Next weekend we are taking a much needed vacation to Charleston for four days of nothing but sand and sea. The trip has been the only thing keeping me going through several difficult months. I'm already on the lookout for what the next "thing to look forward to" will be, but in the meantime I've been stocking up on a few summer essentials, and eyeing some summer not-so-essentials...
A simple suit that seems perfect for sunbathing or a seaside game of boules. From J Crew - bonus, it's on sale...
The original, giant, lasts-through-anything, heavy-weight, stands-up-on-its-own perfect tote. Seagrass bags are lovely and there are always an endless array of soft colorful printed totes for hauling your goods to the beach, but in my mind, nothing beats this LL Bean classic, with or without zipper for lugging around everything you need for trips to the beach, market or picnics in the park. If you're feeling preppy, there's always the classic monogram option, or you could opt for something a little different; MIA, AWOL or D.'s suggestion, WTF
Light-weight loose cotton shorts that are easy-going and comfortable. They look sweet and effortless rolled up and far less fussy than 3" cut offs. From Lands End Canvas.
I completely adore these wrap hook bracelets from Miansai by Michael Saiger. They come in a variety of leathers with silver, gold, rose gold or enamel hooks. For girls or guys, I find them to be the perfect beach accessory - also love his anchors.
A real book - because the beach is no place for iPads. I'm looking forward to digging into this Pulitzer nominated piece by Karen Russell about a family that runs a gator theme park. Swamplandia, on Amazon.
The perfect peasant blouse; light and breezy for layering over a bikini or dressing up with dangly earrings and a top knot for a night out. From Anthropologie.
Bensimon sneakers - either elastiques or lacets. Because they're what a French girl would wear to the beach. Right, Joanna?
A stack of Turkish towels in sea-inspired shades. They're more absorbent and much more beach bag-friendly than a bulky terry cloth towel. These are from Grandinroad, but BathStyle and All Organic Textiles on Etsy carry a huge variety of beautiful options.
Vinyl pouches keeps essentials dry, sand-free and easy to find at the bottom of the beach bag. I like these streamlined clear bags from the Container Store -but my first choice would always be one of the Mexican floral variety.
Although I am nothing short of obsessed with this giant cowboy/sun hat mash up, something like this packable, crushable version makes more sense. I have this one, and it does the trick.
The most delicious smelling sunscreen that makes tanned legs look shimmery and sleek. Bain de Soleil - available on Amazon.
Plenty of back issues to peruse on the beach. This cover from a few months before I was married happens to be my very favorite. The New Yorker.
My favorite ever lip balm in a new sun-kissed summery coral shade. Sugar, by fresh available at Sephora.
Finally, classic sandals made for the sea. Incredibly inexpensive saltwater sandals look just like the pair you had when you were five and promise to hold up to a whole summer's worth of wearing.
Are there beach plans in your summer travels?