Mon bel homme and I just spent a lovely weekend visiting his parents in Bethany Beach, it was a much-needed break from the chaos of moving. It’s amazing what a few margaritas, some great meals, and a day on a boat with friends will do for your stress levels. Now back in D.C., my sunburn is tingling nicely (and fading back to a sad white, definitely NOT tan) and we’re in the throes of moving to the new townhouse. Hopefully we’ll get back to Delaware soon, and Vogue has just the beach wardrobe to fit my post-moving budget!
(Vogue) According to the National Weather Service, 2012 is the hottest year on record so far. But you knew that. You also knew that inevitably, as mid-July rolled around, you’d be dying for something new and fresh to wear to the beach on weekends.
The problem is that your real money is committed elsewhere—in trust for those Givenchy boots that just arrived in your size; intended for that Céline overcoat you’ve been craving. Which is why we have undertaken to bring you this incredibly useful, up-to-the-minute survey of what can be bought and enjoyed right now from stores that pride themselves on the reasonableness of their price tags. Armed with an imaginary $100 (an amount that sadly won’t even buy you a handkerchief at most boutiques these days), we visited five of these emporiums to see what inexpensive hot-weather treats reside therein.
At our first stop, H&M, $24.95 buys a sequined miniskirt to turn a bikini top into a genuine outfit ready for midnight at the Surf Lodge; an African-print dress that exudes the merest whiff of Dries Van Noten is $17.95. For $21.90, Old Navy has denim short-shorts of dark blue material with orange stitching—these look stiff but are soft to the touch, and could be paired to good effect with a white denim jacket that has classic lines and costs $29.94. An orange-and-white polka-dot cardigan evokes Yayoi Kusama for a mere $19.94; if it’s raining in Sagaponack and you’re dying to get back to Manhattan, rubber boots emblazoned with miniature yellow taxi cabs are $29.94.
At Joe Fresh, there’s a crochet dress to pull over a swimsuit for $49; shiny dark-blue leather shorts, about as short as shorts can be, are $69. Stash both of these into a woven straw basket, which is not only lined but also thoughtfully provides an amenity that most basket bags lack—the indispensable zippered compartment. The Gap has a white camisole for $49.95 whose cloth-covered buttons seem lifted from a hipster version of Little House on the Prairie; cotton pants with a jaunty op art pattern are $49.95; an ankle-length madras dress, strapless and featuring a rope drawstring at waist and top, is $79.95.
A wall of puffer jackets greets you at Uniqlo, harbingers of chillier climes to come, but a stroll to the back of the store reveals a long T-shirt that could double as a dress in a nice stripe for a ridiculous $7.90. For $39.90, a printed flower frock is ready for lunch at the Candy Kitchen—it has a smock top and thoughtfully also a built-in bra, as these bodices can be notorious tricky. A lavender-and-white striped hoodie, for windy nights on the Great South Bay, is $29.95. And since you’ve saved so much on the above purchases, why not go a mere $9.50 over your $100 budget and splurge on a pale pink pearl-buttoned cashmere cardigan? Its soft hue and fine hand will warm you on the overly-air-conditioned Jitney, and then sail with you right into fall.