By Maureen Mancini Amaturo
Once, long ago, there was a fashion trend that was totally functional. But it was a long time ago and only that once…until now. The recent multi-purpose trend in fashion continues and is such a relief — you can hear grateful sighs from Seventh Avenue to the seashore. Everywhere, women and their wallets are welcoming versatile, double-duty style. And this summer, fashion fans have hit the jackpot.
Following the summer beachwear-as-street-wear trend, beach bags aren’t just for beaches anymore. They’re working overtime. They can be dressed up or dressed down. They’re serving up style that works from sand dunes to dinner. They look great with espadrilles, rompers, and maxi dresses. (Oh, and bathing suits.)
Beach bag style spans the spectrum from classic straw to piñata-like. While the classic straw bag is a staple, there are trendier, more fashion-forward versions putting the <fun> in functional. This summer’s beach bags feature all the of-the-moment trends, like embroidery, tassels, pompoms, crochet, kitsch, figural shapes, words and phrases, and bright colors plus durability, roomy size, and the power to stand up to sun, surf, and sand.
Here are the top beach bag trends that happen to be faves to wear to work, the gym, shopping around town, too.
• Hand-Crocheted and Raffia Straw: Nothing says summer like these classics.
• Embroidery: It’s everywhere. One of the street trends that’s storming the beach.
• Tassels and pompoms: Another street fashion trend showing up at the shore.
• Multicolor, bold shades, and bright prints: Whether in adornments and details or as a beach bag background.
• Stripes: Eternally beachy. Chic, modern, and the perfect example of fashion duality.
• All-over prints: Especially ethnic and folklore prints.
• Oversized: Fold over for an alternate look or to use as a shopping tote, or don’t fold for a family-size beach bag.
<Beach Tote Notes>
Classic beach-to-street tote at Lola’s
• Carry your makeup everywhere? Find a beach bag that has an insulated lining to keep your makeup from melting (and keep drinks cool, too).
• Beach bags are big, and they should be. But their roomy interior can make it hard to protect or find small essentials. Grab a smaller, zippered pouch to store your cell, keys, money, etc., or choose a beach bag with an inner zippered pocket.
• Vinyl beach totes are perfect for the pool where you are close to lots of splashing. Straw or canvas beach bags are just fine for a sandy beach.
• With styles so chic and versatile, a trendy beach bag will be the only bag you need for a beach — almost any — vacation.
•Not that you have to, but you could match your sandals to your beach bag. Accessorize your swimwear and cover-ups the way you would any other outfit.
• Need to keep your hands free, like you do when you take your kids to the beach? Try a beach backpack. They have lots of zippered compartments, are comfortable, durable, easy to store and clean, and are made with waterproof or water-resistant fabrics to protect from waves and weather.
• If you need a new summer bag, shop beach bags – even if you’re not a beach person. Dive head first into the statement-making, colorful, quirky, accommodating accessory that could be just the thing that makes your outfit.
Shopper/beach bag and trendy pompoms at Clutch
Big, bright, and colorful at Parkers
Fashion and fun in stripes with metallic trim at Great Stuff
Fun and fruity at Clutch
Oversized beach totes at Sarza
Tassels and pompoms at Shoes ‘n’ More
Touch of kitsch at Clutch