is a tasting list of a variety of phenomenal wines.
Q. Going to the Hamptons for Memorial Day Weekend, is it too early to wear seersucker before June? Edward, Manhattan
A. No, Edward, it is not too early to wear seersucker. Memorial Day Weekend is officially the start of the seersucker season in the northeast -- so sail away off to the Hamptons wearing anything seersucker.
- Seersucker fabric is easy to pack and won't appear creased after the long Hampton Jitney ride to the east end of Long Island. If you dove into the Atlantic after a boozy lunch, you could hang up your suit and it would be dry in time for dinner!
- Nothing says summer with more durability than the timeless, classic seersucker suit -- and we have the hipsters to thank for the seersucker revival.
When wearing a seersucker jacket with seersucker shorts, be sure that your legs are sufficiently tanned. Seersucker shorts (see photo) look better with a tan. If Leonardo DiCaprio can wear seersucker shorts, so can you -- but notice his tan.
Traditionally, men in the northeast only don their seersucker suits between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and still it's only really appropriate to wear seersucker during the hot summer months.
Know a well-constructed seersucker suit from a poorly made one:
- A well-made seersucker suit is made of 100% cotton that has been treated to resist heat, and the trouser hem is reinforced with a heavier fabric to keep the shape of the trouser legs and protect the hems from wear and tear.
- Because of the ultra light-weight seersucker fabric, the suit lacks structure unless it is well-fitted to the wearer; you certainly don't want your suit to droop or hang from your body.
- Have the seersucker suit jacket altered to have a natural shoulder that doesn't look over-padded; it can be lined or half-lined from the shoulder down.
- The trousers should never be slim fit, and can even be slightly baggy. But then you don't want to look like a clown if they're awkwardly sloppy. The heaviness of the extra fabric in the hem should keep the legs from ballooning out.
- Don't forget: good seersucker trousers should be lined from the waist to the break in the knee.
The more classic seersucker suit is blue and white stripe, with the blue stripes slightly wider than the white stripes; from a distance the suit will look light blue.
- Alternatively, you can find seersucker with the white stripes wider than the blue, as well as more colorful variations: tan and brown stripes, or combinations from green to yellow to pink.
Accessorizing your seersucker can be tricky.
For instance, if you overdo it by wearing a seersucker suit with a striped bowtie, pattern suspenders and white shoes topped by a straw boater hat, you'll look dated -- like yet another remake of the Great Gatsby.
- Shoes can be either a brown penny loafer, white suede bucks, or spectators, which are brown and white -- or like DiCaprio (in the above photo), do your own thing.
- The usual suit socks rule is broken here: You don't have to match your socks to one of the colors in your striped suit, you can go wild with a crazy pattern or simply go sockless. Then there are always those who wear no-show socks.
- Of course a bowtie gives a traditional southern flare, or you can tame down the flame with a solid knit or linen necktie -- or don't wear a tie at all.
- Seersucker trousers are made for ribbon or surcingle belts.
- It goes without saying that you would wear a solid white or pale blue collared, button-down shirt.
- Solid red suspenders are traditionally worn when the trousers don't have belt loops.
It goes without saying that there are men who are not going to look their best in the famously unstructured seersucker suit; the heavier material of a more structured suit is more flattering on an overweight man or woman. (Yes, there are snappy seersucker suits for women as well, but this question came from a man.)
- A plus for the seersucker suit is its versatility: for a more casual look the jacket can be worn with dress khakis, blue jeans or Nantucket Reds (which are faded for a salty look).
- Pairing seersucker trousers with a solid color poplin or linen jacket or blazer works nicely, as well.
So, whether you're asking about DiCaprio's seersucker look (above) or you have a style of your very own, have a great time over the Memorial Day Weekend. You'll be well-dressed.
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners.
Related Slideshow: 25 Things to Look Forward to in New England This Summer - 2018
Sipping Del's Lemonade on a Hot Day
While you can probably find Del's Lemonade somewhere during any month of the year, drinking it in the winter is just not the same as when it is a hot day in the midst of summer.
As summer approaches, be sure to locate our nearest Del's Lemonade stand.
Waterfire is back for the summer and it's an event and experience that must be had.
Waterfire is Providence's signature event bringing in people from all over New England and the country to see it.
A great night out for families and couples alike.
Visiting Southwick Zoo
Can't wait to get back to the zoo and visit the animals at Southwick Zoo. Be sure to check out the new baby zebra that the zoo just welcomed.
The Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Taking a Cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee aboard the M/S Mount Washington
Lake Winnipesaukee offers some of the best scenery in all of New England and there is no better place to see it from then the M/S Mount Washington.
