Whether heading to the local pool or off a special beach vacation this summer, you may be in the market for a new suit, cover-up, or pair of sandals. We understand that some people go fancier on their beachwear while others like to stick more to ‘the basics’. Chrissie is more on the basics side, whereas Jo can dress it up a bit more if on an exotic beach vacay. Here are our Fab5 suggestions.
I like that Chrissie thinks I go to exotic places and that I dress it up! I just got back from Hawaii so I guess she’s not far off. Here is what I took and what my go-to summer items are:
- Cover-ups. I used to wear a big, old t-shirt but I’ve upped my game over the last few years. My favorite ones are from Tommy Bahama and most of them can be worn as a cover-up or as a throw-on summer dress. Similarly, I love Lemlem for cover-ups and kaftans.
- Bathing Suits. I’m a one-piece gal and I’m so happy more and more companies are producing cute ones! Summersalt has taken this space by storm in the last few years with all kinds of cute styles and colors. They just came out with a collab with Diane VonFurstenberg that is so fun! La Blanca suits are another swimsuit staple for me – their styles and sizes are consistent from year to year so there is less stress in those poorly lit dressing rooms!
- Sandals. Both Chrissie and I love our Birkenstocks Gzieh and I have them in a few different colors. If you’re looking for a rubber sandal, Birks makes these waterproof ones in lots of fun colors. If you are an ocean or lake goer and hate stepping on rocks as you get into and out of the water, we love Crocs. Don’t laugh. Once you try them, you will be a convert! And, there is always the trusty old flip-flop. I love the OluKai because it’s not so flat and has a little arch to it.
- Kindle. I read three books at the beach last week thanks to my trusty Kindle. The Kindle makes reading in the sun so easy – there is no glare on the screen and the font can be made large so you don’t need your readers. And off the beach, the e-light display allows you to read in bed without having to turn on a light. Plus, you don’t have to worry about water-logging your paperback!
- Beach Bag. And to contain all of the above, a beach bag is very important! I was just gifted this bag and boy, is it amazing. It is waterproof, stylish, and lightweight. Another trusty favorite is the classic L.L. Bean Boat & Tote bag or the L.L. Bean Hunter’s tote that is lighter and more water-resistant. All of the above make great gift items!
- Dress/Coverup: A dress that can be a coverup and then be worn out and about is a wonderful thing. I like ones that actually give sun protection and cover me up, versus strappy ones that offer no protection. I recently got this dress from Zara and must say that I love it! Zara fashions come in and out quickly, so grab it now if it’s of interest (and hopefully it’s still in stock) before they sell out. If it’s out of stock click on the ‘similar items’ link as they are good at directing you towards things. A very reasonably priced perfect weight gauze coverup option that comes in lots of colors and hangs really well is this one from Amazon. Lastly, I also love this easy throw-on dress from Quince (and check out their other dresses – great quality at a great price). I also keep hearing great things about the suits at Andie Swim, so maybe check those out as well.
- Tankini. I’m not a bikini person and actually like a tankini option. Athleta always has great bathing suits that last season after season and that let you comfortably be active. Plus the tops and bottoms (both skirted bottoms and regular bottoms) are sold separately so you can really choose what works best for you. And as I try not to get a lot of sun on my chest (too much sun damage there in younger years) I like this higher style top that gives coverage. They also have a lot of one-piece options that are good for an active day at/in the water.
- Visor/Hat. I love this visor because it gives really broad sun protection, lets you have your ponytail/hair not be covered (no hat head), and it’s smaller in the back so when you tip your head up it doesn’t hit against your back. PLUS it rolls up into a tiny little thing so it’s really easy to throw into your purse/tote or suitcase. I also like this lightweight baseball cap and this wider-brim lightweight hat that allow options for having a ponytail stick out the back. A fancy resort in Hawaii makes its ‘branded’ hats from the baseball cap manufacturer (how I found out about it).
- Beach towel and sunscreen. For everyday beach towels, I love the ones from Lands End as they are big and a solid, ‘not skimpy’, weight. Plus they can be monogrammed if you desire that (good for gifts). If you want a more lightweight option that packs up easily these Sandcloud Turkish towels are lightweight, dry quickly, and shake off the sand easily. And they come in a big party size as well! And I always love Supergoop Play sunscreen (and their Unseen Sunscreen for the face) as you don’t feel yucky after it goes on and it doesn’t have any nasty ingredients.
- Memories! After a vacation, I like to use Mixbook to make photobooks as their interface is easy and there is no page limit on how large the books can be. Memories are a great part of a trip!
Be sure to check out all our Resort and Swimwear recs on the site.