I love the beach and pool and opt for any chance to spend time there. Recently I decided it was time to replace some of my favorite pieces. After years of constant wear they’d seen better days. That begged the question – what to replace them with? I’m also very conscious of the sun. My father suffered from skin cancer and was my partner in crime when it came to the beach so I opt for sunscreen, hats, and sun shirts when I’m thinking out side. For more on my sunscreen odyssey see my post at Sunscreen plus the hat! As an update I’m going with COOLA!
The swim suit. I love Tory Burch’s suits and have worn the ones I have out. They hold up well even after years of use. I wanted something new though. I tried a new one made by Marysia. I loved it enough to purchase a second. One tip I got from a friend was to purchase the same suit in different colors so the strap lines are in the same place. I’ve taken that tip to heart. I have the same Tory suit in navy and black and now the same Marysia suit in white and black and a two piece with the same top.
After settling on a new swimsuit, I decided I needed a refresh on my coverup. They were also showing signs of wear. I decided that I wanted a sun shirt. I purchased a lovely swing style one from Mott with a 50 spf and I found a men’s long sleeve sun shirt in the tennis pro shop that I’ve co-opted. I wear it with a terry polo mini skirt I’ve had for ages. The mini skirt needs a refresh but I’ve not found a replacement for it – yet! Although not a sun shirt I also found a lovely tunic style shirt to wear for yoga that I’m giving a trial run as a cover up. My favorite new addition, however, is a lovely tunic from Gretchen Scott. It is hand embroidered and simply lovely.
My beach attire would not be complete without a hat, flip flops, and sun glasses. I usually take both a large floppy hat and a baseball cap or visor in my bag. The cap and visor are great when the wind whips up and the floppy hat goes flying. The floppy hat with a wide brim is my preference though to keep the sun off my face. I’ve used a black hat for many years but at the end of last summer I discovered Peter Beaton’s hats. I have a lovely new one with a wide brim, black blow and pink under rim. It is amazing. I opt for Channel sunnies. There is something about the lens they use that makes them perfect for use outside. For flip flops I am addicted to Tory’s basic black. I have the traditional ones and the wedge ones. The wedges are amazing and add a little something to the outfit.
My final mention is to Buckhead Betties for my suit bag. There is nothing worse than carrying a wet suit. I discovered a travel pouch designed for carrying your wet suit at Buckhead Betties. The lining is waterproof and perfect for a wet suit (or your wet hair towel).
My love affair with the beach began while I was still in diapers. Born in Eastern North Carolina with a Dad who grew up spending summers frequenting Cherry Grove, Myrtle Beach and OD and a Mom who spent her childhood summers in pluff mud, salt marshes along Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach, it was natural that I’d be whisked to the Atlantic Ocean before I could walk. So what do I pack for a day at the beach?
The chair is key. I love a good sand chair, one that is perfect to sit in the water with the tide. Umbrella and straw mat are other necessities. I typically grab a grass mat at the local beach store. They tend to cost around $3.00 and are great for lying on to sunbathe. They also serve as a place for the cooler, beach bag and other assorted items to avoid dumping everything in the sand. As gorgeous as the Carolina coast is with that sugar white sand, I try to avoid bringing it home with me.
Next up is a cooler packed with ice, drinks, sandwiches and a spray bottle of water. There is nothing better to cool off with than ice water. I love Evian but there are multiple options that include just a drugstore pump spray filled with water. I keep a bottle of Evian in the refrigerator so I always have one cold for tennis and the beach or pool.
My beach bag filled to the brim with all those things one needs – sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, goldfish, my kindle and my iPod. This year I’ve got a new beach bag, the Goyard Belharra. I am loving it. It is easy to stuff with everything I want for a day walking along the beach, reading in the sun, and swimming in the ocean. See my post from last summer for What’s in My Beach Bag.
Do you have a go to sunscreen? My favorite sunscreen has not been available for the last few summers and I continue to seek out the perfect sunscreen. I’m fanatical about applying sunscreen. My Dad was the quintessential southern outdoor guy – hunting, fishing, golf, tennis, gardening – you get the idea. He also had several skin cancers removed when I was a teen. From that point on, hats and fifty sunscreen with titanium dioxide became the routine.
I’m no expert on sunscreen and know next to nothing about what makes one better than the other. The titanium dioxide was a recommendation for my Dad from his doctor. I am also prone to what my Mom calls sun poising – little bumps around my knees and on my hands after prolonged time in the sun. Given my love for the beach, pool, and tennis court, prolonged time in the sun was a given for me in the summers. I quickly discovered there were some sunscreens that seemed to exacerbate this condition. I also tend to like a product specifically designed for the face for my face. This means I typically purchase a 30 and 50 for the face and a 30 and a 50 for the rest of me. I also like a spray rather than a lotion. With this in mind, I recently went shopping at Blue Mercury. I opted for two old but goodies, and two new to try.
For the new – Moroccan Oil 50 – This one is a spray lotion. It sprays out but you have to rub it in. I like it but it is much more lotion than spray. The other new is Soleil. I purchased the spray version in 50 and a lotion version in 30. I love the spray. It has great coverage and stays after swimming. The downside is that I went through a bottle a day on the beach. That is a bit pricy given how much sunscreen I go through.
The tried but true include Coola and Supergoop. I love the Coola spray. The face lotion and lip balm also get a thumbs up from me. Supergoop (no TD) is another go to from last summer but I’ve only tried the lotion version. I just picked up a spray mousse version that has strong possibilities. So, what is your favorite sunscreen?
Whatever else, remember the sunscreen and the hat! Protect yourself!