It wouldn't be a day at the beach without your sunglasses and water cooler. Now many of these accessories are multi-functional, and serve more than one purpose. Jacqui Stafford, editorial style director with Shape magazine, shares the latest beach essentials.
Beach accessories serve a dual purpose, not only are they attractive and fashionable, but they perform multiple functions. The trend is all about downsizing, clearing out clutter and carrying a lighter load, afterall less is best.
Plank tote This great looking tote serves as both a beach and daytime bag. The fully lined canvas bag has leather trim and metallic clasp straps that can hold a rolled-up towel or beach mat on the outside. Like a belt, they come unclasped, you expand the colored band, place a rolled towel or beach mat in parallel, clasp the metal clips, and tighten the straps. It's perfect for the beach or an extended outing, and is stylish enough for everyday use. Comes in red with orange trim, or blue with green trim. $230; available at www.egiggle.com
O.R.E bagYou can't beat the price of this $12 bag. The water-resistant vinyl bag holds all your beach-time treasures and even lets you see what's inside. A mesh bottom allows for drainage, and a drawstring ensures secure closure. Easy-to-use suction-cup hooks let you attach it to tile or any other hard surfaces — great to bring to the shower or pool. $12; available at www.egiggle.com
Abogear collapsible water coolers
If you're tired of carrying a bulky and heavy cooler, the Abogear collapsible water cooler is your answer to convenience. It's a brightly-colored, collapsible water cooler you can take to the beach or on a picnic. Holds up to 72 ice-cold cans of drink. You can even leave the cooler out for the weekend and the ice will still be in there!!! $50; available at www.abogear.com
Reef beach sandals with bottle opener in the soleCute and fashionable beach sandals that have a hidden bottle opener in the sole of the shoe. They're comfortable and come in multiple colors. You'll be the life of the beach party with this item. $44; available at www.reef.com
Tilley sun hats with UPF 50Super stylish and very durable sun hats made from the world's strongest natural fiber — hemp. Broad-brimmed with UPF 50 (ultra-violet protection factor) — the highest possible protection that blocks 98% of the sun's harmful rays. They're lightweight, mildew-resistant, crushable, machine-washable and fast-drying. They even have a secret pocket in the crown to store keys or money. And there are “Top Notch” ones for kids. $69 for adults, and $24 for children hats; available at www.tilley.com
Speedo chlorine-resistant swimwear
This swimwear is made of a new fabric that's up to ten times more resistant to chlorine. (Chlorine is your swimsuit's worst enemy — it deteriorates the fabric, ruins the fit and makes it lose shape.) Now, your bathing suit can endure harsh swimming pool chemicals without losing their stretch. $60; available at Speedo stores or online
TYR Quick Dry towels
The size of a sheet of paper, this super absorbent chamois will dry you within seconds at the beach. Originally developed for athletes, we love it because it's reusable, fast drying and replaces big, bulky towels. Store in a cute beach tote. $13; available at www.tyr.com
Oakley Thump Digital Music Sunglasses (with built-in MP3 player)
These high-tech sunglasses from Oakley integrate an MP3 player and earphones right onto the frame. Stores up to 240 songs with up to 6 hours of playback time and no cords or wires to get in the way. Lenses filter out 100% of all harmful UV rays. $299; available at Oakley stores or online
Waterproof iPod case
Fabulous invention that allows Apple iPod and other MP3 player owners safely take their music with them for virtually every beach activity including surfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, swimming laps, or simply hanging out on the sand. The housing itself is waterproof (up to 10 feet) and impact resistant. iPod Nano case: $79.95, headset: $39.95; available at Target, Amazon.com, D&H, DR Bott and www.h20audio.com
Technomarine waterproof watchWe love the Abyss 10900 watch from Technomarine. It's not just water-resistant, it's totally waterproof. Because of the silicone in the case, you can also see the dial from any angle in the water. It's got an extra large orange face, which is one of the hottest trends in watches right now. $425; available at www.technomarine.com
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