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How to Be a Lady in the Jungle

By Nina Arias and Arianna McKinney
Photos by Giordano Campini

Arianna — vestido/dress: Desi Morphe, Desi's Bikini Boutique, $100; anillo de piedra/stone ring, Bazaar, $60.

Summer is here! Along with the clear blue skies comes an ardent desire to get outside and enjoy. Of course, being outside here in the jungle has its challenges: dust, heat, sweat, rough terrain. But living in the jungle doesn't mean you have to lose your sense of glamour. That's why VON has prepared a special series of articles about how to be a lady (or gentleman) in the jungle. We've searched around for the best styles and fashions for this climate, as well as special ways to pamper yourself so you look and feel like a lady!

Arianna & Alexa — vestido largo Maxi/long Maxi dress: Gonca Gul, Bazaar, $120; collar de concha/shell necklace: Nosara Dreams, $32; anillo de cuero de mantaraya/mantaray skin ring: Costa Barroco, $8; vestido corto/short dress: Desi Morphe, Desi's Bikini Boutique, $50; anillo de abulón/abalone ring, The Silver Tree, $30.

What's Hot this Summer in Fashion, Accessories and Hair Removal

Bohemian Minimalism, Mix-and-Match Bikinis and Long Maxi Dresses

We live in a hot, humid and sunny town wheresun, surf, and healthy living are our main inspiration. So how can we still be fashionable and yet feel comfortable? Here area few tips you can keep in mind when buying clothes for this summer season.

Arianna & Alexa — (izquierda/left) camisa de bambú/bamboo shirt:
Okelindo, Nosara Dreams, $30; pantalón Aladdín/Harem pants: Costa
Barroco, $35; bolso tipo mochila/mochila bag: Nativa; collar de coco/
coconut necklace: MaderArte, $20; anillo de aluminio y resina/aluminum and
resin ring: MaderArte, $25. (derecha/right) camisa con puntas/coat-tail shirt:
Costa Barroco, $25; pantalón/pants: propio de la modela/model's own;
bolso de materias recicladas/clutch of recycled materials: Yaloco, Mandala,
$45; anillo de concha/shell ring: Nunu, $12.

The fashion trend for Nosara and Samara's high season is bohemian minimalism. This consists of a healthy mix of light, breathable, flowy fabrics in neutral colors such as beige, off-white, olive, browns, blushes and grey tones. Typically made with high quality organic cotton, bamboo, light rayon and extra light gauze, these fabrics help your body to naturally breathe while moving around in the hot summer days.

Didi Kneeland, owner of The Silver Tree, said she stocks only all-natural materials like cotton, linen or rayon because they are cool and breathable, making them ideal for this tropical climate. Likewise, Fabiane Guentall, owner and designer of Costa Barroco clothing, chooses cotton or cotton-rayon blends because they are the coolest." People feel good dressed in this," she affirmed.

Everyday activities call for extra comfortable outfits, such as light rayon long skirts that can be paired with classic tank tops and/or light t-shirts, which are perfect for the hot afternoon hours. Also light summer dresses are great for during the day.

Samara clothing and bathing suit designer Sandra Alan Seas, of Shanna's Boutique, said that lively strong colors and stamped prints are in fashion this season. For bathing suits, fluorescent or neon colors are hot, along with floral or stamped prints.

Bikini: Desi Morphe, Desi's Bikini Boutique, $70.

The beach is all about bikinis…and today's surfer girl likes to mix and match tops and bottoms. Gone are the days of a fully matched suit. Try print bottoms with solid fluorescent tops or black bottoms with a print top.

Also check out customized bikinis by Desi Morffe at Desi's Bikini Boutique in Guiones. They are designed with the surfer in mind so nothing falls out or off while riding the intense waves. For this summer, she said colorful bikinis on the hip with ruffles are in.

As a fashion designer, Morffe also recommends vibrant, lively colors, along with neon and fluorescents for this summer. "The retro chic tendency comes back time and again, fusing with current ideas. Psychedelic prints and light materials that move and, why not, that are a little transparent, empower the radiant summer afternoons, giving the modern girl an air of hippie chic mermaid," she said.

For the more demure beach bum, beautiful one-piece suits are back from the 50s and staying in for more seasons to come.

Olger — camisa/shirt: Gonca Gul, Bazaar Men: $70; pantalón tailandés/Thai pants: The Silver Tree, $40. Sombrero panameño/
Panama hat: Nunu, $80.

Havayanas and rainbow flip flops are still on the top of the list for beach footwear, while the ever beloved Birkenstock is seen on the feet of the most stylish Nosara fashionista.

Yoga wear is a trend that never goes out of style along the coast. According to designer Milagros Rodriguez Viale, of Mandala store, yoga pants with a miniskirt attached is the latest. The skirt can be of the same material or another material.

