After spending yesterday afternoon soaking up the springtime sun at the Indian River Marina in Delaware, and dreaming of lazy summer afternoons by the sea, I was inspired to (do some shopping!) and share a few of my summer must-haves. Every one of these items can truly take you from the beach to the boardwalk (or anywhere else you might want to go, even if landlocked) in less time than it takes to say, “She sells seashells down by the seashore.”
1. Captain Blankenship Mermaid Dry Shampoo, from $6
When I was a kid and confronted with the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question, I said “a journalist” out loud – but in my mind, every single time, I silently responded “a mermaid.” Yes, I realized that was impossible (and I may or may not have been influenced by Splash), but my fascination with all things “mer” started at a very young age and has only increased over the decades. I have been delighted by the recent increase of mermaid-themed beauty products, and this is one of my newest finds. Dry shampoo is one of those can’t-live-without-it items; it has gotten me through many a work week, not to mention literally from beach to boardwalk when I couldn’t bear to give up watching the sun set to squeeze in a shower before dinner. Captain Blankenship’s organic arrowroot powder and kaolin clay-based version absorbs oil, mattifies, adds volume and is infused with essential oils that give it a beachy rose scent. Tip: Living life with style means that you should say YES to amazing packaging – you’ll smile every time you open your medicine cabinet. Promise. (I am also wild about this mermaid-themed haircare set which has a permanent home in my beach cottage bathroom).
2. Lisi Lerch Gold Ginger Earrings, $68
I’ve only recently become obsessed with Lisi Lerch jewelry, and it’s not just because she is a Pennsylvania girl like me. The thoughtful balance between fashion-forward and perfectly-prep is right on target – especially for an A&S girl. These oversized statement earrings remind me of nautical knots, and I would pair them with a classic navy linen blazer (complete with brass buttons) one day and a dramatic, embroidered Bohemian kaftan the next. I already have several pairs of her tassel earrings (they come in 24 colors with either clip or post-back – you NEED these shoulder-dusters in your jewelry collection), so I figure it’s time to branch out.
3. Pixie Market Capri Striped Midi Dress, $129
If you haven’t yet fallen under the spell of Pixie Market, you will. At first glance, this fast-fashion ecommerce site smacks of millennial frippery (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but if you look past the baby-faced models, you’ll quickly find that the myriad of chic silhouettes (and often double-take prices) make it worth the click. I have found fabulous, unique pieces that blend seamlessly into my definitely-not-millennial wardrobe. Hint: Many styles run small, so size up. And, items sell out quickly but most often get restocked, so just enter your email address, and they’ll let you know when your most-wanted treasure arrives. This striped dress is a no-brainer: It is universally flattering and ticks off pretty much every box on the perfect-summer-dress list: stripes, midi length, flowing, off-the-shoulder. Done.
4. Kayu St. Tropez Monogram Tote, $140
This is one of the best summer basket totes I’ve ever seen. It has that “Oh-I-stumbled-upon-this-during-my-recent-trip-to-Bali-and-a-local-artisan-personalized-it” insouciance, which makes it even cooler, because it doesn’t feel contrived. And those pom-poms! I am smitten with all things monogrammed (I don’t have a middle name, which plagued me during the 80s preppy era, so I learned to think outside the box and now always go with my nickname KAT). I particularly appreciate that this monogram isn’t painted or printed on; the woven detail makes it feel deliciously bespoke. I love this navy/camel version, but I ordered mine in red/navy/camel, because it’s a little bit quirkier. I will carry it to the beach on weekends in Delaware and tote it all around NYC during the week. So, by applying the fashion math rule that Michael Kors taught me (divide the purchase price by the number of times you wear it to get the cost per wear), it has already paid for itself, and it hasn’t even arrived in the mail yet. Now that’s a great bag.
5. Ancient Greek Sandals Thais Light Denim Slides, $235
The word of the day, everyday, during summer should be: EASY. But never: SLOPPY. We all love our flip-flops, but there are so many chicer options that elevate your everyday looks and are equally as comfortable as your Havaianas. These faded denim slides are one of those options. There’s nothing easier than a slip-on sandal, they go with everything (just like your favorite pair of jeans), and the frayed denim factor makes them simultaneously effortless and edgy. Wear them with your new striped, off-the-shoulder midi dress or – yes! – even that favorite pair of jeans. This gold pair is also on my list.