During the colder months, you’re all about the cozy socks, luxe leggings, chic coats and oversized headphones (which double as earmuffs, of course). But the summer calls for a whole different set of essentials, which means that with the summer season upon us, you have some shopping to do. And who doesn’t want an excuse to pick up some cute new warm-weather items?
Whether you plan to spend your summer basking in the sun at the beach, exploring your city or jet-setting to exotic destinations, there are certain essentials that are sure to make your life easier. You probably have the obvious ones covered (like sunscreen and sandals), so here are a few more must-haves to add to your list.
1. A Killer Swimsuit
What’s summer without a head-turning bathing suit? But not just any bathing suit — you should invest in swimwear that makes you feel 100% confident in your own skin. Take your time figuring out which brands, styles and colors look best on your body, whether it’s a sleek black monokini or a retro-inspired high-cut two-piece in a playful pattern. For example, if you’re full busted, you may want to seek out tops that have built-in underwire and/or molded cups for some extra support and lift. A one-piece with ruching or a high-waisted bikini are both super flattering options for an apple-shaped body. Those with athletic figures who want to achieve the illusion of curves might try bikinis with artful ruffles or other details that create volume around the hips, bust and derriere.
It’s a good idea to have at least two bathing suits in your arsenal — that way, when one is in the wash, you still have another backup option to wear the next day. And if you’re going on vacation and you plan to spend a lot of time at the resort pool or the beach, bring a minimum of three so that you can rotate them throughout the trip without having to worry too much about laundry.
2. A Cute Coverup
Speaking of beach day must-haves, you’ll be oh so grateful to have a stylish coverup to throw on over your bathing suit on a breezy day while you’re taking an oceanfront stroll or a nap by the pool. Tossing on a coverup is a lot easier than buttoning up a pair of shorts, and it tends to be a lot comfier too. Plus, there are so many style options to consider, from 70s-inspired embroidered kimonos and casual rompers to flowy, feminine maxi dresses — meaning you’re bound to find a coverup that matches your personal preferences.
3. A Juicy Book
What’s a summer afternoon without something to read? Whether you prefer a captivating novel, memoir or nonfiction, you’ll always be thankful to have a book in your beach bag. In fact, this is a must-have, even if you don’t plan on hitting the beach a lot this summer. There’s nothing quite like relaxing on your roof deck, backyard or front porch with a page-turner and a pitcher of a refreshing beverage. Scope out SmarterTravel’s list of top beach reads if you need a recommendation.
4. A Beach Bag
Obviously, when you’re packing a book and other essentials, it goes without saying that a successful day at the beach starts with a well-packed bag. Look for a carryall that will fit plenty of items, like a magazine, sunscreen, snacks and even a change of clothes or shoes just in case. A punchy color or fun print will make you stand out, but you’ll also want to keep certain practical features in mind. For example, zipper pockets are important for making sure small items don’t get lost, and a built-in cooler is helpful if you plan on packing a lunch. Look for one that’s made of ultra-durable material and that’s also water-resistant.
5. On-Trend Sunnies
There’s a good reason to invest in some chic sunglasses this summer — and it’s not just to look put-together. Sunglasses shield your peepers from the harmful UV rays. That’s why it’s crucial to look for a pair that’s designed specifically with UV protection (ideally UV400 or higher). A polarized pair will help to neutralize glare, which can be harmful to your eyes as well. The trendiest sunglass styles for this year include metallic mirror shades, bold visors and micro cat-eyes. You can never go wrong with a pair of timeless Wayfarer-style sunnies, which are flattering on nearly any face shape.
6. A Bluetooth Speaker
Once you spend an afternoon by the pool or the ocean with a speaker blaring your favorite jams, you’ll never go back. So, consider investing in a lightweight portable speaker that you can toss in your beach bag, and that way, you can choose your own sun and sand soundtrack. Just don’t forget to compile the perfect summer playlist beforehand.
7. SPF Setting Spray
If you wear makeup in the summertime, then this product will be a gamechanger. Trying to figure out how to layer sunscreen under or over your BB cream is obviously a major hassle. With SPF setting spray, you can not only lock in your look but also rest assured that you won’t risk damaging your skin either. You can even spritz it on your face when you’re not wearing any makeup as a substitute for sunscreen. And since some formulas are mattifying, you can avoid the shiny complexion that often comes with spending a day in the sun. Speaking of SPF — your skin isn’t the only thing you need to protect from the sun. This summer, invest in a few hair products that block out UV light. A quick spritz of these protective products will not only help to conserve your color, but also leave your tresses feeling less dried out from the sun’s rays.
Summer is a time for rediscovering the simple joys in life — like peeling through a fashion magazine while you listen to the waves crash in the distance or listening to some new jams while you catch up with your girlfriends. But the key to living your best life during the hotter season is being prepared. As long as you remember to pack these summer must-haves, you’ll be all set for a stress-free day in the sun.
This piece was created in collaboration with Journelle for which we received payment.