WHAT’S IN YOUR BEACH BAG?

While summer may have only just begun, we've been dreaming about heading to the beach for...well, forever. From sporty swimwear and citrus-colored towels, to hydrating mists and loose button-ups for sunset, the SSENSE editors have packed their bags to make the trip even brighter. Sun's out, ocean's calling—get ready to dive in with these seasonal essentials!

I plan for August the way some people plan to move apartments or (I assume) run marathons: with a mix of logistical chaos and existential dread. The worst month of a complicated season, I experience those thirty-one days as a test of my endurance and character. To live them with poise—with my sleep cycle uninterrupted by the immense air of my bedroom, with the armpits of my white t-shirts unyellowed, with my friends’ merciful patience for my endless demands to be in the shade—is something I prepare for all year.

I am exaggerating, but only slightly. This year, I have tricked myself into looking forward to summer by planning an event I can’t be sure will happen—the belief that after a year of being distant and cold, I might be able to get to a beach with two friends I love most. We talk about this the way some people talk about new haircuts or (I assume) real vacations: as though by the time it’s over we’ll be not just different but better. I can see myself so clearly, wearing the Bondi Born Blue Rose I chose because I like that the shade of blue is neither sea nor sky but something more like a flower growing out of the ground, standing on the Birkenstock White Platform Sandals which might give me the feeling of having grown up.

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