May 26, 2008

Classin' Up the Cote

There are few places in the world than this girl loves more than the beach. Long Island, the Vineyard, the Gulf, the BVI, Sherwood Island... doesn't matter - if there is sand, water, and a relative lack of pollution and noise, I'm there.

Admittedly, though, a few things grate on my nerves when I'm trying to enjoy the sun and enjoy the saltiness of my hair. Yes, I love my scrunchy, crunchy, salty hair and sand in my flip flops. I love the sticky, dry feeling on your hands and the warmth radiating off my skin. I also love packing a simple sandwich from the deli, bringing an iced coffee, and not minding a little sand in my bite. Maybe it's a result of my Ariel-worshiping in grade school, but few things bother me at the beach.

A long time ago I refused to go to any beach that allowed radios, and I have become adept at children-unfriendly towel placement. But sometimes, the apparel people don when hitting the sand and surf gets to me.

Now, this isn't a post admonishing against thongs, skirt-suits and untoned bellies in bikinis. As long as people eat this and don't do this, there will be bodies in unflattering swimsuits. But what I would like to see change is easier than a 6-day cardio regimen, and that's what you wear over said suit.

The beach is one of the most casual places you will ever go, but that isn't an excuse for wearing paint-stained jeans, your grubbiest sandals, and pit-stained souvenir t-shirts. You are in public, dears, and one of the best things about summer is the abundance of loose-fitting, comfortable lounge-wear in bright colors and whites. They are easy to wash, and easy to combine.

So whenever you're at the shore this summer, consider these options instead of those stretched-out Juicy sweatpants from 2004. Just as comfy, much more classy.

Gap tank dress, $24.50
Add flops, a tote, maybe an oxford, and you're all set.

Gap henley, $6.99
Great for after you get too much sun!

JCrew driving cap, $29.50
Keeps unruly hair out of the wind and sheilds your eyes from the sun. Also looks super-cute with a skirt and oxford!

JCrew Cynthia dress, $99.99
This bright color brings out tanned skin and the material dries quickly!

Vineyard Vines Anchors Away lounge pants, $55
Sooo lightweight and comfy, cool and more comfortable than your gym sweats.

Laila Rowe gel headband, $2.50
Flexible material won't hurt your temples, and it easily pushes wild hair off your face.

JCrew Logan pant, $98
Linen is classic summer material, and breezy white pants are the best beach cover-up. Ever.

L.L. Bean Boat-n-Tote, $39.50
Canvas is washable, and these totes are durable and roomy, not to mention inexpensive.

JCrew shrunken cashmere hoodie, $129.99
Summerweight cashmere feels great on sunburnt skin, and the crisp white looks pristine, when paired with navy pants or a bright skirt.

JCrew ruffle mini, $29.50
Look nicer than cotton shorts, and the bright color is just plain fun! Get 'em while they're on sale!

Vineyard Vines palm tee, $34.50
T-shirts work great, when they're bright and fitted.

Lucky Brand macrame tote, $128.99
This tote is pricier, but the crochet style and leather handles are classic hippie style, which works best at the beach!

Lucky Jeans Woody beads, $39
Dress up your look with jewelry, but make them easy, bright pieces you can just throw on and off.

Lucky Brand ring, $25
I adore this ring, and the turquoise color is great for summer.

Lucky Brand Hippie Layered Beads, $48
A long, layered necklace goes easily over a white dress or tee.

Have fun out there, and keep it classy!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


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