When it comes to prepping for swim season, we often find ourselves caught between two states of mind. On the one hand, we’re constantly on the hunt to find that one perfect suit that will work all wonders make our breasts perky, our bums toned, our thighs appear slim not squeezed awkwardly into ill-fitting boy shorts. On the other hand, the thought of dropping $300 on an item we can only wear three months out of the year is almost worse than all those crunches we’ve suffered while prepping for the season.
In short, this elusive “perfect swimsuit” is never easy to come by without a price. And what of the rest of the contents of your beach bag? Those will cost you a pretty penny as well. This season, though, we’re turning over a new leaf, and by that, we’re coming prepared for sunnier days. Below you’ll find a selection of beach-worthy pieces that will not only get you in the mood for your destination of choice, but with all the prices below $150, they’ll give you a little breathing room for spending on the finer things in life like a summer vacay!
For under $150, a Proenza Schouler wetsuit dress may not be an affordable option, but there are plenty of other surf-inspired goods to go around. Think cool blues and sunset tones (like the print on these playful flip flops) to get you in the West Coast mindset.
Above: Swimsuit by Adidas by Stella McCartney ($90); Raffia fedora by Lola for J.Crew ($98); Tank by RVCA ($40); Multi-colored retro sunglasses by ASOS ($10.15); Malibu beach bag by Getagadget ($28); Jean shorts by Ksubi ($54); Print beach towel by Diane von Furstenberg available at saks.com ($120); Flip flops by Billabong ($11).
There’s something about a tropical getaway that inspires us to become one with our surroundings. That means a palette of earthy tones such as brown, beige, and sand. Add a pop of yellow and a tropical floral and you’re all set for a trip near the equator. Our greatest essential of all: SPF 15 to make sure we come back looking bronzed, not burnt to a crisp.
Above: Bandeau cover up by Topshop ($20); Bandeau bikini top by J.Crew ($44); Ruffle bikini bottom by J.Crew ($44); Canvas tote by Anya Hindmarch ($120); Flip flops by Sanuk ($32); SPF 15 Sunscreen by Laroche Posay ($30); Braided cowgirl hat by Forever21 ($10.80); Floral sunglasses by Topshop ($32); Beach towel by Roxy ($38); Necklace by Calypso ($95).
Whether you’re headed East for the 4th, or for some weekend respite from the chaos of New York City, there’s something about classic red, white and blue that screams “Headed to the Hamptons!” Throw some much-needed waterproof mascara into your raffia bag (no one wants their black eyes to clash with classic navy!) and you’ll be set for your road trip on the Jitney.
Above: Sunglasses by Nicole Miller ($125); Polka dot coverup by Topshop ($44); Striped swimsuit by Topshop ($50); Waterproof mascara by YSL ($30); Printed flip flops by Tory Burch ($45); Raffia crochet tote by Athleta ($62); Sun hat by Tarnish ($58); Beach towel by Ralph Lauren ($125).
Liberty prints of the Nineties are back in fashion for spring, and besides wearing your birthday suit, there’s really no better way to get closer to nature than suiting up in sweet florals. If it gets too cold to take a dip in the water, a mix of preppy and earthy pieces will at least having you looking the part on land.
Above: Liberty print bikini top by Undrest ($105); Liberty print bikini briefs by Undrest ($115); Striped tote by Tommy Hilfiger ($55); Straw hat by Gap ($24.50); Rubber sunglasses by Topshop ($18); Beach towel by L.L. Bean ($24.50); Flip flops by Ann Taylor ($58); Protective hair beach spray by Phyto ($22).
Fitting in to the South Beach scene means competing with the uber bronzed ladies who have no problem hoarding all the attention. Between brightly colored suits, heels, and jewelry on the beach, the women of Miami are experts when it comes to transitioning their daywear straight to a night out downtown. Pack up these bold essentials if you want to keep up!
Above: Bathing suit by Topshop ($55); Beach body scrub by Bobbi Brown ($35); Beach towel by Tracy Reese ($24.99); Necklace by Banana Republic ($39.99); Tan wedge sandals by Dollhouse ($44.95); Sunglasses by Aldo ($12); Clear plastic beach bag by ASOS ($23.67).