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Beach Essentials You Don't Want to be Without This Summer

by Rona Berg

ABOVE: Bag made from recycled plastic bottles by Mer Sea.

All the props you won't want to be without on the beach this summer

The birds are singing, the sun is shining and it’s time to gather your gear and hit the beach. Just as most of us wouldn’t dream of camping without a sleeping bag or hiking without boots, beach expeditions require some planning—and the right equipment—too! Here are some of the hottest new offerings to help you enjoy the summer in style. Also see our scoop on natural sunscreens!


This Mer Sea & Co. bag is the best beach tote I’ve seen in a while: upcycled from French mops that are woven into a fine yarn and handcrafted into this super soft and roomy bag that is oh-so chic! Mer Sea also crafts totes made from plastic bottles. The company is not only committed to sustainability, it gives back to Water.org and Everything But Water. mersea.com


This season’s suits are actually expanding the notion of what a swimsuit actually does. Sure, there are adorable ginghams, and flirty ruffles, but the idea of sexy, functional, fitness styling is getting pretty interesting, with halter tops and long sleeves that protect the delicate skin from the sun, as well as ruched bottoms, boy shorts and swim skirts that are comfortable—and flattering. landsend.com


The Alite Meadow Rest Waterproof Lounger is quite a feat of design! It enables you to sit up on the beach and feel the sand beneath your bottom, without getting bits of that sand anywhere they don’t belong. Plus, it packs down into a stuff sack (which doubles as a beach pillow), and weighs only 1.85 pounds! alitedesigns.com


Who doesn’t look good in cat-eye sunglasses? The VL02 Crystal, a new ‘80s-retro style from Vuarnet, features crystal frames with mirrored lenses in bright shades of orange, blue and more. The mineral glass lenses offer 100 percent protection from UV rays and 98 percent protection from infrared rays. Handcrafted in France. vuarnet.com


Oka-B sandals and flip-flops just keep getting better. Comfortable, cushiony and virtually indestructible, the beach slip-ons—with built-in massage beads for added comfort—are pretty enough to transition to a cocktail soiree après-beach, especially the Gaga! Made down south in Georgia, they are recyclable and easy to clean: just toss them in the washing machine. oka-b.com


Sita Thompson, founder of LA-based Sita Couture, designs, hands down, some of the best beach cover-ups out there. They are so stylish, in fact, that it is tempting to wear them around town! Made in the USA from lovely, sustainable materials like organic linen, modal and jute, designs like the Kiara Maxi and the Maya Mini are two favorites! sitacouture.com


When the sun goes down and you need to slip on a jacket, try the Women’s All Seasons Hemp Canvas Chore Coat from Patagonia. It’s made with Iron Forge Hemp™ Canvas, a new blend of industrial hemp, recycled polyester and organic cotton that is soft and comfy, good-looking, sustainable, and extremely durable, and meets Fair Trade USA standards. patagonia.com

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