Like most kids, we adored summer vacation, but not simply because it meant a three-month hiatus from classes, teachers, and brown bag lunches. We treasured the time because it allowed us to spend ages in our closets, experimenting with a wide array of outfits and figuring out our fashion sensibilities. The results from those youthful trial runs were uneven at best. One morning we'd throw on a vintage embroidered Oaxacan tunic and simple leather sandals, but by mid-afternoon we'd change into bustier tops and bangles to channel Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. It was chaotic, sure, but stepping outside our sartorial comfort zone was also an amazing amount of fun. With this fond memory in mind, we decided to dedicate today's story to those creative and daring days when we literally played dress-up from morning 'til night. That means that instead of giving you the usual low-fuss, easy fashion one normally associates with swimwear and sun, we're tackling a look that's total fantasy fun: Glam Beach.
Inspired by a handful of outfits from Pucci's spring runway (think: metallic swimsuits, little leather jackets, and ferociously tough footwear), we sought out the best in the flashy-fabulous market. The overall vibe is unabashedly over-the-top glossy and has a bit of an eighties edge-perfect for a prestigious poolside scene or Brazilian-beach soiree. Hopefully you'll find something that inspires you to skip your standard flip-flops-and-frayed-caftan look and try a whole new style instead!
bebe Cropped Soft Leather Vest ($139)
When planning for the beach, you probably think leather outerwear's not appropriate, but this cropped vest might make you rethink that assumption! Its sleek design won't compete with a standout or detailed swimsuit, while the vest's abbreviated length reminds us of the runway looks from Pucci's S/S 09 collection. Wear it now while enjoying your favorite rooftop pool scene (ridiculous, but possible), then extend its shelf life by layering it over gauzy t-shirts or your new fall outfits.
Vita Lagina Bracelet ($135)
Even if you don't want to invest in a new swimsuit this season, you can easily take your bikini or maillot to stylish new heights by picking up a few fabulous accessories. One easy way to bring the fancy to a poolside ensemble is with this studded bracelet from Vita. The deep purple leather is a rich accent for the Balenciaga-style hardware, which means it's sure to resonate with your fellow chaise-loungers.
DV by Dolce Vita Carter Open-Toe Bootie
Swimwear-plus-heels can look very Vegas showgirl, but when the shoe in question is a bondage-lite metallic bootie (rather than a Lucite-heeled mule), we can fully support the pairing. Accordingly, we endorse this dark silver strappy shoe from Dolce Vita's secondary line for your glam-beach outfit.
Rachel Pally Barbados Maillot ($185)
We've been fans of Rachel Pally's yummy jersey maxi skirts and draped dresses for ages, as they're incredibly easy to wear and compliment almost every figure. Naturally we were thrilled when Pally extended her flattering-design skills to the swimwear realm and launched a full range of bathing suits this season. Though there are loads of adorable bikinis in the line, the sweetly sexy Barbados Maillot really captured our attention. The pin-up girl cut manages to be modern and retro, while the beautiful plum color will look fantastic with any skin tone.
Olay Body Wash plus Tone Enriching Ribbons ($6)
Of course, no summer outfit-especially the ones headed to the beach-is complete without flawless skin. If you're not buffed and primed, no worries, because Olay's new Body Wash plus Tone Enriching Ribbons can help. It leaves your skin soft, supple, and with hint of mineral shimmer that will help camouflage any imperfections. Lustrous limbs and all-over more even skin tone: now that's a combo we can appreciate!
Aldo Rosenberger Sandals ($75)
Heels are not a glam-beach requirement; certainly there are many fashionable flat sandals that will do the trick too. For example, Aldo currently stocks a super chic gladiator sandal that suits today's Beach Glam vibe perfectly. Featuring a collection of braided, studded, and adorned snakeskin straps, the Rosenberger Sandal is a unique take on this popular style. We like it in turquoise, which is shown above, but if you'd prefer a warmer version, it's also available in yellow.
Heritage 1981 Sunglasses ($7, 888.494.3837)
A sharp pair of shades is crucial to any summer ensemble, particularly one that's geared towards soaking up the sun! While we are definitely guilty of splurging on sunglasses in the past, right now we're forgoing the pricey pairs and enjoying an inexpensive treat instead with these white frames from Heritage 1981. They're a little futuristic and totally fashionable-all for under $10!
American Apparel Watery Faux Leather Oversized Tote ($65)
We've always toted loads of gear à la plage and the pool: as kids we hauled Zinka Colored Nosecoat ($6) and paddleball sets, now we tote Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 ($42) and paperback books. Just as our accoutrement has become more sophisticated over the years, our beach bags have too. When going glam, something oversized and metallic is always a good choice, hence our selection of this big carryall from American Apparel. Shown above in Smoke, the water-resistant faux leather will let you schlep all your stuff in style.
Delia's Abby Low-Rise Cheetah Short ($30)
Though the majority of our selections for today's story are solids, we had to throw one wild pattern into the bunch! Cheetah can look cheap, but these shorts from Delia's have simple lines and relatively basic print (notice there's no shimmer involved?), which keeps things tasteful.
L*Space Viva Las Vegas Stardust Fringed One-Piece ($148)
We'll cap today's story with our glitziest piece yet-a gorgeous gold lamé one-piece. The plunging neckline is amplified by a heavy adornment of fringe, while the cutout sides ensure that everyone will be looking at this high-drama style. If the fringe freaks you out, but you love the light gold color and overall spirit, try American Apparel's The Shiny Malibu One-Piece ($44) for a slightly more understated look.
Today's Editors' Picks was brought to you by Olay Body Wash plus Tone Enriching Ribbons.