My Summertime Essentials

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My Summertime Essentials

As I prepare for my summer vacation, I can't help but think about essentials that keep me feeling and looking great. From must-pack items to everyday favorites, I've got you covered, even on the hottest, most humid days. Check out my updated list of summertime essentials for beating the heat (also watch out for those pesky bug bites). Let's make this season stylish and bite-free!

This post was originally published in 2022; while most of the items are still the same some are out of stock or no longer available so I have updated it accordingly.

My Summertime Essentials

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My Summertime Essentials

Cooling Slip Shorts for Chafe Prevention:

This is my third summer rocking these cooling slip shorts from Thigh Society, a woman-owned Canadian company that ships to the US. Available in four lengths, 11 colors, and sizes XS-6XL, these shorts feel like nothing on, don't roll up or down, launder beautifully, and keep my thighs from rubbing together while offering modesty on a windy day. Use WO215 to save 15% on your purchase!

Purse-sized Chafe Protection:

For outfits when a pair of Thigh Society cooling shorts aren't appropriate, I am glad for my little purse-sized stick of Megababe Thigh Rescue. Great with shorts and swimsuits, Thigh Rescue goes on clear and reduces friction. Megababe was started by Katie Sturino, an influencer that focuses on body confidence and size inclusivity.

Volumizing Mascara That Stays Put:

I am a fan of tubing mascara and the best one I've tried lately is this one from Caliray, a sustainable clean beauty brand based in California. It stays put, isn't goopy, and easily washes off with warm water at the end of the day. Sweat, tears, and allergic eyes are no match, and your lashes will look so lush too. A perk – this link also has a trial size so you can test before you invest!

A Cotton Bandana:

Mop your brow, tie cowboy style to protect your chest or upper back in the sun, wet it and tie it around the neck to cool off, tie kerchief style to protect the scalp, and it also is a cute accessory on a ponytail or at the throat. I always carry a bandana, especially during the summer. All Very Goods is a Black woman-owned company based in Washington DC that has several other gorgeous bandanas to choose from.

A Summery Belt Bag:

I love a belt bag for its versatility. You can clasp it around your waist and wear it in the front (I love this for a flight to store my lip balm, eye drops, etc.), wear it in the back (great for hiking and canoeing), or as a crossbody (my regular go-to).

This summer I got the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L and I get the hype. At first, I didn't love it, but it's so lightweight and it's not huge but can hold my cardholder wallet, sunglasses, reading glasses, keys, lip products, eye drops, and a pack of gum comfortably with a nice back pocket big enough for my iPhone Max. Check resale sites like Poshmark where you can find like new versions of this bag for less.

Carry Your Hat Hands-Free:

I bought my first Toptote in 2021 and wish I had done it sooner. This high-quality bag tag looks stylish and cool but hides two high-powered magnets. Pull them apart and let them clamp your hat when indoors or traveling. I love that it looks decorative when not in use, is easy to move from bag to bag, and holds your hat securely without damaging it. It's not just a must on trips; I carry it almost daily since sun protection is always smart! Toptote has several different styles to work with almost any personal style aesthetic.

Handheld Mini Fan:

I bought one of these at the beginning of the summer and I am so glad I did! This is super small but super powerful. Tuck it in your bag and keep yourself cool in stadiums and lines. It can also prop up on your desk or airplane tray table to stay cool hands-free, and it's great to whip out when dining outdoors to help keep flies and mosquitoes away.

A Pop of Color Pout:

Personally, I think the best summer makeup look is fresh skin, some mascara, and bright lipstick. I love red most of the year, but come summer I really dig bright pink, coral, or orange. Glossier's Ultralip is like a lip balm and a lipstick had a love child; it's hydrating but lasts well and looks juicy. You can also build up color from a wash to a powerful pout. My personal favorite is Coupe, a very wearable reddish-orange that instantly makes my skin look sunkissed.

My Favorite Fedora:

Last year I shared a fedora I owned for years and loved. Well, the fedora finally bit the dust after accidentally getting crushed. I replaced it with this packable fedora from Wallaroo which is almost the same shape/style but UPF50 and can be rolled and tucked into a bag.

Go Anywhere Shorts:

I've raved about these Universal Standard shorts before. I know they're not for everyone, but they are for me. With a wide elastic band, quick-dry non-clinging fabric, deep pockets, and angled hem to reduce thigh friction, these shorts are my go-to over a swimsuit, for a walk on the beach, or curling up on the screened-in porch enjoying a book and iced coffee. I now own these in red, black, green, neon yellow, and a blue and white Shibori print. If in doubt, size. up.

