When the boom of the beach bag first started (aka the ones you bought from Bali that looked cute in photos but quickly disintegrated in a few days), we were ecstatic because, erm, finally? The fashion Gods had finally blessed us with a fully functional bag (that can range from designer to cute) and most importantly, doesn’t cost more than your rent.
But as usual, the humble beach bag started getting the “fashion treatment” which is to say they shrank in size to only fit a lipstick or card, or they became stranger looking (no one really carries those animal-shaped ones out…right?).
These 10 are a palate cleanser aka you’re going to be very happy carrying them to the beach – they pack a style punch and also, everything you need for the day itself.
Text: Bryan Goh
It’s made of near-indestructible towel material, it’s a happy summer shade of green AND embroidered tropical motifs, and it says Sun & Sand – we don’t really need to sell you the merits of how happy this tote will make you. Just make sure you don’t disappoint yourself by letting it go out of stock.
Half hobo and half tote, this French linen bag (as you know, add a French in front of anything and we’re sold) will be your BBB – bottomless beach bag. Sunblock, makeup bag, reusable water bottle, novel, clothes, towel, you name it, the bag will fit it.
The brand’s bags are handmade in Morocco and if you’re the kind who doesn’t want to fall into the who-wore-it-better trap, it means each bag has a uniquely different weave. For the more practical of us though, the handle is made of calf leather that wears better the more you carry it and the palm leaves are woven so tightly that you can even use it as an everyday bag.
The bag is called the Barbados tote which is exactly where we’d like to be carrying it. But if you’re not storing your bikini inside and heading to the bar for drinks, this sustainably made tote (they’re all dyed in Spain with eco-friendly ink) is the perfect lunch bag or weekend bag when you’re packing light. Bonus: you can machine wash it using cold water.
The two main concerns you’re probably going to have at the beach are 1) You won’t tan evenly or worse, sunburnt or 2) You can’t find your items because they’re thrown haphazardly into your tote. Cue the transparent tote – they look like they belong in the noughties (remember the M)phosis ones we toted?) but you’re going to love its practicality as much as we do.
You’re going to want to carry this bag whilst wearing linen dresses, embroidered slogan sun hats and summery sandals. You might also want to use it as home decoration to store your potted plants once you’ve decided to retire it. What you might also like about it though: The inner cotton fabric pouch that keeps your belongings safe and private.
It goes without saying that any brand with the word Sea in its name will have some of the best beach bags on the block, but instead of the usual rectangle totes, this circular one is a surprising pleaser instead. It makes fishing out your items even easier and its Mediterranean pattern is a nice change from the usual utilitarian looking ones.
It’s a little small (ok, very small) but if you have responsible friends and if the beach club you’re at issues free towels, feel free to tote this twee basket bag out then. It makes the perfect #flatlay prop next to your pina colada, sunglasses and tanned legs, and did we mention it exudes serious Provence-summer vibes?
Macrame crossbody bag, $45.90, Stradivarius
If you’re wondering what is #beachstyle appropriate, there’s a Pinterest section dedicated to chronicling Vanessa Hudgen’s Coachella style. And while we don’t recommend some of the culturally appropriating pieces she wears, we like the macramé crossbody bag she’s constantly toting. In a sea of linen tote bag or basket bag carrying babes, be that babe with this cool weaved tote instead.
Carrying a home storage basket seems a bit strange but think about it, the price is going to make a minute dent in your bank account and you’d be seriously hard-pressed to find someone carrying it out. And once it gets roughened up, it makes the perfect laundry basket or to stash away cosmetics or potted plants.