Here in Chicagoland we have about two months before it’s time to put on our swimsuits, slap on some sunscreen, and hit the beach. Pools are good too, but believe it or not, there are some gorgeous beaches surrounding Lake Michigan, and our hometown beach is one of the prettiest. True, I’m not being biased.
Any hoo……… Have you noticed that swim suits are back in the stores? So are cover ups, sandals, beach totes, straw hats, and sunscreen. If you’re like me, you don’t want to think about putting a bathing suit on your pasty white body that may, or may not, need a little toning. But guess what girls? Those suits aren’t going to be there forever, in fact, by the time you can actually wear them they will be picked over. That means, only the ugly ones will be left in your size. Uh, huh, I can hear you all squealing out of your driveways now. But wait! First look at what I’ve found for you.
As you’ve probably already guessed from reading my other posts. Ha! That was presumptuous, let me rephrase that statement. If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I like color. There, that’s better. Color in food is healthy, color in clothing is a mood lifter, and together they make one happy Linda. That’s why I wanted to start with this crazy cool tankini from Trina Turk.
First of all, I think the person who came up with the tankini deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. I mean, how brilliant is this idea? It looks like a one piece, but it’s cooler and more comfortable. Plus, if you’re sunning, you can lift the tank to tan your stomach. That makes all women happy. And, everyone knows that old saying – happy woman, happy life. Something like that. Happy means peace, and peace means prize, in my crazy brain anyway.
The Trina Turk Tankini top is $88 and the bottom is $78 at Lord & Taylor, which you can shop online just by clicking on the ad to the right. The bold colors and pattern are so summer friendly. They make me want to get up and play some beach volleyball right now! Unfortunately, it’s only 36° outside so that’s not happening.
Now that I’ve helped you find a cute tankini, it’s time to make sure you’re properly accessorized. Have you ever tried to walk on hot sand without looking like a fish trying to get back to the water? Yeah, I didn’t think so. That’s why you need flip flops. You flip them on so you don’t flop around. All of the sandals in this post are $26 at Urban Outfitters. They come in a variety of colors and they’re light weight and cute.
If you color your hair, or just want to give your face extra protection from the sun, you’re going to want to wear a hat. Besides, hats are great at covering up swim hair. This hat is available at Lord & Taylor for $150. Yes, I know, that’s expensive, but it will save you a lot more money in the long run when you don’t have to spend it on repairing all of that sun damage and ruined hair color.
A good beach tote is a necessity. It needs to hold a book (or Kindle) sunscreen, a drink or two, a snack, a brush, and all the other stuff you carry. I’m totally digging this jute tote from Mango. It’s only $58, it has faux-leather straps, and it will hold all of your things with style. Now you’re beach ready.
She wore an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, confetti polka-dot bikini………
Reef Them Breathless is the name of this adorable design. Cute, right! The tiny polka-dot design and the ruffle will certainly garner attention. Both of these are available through ModCloth. The top is $24.99 and the bottom is $19.99. What a deal!
There was a time when I rocked a cute little two piece. Granted, I can still get away with wearing one, if, I want to hear “you look good for your age.” UGH! That’s the biggest back handed compliment if I’ve ever heard one. So that’s why I now rock a tankini instead of a bikini, I’m leaving those to the youngsters who just “look good.” Moving on……
Who says a one piece can’t be sexy? Certainly not Ivanka Trump, who designed this hot strapless number.
The lace side inserts give this basic bandeau suit swagger. I’m not a fan of the one piece because I feel like they’re hot. The breeze can’t sneak up under the top like it can with a tankini. Then again, if I can look as hot as it makes me feel (temperature wise that is), I’m willing to put up with the heat. This is available at Lord & Taylor for $112.
To add to the sizzle factor, Trump came up with a semi-sheer tunic to wear over the suit. Meowwww….. You might want to carry some foam neck braces in your beach tote to hand out to all of the necks that are injured when they turn too fast to look at you. This too is available at L & T for $109.
Now, about that tote. Mango has the perfect one to carry all of your necessities, and then some. I love the bright burst of red with the black suit and cover up. I like the price even more, $20!
The hat and the flip flops can stay neutral, you don’t want to detract from this sassy get up. Let the main characters do all of the talking.
The straw hat, at L & T is $32, and the sandals are $26 at Urban Outfitters.
Okay, beach umbrellas are cool and all, but this tent, available at Free People, is amazing!!!! It folds up in its own little bag and then pops up to give you your own private cabana. If you have little ones you can put them inside for nap time, or just to keep them out of the sun.
If you don’t have tiny children – like me – you get it all to yourself. Prop the doors open so you can see the water and feel the breeze, sit back, and read, write, sleep, whatever! Find a cabana boy man, with a deep tan and a six pack – the abs kind, or, the drinkable kind would work too – to do your running for you, and life is good.
These handmade, dyed tents and beach towels are made out of natural, breathable fabrics. Free People claims that they are sturdy in windy conditions and that one person can put it up and take it down. The best part is that they will donate part of the proceeds to the “communities” that make them. That makes the price seem better. I look at it this way, $285 is much cheaper than spending time suffering through a sun burn, or shelling out money to reverse the damage that you put your skin through. I also adore a little me time, and this little cabana would allow me to stay at the beach and enjoy some peace and privacy. Winner!
Let’s face it, the sun feels good, especially after being cooped up all winter, and relying on supplements to get our Vitamin D. However; the sun is also dangerous if you get too much, so a good sunscreen is a necessity. But, it needs to be cruelty-free, it needs to feel good on, and, most importantly, it better work. Supergoop, Condé Nast’s 2012 Global Beauty award winner for best sunscreen, ticks all of those boxes.
That’s it for now. Get ready, get set, go summer!
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