Also look for Mada Hari yoga pants or Maha Devi Design with cool, cut out designs on the legs at Nativa Gallery in Guiones. Haram pants, originally from India, are another favorite for yogis. They are baggy and comfortable yet stylish and fun.

After watching the breathtaking sunset and getting ready for a dinner party with friends or a drink at your favorite bar or restaurant, long Maxi dresses are as dressed up as ladies go. It doesn't matter if you are tall, petite of full figured, a long flowy dress at night always makes you feel like you are hitting the town with style.

Arianna — pantalón palazzo / palazzo pants: The Silver Tree, $90; sombrero/hat: Nosara Dreams, $20; collar de concha/shell necklace: Costa Barroco, $20; faja de coco/coconut belt: MaderArte, $40; pulsera de hueso con madera y abulón/bone bracelet with Wood and abalone inlaid: MaderArte, $60.

Basic Beauty Regimens: Manis, Pedis and Hair Removal

A true lady of the jungle also takes care of herself with consistent fitness and beauty regimes. The endless yoga and pilates classes in Nosara take care of the fitness portion, but when it comes to beauty regimens, manis and pedis are the best and easier way to keep that feminine touch.

As far as nail polish trends, in the city they are getting a little crazy with elaborate designs, colors and sparkles. That may work for the city but not in the jungle. It's better to keep it simpler with solid, natural tones and the occasional neon and florescent pop colors.


At the Natural Center Spa in Samara, semi-permanent polish is an option to make sure your nails stay beautiful for at least a month to a month and a half before you need to touch them up. Semi-permanent manicures are 16,000 colones, versus normal nail polish for 8000 colones.

Another beauty secret to add to the lady of the jungle's regimen is laser hair removal. Instead of waxing, which removes hair for three to four weeks, laser hair removal permanently removes any hair that is actively growing at the time of treatment. Hellen Maria Leiva of Bio Salus Clinica in Cartago, who comes to Nosara once a month, offers laser at Guiones Medical Clinic (previously at Spacio Spa). A minimum of three sessions are recommended, ranging in price from $50 for the upper lip, hands or feet to $300 for complete legs per session. For more information, contact Caty Aragon at 2682-1212.

Now, if your budget doesn't allow you to go laser, another new option to get rid of unwanted hair is body sugaring, a natural Egyptian hair removal process with no burning sensations that leaves you with smooth skin for a couple of weeks. This option is offered by Veronica Steele Avila of Conga Spa Mobile, based out of Ostional but providing services at your home, hotel or rental house. Prices depend on the parts of the body treated, but a minimum of $36 in services is required for a house call. For more information, call 2682-0131 or 8888-1865.

Choose Big and Colorful Accessories

The three ideal accessories are hats that block the heavy UV rays, Mochila Bags that double as the quintessential beach bag and daily purse, and carefully curated stones and gems.

Big colorful straw hats or hand-painted and designed trucker style caps are great for shading your eyes from the hot summer sun. Also Wayuu Mochilas are the must. Don't be shy with your bags— get big and get colorful. You can even venture into fluorescent pink, yellow, orange and green.

When it comes to jewelry, beach-inspired jewelry with local found materials such as shells and sea glass are always a classic statement. Big and colorful jewelry is also in this season.

Designer Gonca Gul from Bazzar store promotes elegant minimalism. "One single dress on you with just one big ring on is enough. You don't need earrings or a necklace. If you have one of those big chunky rings on, you are accessorized," she affirmed.

Jewelry artist Jennifer Stone said that Jenstones new Galaxy Collection is inspired "the brilliance and depth of the night sky." The collection includes moon and star-shaped jems and exotic druzies in colors that complement this season's fashions.

Nina Arias is an independent art curator, natural fashionista and owner of Nosara Weddings & Events.

Anillos desde arriba / Rings from top — caracol y concha (spiral and shell): Nunu, $12; aluminio con resina (aluminum with resin inlay): MaderArte, $25; cuero de mantaraya con madre perla (mantaray skin with mother-of-pearl) y bronce (bronze): Costa Barroco, $8; tres anillos de piedras preciosas de Istanbul (three gem stone rings from Istanbul): Bazaar, $60; concha de abulón (abalone shell): The Silver Tree, $30; anillo de plata (silver ring): The Silver Tree, $35.

— vidrio del mar/sea glass, Jenstones, Nativa Gallery, $129; diente de tiburón/Shark tooth: MaderArte, $250;
colgante de "paz" de plata, turquesa y perlas cultivadas/silver, turquoise and farmed pearl "peace" pendant: Jenstones, Nativa Gallery, $149; colgante de concha/conch-shell pendant: Jenstones, Nativa Gallery, $59.


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