Summer has always been my absolute favourite season. I have a July birthday, I'm off work (happy teacher!), and the warm, though sometimes scorching, weather is finally around. So I thought that I would share some of my favourite items for the season.
First off, as I mentioned in my video showcasing all of these items, I realize you cannot buy the exact items anymore and I asked on my Instagram if you'd like if I shared similar products and it was an overwhelming yes! So I will link what can be purchased for similar items. I've tried to link photos from my instagram/old posts within each category, to show you them in action!
I would say one of my absolute go-to shoes for summer are my high-top gladiator sandals. This is actually my second pair, as I wore the sole out of the first pair. I purchased these at Target from the brand Massimo about 6 years ago, while Target was still in Canada. They have held up supremely well (not to jinx myself) and they are a staple for summer. I know that they aren't a trendy item anymore, but I love to wear them with a wide range of looks in summer & they just elevate the look from flip flops. Mine are a cognac/brown colour, so that can sometimes be limiting, but at one time they were sold in every colour. I also have a pair of Nine West heeled gladiator sandals that are just so comfortable and stunning. I would say my second style of shoe that I enjoy during the summer, that aren't flip flops, are regular strappy sandals. Again these are so easy to pair with maxi dresses, skirts, shorts, everything! You can see my pair in action in these old blog posts here and here. I love having them in white because they totally go with everything. Finally, you can further elevate a summer look with a colourful block heel. I will note that I wore my Steve Madden ones again recently and they still destroy my feet...so I really have to prep for blisters!
2. Cover Ups
These literally come in a million forms, but the two I gravitate towards are sarongs & looser dresses because they are just so easy to chuck on. Sarongs come in all shapes and sizes, mine are all rectangular so they are very versatile, while others can be purchased just to be skirts. They also have shorter skirt versions as well, I have a short one with tie up strings that just covers my bum. It is all about your personal comfort., which is another reason why I like the loose dress style because you can just throw it on for any quick errands you may have or to lounge in over your bikini. I also have a video styling a sarong a dozen ways, which I've been thinking of re-filming!
3. Maxi Dresses
These have to be hands down my favourite summer item besides a good bathing suit. I have a number of maxi dresses, in all different styles, prints and materials, some of which you can see here in a post and video I did years ago dressing up different maxis. They are just so easy to put on and run out the door. One of my oldest blog posts on fashion, talks about how short people shouldn't fear the maxi dress! I'm only 5'3 so I used to think that it would make me look short, but not the case!
Don't know what to wear? Maxi. Super hot out but you want to be covered up? Maxi... Want to look put together with zero effort? Maxi! There is one for every occasion and they can be dressed up with accessories, or worn casually over a bikini. I highly recommend stocking your closet because they can also be acceptable office attire (keeping in mind fit and fabric!).
I am so guilty of not wearing a hat often enough, I think I rebelled at one point because as a kid I ALWAYS had to have a hat on (thanks fair skin...) But I am getting better! There are two very different styles you can rock, with one being an easy outfit elevator. You have a nice straw hat with a wide brim to keep the sun off your face and shoulders and lighter tones won't absorb the heat as much as darker hair can. I also like to throw on my trucker hat because of the more open mesh backing (and it's adjustable for my little head) when I'm nipping out or need a hat that is going to be secure (i.e. top down on the Jeep, or in a boat).
5. After Sun Lotion
Ok so I really don't have to say much for this other than, yes I'm pale, yes I've had some nasty sunburns, and yes this makes it feel a whole lot better. I have used all three versions of this Hawaiian Tropic After Sun and they are all very soothing and nourishing to your parched skin. As I said, my current one has a shimmer effect which is quite nice. You don't need to be burnt to use this either, I would highly recommend slathering some on after a day in the sun regardless of the state of your skin. Hydrated skin is happy skin!
6. Lip Balm
This is my current go-to balm but you can literally use whatever balm you find the bomb ;). Just as important as hydrated post-sun skin, don't neglect your lips! No one wants crusty lips. I don't personally use any lip scrubs, but those would also be a good item to incorporate into your routine.
Can you tell I'm a little obsessed with skin right now?? It is without a doubt the most skin-revealing time of year, so why would you want any dry spots? Elbows...knees...ankles...feet...no one wants that. This product I believe has been updated since I purchased (or perhaps it just looks different in this US formats) but it makes note of not having a heavy lotion feel. If you want my video you'll hear me mention that this is not a fast absorbing formula and that you shouldn't be in a rush when using it because you do feel a 'layer' of sorts. Not in a negative way, as I fully believe this is what helps keep your skin feeling smooth for days. So keep that in mind when using this and it is best used on still damp skin. Basically, give yourself a very light pat down with your towel so you're not dripping, and then slather this on! Your legs especially will feel absolutely amazing, especially post shave!
8. Beach Mat
I have to say this was such a great compact invention. I know that it's an elevated towel for the beach, but it's just so cute and comfy that I want it anyways. I have had my Tommy Hilfiger mat for well over 5 years, given to me as a birthday gift from my dad and I use it a lot for backyard tanning as it takes the edge of a deck/patio stones. The mat is a bit more cushioned than a towel and the pillow helps cradle your neck so you are constantly turning from side to side. It also rolls up nicely and has a carrying strap so you can easily throw it over your shoulder when carrying items to the beach! The newer style I have is more propped up, which would be ideal for anyone who is an poolside/beachside reader or who generally wants to sit up with some back support!
9. Drink Floaty
Ok so this totally is not a need, but it's fun! It's totally gimmicky and would definitely work better in a pool than in a lake (trust me on that one). I will mention that these are not created equal, and mine does not hold anything heavy but I'm sure if you had a solo cup or light plastic glass it could work. They have also made one that is more of a floating cooler/multi drink island which would be great for guests. There are just so many cute designs!
Finally, the last item that I would highly recommend you look into is an e-reader. It doesn't have to be Kobo specific, and you could use your phone or iPad, but if you're like me, you'd prefer something in-between those sizes. I've had my KoboGlo for almost 7 years and let me tell you that I was definitely reluctant to use it. I read one or two books on it and never really reached for it, because like my dad I like 'real' in-you're-hand books. But, I have been converted over the last few months as I read 5/6 books in a series I was totally obsessed with. It's the perfect thing for before bed reading, you don't disturb your partner with a bedside lamp and it can be read in all lighting settings. You can also fits hundreds and thousands of books on it, which really saves you shelf space! It's super portable, you don't have to worry about torn or bent pages when you throw it in your bag, and the charge really holds if you're good at turning it off after reading! Another perk of e-books is they are most often cheaper than paperback and hardcover. My version is no longer sold but I have listed their current 3 models you can check out. Are you into e-books or are you more of a traditionalist?
I would love to know if any of these items rank for your summer necessities and what you think I'm missing! Don't forget you can watch the video below to see all of my items from this list & don't forget to subscribe while you're there!