The following column ran last year in the run-up to Memorial Day weekend, when Washingtonians flock to the Atlantic beaches. The advice is still sound!
Bonjour, Borderstanis. Glad to see the whole Rapture thing was a false alarm… especially ’cause I just bought a few new articles of clothing. And I doubt any of them would work with a halo (or more accurately, in my case, horns and a pitchfork).
More importantly, I’m excited that we’re still here in the material world since summer is almost upon us. I’m sure many of you are heading to the beach this weekend. Fellow Borderstan contributor, Food Editor Alejandra Owens, and I have some suggestions for the ladies and gents on what to take for your trip to the coast.
For the Ladies
- Rock a big floppy hat! Not only does a big hat scream confidence and chicness, it also protects your face and shoulders from the searing sun. I am currently in love with these floppy hats from BHLDN. It’s an investment piece, yes, but this is a hat you can wear for summers to come.
- Big sunglasses are a must. Not all of us can be Nicole Richie but a pair of Ray-Bans (or knock offs, I’m not judging!) protect that delicate skin around your eyes from harmful rays. Also, no one will see the dark circles incurred from a night of dancing and drinking on the beach.
- Easy-to-wear dresses are a must at the beach, and one that can take you from day to night is a bonus piece in your wardrobe. I suggest packing three types of dresses for the beach: a beach cover up that you can also putz around the house in, a colorful short dress and a maxi dress. These three dresses can take you from the beach, to the boardwalk and to a dance party all weekend long.
- In case you couldn’t tell already, nautical stripes are all the rage this summer. A word of caution here ladies. Not everyone can wear a shapeless tshirt dress and belt it and look great — be aware of your body shape and go with classic fits that flatter you. Also, pay attention to the width of the stripe — smaller stripes versus larger stripes might do different things to your hips and bust… and not always good things.
- The dreaded swim suit. Every woman is different. But, I have to say that I am completely sold on bottoms that tie on the side. I think for most women the hardest part about bathing suits is the inevitable pinching the bottoms do. Hello muffin top I didn’t even know I had. Tie-side bottoms mitigate the damage and put you in control. And as you can see from the Victorias Secret option I mentioned — a tie-side bottom does not always mean string bikini!
- On to more fun things: shoes! A couple pairs of sandals like these and maybe these will do you just fine. Some sexy but comfy espadrilles for dinner and evenings out are also essential.
- Sunscreen is a must! My favorite for years now is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock. True to the name it goes on light, dries quickly and is never oily. I am always weary of putting new lotions and potions on my face, but I’ve never broken out or had any problems with this sunscreen!
For the Gents
- A couple of pairs of swim trunks. Personally, I love t. christopher’s swimwear. In fact, I have this great pair I purchased last season (last season? the horror!) that fit somewhere between board shorts and a square cut suit. Unless you’re on a swim team or vacationing on the French Riviera, I’d avoid a bikini cut.
- A pair of shorts for when you can pull yourself away from the beach. I recommend the Maldives Chino Short from Life/After/Denim.
- A pair of chinos for the evening (if you don’t feel like wearing shorts). I’d go with the Levi’s 511 poplin trouser.
- A couple of polos (at least one white and one primary color: red, blue, or yellow); I prefer Lacoste.
- A chambray shirt; blue, if you’re feeling more traditional, or red, if you’re feeling more adventurous. J.Crew’s chambray utility shirts are fantastic.
- A white oxford shirt. Again, can’t go wrong with J.Crew. However, if you’ve got the money to spend, I highly, highly recommend the Naked and Famous Oxford.
- If you’re heading to a locale that gets cool in the evening, you should probably think of grabbing a light, cotton cardigan. You could get a relatively inexpensive one at Urban Outfitters or Club Monaco. Or if you’re feeling a little Francais, this nautical t-shirt is fantastic and will keep you warm during those cool beach evenings.
- A pair of sunglasses. I love the retro style of these Ray-Ban’s Clubmasters (just bought a pair this past weekend)
- Like Alejandra hinted at earlier, lobsters aren’t sexy. Be sure to take sunblock and moisturizer with SPF 15 (at least). I recommend Anthony for Men’s Facial Moisturizer.
- Flip-flops. Can’t go wrong with Havianas.
- Boat shoes. Can’t go wrong with Sperry Top-Sider.
That’s it for us this week, folks. A huge thanks to my friend and collaborator, Alejandra. She’s as fashionable as she is beautiful.
Have fun and be safe this weekend.