Tag Archives: summer

Yes, Fall is coming, but it is Still Summer Right Now!

Even as we gear up for school and Rush Week and sports and books and studying and reunions with friends and getting back to business, let us not forget that it is still summer! There are still more than five weeks left of summer! Fall does not officially begin until September 23rd. It is still t-shirt season in much of the country! There is still time to get the most of your summer.

ukeCarpe diem! Summer is short and its peak is upon us, the time to act is now! Here are ten of our favorite tips for seizing the most of each of the sweet days left of summer:

  1. Make a plan. Create a schedule. Put it on your calendar – with notifications! Your Google calendar can help you have more fun.
  2. Be spontaneous. This may sound completely contrary to  Carpe Summer tip number one, but the fun, uninhibited nature of spontaneity is food for the creative process. Get your brain on board and you might just have a great time!
  3. Stick around. Instead of spending hours in the car driving to the beach or the mountains, step outside your door and take a walk over to your local swing set, basketball court, bookstore, cafe, farmers market, swimming pool, public garden. You might just fall in love with what is right around the corner. Be here now.
  4. Take a big trip. Here we go again with contrasting recommendations! Get out of Dodge and see the world with new eyes. Commit to taking an adventure. Stick a toe out over the edge of your comfort zone. Getting away will give you a fresh perspective. What could be better than a summer road trip?
  5. Revisit recess. You don’t have to be a kid or even in school in order to revisit recess. Have some simple fun. Jump rope, swing on the swings, kick off your shoes, splash in mud puddles, sing at the top of your lungs.
  6. Play Hookie. You don’t have to be in school in order to do this either. Your job probably offers a few sick days. Take a healthy day instead. Call in well and get some personal time in the fresh air.
  7. Pick up the Ukelele. Ok it does not have to be the uke, but you have to admit that the uke is one of the cutest instruments! Learn something new! Whether it’s Tai Chi, bungee jumping, or underwater basket weaving, your brain will thank you.
  8. Turn off your phone. Your electronic devises are out to get you. Take the upper hand and turn them off! You’ll find more time to enjoy the things that really matter.
  9. Make a new friend. How does that song go? Make new friends, but keep the old…? Friends are good for your mood and your self-esteem. Making a new friend keeps it lively and exciting.
  10. Service. There are few things more enriching than helping others. It makes you feel awesome while it makes others feel valued. Service to others is a confidence booster that even has scientifically proven health benefits Talk about win-win!

Put on your t-shirt and get out there! There is still time to have a Happy summer!

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Keeping the Sun off: T-shirt Vs. Sunscreen

sunscreenSunscreen has been all over the news lately. It happens every summer, but this year there seem to be more warnings about the potential dangers of the ingredients found in many sunscreens. These stories have gone viral.

Consumer Reports warns against spray-on sunscreens for kids, claiming the spray-on type of sunscreen puts children at risk for asthma or allergy attacks. A Florida  news source (and who knows sunscreen better than Floridians?) called Click Orlando reports:

Flip over your sunscreen. Take a look at the roughly 25 ingredients. The environmental working group or EWG — an organization that focuses on product safety — says some of these chemicals are cause for concern.

Like Oxybenzone. This chemical penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can also trigger allergic reactions.  One study links oxybenzone to endometriosis.

And look out for Retinyl Palmitate which the EWG claims may speed development of skin tumors and lesions.

Those chemicals are why dermatologist, Dr. Kathleen Judge prefers her patients to use physical sunblocks. (http://www.clickorlando.com/news/ingredients-in-sunscreen-may-pose-risk/26842626)

Business Insider counters with:

“The short answer is that while people have raised legitimate questions about possible harmful effects of sunscreen, the harms that come from too much sun exposure are clear, known, and often deadly. There’s no contest.

In fact, researchers are aware of consumers’ simmering fears about sunscreen and have looked closely at the evidence on both sides. In a 2011 study on “sunscreen controversies,” a team of doctors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering did a thorough review of previous research in order to answer the three main questions people have about sunscreen:

  1. Does it protect against skin cancer? (Yes.)
  2. Does it cause Vitamin D deficiency? (No.)
  3. Are toxic chemicals in sunscreen harmful to human health? (No.)

…The researchers also take care not to dismiss concerns about some ingredients, like oxybenzone, in sunscreens. They discuss at length the growing body research around the effects of such compounds, which have been tied to changes in hormone activity, among other things.But while caution is not unfounded and there is still more work to be done, most evidence suggests that when used on human skin in appropriate amounts, these ingredients are safe.” (http://www.businessinsider.com/anti-sunscreen-warning-on-lululemons-bag-2014-7#ixzz376GPjSEG)

desert_sunAt the end of the day, too much of a good thing (sunshine) is not great for your skin. Cancer.org suggests that clothing should be our first line of defense against the sun’s harmful rays. Though our image of desert dwellers is largely influenced my film and the media, people who live in the sun tend to cover up. Clothing protects us by absorbing or blocking much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

“The more skin you cover, the better…” (http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/clothing) But how much better? Weave and fabric are obviously important. Some materials are better at absorbing UV that others; thicker, tighter weaves block more light. Color is potentially more important. “Dyes work by absorbing various frequencies of visible light, and many of them will absorb UV too. Of course, high light absorption at visible frequencies doesn’t necessarily imply high UV absorption, but as a general rule of thumb, white or lightly colored fabrics do tend to let more UV through than darker fabrics.” (http://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/1226/whats-the-upf-of-a-t-shirt-or-jeans)

Blue jeans have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 166, while heavy twill denim in white rates a 12. Your typical lightweight cotton t-shirt has an SPF of 4, dyed blue, that same shirt goes up to an 18.

