Our summer style challenge? Round up our favourite fashionable summer essentials to carry with us to the beach. From head to toe—that’s straw hat to strappy sandals—we packed up the hottest must-have beach items for your summer getaways.


Summer 2012 beach bag essential #1: Sunglasses

We’re stating the obvious here. Channel your beach-ready inner Jackie O and fashionably block out the rays while catching up on the Fifty Shades trilogy—no judgment on summer beach reads!— with a pair of sleek, oversized shades.

TRY: BCBG Max Azria Izzy oversized sunglasses (approx. $80), at bcgb.com.



Summer 2012 beach bag essential #2: Summer headbands

Add a colourful headpiece to top off a piecey, pulled back summer updo with one of these four wraparound headbands. These sparkly hair accessories—seen on Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2012 catwalk—can also double up as a pretty accent for date nights on the boardwalk.

TRY: Multitude headbands (approx. $15), at anthropologie.com.


Summer 2012 beach bag essential #3: Beach towel

Wrap yourself in this haute Diane von Furstenberg beach towel after hitting the waves. Sip lemonade while lying on the geometric print towel—inspired by the designer’s vintage print archives from the ’70s—for a truly retro glam style.

TRY: Diane von Furstenberg cotton-flannel towel (approx. $57.50), at net-a-porter.com.



Summer 2012 beach bag essential #4: Swimsuit cover-up

While you’ll want to show off that classic, Marilyn-inspired swimsuit on the sand, throw on this breezy, colourful dress overtop for lunching on an outdoor patio. Hot tip: Pairs nicely with a fruity summer cocktail.

TRY: H&M dress ($14.95), at hm.com.



Summer 2012 beach bag essential #5: Water-resistant watch

If you lose all sense of time lying out on the sand, this colour-blocked Lacoste GOA watch will get you back on track. Sleek and waterproof, the latest collection comes in a rainbow of colours available in June—just in time for the long weekend.

TRY: Lacoste GOA watch ($95), at Lacoste boutiques across Canada.

Click here for best Summer 2012 fashion essentials: Retro shades under $200.

For more Summer 2012 beach bag fashion essentials, read on..


Summer 2012 beach bag essential #6: Straw hat

A quintessential summer accessory, the straw boat hat complements every summer look—from on the beach to a flirty night out ensemble. The navy and cream nautical-embellished ribbon of this Gucci hat makes for a casual, cruise-ready statement piece.

TRY: Gucci straw boat hat (approx. $325), at net-a-porter.com.


 Summer 2012 beach bag essential #7: Beach radio

Load your iPod with your favourite summer tunes and tuck it inside this surf-and-sand proof portable beach radio. The only natural next move is to throw an old-school beach party by the water.

TRY: Swansea beach radio (approx. $39.99), at anthropologie.com


Summer 2012 beach bag essential #8: Sandals

We can’t get enough of the strappy, flat sandals this year—they look great paired with a summer swimsuit on the sand or peplum skirt for a fashionable BBQ. These coral, thin strap sandals are the stylish counterpart to disposable, unflattering flipflops.

TRY: Zara two-tone sandals (approx. $29.90), at zara.com.


Summer 2012 beach bag essential #9: Colourful bangles

Have a beach-themed #armparty with these candy-coloured, jelly-style bangles from Joe Fresh. Mix and match with your swimsuit or wear separately for a standout playful look.

TRY: Joe Fresh neon bangles ($5 each), at joefresh.com.


Summer 2012 beach bag essential #10: iPhone case

This wicker-inspired Kate Spade iPhone case will remind you of those fleeting weekend beach getaways come Monday morning back at the office. Plus it can be adorably paired with a classic picnic basket and espadrilles—on or off the beach.

TRY: Kate Spade Delavan terrace iPhone 4 case (approx. $40), at katespade.com.


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