Safe and Effective Sunscreen:

I love this sunscreen from Black Girl Sunscreen. Free of phthalates, parabens, oxybenzone, and octinoxate, this SPF 30 sunscreen from a Black-owned company works on the face and body without leaving a white cast. It also plays nice with makeup. It is fragrance-free,

Keep Your Makeup in Place without Breakouts:

I reduce the amount of makeup I wear in the summer, but sometimes I want a “done” face and to have it last through heat, sweat, and tears. I have been using this budget-friendly setting spray for years and love how it is effective without causing breakouts. My daughter now is a fan and has her own bottle!

High-Performance Aviators:

I was a Ray-Ban aviator person for over a decade, loving the classic style. But then my husband got a pair from ROKA and I became a convert. Same classic style, but half the weight, far more durable, high contrast and polarization, and they stay on my face even if I am sweaty, even if I bend over and I don't feel them on my nose. If aviators aren't your style, you should still check out ROKA, the sunglasses are amazing and durable. They even have prescription options!

A Practical Two-Piece Swimsuit:

Last year, I shared the Lands' End Tugless Tank suit as my must-pack swimwear for summer vacations. This year, it's the Twist Bikini Top and Bikini Bottom from Universal Standard that I packed for my getaways. I have a large bust and soft curves; I usually have to buy cup-sized swimwear for the support I desire and need a lot of straps and contraptions for security when wearing a swimsuit for activities. This suit works for volleyball, swimming laps, bodysurfing, and kayaking, and is supportive and comfortable enough to wear under clothes.

Summertime beauty fashion items

Original Posted: 06/22/2022
Updated: 07/30/2023

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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      1. Genuinely curious as to why Lululemon is a great company. Is it fundamentally different from what it was when Chip Wilson was in charge?

        1. I didn’t say Lululemon is a great company, but I also believe it’s shortsighted to write off a company even after they have changed their leadership and practices. They now partner with fitness experts and influencers like Morit Summers and Mirna Valerio and after 2020 they are one company that made good on that black box on Instagram and created a Diversity and Inclusion policy and published it on their website So yeah… it is fundamentally different from what it was when Chip Wilson was in charge.

  1. Hi, I wonder if you could compare Thigh Society with Skimmies? I think you did that once a few years ago, and I’m wondering what your thoughts are today. I love my Skimmies but am open to new ideas. Thank you!

    1. Great question. With Thigh Society, they have a few fabrications, their classic is closest to Skimmies for weight and fit. I personally adore their Cooling slipshorts which are thinner, more comfortable, less likely to show, but still just as effective. I find them more durable than Skimmies too. With Skimmies if I put them in the dryer they would sort of get weird and the seams at the crotch etc would eventually fail. I throw Thigh Society in the dryer. I have Cooling shorts that are 3 years old and still look like new. And on top of that, Thigh Society is more size inclusive than Skimmies!

      1. You convinced me! I went to place an order and found ZERO options in my size (L/XL). Not a single pair in any color. WTH?!

        1. Hang tight they’ll be back in stock. One of the perils of shopping a small business is they can’t maintain as much stock at a time but they do replenish often!

    2. I always enjoy your “favorites/essentials” posts & always find something useful. Thank you for sharing that pocket fan—love the way it folds up so tiny & will be ordering it soon. I bought the LL belt bag back in early June for trips I had planned over the summer. The WO group on FB gave me some encouragement to get it after I’d read an article from an older New Yorker who frowned upon them. Let me assure you, people all over NYC (& Philadelphia & New Orleans) are using them. I love mine for the reasons you shared—super lightweight but holds just enough, including my readers that I must always have with me now. Mine even got used as a kind of arm sling, as I was dealing with shoulder issues & could often rest my arm on the bag & ease my pain a little bit. Who knew!?

      In past posts, you have shared the Jergans shower lotion, and I decided to try it last year. Loved it & was impressed with how easy it is to apply after showering—and how well it works! Later in Target, I found the Nivea version & started using that one. I love the light smell of it so much & using this type of lotion speeds up my morning routine. Thank you!

  2. I can’t do fragrance, so the Jergen’s isn’t for me. & i can’t do most moisturizers, even if in winter: too hot & sticky. But Curel’s hydra therapy wet moisturizer, which is fragrance free, works for me.

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