Detail image for July 2023 Damaris story

Damaris and her friend Becca both love to accessorize swimwear. On Damaris: Reversible bikini top, $130, and bottom, $110, both at; Tagua fair trade three-strand necklace, $72, and rainbow cuff, $28, both at Tunie’s in Wesport Village. Becca’s reversible bikini top, $130, and bottom, $110, both at; fair trade bag, $325, at

This month, our resident Food Network Star, Damaris Phillips, takes a vacation from the kitchen to share her seasonal essentials – from picnic takeout to poolside reads and sustainable swimwear.

By Damaris Phillips | Photographed by Kylene White

The summer season is upon us, and it’s time to soak up the sun in style. Whether you’re planning a relaxing day by the pool or a fun-filled adventure at the lake, we Louisvillians can stay on top of the season’s trends while supporting local businesses.

In 2023, we’ve seen a  surge in sustainable fashion choices and unique designs created by talented artisans in our community. Shopping local and sustainable is smart in so many ways: Not only does it mean you will be sporting one-of-a-kind pieces, but you’ll also be contributing to the growth of our local economy. So, I’m starting my summer kick-off with my favorite local summer wardrobe buys:

Detail image for July 2023 Damaris story.

More fair trade flair: Creative co-op yellow blanket, $38, pattern blanket, $38, and Aasha necklace (on Damaris), $36, all at Tunie’s in Westport Village. Damaris’s suit is her own, Cannonball Swimwear. Darrick’s swim trunks, $160, at

  1. Cannonball Swimwear. I’m a huge fan of locally made Cannonball Swimwear. The suits are cute, comfortable and, yes, reversible– which means you can get anywhere from two to four or five swimsuits in one. (Reverse different pieces of a two-piece, twist a triangle top so it’s half one pattern, half another.) It’s also swimwear that I can move, swim and paddleboard in– but still feel hot, in a good way. I love the aesthetic of designer Laura Patterson whose whole vibe is very on trend this year– vibrant color, bold patterns and eye-catching prints. I love it all– from tropical florals to animal prints and retro-inspired designs.
  2. Cannonball Swimwear for him. Matching his and her suits has to be one of the cutest, gutsiest fashion moves you can make by the pool. Darrick and I love it and I personally love that he’s confident enough to wear a matchy-matchy version of their more fitted men’s suits. They are so much more stylish than those giant baggy board shorts. Shop online at or by appointment.
  3. The “Pool Bow” by local accessory company, Mysterious Rack. This adorable and slightly glamorous headpiece is made for the water. So you can hold back your hair in style and jump in and out of the pool– or lake– without sacrificing your look. You can find Mysterious Rack at Revelry or on Facebook.
  4. “Pool-ery.” I know it’s not for everyone, but I’m a huge fan of pool jewelry! It definitely isn’t as breezy as just throwing on a suit and some flip flops but for me creating a swimsuit look or outfit helps me feel more confident. I pick up a lot of my waterproof plastic accessories at Nitty Gritty. Artisan, fair trade jewelry fits an outdoor aesthetic too, so wood and seed bracelets, earrings and necklaces by Tagua at Tunie’s Boutique are perfect. 

Detail image for July 2023 Damaris story.

Staycation Destinations

My husband Darrick and I have made a tradition of thirty dollar dates– so we have a long list of fun and offbeat local activities and quick trips that we find entertaining and enjoyable. Whether you have half a day or half a week, if you have an open mind, I promise there are local activities to amuse you. Here are just a few off the top of my head:

