It's (almost) summertime, and the livin' is (soon to be) easy, but rules don't fly out the window with your winter layers. Avoid the scarlet letter of Suffolk County ("N" for "novice") by avoiding these top ten Hamptons mistakes. We know that you know the basic tenets of summer travel: Don't take the Jitney at five o'clock on Friday; don't over-season your lobster roll. But what about...everything else? What not to wear to the polo match? How to avoid share house roulette? Hamptons living is pretty laid back, but it's not a lawless place.
DON'T treat the East End like Fraternity Row.
You arrive on Friday afternoon, snag the best bunk bed, pop that collar...and pop the first bottle of Asti you can find. Look. We know you had a long week in the city, punching that clock, but that doesn't mean you need to kill yourself with booze the moment you arrive at the beach. There are only about 63 hours* in the average weekend - try not to waste too many with a hangover.
*From five p.m. on Friday afternoon to nine a.m. on Monday morning.
DON'T wear your four-inch Louboutins to the polo match.
Those stiletto sandals are so pretty, so seasonal, perched atop your Longchamp tote in the trunk of the Zipcar. And they'll stay that way if you leave them at home come polo time. Nobody looks attractive poking holes in the lawn, wobbling around some muddy field in her fiercest spikes. Try a nice pair of flat sandals, or if you are so vertically challenged, a sturdy pair of wedge heels to propel you from tent to tent.
DON'T B.Y.O. musical instruments to the club.
We recently had a seasoned source lament the displaced hipsters rattling their own tambourines at Pink Elephant. "The drummer was really going at it, and I know everyone wanted to join in, but..." she complained. Can't stand to leave the band behind? Maybe you should think twice about leaving the Lower East Side at all. Or at least keep your accessories summerful...with a ukelele.
DON'T forget to make a back-up plan.
You arranged the summer share sight unseen, and now that you're squeezed into a bunk bed with twenty drunk, sweaty i-bankers...Coney Island isn't looking so bad. Keep a fortunate friend on speed dial at all times; those future bridesmaids and best men will surely have a spare sofa for you to crash on should current sleeping arrangements be just unlivable. And add every cab company this side of Westhampton to your speed dial. Safety first, folks.
DON'T overdo the summer checks, plaids, and seersucker.
What dapper gentleman doesn't fancy himself a latter-day Jay Gatsby as he hurtles down the Montauk Highway in his chic little rag-top? Summer is certainly a time to take fashion risks (hello, crop tops), but unless you're on the golf course, keep the stereo louder than your clothes. Polo grounds are a prime site for viewing fashion disasters, which run the gamut from head-to-toe white (a la Tom Wolfe) to a buffet of clashing madras. Tone it down, boys. Unless your name is John Munson.
DON'T out your favorite local surf spots.
It's, like, rule number one of the locals, dude, and you will out yourself as an outsider if you wax too rhapsodic about that quiet little beach where you catch the gnarliest waves. Play the authentic card and keep your favorites to yourself. The blatant disregard of this very commandment single-handedly led to the rise of Montauk's popularity and, therefore, most of its appeal. [Photo via Ben Watts.]
Don't take the car to Shelter Island.
It's a favorite hang-out on Sunday afternoons, and if you absolutely must haul the Range Rover to Sunset Beach, get out there as early as possible. Warns one Shelter regular, "You'll have a better time hailing a cab at five o'clock in the city than you will finding a parking spot on Shelter Island." A better idea: Find a friend with a yacht and sail to your destination.
Don't swamp your friends' Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds with Hamptons updates.
The whole point of skipping town for a weekend is to "get away from it all." How can that be possible when your hands are glued to the iPhone, documenting every bloody Mary sipped, every celebrity spotted in Citarella? Wait till Monday, when we upload our photo galleries, to brag about what a little rock star you are. Until then, stay off the grid!
DON'T forget which hangouts are cougar-approved.
Looking for a little young man meat? We have it on good authority that Bobby Van's Bridgehampton outpost is a favorite gathering spot for potential Mrs. Robinsons. And that's all we'll say about that.
DON'T even think about visiting the beach without first combing our Hamptons site.
Trends in the East End fly faster than seagulls in a hurricane so keep abreast of the scene with a daily visit right here. Want to know what past fads have evolved into classics? We keep everything archived so you can relive those glory days of '07...and '08...and '09. Because those memories are probably hazy anyway.
[Photo via Mastastico.]