American Rag Maddi sandal, beach wardrobe, Blue Sky swimsuit, Brushstrokes scarf, Coach sunglasses, Macy's, Nordstrom, recommendations, Report Signature Lyrra sandal, Revlon lip gloss, Sears, Sephora lip gloss, Target sunglasses, Travel + Leisure, Venus beach cover-up
As I was reading Travel + Leisure magazine last weekend, I came across a blurb about the “essentials” to take on a beach vacation. At first glance it seemed like they had collated a logical group of items: swimsuit, cover-up, sandals, lightweight scarf, sunglasses, and lip gloss. Then I looked a little closer (click photo to enlarge):
If you add up the cost of these items, it totals $1595. $1595! For a beach outfit! Obviously Travel + Leisure is geared toward the 1 percent, because no sane person who doesn’t have money to burn would ever spend this much on an outfit for the beach. I didn’t even spend that much on my wedding gown.
I got to poking around the interwebs to see if I could find similar items at more reasonable prices. Let’s see how I did.
I found a surprisingly similar swimsuit at Sears, of all places. (Side note, I’ve also purchased three elegant evening bags at Sears, each for around $15. It’s definitely an under-the-radar place to find good items.) The pieces are priced individually at $44 each, so it’s still a relatively expensive swimsuit, but cheaper than the $157 suit featured.
A cashmere-and-silk scarf is generally going to be on the pricey side, thanks to the materials involved. But I was able to find a comparable scarf on sale at Nordstrom for about half the price of the one featured. Its regular price is $98–not much different from the Lilly Pulitzer scarf–but it’s $66 on sale.
Shoes can be tricky–to get good quality leather and solid craftsmanship (like hand-stitching), you do have to pay more. But when it comes to beach sandals that I’m going to wear just for a summer or two, I’d rather save some money, even if they do fall apart in relatively short order. I found two pairs of sandals at Macy’s that look similar to the Canfora pair featured, here and here. They are constructed of man-made materials, rather than leather and lizard skin, so they’re more animal-friendly as well.
I love cosmetics, but I don’t love paying an obscene mark-up for designer cosmetics. I wouldn’t pay $26 for a NARS lip gloss (or any other lip gloss, for that matter), but $16 for a Sephora lip gloss is getting closer to acceptable. And $4.29 for a Revlon lip gloss is right in my wheel house.
This was the hardest item to comparison shop. I looked at hundreds of beach cover-ups, and this is the closest one I could find. It’s not quite the right shade of turquoise, and it’s longer than the sample, but it IS terrycloth, and it’s $236 cheaper than the Lisa Marie Fernandez cover-up featured, so I say, “Close enough.”
If you have the good fortune to be traveling to a warm beach locale sometime this winter, I hope this little shopping guide will help you save some money on your wardrobe!