My approach to new clothing is like your thrifty grandmother’s thoughts on last night’s dinner: I’m going to keep using it until I can’t anymore.The idea that something I spent money might waste space in my wardrobe makes me bonkers-crazy, and basically dictates everything that I buy. So new swimsuits and caftans for a one-off trip? A pretty tough sell.
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But versatile, sand-to-street options like the 5 pieces below tell a different story. These are all styles I’d happily wear throughout my city-centric summer plans; the fact I’ll also be ready for weekend away is just a nice bonus. Allow me to walk you through my thought process, starting with…
1. A Malliot that Doubles as a Bodysuit
Look at this style as swimwear, it feels a bit impractical at first—like a cherry colored, off-the-shoulder one-piece? That’s good for maybe two Instagram posts, tops, and then everyone’s going to recognize it as “the same red suit you always wear to the beach.” However, once you start picturing it with a breezy white skirt and espadrilles, the entire context changes: You’re Brigitte Bardot strolling down a cobblestone street in the Rivera! Or, for some serious Carrie Bradshaw vibes, you can swap in high-waisted shorts and strappy sandal heels. I’m pretty sure I could buy this, not take a single vacation, and still wear it all summer.
Available at net-a-porter.com | $290
2. A Cover-up Disguised as a Dress
Both thin enough to throw over a bikini and rooftop cocktail chic, a floaty boho dress (if this one is not for you, Doen and Ace + Jig have some great options, too) is something you can repurpose a gajillion new ways by swapping in different shoes/bag combos.
Lemlem available at lemlem.com | $465
3. A Straw Tote You Can Take Anywhere
If there was every a time to upgrade your weather-beaten raffia carryall, it would be now. For the last year now, street style stars like Jeanne Damas and Alexa Chung elevated the humble seaside staple to fashion week-worthy status. Pro tip: Pick something with space to fit your bikini and Kindle, but not so massive it will look out of place at brunch.
Sensi Studio available at modaoperandi.com | $275
4. Espadrille Slides
Before you default to a pair of rubber flip-flops, I beg you to think of A. How much chicer these will look with, well, any swimsuit/coverup combination and B. How easily they’ll translate to sundresses and faded jeans on the weekend. Although really, you can go for any color/pattern/embellishment I’m especially partial to lace because it reminds me of a polished Italian lady on a grocery store run. (If stripes are more your thing, however, this pair from Mango is pretty fantastic, too.)
Dolce & Gabbana available at mytheresa.com | $545
5. A Knit Cami
In theory it doesn’t sounds like the easiest piece to wear—a tank top sweater, huuh?!—but an open weave and loose knit make it ideal for tossing over a bikini. Back at home, it’s just the thing to throw on with your cut-off shorts when you want to look extra cute for your trip to the farmers market, but not like you actually tried to.
Zara available at zara.com | $30