21 white tops to wear right now

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This lace shirt from Sezane has a very 1970s Jane Birkin feel.

The woven yoke here gives this one an antique-y feel.

Just a nice, slouchy v-neck blouse in a lightly crinkled fabric.

A crisp poplin wrap top that looks more pricey than it is.

I didn’t really think to include tees in this selection, but this one has such a daringly deep V-neck that I had to.

A tie-neck popover tunic that looks just as easy as it does polished.

A slouchy boatneck that is both completely un-prissy and very feminine, somehow.

A faux-wrap top that looks like the easiest thing in the world to wear.

This is a little girlier than I typically go, but I like all of the eyelet details here.

A bare-looking top that actually doesn’t reveal very much at all.

A crisp tuxedo-neck top from Universal Standard.

The stripes at the sleeves of this peasant top are a cool touch.

I like the eyelet flounce sleeves here even though they’re maybe a bit much.

This shirt is from Grayson, which is a cheaper version of the brand Frank & Eileen, and according to several of you, they make a solid button-down. Here’s an even cheaper button-down, if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Meanwhile, this shirt has a subtle dot pattern, which is cute.

I might have to acquire this peasant top, because it’s so simple in a really perfect way.

Just a really smart-looking shirttail tunic.

The grid pattern here keeps things interesting.

More pretty eyelet on a very sweet top.

A streamlined linen popover for wearing whenever.


And finally: this is the perfect combination of peasant-y and retroish.

Just a ton of cute beach coverups

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Pretty much all of these work for summer lounging about at home too: I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve clocked on the sofa with the dogs in this by-now-classic Emerson fry caftan. It’s got one of the most winning color combinations ever.

And speaking of color combinations, I’m always a fan of pink and orange, and the embellishment here is a cheeky touch.

This is so satisfyingly graphic: just black on white with a wee pop of yellow.

A jumpsuit is kind of a novel answer to the beach coverup question, and this one is so damn cute.

I own a version of this navy gauze caftan, and what’s really good about it is that—unlike many a cover-up—it’s completely opaque, so you can wear it from the beach to the street.

I wouldn’t fuss with the belt on cotton poplin number—it’s crisp enough without it.

Last year, I acquired this leopard print linen coverup from Emerson Fry, and I have loved it, and am pleased to see they’ve put it back in rotation after it sold out. I wore it to the beach pretty much every time I went, and it got softer with each wash (I would keep it out of the dryer unless you want it to shrink up a bit).

A feminine floral that works for me because it’s not quite a maxi, which I feel is so much more flattering.

This maxi, on the other hand, really works: so graceful and flowy.

I could see myself kicking around my favorite farm stands in this sweet contrast eyelet cover-up.

A really elegant choice (that isn’t cheap) from Mara Hoffman. I like how the fabric has a barely-there grid pattern.

Going short isn’t a crime at the beach, I don’t think, and this pink and green Indian block print is just so fun.

I’d wear this tunic over jeans apres-beach.

I love the stripes on stripes here: so cheery.

Rickrack trim has never looked so sophisticated.

I can’t resist anything that has a little metallic thread running through it, and I’m a sucker for an old-school sundress shape too.

A tomboyishly sexy option.

A slightly slinky piece that’s lightened up by bright contrast stitching.

A striped linen specimen that just looks so damn comfortable.

And finally: this would be so perfect for a beach barbecue that it almost makes me want to throw one.

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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About

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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