Dressing for the beach is a funny thing. On the one hand, everyone on the boardwalk looks great with designer bikinis, long hair, tanned skin, the perfect sundresses, and the finest beach bags. Yet on the other hand… your family is shoving you out the door, no one understands why you paid $70 for a towel, and your new Michael Kors sandals stand out ridiculously among your brothers’ Wal-Mart rubber flip-flops. If staying fashionable was easy, everyone would do it.
However, there is hope – there is a plethora of shore-ready items out there that will keep you looking chic this summer without looking obscene. You may need to ditch the diamonds and the gold plates… but here is a list of items you can feel comfortable in at the beach, and you never even have to step (bare)foot into a discount store.
1. The New Yorker Beach Towel
You don’t need to sport a dolphin-covered beach towel anymore… instead, invest in a real 100% oversized towel that is big enough to stretch out on without being too big to carry back to the cottage. Ranging roughly between $35 and $60, these towels feature various vintage covers of The New Yorker and contain enough heft to make them worth the purchase. You can find them by Home Source and Conde Nast.
2. Coach Beach Collection Beach Bag
Choosing a beach bag is always a gamble, because you need a bag hardy enough for the beach, large enough for all your shore necessities, yet still light enough to carry all that junk to and from the boardwalk each morning and evening. These limited editioncanvas totes by Coach run for $268 and each feature illustrations by Pierre Le-Tan, known for his charming use of color and playful designs.
3. Kate Spade Idiom Bangle
We hate leaving our jewelry at home when we go to the beach, but no one wants to be the stuck-out sore thumb covered in ridiculously gaudy pieces either. Instead, check out these colorful bangles by kate spade which run for $78 a piece and paired well with your best bikini, they put together a complete beach look. Plus, clever enough, each one features a familiar saying matching the design on the inside.
4. Glamzelle Brazilian Night Colorblock Bikinis
The days of elegant, demur bikinis are over – for summer 2014, ditch the boring black and pick up on these sporty, neon bikinis. Not only will you be able to actually play beach volleyball this year without hoping your top doesn’t fall off, but you’ll also be turning heads… probably because you’re so bright. You can pick up Glamzelle’s Brazilian Night Colorblock bikinis for around $90 for the set.
5. Lily Pulitzer Beach Maxis
Don’t feel like sporting a beach cover-up? Grab a stylish beach maxi dress instead, in a colorful, whimsical design of course. Lily Pulitzer has released their line of 2014 beachwear, and with it, several maxi dresses ranging from $150 to $200. In normal Lily capacity, the dresses (as well as tunics, shirts, and shorts) feature bright colors, interesting designs, yet classic shapes. You can view them on Lily Pulitzer Best of Summer.