Grace Kelly in Cannes
There’s something about summertime that heightens my senses. I gravitate towards scents that make me feel like I’m sitting by the sea, even when I’m not. Natural fibers and woven textures suddenly become increasingly appealing, perhaps reminding me of the woven beach basket I carried as a little girl. And colors seem all the more intriguing, whether they’re soft and earthy or bold and bright. In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, I put together some chic summer essentials that heighten my senses…and hopefully yours, too!
This is my haircare splurge, and it is worth every penny. The scent is an intoxicating blend of orange blossom flowers and coconut, and — as a lover of all things mermaid — it is impossible to resist the packaging. Plus, the sulfate-free formulation infuses my hair with moisture, making it easy to comb without weighing it down. I use this after a day at the beach, and then I let my hair air dry for a natural look — and because it helps the fragrance last for hours.
2. J. Crew Deep-V Wrap One-piece, $98
There’s something incredibly elegant — and sexy — about a perfectly shaped one-piece swimsuit. I am partial to J. Crew designs because they come in a beautiful array of hues, there are dozens of options for every body type, and they are affordable. (I love these designs by Flagpole Swim, Marysia, Perfect Moment and Lisa Marie Fernandez, but paying $300+ for a bathing suit seems crazy to me). This is my current favorite — the plunging neckline and wide tie (wrap around the waist for a belted look or tie a bow in the back for a flirty accent) accentuate every curve but the cut ensures everything stays in its place when sunning and swimming. Get 30% off this weekend with code WEEKEND (I just ordered it in navy!).
3. Serena & Lily Palisades Chair, $225
I am very particular about my beach set-up. No flimsy umbrellas, no plastic logo-ed chairs, no beer holders, no mismatched towels (I know, I know). If you’re going to be spending an entire afternoon set up on the sand, you should do it in style. If you stock up on chic, high-quality basics in coordinating colors, you can just grab and go (without looking like you just grabbed and went) for years to come. Pick a palette, then choose chairs, umbrella(s), towels/blankets and tote bags that match, and you’re done. I am currently swooning over these rattan folding chairs — complete with built-in handle — for both beach and backyard. They would coordinate seamlessly with my navy, white and touch of red beach essentials (and yes, my swimsuits and cover ups also match).
4. Serena & Lily Fouta Beach Towels, $48
Speaking of high-quality basics, I found these Turkish towels last summer, and they have become my go-to for the beach. Besides being gorgeous, they are super soft, absorbent and oversized (but not bulky) and are smooth cotton on one side and looped cotton terry on the reverse. The St. Tropez vibe feels particularly luxe at the Atlantic ocean, and the fab fringe detail gives it an extra dose of style. As you may have guessed, I chose the navy stripe and the red, white and blue stripes.
You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. The cat-eye is my go-to silhouette, and the only brand of sunglasses I want to buy lately is Krewe du Optic. They are handcrafted in New Orleans, have a lifetime guarantee and are both durable and stylish. This pair has 24 karat gold plated hardware and groovy seafoam-hued lenses with 100% UVA/UVB protection.