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Beachy-Keen Accessories for Summer Living

Department stores are filled to the brim with this season’s hottest string bikinis, maillots, cutouts, and tankinis. Yes, it’s swimsuit season. But a great bathing suit is really just a jumping-off point for a great beach ensemble. Any fashionable gal worth her saltwater still needs the proper accessories to complete the outfit, and there are hundreds of stylish options for head-to-toe dressing. The best thing about these must-haves is that shopping for them won’t make you consider a crash diet. Related Stories: A Tressful of Treasures: Hot Hair Accessories Beauty and the Beach: Ten Vacation Essentials Sun Worship, Without Getting Burned: Six Tanning Myths
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  • A Great Cover-up

    Sure, you could throw on a tank top and some shorts, but why not go for a breezy cover-up that will double as an adorable dress for après-beach cocktails? This tie-front dress is flattering and machine washable and will match any swimsuit. (_Speedo Tie Front Dress, $34, Zappos.com)

  • Killer Shades

    Check out the scene from behind an oversize pair of trendy sunglasses. The scratch-resistant lenses make this modern reinvention of a classic shape a worthwhile splurge. (_Marc by Marc Jacobs Star Wayfarer Sunglasses, $120, Bloomingdales)

  • A Floppy Sun Hat

    This hat by Coolibar features SPF 50 protection and comes in an array of colors, and the large brim can be molded into whatever shape you desire. But what makes it a must-have is that it’s crushable and can actually go in your bag or suitcase. No straw hat can say the same. (_Coolibar Shapeable Poolside Sun Hat, $44, Coolibar.com)

  • A Bag for Beach and Beyond

    A perfect beach bag is roomy, casual but polished, and strong enough to stand up to sand. This raffia tote bag is stylish enough to carry on dry land, too. (_Flora Bella Big Sur Raffia Tote, $168, Garnet Hill)

  • Low-Maintenance Footwear

    Sure, metallic gladiator sandals seem like a good idea—until you realize that fussing with buckles and straps is the last thing you want to do while walking on hot sand. Simple rubber flip-flops can be put on and kicked off with ease and won’t get ruined by sandy or damp feet. (_Havaianas Slim Peacock Flip-Flops, $24, Piperlime)

  • Stylish Butt Coverage

    To downplay your derriere without putting on your cover-up, a sarong is the perfect option. Easy to tie and always the right size. (_Floral Print Tassel Sarong, $16.94, Old Navy)

  • A Sensational Scarf

    Between dips in the water, don’t resort to a plain elastic band to restrain your hair. A glam headscarf with an oversize bow is a fashionable and practical choice. (_Tangerine Bow Headband, $15, Topshop)

  • Oceanic Accessories

    The beach is a perfect place for whimsical, trendy accessories. These flashy earrings will catch and reflect the sun, but their low price means that you won’t be too upset if one ends up as a buried treasure. (_Rhinestone Anchor Earrings, $3.80, Forever 21)

  • An Extra-Large Beach Towel

    Why rely on small, scratchy hotel towels? This colorful (and reversible) towel is over six feet long so you’ll be able to sun in peace. And it’s made from soft, absorbent cotton. (_Beach Living Beach Towel, $29.50, Lands End)

  • Your Own Chair

    While others are roasting on hot sand, you’ll have your own cheery beach chair to relax in. Made of lightweight material for easy carrying, this chair won’t leave vinyl strap marks on your bottom, either. (_Beach Party Beach Chair, $42, Roxy.com)

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