Part 2 of 2. See part 1.
Is it weird to refer to yourself as an expert? After reading the tips from Hanna and Annie, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add a few more beach essentials. My Beach Must Haves for you are below. Normally, I'd also include a wet bag, but Annie is so good! She beat me to it. I'm tempted to write a post with beach must haves for the little ones and the fellas. If that interests you, leave a comment!
Your Beach Essentials
1. A stylish and effective sun hat.
Everyday is a sunscreen day for your face (and hands if you are a frequent driver. Preventing skin cancer and premature aging is easy with SPF.) Hats are all the rage right now, so you won't look like you are trying too hard when rocking something fabulous. Feeling confident and glamorous? A big floppy hat is just right for you. These are also ideal for days at the beach to shield your face and neck from the sun. Consider one for a date at the Farmer's Market with a maxi dress. Yes, you can!
For a less eye-catching but still very flattering occasion, a smaller hat is calling your name. A fedora, for instance, is just right for running errands or walking around the lake. Remember who you'll be with that day. After all, several hat styles are as popular for men as for women right now and you don't want to be twins with your fella or your five year old.
Bonus tip: If you are venturing into hats for the first time, look for neutral colors. And don't rule out fast fashion retailers for great deals.
2. The right bag.
As a personal stylist, I'm not just concerned with a person's body shape and budget. I'm also homed in on his or her lifestyle. The right bag for the beach is determined by your needs. Specifically, if you are hitting the beach with friends and a small picnic, try Annie's trunk organizer. Alternatively, if you just need books, sunglasses, sunscreen and the like, go for a larger bag. There are zillions of attractive options out there. So, make a wise investment. Base your decision on the amount of time you'll be carrying it (if the straps are too short you'll be uncomfortable), whether or not you'll need a blanket to fit inside, if it needs organizers and finally, if it needs to be able to get wet. If you are packing for the kids, look for options that allow sand to fall right through the holes, enabling you to skip endless hours of car cleaning detail.
Of course, make sure it communicates your personal style. Does it say, "boho" or "sophisticated," for instance. If it meets all your criteria, it's the one for you whether it's $20 or $200.
Bonus tip: If you have a triangle shaped body, avoid a bag that hits right at your hips or backside as it just makes that area of your body look larger. If you are petite, steer clear of bags that overwhelm your frame making you look smaller. And, of course, petites should go for more refined styles so as to highlight your maturity.
3. The perfect footwear.
Similar to your quest for the perfect bag, locating the ideal footwear for the beach can be simplified by keeping a few key factors in mind: How far will I be walking? Do my shoes need to be waterproof? What styles of clothes will I likely be wearing? Translation: if you plan to wear dresses, make sure you have shoes that coordinate well with them. Open-toed shoes are always best, regardless of your ensemble, although if you're wearing shorts or pants closed-toe shoes can work well too. Personally, I adore rubber shoes that make it easy to walk on the sand or wander into the ocean after that stray bucket. No matter what you choose, they should come off easily.
Bonus tip: Please remember that ubiquitous, original bulky Crocs are not the only rubber shoe in town. My favorites include Native shoes, super affordable flip flops from Old Navy and visiting the Croc site, home of more feminine Croc options. Believe it!
4. Something to keep you warm.
Naturally, we all gravitate to beach cover ups. And, if you are on vacation in Mexico or live in sunny California, that's an ideal option. But for Northwesterners, considering a few additional factors ensures that you'll be comfortable for the duration. Like most Seattleites, I like to layer. And, I especially like to layer at the beach. Consider a circle (aka infinity) scarf which can double as a small blanket or pillow. Chambray shirts or your fella's button up is another sexy and yet functional option. Celebrities are rocking kimonos this season. If you choose that route, make sure the rest of your outfit communicates that you realize you aren't at home in your bedroom. Add a fedora, sandals that can't be confused as slippers and sunnies.
Bonus tip: A tunic can easily go from beach cover up during the day to a shirt for the evening. Simply wear your rolled up jeans underneath as the weather cools down. Or, opt for a maxi dress that warms up when an infinity scarf is added.
This one goes without saying, but I can't write an entire post without mentioning sunglasses. Sunglasses are the magic touch that can help you avoid conversation after a late night or simply keep your eyes from watering due to bright sunlight. Whatever your issue, sunnies are the solution. Try keeping one name brand pair to elevate inexpensive outfits and a few cheap choices that can be scattered about your life. Friends often mock me for having up to 5 pairs of sunglasses in my glove compartment at a time. But, you never know when you'll need them — and a happy friend is a friend that just discovered an easy way to block the sun's rays when she forgot her tinted spectacles. Right now, bold, weird, 80's inspired, you name it, it's in. This is an effortless way to communicate your style.
Bonus tip: There's a Forever 21 accessories store in Alderwood Mall. That's right, just accessories for crazy deals. Perhaps stocking up on some sunnies is your next outing.
Regardless of your plan of action, always make sure to keep an extra pair of rubber flip flops, sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen in every car. After all, you never know when you'll happen upon some water.
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