While we are still on the fence about the dangers of sunscreen, we are pretty sure that color is good for summer sun protection. And the only reported side effects of wearing a dyed t-shirt in summer are looking and feeling cool.

Keep cool.


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June 19th is World Sauntering Day

For Comfort Colors, a company based entirely on comfort and the pleasures of the weekend, World Sauntering Day is just about the best holiday we’ve ever heard of. Who knew such a day existed? We do now and we’re going to celebrate by sauntering right into summer and t-shirt season.

June 19 is world sauntering daySaunter is a terrific verb. It means to walk in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort. Saunter is also a terrific noun that describes a leisurely stroll. Other wonderful words with similar saunterly connotations include amble, dawdle, drift, meander, sashay, glide, wander, ramble, promenade, roam, lollygag, traipse, and mosey.

World Sauntering Day’s Facebook page describes sauntering this way: “It is simply to walk slowly, preferably with a joyful disposition. Sauntering has been spoken of most notably by many of the naturalist writers in history including Henry David Thoreau and John Burroughs.” When you saunter, you saunter in good company indeed!

This unique holiday was originally started at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. Mackinac Island is a resort island on Lake Huron at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac (people from Michigan automatically make their left hand into the mitten-shaped map of Michigan to point out exactly where in the state this is). A “summer colony” accessible only by ferry, the island prohibits the use of motor vehicles. Bicycles, horse-and-buggy, and sauntering are the primary modes of transportation on Mackinac.

It is worth noting that the Grand Hotel’s front porch is the longest front porch on record. Plenty of room for sauntering and probably rocking chairs. This is precisely the kind of comfort Comfort Colors is all about.

In some places World Sauntering Day is celebrated on August 28th, But why wait? The weekend is nearly upon us!

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How do you define your summer fashion?

Bieber GIFA Google news search of “fashion” today produced a hilarious juxtaposition: Hillary Clinton and Justin Bieber (the last time we saw these two names together was in an SNL skit). Both search results brought us to USA Today.

As it turns out the former secretary of state presented designer Oscar de la Renta a huge award at The Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards (No, she wasn’t wearing a pantsuit). And Justin Bieber “pulled out all the stops tonight, rocking a memorable leather ensemble for Game 7 of the Heat-Pacers series.” Bieber’s fashion statement resulted in an animated GIF (here is the link if you must see it); Hillary’s was a blue de la Renta with ruffles.

At Comfort Colors, we usually define fashion as cotton, especially in summer. But to each his own, right? If you must wear leather t-shirts or blue ruffles, you are entitled. But what are your standbys for summer? SheKnows.com warns us not to use the heat as an excuse to over expose. GQ tells us it’s OK to mix plaids and wear loafers without socks. Harper’s Bazaar encourages us to wear slouchy, harem pants. Shave Magazine admonishes that “a surprisingly high percentage of men do not seem to know what to wear or when to wear it.”

The rules of fashion, especially summer fashion, are too numerous to mention and much too numerous to try to follow. This is why we always opt for Comfort, our very favorite standby.

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Temperatures Rise and Tanks Roll In

CC TanksThe Tanks are coming…Fish tanks, Sherman tanks, scuba tanks, think tanks, oil tanks, even septic tanks are not the harbingers of warm weather and sunshine. Instead, we are talking about colorful cotton tanks – tank tops, the kind you wear to show off your guns or cool your jets.

Wikipedia says that the name “tank top”, part of American English since 1968, derives from the shirt’s resemblance to a tank suit, a one-piece women’s swimming costume with shoulder straps, so called since the 1920s, because it was worn in a “swimming tank”, an obsolete term for a swimming pool.

The tank top seems to be a completely American idiom. In the Queen’s English, a tank top is called a vest. Boys of a certain age wore string vests – sort of a fishnet version of the tank top. They tucked their vests into their pants (aka underwear, undies, briefs, BVDs, but that is an entirely different story).

Another t-shirt/tank top term, used in Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Nigeria and New Zealand, is singlet (in French this might be a singulet?). In the Philippines, when used as an undershirt, the tank top is called a sando. We are guessing that when your wear your sando at the beach sans a coverup, it might simply be called ‘tank top’ or even just ‘Awesome’.

Bing’s translator says tank top is tapa del tanque in Spanish, but translates “singlet” as “camiseta”. This is what we should probably call Kevin Camisa’s  (aka Mr. Shirt)  kids.

We could not quite figure out the French for tank top: un dessus de réservoir literally means the top of tank, débardeur means docker (but some online reverse translators say this means tank top). “Tanktop” without a space is the same in English and French. German is ein Trägershirt – this seems closer because it has ‘shirt’ in it, but the translator on my computer defines ein Trägershirt as “a carrier herdsman.” Maybe the tank top is the preferred fashion statement of carrier herdmen? A Google search of carrier herdsman produces images of t-shirts. Who knew?!

In American English, a tank top refers to a sleeveless shirt. Something we enjoy wearing in seasonably warm weather.

Are you fluent in a language that has fun with summer clothing? Let us know how you say tank top in your favorite language!

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