–SLH West Coast Fashion Editor:
From straw to canvas to all things in between, the SLH team has been tackling the task of finding the trendiest beach bags. First, we needed to cover the basics – regardless of the material and even, yes, the cuteness factor (what?) a good beach bag needs to be functional. And in this case, size really does matter. After all you have to have enough real estate to stash your sunscreen, snacks, water, book (or Kindle), lip balm, phone, wallet…the list goes on. So here’s our breakdown to help you choose the best beach bag for you:
#1 Woven Totes – Like the classic LBD the woven beach bag never goes out of style. This workhorse comes in all levels of material (straw, rattan, seagrass, etc.). The secret to the success of this bag is the weave size. The looser the weave, the easier it is to shake out the sand. Too loose of a weave though can trap smaller items (like brushes, combs, keys) making them hard to pull out, so consider what you’ll be carrying and then decide. If your time spent in the sun is mostly at a proper beach, this one is your best bet.
#2 The Hybrids – These multi-tasking wonders really do deserve their own category. Need a bag-within-a-bag? Want to keep hands free while carrying your beach mat? How about a super lightweight bag with tons of outer pockets and a waterproof mini bag for your phone? Say ‘aloha’ then to the Aloha Sugar Beach Bag (available on Amazon). We even found a chic reversible seaside tote from Lily Pulitzer which goes from a punchy print to neutral textured taupe with just the slightest hint of metallic interest.
#3 Canvas Totes – Super light, easy to launder and durable as all heck, there is a reason this is the nautical fabric of choice. Canvas totes come in every conceivable color, print and stripe. Being cheeky gals, we love a good beach quote when we see one (Milly is a fav) and if you don’t find one to your liking – make your own, courtesy of Personalization Mall.
#4 Plastic Totes – Spending most of your time poolside? Plastic is your best defense from those occasional random splashes. Like fabric, you can pretty much find any color or design pattern that strikes your diva fancy, but unlike fabric, you don’t run the risk of any bleaching damage from chlorine. And if you think plastic is a four letter word, why not help the planet while getting your sun on? Grab an upcycled Plarn bag on Etsy.com (Plarn = Plastic Yarn made from recycled grocery bags).
#5 Insulated Totes – Sure, you could lug around a cooler full of ice plus your bag, but why when there are so many fantastic insulated bags that can do both? Plus it’s not just for food & drink. Many of these models have inner pockets which you can use to keep your high tech from overheating and your make up from melting.