I know it's a little late for most people, but it's finally SPRING BREAK!!! I'm going to NYC, not anywhere tropical or beachy, but I thought I'd put together a few cute pieces for anyone who's traveling to a coastline local in the next few weeks.
Victoria's Secret Triangle Bikini Set, $19 at victoriassecret.com, J. Crew Solid String Hipster, $38 at jcrew.com: This Victoria's Secret bikini is pretty much the perfect basic bikini. I have one in black (but I'm seriously eying this purple), and it's really simple, but really well made. The cut is on the skimpier side, but I think the clean lines of the bikini keep it from crossing the border into skanky. It comes in a rainbow of colors, and it's so affordable that you can afford to try out different shades. For a pair of bottoms with a little more sturdiness and coverage, these J. Crew bottoms fit the bill. They have a little more fabric in the booty area and a slightly higher cut, and come in a lovely, subdued range of colors. It's not cheap, but J. Crew swimsuits literally last forever.
All J. Crew: French Sailor String Hipster with Neon Ties, $46 for top at jcrew.com and $48 for bottoms at jcrew.com, Scalloped Underwire Top, $50 at jcrew.com, Gingham Underwire Top, $50 at jcrew.com: If basic swimsuits aren't really your style, J. Crew makes some fab statement suits. This striped bikini is a nice twist on the typical nautical look, with the thin stripes and neon ties for a jolt of modernity and color. It's classic and chic, but still fun. I'm really feeling bra-cup swimsuits right now. They fit nicely into the retro-glam, chest emphasizing looks that we've been seeing on the runways. The basic bra-top can look a little lingerie-ish, so I love this scalloped bra top. It's the kind of subtle detail that adds so much delicacy and so much visual interest to an otherwise basic swimsuit. I'd skip the scalloped bottoms and go for the simple bikini bottoms above, though (the scallop looks a little around on the hips). This gingham bikini is giving me serious Christopher Kane vibes. The bra cut keeps all that gingham from being too Dorothy, and it's slightly nostalgic and cheeky with just a hint of Lolita. Again, I'd swap out the bottoms for a solid pair of bottoms in a nice navy blue (who wants gingham across their hips? Not me).
Colin Stuart Ruffled Sandal, $29 at victoriassecret.com, Mystique T-Strap Python Sandal with Studs, $145 at singer22.com, J. Crew Reese Gladiator Sandals, $88 at jcrew.com: Picking good shoes for the beach is difficult. On the one hand, you want to look cute, and on the other hand, you want to be practical. I usually go for flat sandals. They're easy to walk in, easy to shake sand out of, and all the openness lets your feet dry off more quickly. These Colin Stuart sandals are really flirty, with their punchy colors and ruffles, but the simple cut keeps them from going over the top. For an edgier look, I like these Mystique sandals. The python leather screams Upper East Side diva, and the studs add a little downtown bite. If you're into a simpler, earthier look, these J. Crew gladiators are perfect. The brown leather is classic and very Italian, the thin straps are delicate and girly, and the overall effect is bohemian, but refined.
Ray-Ban Outsiders Oversized Wayfarers, $145 at shopbop.com, Diane von Furstenberg Nobi Cover-up Dress, $285 at shopbop.com, Jen's Pirate Booty Senorita Dress, $115 at singer22.com: Oversized sunglasses are a MUST for any beach trip. They're like sunblock for your eyes! And they're super glamorous. I love the classic Wayfarers, but their oversized cousins are on the top of my sunglasses wish-list. They have the same retro shape with the inherent fabulousness of oversized frames, AND they come in tortoiseshell. One of the hardest parts for me about beach dressing is finding something to put over my swimsuits. Shorts and tops can get a little cumbersome, so I like to turn to easy, floaty dresses. They're great transition pieces between the beach and the street, and they don't cling to the body as much as, say, a pair of shorts, so they're likely to dry more quickly if they get wet. This DVF cover-up is so festive and fun in that pink leopard print, which is so perfect for spring break, and it would look great loose and as-is, or belted for a little extra shape. Jen's Pirate Booty makes the perfect beach dresses--slightly boho, a little Oaxacan, a little pirate wench, they're sassy and young. I love this blue dress because the off-the-shoulder cut helps eliminate tan lines and is super-sexy, the blue hue is very tropical and beach appropriate, and the light fabric would be perfect for frolicking in the sand.
Zimmermann Gitana Drawstring Bag, $81 at shopbop.com, Juicy Couture Resort Tote, $103.80 down from $148 at shopbop.com, Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones, $11.97 at amazon.com, Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes, $7.99 at amazon.com: One essential for the beach is a good tote bag. You want something cute, but also something big and functional. No leather (the sand and water will only ruin it), but canvas is a great option. It wears well and it's easy to clean. This Zimmermann bag has a boho, summery feel to it, and the slouchy lines are really relaxed and beach appropriate. I love the idea of a floral print with a black background--it's still summery but it has a bit more of an edge. For a cleaner, more structured look, I love this Juicy tote. The zippers and compartments are great for storing and organizing, the basic black works on and off the beach, and it's big enough to store all your sunglasses, snacks, and trashy beach reads. Speaking of beach reads, here are two of my favorites. I know I've mentioned Fashion Babylon before, but if you love fashion and its culture, you'll love this. Not only is it full of interesting, juicy details about the fashion industry, but it's a really fun, light read. Bergdorf Blondes is a Gossip Girl for the 20 and 30 year olds, centered around socialites and heiresses in NYC, and the girls that they're friends with. It sounds dumb, but it's highly entertaining, and packed with relatable characters.
Victoria's Secret bikini: victoriassecret.com, J. Crew hipster: jcrew.com, J. Crew striped bikini: jcrew.com, J. Crew scalloped bikini: jcrew.com, Gingham bikini: jcrew.com, Colin Stuart sandals: victoriassecret.com, Mystique sandals: singer22.com, J. Crew sandals: jcrew.com, Ray-Ban sunglasses: shopbop.com, DVF dress: shopbop.com, Jen's Pirate Booty dress: singer22.com, Zimmermann bag: shopbop.com, Juicy Couture bag: shopbop.com, Fashion Babylon: amazon.com, Bergdorf Blondes: amazon.com.