Top 3 Summer Essentials: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

To the best of my knowledge and experience, it is very difficult to become a millionaire as an editor or publicist living in New York City. That being said, what we lack in salaries and free time, we make up for with small perks: for an editor like myself, it’s checking out amazing restaurants before they open, attending star-studded premieres, and receiving free samples of expensive beauty products on which I wouldn’t dream spending my meager paycheck. For Tera Leuthauser, my uber-chic accessories publicist pal, it’s being paid to wear your clients' pieces (and lucky for her, she reps the best).

Literally, the merchandise in this girl’s apartment is enough to fill a block’s worth of boutiques and she’s kind enough to let her vagabond friends (i.e. me) peruse on occasion for the perfect piece of jewelry or latest pair of sunglasses (I’m the recent proud owner of an oversized black/white Chanel set). In an effort to amp up my own accessories quotient this summer, I enlisted her help to determine my Top 3 Summer Essentials list.

“Accessories are the key to adding a little flare to any outfit,” says Tera. “If you’re looking to make a statement with your sunnies, look no further than celeb favorite DITA. I love these blue swirl ‘Vesoul’ shades — as equally perfect for a day of city shopping as they are for a weekend jaunt to the beach.” DITA Vesoul, $350 at

“It’s time to step up your beach bag game,” Leuthauser advises me. “There’s a German mega brand called George Gina & Lucy that’s perfect for you — just a little pop of color, sturdy, yet stylish.” George Gina & Lucy Shopping Romance, $180. Visit for retailers.

“Heat and humidity are no excuse for not looking glam,” she tells me (in my defense, after I rode my bike to our meeting). “Eugenia Kim straw hats cover up a less-than-perfect hair day in the chicest way.” Eugenia Kim Honey 6, $275 at

It’s sound advice for someone whose usual summer ensemble consists of a t-shirt, jean shorts, and flip flops. For now, at least I’ve got my Chanels to keep me looking pretty.