4 Summer Beachwear Essentials
by Lauri Apple
Getting ready for a day at the beach requires a bit of planning. In addition to your swimsuit, you need towels to dry yourself, shoes to walk on the hot sand and accessories that help protect you from the sun. What are the five necessary items for a comfortable day at the beach?
Tote bag. Bags come in an endless variety of styles and sizes. Find one that’s roomy enough to carry all of your favorite beach items — books, magazines, sunblock, towels, bottles of water — and can withstand exposure to sun and sand. A practical choice is a waterproof bag with a zipper to keep the sand out. Make sure the straps are rounded or wide enough not to cut into your shoulder. A bag with multiple pockets separates small or essential objects (keys, money) from larger items.
Cover-up. Whether you prefer a simple sarong or a sundress, it’s easy to find a cover-up to match your needs. If you only plan on wearing your cover-up by the water, a loose-fitting terrycloth or cotton style is a functional choice. Many come with pockets to stow your keys or your phone.
If you plan to go out straight from the beach, consider wearing a halter or bandeau-style sundress. Fashionable and easy to slip on, these dresses are also comfortable. Many designs fit loosely, or have a flowing cut.
Sandals. Most people wear sandals or flip flops to the beach for maximum comfort and ventilation, and to avoid taking home shoe-fuls of sand. Flip-flops are usually inexpensive and come in many different colors. If you’re looking for more foot support, upgrade to a pair of sandals with a cushioned arch. Make sure that the footwear you choose doesn’t cause slipping on wet surfaces or get damaged if wet. Waterproof shoes are a practical choice.
Hat. A wide-brimmed hat does the best job of protecting your face, scalp and ears from UV rays that can cause skin cancer, wrinkling and damage. Straw hats are a light and cool choice, but be sure that the weave is tight enough to keep out the sun. Cotton hats also work well.
Add your own items — don’t forget the sunscreen — to this list of beachwear essentials for a relaxing and safe day at the beach!
Lauri Apple is a Chicago-based writer and editor.