Summer is officially here, and this week we are wandering to Miami, Florida to speak with the face behind Summer of Diane, Rachael Proctor. Her Instagram embodies the essence of summer, from the serene scenery to the beachy hair to the sun-kissed skin. Naturally, Rachael was the perfect person to interview to share all things summer - including trends, tanning, and travel.
Before she became a fashion blogger, Rachael worked as a hairstylist for eight years in Coastal Virginia. She traveled coast to coast with her husband as he finished up his Ph.D. at LSU. She says, “We moved every 12 months in 3 years for Steven’s training, and it became more and more difficult to transfer my license from state to state. After our cross-country move from downtown Los Angeles to rural Jackson, Mississippi, it became clear that the brief pause in my career was more of an ending. I’ll admit there were initially lots of tears, but I had started following some of the “OG” bloggers around that time (e.g., Sincerely Jules) and it reignited my passion for fashion."
"With Steven’s encouragement, I saw the end of my beloved hair career as the perfect opportunity to chase another dream... and Summer of Diane was born.”
The free-spirited vibes of Miami Beach inspire Rachael's eccentric style. A few current trends she is loving this summer are bright pastels paired with neutrals, the resurgence of Y2K trends like baby hair clips and braids, preppy color-blocked stripes, checkerboard prints, & chunky sandals. “Summer is the season of my soul, so I always geek out when the new collections start to drop! I am not a strict trend follower, but I do tend to find a few that I get excited to play around with."
A few words to describe her style would be:
- Tropical - Miami is a lifestyle so the more tropical prints the better.
- Bohemian - flowy fabrics with a vintage feel.
- Maximal - there is no such thing as too much jewelry.
- Tomboy vibes - I love balancing a dressy outfit with sneakers or a frilly top with overalls.
- Bold - a little sexy/feminine because the skin is always in, especially here in South Beach.
"There are no rules when it comes to style, but I always try to strike a balance between sexy and cool."
Her iconic bohemian looks are not complete without statement jewelry pieces and a hat, of course. Especially in the summertime, hats are a necessity for Rachael. They are great way to add variety to outfits while staying protected from the sun.
She says, "I'm rarely seen without a hat! I would say the biggest tip I have for hat styling is to simply find a hat that you feel confident in. Not all shapes will flatter you and that's okay! Once you've tried an array of styles/shapes and find 'the one', styling it is pretty effortless. Straw is great for summer, felt is nice for cooler temps, and both are clutch for saving a bad hair day.”
When it comes to a Wander wide brim, Rachael’s go-to this summer is The Capitola in Whiskey styled with a white cotton eyelet-embroidered crop top, light wash denim cutoffs, and suede platform sandals, serving a little 70's retro vibe.
Swimwear is always a summer staple and living by the beach means Rachael definitely gets her money's worth. When on the lookout for a great swimsuit, Rachael opts for one that is high quality and most importantly makes her feel confident. “I’ve found that you get what you pay for with swim, so I don't mind throwing down on a suit that will last years and do my body good.” Adding high waisted shorts, a sorange, or an oversized linen shirt is her favorite way to style her suits. Here are some of her ride-or-die sustainable designer swimwear brands:
Rachael’s glowing, bronzed skin is an obvious stand-out on her Instagram. Her secret for keeping a natural tan and glowing skin year-round? Sunshine, SPF, and great genetics, of course. She says, "I get it from my dad! He's very tan and I was lucky enough to inherit his skin tone genetics.Living in sunny South Beach without a doubt also keeps me golden, but I don't mess around with burning my skin. You won’t find me baking at the beach for hours on end. I wear SPF 50 daily because the sun is gnarly down here and even with a good base tan, you can still get really fried.With that being said, I know some people are super disciplined about getting zero sun exposure but that's just not my journey."
To keep your skin protected from the strong rays, try out natural sunscreens that moisturize and provide an extra glow. Check out our top three favorite sunscreens that are safe for your skin and the ocean, too.
- Alba Botanica Sensitive Sunscreen Fragrance-Free
- Seven Minerals Skin Friendly sunscreen
- SPF 30 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Spray
If you want to skip the sun altogether, fake it 'till you make it with a selfless tanner at home. Rachael recommends Lux Unfiltered and Salty Face, for a scent-free and streak-less finish, both of which are small, female-run businesses that are non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free.
As the world slowly opens back up, we are sure most of us are (safely) taking advantage of traveling again. For Rachael, traveling this summer is all about making up for lost time. She says,"After last year's travel lockdowns, seeing family is our biggest priority right now (wild to think it's been a year and a half since I've seen my mom), so we have a few trips planned." You can follow along with all of Rachael's summer adventures on her Instagram. Here are some of her upcoming travels to keep a look out for: "First up is Charleston, SC this summer for our annual beach week with my husband’s family, followed by Cape Cod in the fall to see my family. Other than that, we are hoping to sneak in a quick trip down to the Florida Keys.”
Living in Miami means vacation mode is year-round. With the ocean just a few blocks away from her home, she doesn't have to travel far for a summer getaway. Rachael describes life in Miami as heavenly, and we can see why."The tropical and inclusive vibes is where we truly feel at home. We love the heat, crystal clear water, palm trees, Art Deco architecture, chill lifestyle (of the locals), diverse community, bright colors, and sense of freedom to just be yourself." Miami is a free-spirited city and we love that for her.
Miami is definitely on our 'Wander Bucket List' this summer, but in the meantime, we will happily live vicariously through @summerofdiane. Be sure to check out her Instagram for even more wardrobe and travel inspiration, plus an inside scoop on local Miami hotspots. Let us know what's on your travel bucket list this summer by following us on Instagram @wanderhatco, and remember to wander sustainably by choosing earth-conscious brands and supporting local businesses.