Anyone else feel like summer only truly starts once you have your first beach day in the books? Yes, warmer temps and the actual calendar date are also markers, but in my mind, the beach and everything associated with it -- sandy toes, sunscreen slathered all over, waves breaking, a good book and cold drink in hand -- is the epitome of summertime. Most beaches across the U.S. are now open for the season, which means it’s time to gather friends and family, pack your beach bag, and enjoy those long, relaxing afternoons by the ocean! Admittedly, it can be kind of a pain to figure out exactly what you should wear and bring, and I usually forget some important item in my rush to get out of the house and to the beach as fast as possible. So, in an effort to avoid a last-minute scramble, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite beach essentials.
Sunscreen by Elta MD. This is a no-brainer. And a friendly reminder that you should be wearing sunscreen on every non-beach day too! No one wants to be the person sporting a lobster-red burn so I highly recommend Elta MD for your sunscreen needs. I like this brand (particularly its face-specific products) because of the clean ingredients - it’s zinc oxide based, which means it won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts like some chemical sunscreens, and it’s incredibly effective in blocking UVB and UVA rays.
Towel by Weezie. I’m a stripe girl through and through, so naturally I’m drawn to Weezie’s super plush striped beach towels. They come in three different color combos with a monogramming option, so they’d definitely make for a cute birthday or hostess gift as well. Plus, the founders of Weezie designed all their towels with towel time in mind (a very sacred time right after a shower where you lie down and relax for a while in your towel), which is VERY important to me.
Bathing suit by Jade Swim. I was recently introduced to Jade Swim (thank you Instagram) and it’s easy to see why people are going crazy over founder Brittany Kozerski’s pieces. Simple yet chic, Jade Swim is the perfect investment swimsuit to last you all summer long. I love the classic silhouettes of her collection, plus you can mix and match different styles and colors.
Pareo by India Amory. No beach look is complete without some sort of coverup, and these beautifully patterned pareos offer some stylish coverage when you’re running to the snack bar or simply taking a break from the sun. India Amory’s pareos are created using the Indian block print technique and can double as a wrap for chilly summer nights. This brand also offers linens and home goods, so be sure to check out all the gorgeous patterns.
Book by Brit Bennett - The Vanishing Half. I absolutely cannot go to the beach without a book. My fiance on the other hand, can only sit still for 10 minutes before needing to do some activity so he definitely does not fall into the “book as a critical beach item” camp. Either way, Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half could be a story that everyone benefits from by reading. With underlying themes of race and identity, this book follows identical twin sisters who grow up inseparable in a small, southern black community, run away at age sixteen, and ultimately end up living two entirely different lives as adults - one as a black woman, one as a white woman.
Beach bag by Cleobella. I’m always on the hunt for bags that serve multiple purposes, and the Isla tote from Cleobella delivers. The raffia material inherently makes it look beachy and casual, but the fringe adds a fun element and dresses up the bag a bit so you can go from the beach to errands or drinks with friends seamlessly. It’s also big enough to hold all your other beach accessories without being too bulky.
What are your essential beach items? Let us know in the comments!