July 5th, 2019
It Items

Beach Bag Refresh

A big thank you to everyone who shared sunscreen recommendations, we all benefit from that dialogue and I’ve already ordered a number of them.

However, sunscreen is not enough for me to safely enjoy a day at the beach — I set-up camp under an umbrella. Years ago I posted my beach essentials, and when I reread it recently I realized it’s time for an update.

I love French market baskets, but stopped using them for the beach — they bring a lot of sand into the car and wet towels and swimsuits do them no favors. LL Bean canvas totes are sturdy and washable — a real win-win. Ages ago I gave a monogrammed one to Anna Wintour for her birthday and I wouldn’t be surprised if she still uses it, they last forever. Also, I never wore those Isabel Marant slides to the beach, or anywhere for that matter (they did not stay on my feet).  I’m a flip flop girl and classic Havaianas get 5 stars for comfort and durability and they are great when the sand is hot or rocky. I even keep a pair in my car in case of rain. In addition to beach towels, I bring light-weight cotton wraps — they make great sarongs. And a reader reminded me that it’s time to buy new rash guards with built-in SPF. I found this striped one (also in red) at J. Crew and Lululemon has a solid coral that is very cute. Add a straw hat and good book and I’m set to go.

Lisa Scully, owner of the Locust Valley Bookstore, does spot-on book reviews and I’ve yet to be disappointed by her recommendations. Try to get on her newsletter email list too.


what's new


Cashmere double-slit turtleneck sweater


Wrap front plaid dress


Sirah oversized cable-knit turtleneck sweater


Crécy belt in smooth calfskin


Soft City single-breasted wool coat


A-line bouclé skirt


Bansha Fair Isle merino wool turtleneck sweater


Carré leather cross-body bag


Oversized wool-blend sweater


Crécy Camera bag


Packable-hood quilted down jacket

view all

  • Great list. I’m with you on the LL Bean bag and Havaianas. My other go-tos are a Roller Rabbit long kurta over a bikini and a straw hat with leather chin strap from Ghana. Best hat in the wind, holds up forever and looks even better a bit sun bleached after years of wear. Hope you have a great time at the beach!

    LRFJuly 5th, 2019  7:19 AM

  • The ACQUA Brand from my home town Australia is a great stylish rash guard and bather brand. I also find a perspex beach bag is great for a day on the beach as I can find all my things in it! Not to mention a collapsible beach trolley with wheels to cart my four childrens beach and sport gear in and an open beach tent to let the breeze past through. Happy days on the beach.

    Eleanor LangmeadJuly 5th, 2019  7:45 AM

  • So happy that I’m not the only one who cannot keep slides on my feet. I literally slide right on through them with toes on the pavement. Ouch. Going back now to look at those “rash guards.” I had no idea that’s what they were called. My beachwear terminology needs to be expanded. 🙂

    Sue BurpeeJuly 5th, 2019  8:01 AM

  • Here to confirm AW still uses her LL Bean tote 🙂

    HJuly 5th, 2019  9:56 AM

  • I have several thin Turkish towels that can be used as a wrap, a towel or a blanket. The best ones I bought a few years ago in the south of France, but you can find nice ones on line.

    SusanJuly 5th, 2019  10:57 AM

  • This is the best beach list. Can’t wait to start “The Gifted School”!

    Lisa EastmanJuly 5th, 2019  8:10 PM

  • I’ve started following the Locust Valley insta account on your recommendation – their picks are always great!

    ellaJuly 10th, 2019  11:28 AM

  • Just bought the “The Gifted School” yesterday, my local bookstore, Diesel, highly recommended it too.

    KathyJuly 10th, 2019  11:52 AM

  • Shining Sea is a cool new beach/aprés beachwear company with stylish rash-guards for sun protection and looking great on and off the water.

    JennJuly 17th, 2019  6:09 PM


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