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival takes place from June 1 to June 10 in downtown Burlington, Vermont.
This 10 day celebration features four stages with free live music from Leslie Odom Jr. and more. The festival also will feature local food and much more.
For more information, click here.
Walking Along Narragansett Beach
Look forward to taking a stroll all the way from chair six to chair one as the waves crash along the shore.
Keep an eye out for sea glass as Narrow River or The Towers come into view.
Taking a Cruise on a Windjammer
Head to Maine and sleep aboard a National Landmark, the Maine Windjammer Fleet.
Go on a three, four or six-day cruise and get closer than ever before to wildlife like whales, eagles, and porpoises while you see some of the best coastal scenery that North America has to offer.
After a successful first festival, the PVDFest returns to Providence for the third year and will take place from June 7 to June 10.
The festival will bring in art, music, performances and more from all over the United States and the world for the free outdoor festival.
Catching a Worcester Bravehearts Game
Year after year, the Worcester Bravehearts are one of the best baseball teams in New England.
They bring in some of the best college talent from across the region to compete for the Futures League Championship.
Don't miss a game.
Newport Folk Festival
The Newport Folk Festival is set to be held from July 27-29 and will feature bands such as Wilco, Fleet Foxes, and The Avett Brothers.
Don't miss out on one of the biggest concert events of the summer.
Visiting Cape Playhouse Theatre
Taking a ride to Cape Cod and visit the oldest summer theatre in the country, Cape Playhouse. Cape Playhouse was first opened in 1927 by Raymond Moore.
The theatre has been home to some of the biggest stars to ever grace a stage like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart amongst others.
Enjoying the South County Hot Air Balloon Fest
There is nothing quite like the Hot Air Ballon Fest. This is the place to enjoy glowing hot air balloons, crafts, music, food, fishing, carnival rides, fireworks, and more.
The festival will be held from July 20-22 on the URI athletic fields.
Participating in the Worcester World Cup 2018
The 2017 Worcester World Cup is set to take place from Friday, August 10 to Sunday, August 12.
The Worcester World Cup is more than a soccer tournament. It's a celebration of Worcester and a safe, friendly family event that people look forward to all year.
Newport Jazz Festival
The 2018 festival is set to take place from Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 5.
The festival will show off over 50 individual jazz ensembles on four stages including performances at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Fort Adams State Park.
Seeing a Movie at the Rustic Drive-In
Look forward to Calling up your friends, pack a picnic, and sit in your car as feature films are projected on giant outdoor screens.
The audio plays right through your radio, so be sure to turn the volume up high as you snack on your candy and popcorn.
Zip Lining in the Berkshires
Looking for something new and exciting? Head to the Berkshires and get yourself on a zip line, maybe even do a canopy tour.
There are three different tour options, starting with the base area tour which lasts an hour or the Moutain Top or Valley Jump tour which takes three hours. Both of those are sure to shoot some adrenaline into your day.
Watching 4th of July Fireworks
The 4th of July, the holiday of the summer.
It is never too early to start planning your day and figuring out exactly where you are going to watch a parade and fireworks this year.
Eating a Clam Cake From Flo’s
Be excited about heading to Flo's and taking a bite of a Flo’s clam cake and you’ll understand why they’ve been around since 1936.
Dip it in a side of tartar sauce or enjoy as is.
The Little League World Series
While the Little League World Series does not take place in New England, the series is arguably the marquee sporting event of the summer.
There will be a New England team in it this year and therefore, the Little League World Series is always something to look forward to
Boston Calling, the first New England music festival of the season kicks off in downtown Boston on the weekend of May 25 to the 27.
The festival features a performance from Eminem and much more.
Vermont Summer Festival
The Vermont Summer celebration features everything from horses to shopping at onsite boutiques and plenty of places for food and drinks.
The celebration takes place from July 3 through August 12.
Playing Golf at Harbor Lights
Harbor Lights in Warwick offers golfers a great place to tee it up this summer.
Not to mention the amazing scenery and the great food at the Par + Tackle restaurant.
RI International Film Festival
The Rhode Island International Film Festival will celebrate their 35th anniversary beginning on August 7 and going through August 12.
The Festival features the best local films made with some of the best local talent.
Catching a PawSox Game at McCoy
Nothing says summer time like sitting at McCoy Stadium and watching a Pawtucket Red Sox game.
While the PawSox are already in action, the weather is getting warmer and it will be much more comfortable to go out to a game.
Billy Joel at Fenway Park
For the 5th consecutive year, rock and roll legend Billy Joel will play Fenway Park.
Billy Joel released his first hit song, arguably still his biggest hit, Piano Man in 1973 and since then has become the 6th best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.
Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
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