  1. Go glamping. Progress Park, a charming little oasis off of South Bardstown Road, is a hidden gem. You can stay in a beautifully tricked-out Airstream or a retro chic cabin;  swim, paddleboard or kayak in a perfect manmade lake or enjoy shuffleboard, volleyball or smores over the firepit in this cute as can be mini campground. I’ve done girls trips, family reunions and, now, our shoot there and have had a blast every time.
  2. Get Thrifty. A day of digging for treasure at Nitty Gritty, Acorn Apparel, Hey Tiger, Fleur de Flea and Mellwood Arts and Antiques never disappoints. End in Butchertown for food truck dinners and games of giant Jenga or Connect Four at Apocalypse Brew Works. Throw in a few yard sales if it’s a weekend. Then go home and paint your latest furniture find or play the vintage board game you scored.
  3. Go Jump in a Lake. Taylorsville Lake Marina is a 25-minute drive and they have pontoon rentals and it’s beautiful. It feels like a vacation. Deam Lake in Indiana is also open to anybody ($9 per out of state car or $2 per pedestrian) and you can go fishing, boating, hiking, camping. It’s a very close, very inexpensive destination that you can just pick up and go to on any day.

BEST BITES: Take-out for the Great Outdoors

When hunger strikes after a long day of swimming and sunbathing, look no further than our local delis. These culinary gems often offer a wide range of delicious takeout dishes that are perfect for a beach picnic or lakeside feast. There is no shortage of good options in Louisville. Below are some specific favorites, but you can’t go wrong picking up a sandwich or a couple of sides from any of these local eateries:

  • Morris Deli, 2228 Taylorsville Rd. “I always get a club with country ham substituted for bacon.”
  • Wiltshire Bakery, 901 Barret Ave. “I do the baked goods. A ham and cheese croissant and giant chocolate chip cookie.”
  • Steven’s Deli, 1114 Bardtown Road. “They have a featured layered veggie sandwich. And I love the ‘Play it Again, Sam” pasta salad or the Tomato Alfresco pasta salad.”
  • Paul’s Fruit Market, 3922 Chenoweth Square, 12119 Shelbyville Road. “The reuben!”
  • Lotsa Pasta, 3717 Lexington Road. “Their pimento cheese and black bean dip– and any of their paninis are great!”
  • Blue Dog, 2868 Frankfort Ave. “Their quiches are outstanding and tuna nicoise salad.”
  • The Cheddar Box, 3909 Chenoweth Square. “The curry chicken salad.”
  • Which Wich, 221 South Hurstbourne. “They have great subs and it’s in another area, black bean avocado or cali club.”
  • Cottage Cafe, 11609 Main Street. “Potato salad and their benedictine and bacon sandwich.”
  • The Cafe, 731 Brent Street. “I always get a slice of cake and they have great chicken salad.”
  • Chef’s Space Place, 1812 West Muhammad Ali

I pick something up on the way to the pool and store it in an insulated cooler bag so everything stays cool and fresh.

Detail image for July 2023 Damaris story.

Becca’s reversible bikini top, $130, and bottom, $110, andDarrick’s reversible trunks, $160, all at

Damaris’s Tanning Tricks

While we are on the topic of feeling confident, I need to mention spray tanning. If you’re looking to achieve a natural-looking tan without the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure, an organic spray tan is an excellent option. To ensure flawless and long-lasting results, I always follow a careful skincare regimen– before and after– whether I get it professionally done or apply the tanner myself at home. I exfoliate my skin a day before tanning to remove dead skin cells, hydrating my entire body thoroughly (and avoiding oil-based products.) After the tanning application, I moisturize every morning and night regularly to maintain its longevity. I use soaps and lotions made by Noir 5, another local company. There are many local shops that offer airbrush tanning or you can achieve good results with home self tanners. I usually have someone (my husband) help me so I don’t get streaks.

Detail image for July 2023 Damaris story.

What’s in Her Pool (or Lake) Bag

A well-prepared beach bag is the key to an enjoyable day under the sun. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen with a high SPF, my favorite face sunscreen is Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen and I use Dune Sunscreen for my body. I carry a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection; Mysterious Rack has some outstanding colors this year! A cover-up for when you need a break from the sun is a must– and even better if it can double as a “pool to dinner” dress. I always have one of those little, collapsible hand fans, sunglasses, a good book or magazine, a portable speaker or earbuds for some tunes, and, of course, a colorful beach towel to lounge on. Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle and pack some snacks to keep you energized throughout the day.