The first Monday in May always gets the press because it is, after all, an annual fashion highlight in the East Coast. To put it simply, no one ignores the MET Gala. With all the pomp and fanfare surrounding it, it’s easy to miss out on another special day: the last Monday in May.
Memorial Day, a Federal holiday, always falls on this day, which means it’s observed on 28th May this year. As its name implies, it is a day to commemorate fallen soldiers who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Though its significance hasn’t changed, the long weekend it offers make for a great getaway for anyone looking for a break.
Planning for a trip takes time. It’s not strange to know of a colleague, friend, or relative who have their itineraries, routes and even outfits planned to a T. Maybe you do too, but if you’re feeling a little sheepish because you haven’t done any, don’t worry, because we’ve done all the research and legwork for you so you just need to pack your bags and get ready to go!
Soak in the sun at Fire Island
Memorial Day is one of the best holiday weekends because it kicks off the summer season unofficially — and that means lots of sun, sand, and smiles. But for New Yorkers, summer in the city brings to mind dank, smelly subways and blindingly bright rays glinting off shiny, metallic skyscrapers. It’s easy to get used to that, but why not consider a change in environment?
A couple of hours away from NYC, Fire Island at Long Island is a great destination for anyone looking for some sand and sea. Since no cars are allowed there, you don’t have to contend with those ugly, metal contraptions marring the beautiful landscape and you can easily find a secluded spot to enjoy some peace and quiet… or fire and fun — whatever catches your fancy in a holiday.
For such a getaway, it’s important to pack light. Beach essentials — sunglass, sunscreen, and swimsuit — are must-brings while your clothes should be ideally lightweight and interchangeable. Pair your favorite cropped top with a pair of denim shorts or a sundress and finish the look with your favorite summer sandals and straw hat.
Style tip: It’s easy to get lost in a sea of white, chambray, and neutral hues so use statement accessories or a vibrant lip to give your outfit a pop of color.
Immerse yourself in History at Washington D.C.
Do you know how Memorial Day, otherwise known as Decoration Day before World War II, came about?
If you answered ‘no’ to the question above, it’s time to learn more about America’s history. Though Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance, it’s still important to honor the dead, especially those who have sacrificed their lives for America’s independence and freedom.
The largest military cemetery in the U.S.A., the Arlington National Cemetery located in Washington D.C., is where more than 400,000 military veterans and family are laid to rest. Known for the neat rows of white tombstones against a lush green lawn, this cemetery reminds us that the peace and security we now enjoy came at a high cost.
Other than paying your respects, be sure to stop by Le Diplomate at Logan Circle for you fill of classic French fare. Lines are long so don’t forget to book a table to skip the wait. Then end the night at The Wharf for some low-key atmosphere, whether you are up for some Saturday night dancing or in for a seafood treat this is the place you will want to be.
Style tip: If you’re an amateur in D.C. make sure to wear shoes that are practical and comfortable since you can expect a lot of walking. Also, with the start of a sweltering summer, we understand the reluctance of wearing jeans -- or any long pants in general. That said, it’s still possible to combine the elements of style and comfort. The key lies in the material. Opt for materials made with breathable cloth, like linen, and pair it your favorite accessory to give it a shine.
Explore and Dine in your City
It’s common to travel over the Memorial Day weekend, which means you aren’t the only one doing so. If you’re planning to go on a trip, you’ll be joining over 40 million Americans on the roads, tarmac, and water.
If your idea of a holiday doesn’t involve spending hours stuck in traffic and battling road rage, why not consider enjoying the Memorial Day weekend in good, ‘ol NYC? It’d save you the hassle of traveling and you don’t have to spend as much.
For starters, participate in the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade, which is one of the oldest parades in Brooklyn. Do you know it’s now in its 151st year? Starting at 11 am on Third Avenue and 78th Street in Bay Ridge, it ends with a bang at Fort Hamilton.
After that, have a picnic at the many green spaces in NYC, like Central Park, or throw a BBQ party at your own backyard with friends and family. Stuff your face with classic dishes like potato salads, barbecued or fried chicken, and wash them down with an ice-cold glass of lemonade or beer.
If you’re going to spend your whole day outdoors, it’s important to wear something that can be dressed up or down, depending on your where your feet and mood leads you. You can never go wrong with a floral sundress or light denim.
Style tip: A pair of statement sunnies and shoes are what you need to transform yourself from summer-casual to casual-chic. Finish the look with a small clutch or quilted handbag.
There are a million and one things to do during the last Monday in May. All you need to do is decide what catches your fancy. Regardless your choice, there’s no reason why you can’t be comfortable while looking stylish at the same time. Welcome the warmth and sunshine with light frocks and cute shorts!