Living with Style, Personal Style, The Newport Diary

What to Wear to the Newport Flower Show

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The Newport Flower Show at the end of June (23rd-25th) truly kicks off the “Summer Season.” The coolness of June (and hopefully the rains) are behind us and warm days will remind us why we want to be no place else except Newport.

From children’s potting classes to garden club judged flower arrangements, this show embraces and attracts all ages. So when contemplating that inevitable question, “What to wear?” I thought I’d check in with two chic friends to add some generational perspective. Three views, if you will, that can take you from the luncheon lectures and demos (Jeff Leatham and Dr. Eric Haskell) to an evening picnic and outdoor movie to shopping among the eighty plus purveyors of “lust and must” offerings. And don’t forget the Friday night cocktail buffet on the back lawn of Rosecliff overlooking the ocean. I’ve been anticipating this weekend for months — how about you?!

Bettie Bearden Pardee @privatenewport

Celebrate color! This is what Newport in the summer is all about (leave the LBD at home).

1. Skirting the Flower Show: Off the shoulder blouses are current and flattering, especially when the layered skirt has a slight train.

2. Flat out: Since Rosecliff’s lawns are lumpy and bumpy, opt for flats (patent leather ideally, as grass can be moist at night). Valentino fits the bill… then complement with his big sunglasses (3).

4. Bittar, Please!: Fun earrings are a must for me. Alexis Bittar never disappoints!

5. Newport Signature: Ala Isham is using her own watercolors as inspiration for her caftans and cocktail chic — visit her booth at the Flower Show!

6. A Perky Perch: I loved hosting artist Hunt Slonem last summer for a dinner party…and now his signature bunnies are on pillows that perk up my sun porch.

7. Raffia to the Rescue: There’s something about Raffia that just says “summer” to me.

Caitlin A. Hill @citrusandcedars

Founder and creative director of C&C Consulting • Newport native • Delphinium Dreamer• Old Soul • A believer in life’s simple pleasures.

1. The Bluebell: Navy has become a bit of a constant in my closet. This sundress by Self Portrait is affectionately known as “The Bluebell”… how fitting for a flower show!  

2. Tassels, please: Everyone loves a good tassel and the key to footwear at the Flower Show is comfort. I haven’t met an Aquazzura I didn’t like!

3. Charmed: I don’t tend to wear a lot of jewelry, though I was recently gifted with a charm bracelet with the help of and thoughtfulness from my Mother and beau. I find great pleasure in recalling the memories each charm can provoke. Each travel adventure  now involves a quest for a charm to add to the growing collection…I find it very poetic.

4. Something Vintage: The Nantucket basket bag is vintage and a little quirky – found in upstate New York. I love the feeling of breathing new life into a found treasure – and the design of this bag is surprisingly functional! I’m also loving the Birkin Baskets from Amanda Lindroth this season.

5. Bold Brim: For anyone that knows me, I love a good panama hat. Keeping cool under a wide brimmed hat ensures I can focus on marveling over the blooms and not focused on my discomfort!

6. Inspirations & Ideas: I’m a tad old fashioned in that I love note taking. Smythson’s pocket-sized notebook allows me to jot down some of my favorite flowers and start plotting my garden next summer. There is a lot to learn at the Flower Show!

7. Bain de Soleil SunscreenThere is something about that classic metal tube with its orange gelèe that makes me so nostalgic for summer. My Mother and Grandmother used it and it’s also said that Coco Chanel did, too!

8. Flower of Choice: Delphiniums are most dreamy! The various shades of blues, whites and purples are romantic and regal and their height, a perfect complement to the other tall varieties I have in my cutting garden.

9. Blue & White Forever: An oldie that has yet to go out of style — an archived cardigan from the J. Crew Collection. 

Camilla Kerr Bradley @ckbradley

Entrepreneur• Designer• Printmaker • Mother of two young boys • Lover of all things spontaneous • Coveted CKBradley dresses are named after Newport parties.

​1. Redefining Linen: D​ress up a bit for the ​F​lower ​S​ho​w​​!​ Pair this with a heel for a sophisticated yet flirty look​ (linen,​ with a welcome bit of stretch).

2. Pom Poms are in: A trend that make​s​ everyone smile. ​H​and woven bag made in Cartegena, each is one of a kind.

3. T​assels Anyone?: These​ earrings​ add some fun and color, which is ALWAYS my goal…

​4. Traveling Companion: A ver​​s​a​tile dress that will love to be in its habitat surrounded by leaves and flowers…made of super soft jersey that is immune to wrinkles.

5. T​he Most Fun Accessory of All?​: Our children! (ok…not really, but boy is it fun to have them tug at our hems while chasing butterflies at our feet)

6. K​eep the Sun at Bay: Y​​ou can never have too many​ hats​!​ Especially​ one with fabulous fringe in shades of the ocean.

7. M​om on the GO!: ​C​omfortable shoes are a must​ when walking around and about at the Newport Flower Show.

8. Accessorize: Made in Italy, the CK Bijoux Links Necklace is a must-have and perfect for any Newport Flower Show outfit.

Hope to see you at what we in Newport affectionately refer to as the “American Chelsea.”

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

2 thoughts on “What to Wear to the Newport Flower Show

  1. I just got back from the OTHER CHELSEA in LONDON!I was the only one in a HAT!!!!!!
    I know YOU ladies will be sporting some BEAUTIFUL HATS!

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