What would summer be without a trek to the beach? Surf and sand, body scoping, getting some color… it all sounds positively dreamy after a long winter spent indoors. And as anyone knows, one must be prepared for a day spent under the sun. Your mom had it right in teaching you to always have your sunscreen on, wear sunglasses and wait at least a half hour after eating before you hit the waves. But these days, it can be a bit more involved, especially if you’re planning on attending the clambake at night. I’ve compiled a list of essentials that are easy to forget before you leave the house. A day with these in your beach arsenal is the carefree day you’ve planned (and need)!
Rather than a dress or a tunic, I like the versatility of a large sarong. As seen here, you can fashion a strapless dress that covers your legs after the sun goes down, or you can tie it your hips, creating a skirt.
$42.99 at Gap.
Most of us grab whatever larger-than-average bag we have laying around the house, and stuff it full. But consider buying a legit bag just for the beach. This one has coated canvas that will be easy to wipe sand and debris from. A zippered top or at least a zipperd inside pocket is a good idea to hold things you don't want falling into the sand, like the accessories you remove before a swim.
$44 at Zappos.
I've done some serious sunscreen research and let me tell you, doctors recommend beach hats, even with the use of sunscreen and sunglasses. You really can't overprotect your skin when it comes to being outside for longer than 10 or 15 minutes. It's the only skin you've got, so grab a chic floppy hat and wear it when you're reading mags and drugstore novels.
$48 at Zappos.
Some of us go for flip flops, some of us think any sandals will do. But the truth is, a little strategy with your footwear goes a long way. Nude colored flats will make your legs look longer and won't distract from your body and bathing suit style. Pick an easy on, easy off pair that you haven't spent a mint on.
$42 at Madison Los Angeles.
Waterproof iPhone Cover
If you're paranoid about phone safety, you might want to consider a totally waterproof cover. That way you can still take the requisite selfies and pics with your friends, leaving your expensive camera safe at home.
$89.99 at Nordstrom.
Forget your plastic water bottle that leeches chemicals and doesn't keep water cool. An isolated thermos keeps ice water icy, all day long. It goes without saying that if you decided to take food, an insulated lunch bag or cooler is your best bet.
$20.89 at Diapers.com.
Why settle for Chapstick when you can have lip balm with a natural tint that comes in a chic little tube like this?
$7.95 at Drugstore.com.
Love these and must have. Your regular bathroom towels won't cover enough ground for you to comfortably lay and move on. A beach towel will.
$29.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Remember that clambake you're determined to attend? It's time to trek to the car and bring back your hoodie for dipping temps. This cropped version would be tres adorable atop your sarong.
$40 at Topshop.
Another thing to have in your trunk. Use it as a seat cover when sitting on top of that old log. Lend it to a friend who doesn't have warm clothes. Or use it as an excuse to snuggle up with your paramour beside the fire.
$39.99 at Zappos.
Waterproof Zip Purse
Want a chic little bag that wasn't super expensive but will hold your money for the boardwalk and snack stand? Seek out coated and plastic cosmetic bags. They're ideal as a waterproof holding cell for anything you don't want to splash water and sand on.
$5.99 at Charlotte Russe.