Tuesday, April 15, 2014

East Coast Paddlesports & Outdoor Festival

Okay, so it's no Coachella, but one of the great things about living in Charleston is the abundance of people passionate about water sports of all types. I've always lived within half a day's travel from a coast, but this is the first time I've lived in a coastal city where water sports are something of an industry here. The East Coast Paddlesports Festival has been plagued by cold, rain, and windy weather almost every single year, but many of the vendors felt this year was the best weather they've ever had. It was sunny and warm enough to make you want to get on the water, but just a slight breeze to make it comfortable.

Last year I tried a Stand Up Paddleboard for the first time, when it was really, really windy. I didn't have an easy time of it, but I loved the feeling it gave me. Powerful, tall, even... a little majestic? Like a water nymph gliding along the water. And that was during rough, choppy water. I've been obsessed with the idea ever since, so I was really excited that the weather was finally going to cooperate to give it a real try.

Finding my footing and standing up on this inflatable version of a SUP.

And I'm on my way!

There were lots of people trying things out. There were kayaks, canoes, catamarans, trimarans, belly-riding kayaks, kayaks with sails, tiny kayaks that do flips in the water... it was really cool just to watch the people on the water.

This is my boyfriend sailing a trimaran!

Coming in to shore!
So a little about the outfit. This isn't exactly a beach setting, but getting wet is definitely a possibility. I wore these side-tie bikini bottoms by Roxy that I found on Ebay last year. I was really pleased that they're such a close match in color to the top considering I didn't plan it at all.

The majority of people there wear camping/hiking clothes that are practical, dry quickly, and generally aren't that stylish. It's just a product of the industry, though (I can't wait for the outdoor industry to get the makeover workout clothes have undergone). 

With that in mind, I figured I'd try something a little different. I've had this peplum scuba shirt since I got it on clearance last year. It was winter, so this is the first time I've been able to wear it. 

To be honest, I just wore my non-padded minimizer bra under this. I figured if it got wet it would probably hold less water than a bikini top and be 5x more supportive and smoother under the top. You do have to commit to wearing this black top all day, though, which admittedly got a little warm. I imagine it would have been less of an issue getting it wet, but since I managed not to fall in, I'll have to report about bra-under scuba shirt efficacy later. I'm pretty sure this shirt isn't even really meant to be used in the water, but that's how I'm going to use it, so there.

I wore the Supernova Twirl Skirt again mostly because of the comfort factor, but also because of  the colors and similar fabrics. But mostly comfort and sliding on and off. Ditto for the shoes! Comfort rules all when you're walking around all day.


Top: Day Dreamer LA via Urban Outfitters (in a large BTW). Here is a version from Volcom that goes up to XL and has galaxy-print sleeves! This is a zip-up version with short sleeves. And this plus-size version comes in 8 colors!

Skirt: You know the one

Bikini bottom: Roxy. Black and white polka-dotted version here, pink and white polka-dotted version at Old Navy.

Shoes: Super-basic canvas flats from Asos. I got them on sale, but it seems they're now sold out. They do have a similar, simple style here for only $17, and a smoking slipper style on sale for $23 here.


  1. Waaa that looks fun! I wish it was warm like that over here too! I love rowing but I have only rowed an old fashioned fisherman's rowing boat so far.. :D Would like to try those!

    1. I highly recommend trying one if you can. It's one of the few activities that favors the small!