You know those impossibly glamorous women on the beach who appear to be unfazed by 100-degree temps, rowdy children, squawking seagulls, and crashing waves? In an attempt to decipher their secret, we looked to the original beach bombshell, Grace Kelly, on the French Riviera for help. With her as our muse, we rounded up 10 shore-side essentials (confidence notwithstanding), complete with both practical and impractical tips (hey, looking this good takes commitment), to aid in our mission. Being a beach bombshell has never seemed so easy.
1. A Major Hat
Wearing an oversize sun hat will provide maximum sun protection and a serious air of mystery. It's possible you may block the sun for everyone within a 100-foot radius, but its old-Hollywood glamour is well worth it.
Eugenia Kim hat, $415; eugeniakim.com
2. Exaggerated Cat-Eye Shades
For added mystique, pair exaggerated cat-eyes with your oversize hat. Celeb status, achieved.
Gentle Monster sunglasses, $345; nordstrom.com
3. A Plumping Lip Balm
A staple since the '60s, this Dior plumping lip balm will give you the perfect pink pout. Plus, it won't melt the way a lipstick would in extreme temps.
Dior Crème de Rose Plumping Lip Balm, $28; sephora.com
4. A Thigh-Skimming Tunic
Show off your legs with a daringly short tunic. The length will scream Bardot, regardless of whether you're barefoot or in heels. Offset too much skin exposure with a higher neckline.
Tory Burch tunic, $198; toryburch.com
5. A Retro Two-Piece
Look to bombshells like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren for bikini inspiration. Carve out an hourglass figure with a two-piece that still leaves a lot to the imagination. We love classic black, which is universally flattering. Bonus: high-waisted bottoms give the illusion of longer legs.
6. A Straw Tote
An elegant straw bag is a beach must-have to tote around the essentials, like water and sunscreen (dehydrated and sunburnt is not the look we're going for here). This Muun option is perfect for its pared down, yet elevated look.
Muun straw tote, $315; modaoperandi.com
7. Gold Cuffs
Catch the sunlight with stacked gold cuffs that will complement your glistening, glowing skin (think: Elizabeth Taylor). Pro bombshell tip: Switch wrists on the hour every hour to avoid tan lines.
8. A Colorful Beach Towel
Step 1: Practice your poses. Step 2: Put them to use as you lay out on a bright beach towel. And in the spirit of true bombshell behavior, even a practical purchase, like a beach towel, should be a hyper-luxe splurge.
Hermès beach towel, $630; hermes.com
9. Tanning Body Lotion
Slathering on SPF is a given, but also aim for a golden glow with a body lotion that helps your skin adjust to sun exposure.
Institut Estederm Adaptasun Tanning Body Lotion, $69; spacenk.com
10. Glam Wedges
Finally, round out your beach bombshell look with a lift, courtesy of sky-high espadrille wedges—because a true bombshell craves glamour (read: Louboutins) at all costs.
Christian Louboutin espadrille wedges, $675; christianlouboutin.com