Exactly who are those women who manage to look so elegant at the beach? Not this particular columnist, whose day in the sun often involves too much sand (in too many places), a broken plastic flip-flop and a couple of soggy magazines. Wet hands from the ocean should never be allowed near tabloids.
Let’s face it: Things that get taken to the beach don’t always come home in mint condition. If you’re planning on buying some new summer accessories, splurge only on those items that are standouts and can be worn on and off the sand; namely, sunglasses and tote bags. For items that will be subjected to more wear-and-tear, such as sandals and towels, get a little creative:
Towel & Sandals:Chances are, there’s an unexplored fashion emporium less than five miles away from your home. It’s marked with a bull’s-eye and features affordable collections by world-famous designers, including one of Michelle Obama’s favorites, Thakoon.
Heading to Target to stock up on summer basics for the kids or pick up some groceries? Grab some colorful towels that will survive the sand and look great against tanned skin. Basics Patterned Beach Towels cost $5.99 each.
As for sandals, skip plastic flip-flops, which will need replacement quickly and can look tacky. Look for more streamlined styles by Miss Trish of Capri, whose collection will be available at Target stores nationwide until July 5.
The shoes look expensive and will add glamour to any look, but cost less than $30. Check out the Gladiator Sandals with Cabochon and Crystal Turtle for $29.99.
Sunscreen:When it comes to warding off the sun, it’s not about applying a lotion with SPF 70 once. The vigilant beachgoer will apply sunscreen throughout the day, especially after coming out of the water.
For a day at the beach, dermatologists recommend a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Stick to Coppertone or cheaper brands for the body, but for the face, try Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess Sun Indulgence Lotion for Face SPF 30, which sells for $22 at Nordstrom. It provides protection for the sun while building up a subtle tan.
Tote Bag:Designating a specific purse to use at the beach will make summer life much more organized. Stick to purses made of cotton, straw and canvas, which are easily cleaned.
Size-wise, opt for a roomy purse that can easily be turned upside down to shake sand out. Tory Burch’s “Reva” Ribbon Canvas Tote, although pricey at $425, is sturdy and classic. Available at Nordstrom.
Sunglasses:Lesson No. 1: Sunglasses should protect the eyes from the sun. That being said, it’s a great day when fashion and practicality are in agreement. For the last couple of seasons, designers have been showing larger-than-life sunglasses and celebrities have been sporting the “bug” look.
Don’t take it so far as to look like an insect, necessarily, but opt for a style with larger frames in order to look stylish and give your face as much protection as possible. One of the hottest styles right now is the aviator, whether it’s more retro with colored, plastic frames or sleek, with monochromatic, metal frames.
Try Marc by Marc Jacobs Resin Aviator Sunglasses, a steal at $98 and available at Nordstrom.
Snacks: OK, this is a fashion and beauty column, but let’s make one thing clear: It’s not attractive to eat greasy chips at the beach. And it’s not easy, either. Certain columnists have tried.
The ocean breeze does, however, stimulate the appetite, so bring snacks that are light on the stomach and aren’t too fussy to eat. Avoid foods that require utensils, such as salad, and ones that will spoil easily in the sun, such as bananas. The best bet is trail mixes with nuts and dried fruits, granola bars and drinks that have been frozen the night before and can thaw in the sun and remain cool.
Try Sunny Cranberry Trail Mix for $3.99 at Target.
Now that beach accessories have been covered, all that’s left is getting the perfect beach body. If only Target sold those …