Upping my beach game

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I get so envious of the people who turn up at the shore with carts full of all the right equipment to turn their little square of sand into an ad-hoc living room for a few hours. I have none of the right gear, but I’m trying to improve my situation in small ways, starting with acquiring the right beach bag.  I don’t believe in spending a ton on them—talk about an item that’ll only stand to get trashed—and I like a nice mesh specimen like this one because then sand doesn’t settle at the bottom of the bag. It’s also got a handy interior pocket for keys and whatnot.

I love spreading out a big tapestry in the sand and establishing my mini-domain.

The print on this towel is so cheery, and it’s a really good size, and it’d be kind of fun and matchy-clashy with the tapestry.

This beach chair folds up into a backpack for easy transport, and how cool is that? Here’s a cheaper version of the same concept from L.L. Bean.

I like the idea of a beach tent, but sometimes they seem a little claustrophobic; this one is so delightfully open and airy, while still providing sufficient shade.

I would happily transport drinks and food in this spiff and lightweight cooler.

My favorite sunscreen is Sun Bum—it’s strong, it lasts, and it’s waterproof.

For my face, I’ve just sprung for this tinted sunscreen from Dr Dennis Gross; it’s nice and light and not greasy-feeling, and provides the subtlest tint.

And because my lips are always drying out at the beach: this Fresh lip balm with an SPF of 15.

To stay hydrated, I might go for this S’well bottle in a nifty sea creature-themed Liberty print.

And on the occasions that I bring the dogs—which is rare, because I’m always afraid the big one will take off towards the dunes, never to be seen again—I’ve acquired the Pupflask, which is a nifty water bottle and bowl in one.

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9 Thoughts on Upping my beach game
    Joannawnyc
    11 Jul 2019
    11:43am

    I have a mesh beach bag and keep woven seagrass mats, and Turkish peshtemal towels in it, with other stuff (sunblock, lip balm) in some kind of pouch (often just a ziplock). I don’t have a chair or a tent because I used to go to the beach most often via public transit (in Brooklyn) and if I was not in Brooklyn I was usually with someone who had all that stuff. Maybe now is the time to acquire my own! I like the peshtemals because they dry fast and you can also wear them as a sarong.

    I have used Mexican-type blankets as a beach base layer for that cool surfer vibe but them decided the sand accumulation/laundry bottleneck was not worth it, hence the seagrass mats (from my mom!)–no washing required.

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    Kimberly
    11 Jul 2019
    9:51am

    Last summer we took our 85 lb lab mix to the Outer Banks, and our parents brought their 25 lb little mutt. Both dogs puked all over our rental carpet after drinking the ocean, and continued to try to drink the ocean all week. The sand in the fur situation was also not fun. So yeah, dogs at the beach= overrated

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    Amy
    11 Jul 2019
    11:04am

    Your first sentence pretty much describes how I feel going through life. LOL! I think I’m pulling it off okay, but man, I’m always like, look at that woman… I bet her tote doesn’t have a million kleenexes, loose bandaids, multiple lip glosses, etc.

    PS Great post. Love the tapestry!

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    c.w.
    11 Jul 2019
    1:41pm

    Last summer I ordered all three of those Urban Outfitter tapestries and I love them. They’ve been used at the beach, as table clothes, towels and impromptu sarongs. Buy them. I take my dog to the beach every day. She loves it. The trick is to give them water right before you go, offer water several times while you’re there and keep a dog towel in the car to clean off the sand (your car will still get gross amounts of sand in it, but you just have to learn to live with it). I also have a “half tent” that allows folks to get out of the sun, but still be on the beach and, with one of those tapestries bull-dog-clipped to the opening, acts as a changing room. I LOVE the beach!

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    c.w.
    11 Jul 2019
    1:50pm

    Forgot to say that I received both my three-dots peasant blouse and my NYDJ orange stripe blouse from Kim’s peasant blouse posting the other day and they are both wonderful. Such a refreshing change from summer tees, good belly coverage and throw in the wash and hang to dry. Perfect.

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    Kathi
    11 Jul 2019
    5:21pm

    Great post, makes me wish I was not in landlocked Iowa! Another item to think of is a brush of some kind to get the sand off your shoes before you get in the car (keep in trunk). My folks used to live in Solana Beach, CA and my dad & I would fitness walk on the beach during my visit. The brush was a great tool to knock the majority of the sand off before we headed home.

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    Heather
    11 Jul 2019
    6:44pm

    Perfect timing! Tomorrow I’m playing hooky and going to a nekkid beach 🙂

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    Mamavalveeta03
    12 Jul 2019
    2:35am

    I use my chic French basket tote for the beach and it fits everything I could possibly need, and then some. I’m in the market for a new beach chair, tho, and that sling chair gives me all kinds of nostalgia for the ones we had at my cousin’s cottage in Minnesota. There weren’t enough to go around, so we had to take turns. 😉

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    JB
    11 Jul 2019
    7:37am

    I like using one of the larger sized llbean boat totes with the long handles so it can be slung over the shoulder. Sand does settle at bottom but it’s easily dumped. Rolled up towels fit in there nicely. I use a smaller zippered pouch to house all the smalls like lotion, lip stuff, I.d. and cash. Mine is going on almost 20 yrs of beach service from when kids were little. It’s one of my favorite things.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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