Bathing suit shopping in Maine gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “cruel summer.” Is there anything worse than trying on a bikini without a tan?
Oh, wait, yes: trying on a bikini with a farmer’s tan.
But this isn’t a column about shopping for bathing suits. I don’t write about depressing things. Although, if you’re in the mood, you can get swimsuit separates at Marden’s for a song right now, which takes away some of the sting. But I’d rather focus on what’s in your beach bag. Or rather, what should be in your beach bag.
Heck, let’s just start with the beach bag itself. For flash without the cash, I like the options at Target, whether you choose the bold graphic totes in the dollar spot (they’re actually $2.50) or the printed fabric satchels in the handbag aisles. It appears the Cynthia Rowley for Target clear totes are out of stock in Bangor, but you can find them for $14.99 in Augusta.
Feeling a little more flush? Check out the Vera Bradley totes at Patrick’s Hallmark in Bangor or splurge on an Angela Adams beach bag made of fade-resistant (virtually indestructible, really) Sunbrella fabric ($109 and up, www.angelaadams.com). If you want Angela style without dropping a C-note, the big, soft Sally beach towel will only set you back $19.99 – the best deal in beach gear, in my opinion.
To prepare for the beach (or, perhaps more appropriately, the fitting room), it never hurts to prepare (anyone who saw the “Sex and the City” movie can attest to the power of waxing). Even easier, and far less painful, is a nice exfoliation. I am currently addicted to the Spa Radiant sea salt scrub from SoftSoap. It smells like a dream and makes your skin glow.
If you have try-on hang-ups bigger than a loofah can handle, you could try the Skinny Mini Get Fit Weight Loss Kit. Developed by a Maine-based herbalist, the kit includes three tinctures that are supposed to slim you down, detox your body and clear your skin – who couldn’t use a little of that? For more information, visit www.freshherbsandteas.com.
Herbs not your thing? No biggie. Why not try a pair of Fit-Flops? They claim to tone your legs, which is grand, but the best part is, they’re far easier on your body than standard flippies. Plus, the new Aurelias look like something Carrie Bradshaw would wear. And I like that. Visit www.fitflop.com for information.
My beach bag (Target special!) is filled to the brim with Clinique City Block facial sunscreen, my enormous Juicy Couture shades (check Marshalls and T.J.’s for the BEST deals on designer sunglasses), my Angela beach towel and my New Yorker. Oh, and I just bought a pair of fabulous, rich-looking white thong sandals with gold chain accents at Target for a whopping $14.99.
They’ll go with everything. Including my farmer’s tan.