I had a friend recently reach out to rave about her MZ Wallace tote as an everyday mom essential during the winter months — but now, what to wear during the summer, while frequenting the pool and beach? She noted that the bottom of her LL Bean tote is constantly soggy with damp bathing suits, pool toys, etc, and that she’s looking for something a bit more water-resistant. Below, my top picks:
+My first thought was one of these sporty State of Escape neoprene bags. I’ve had my eye on these for a long while. They are incredibly lightweight, have an “aqua and sand seal” that prevent too much moisture/debris from getting in, and are delightfully roomy. I like this white one. (N.B.: There are a number of dupe styles on Amazon that get decent reviews, like this and this. Could be worth considering if you’re not sold on the price of the State of Escape O.G.)
+I love my Pam Munson plaid tote and intend to use it as my beach/pool bag, as its fabric is coated in a water-resistant/wipable material. The handles make it mildly impractical if you’re running errands and holding children/hands, but if your primary purpose is to schlep stuff to the pool and park it on a chair, this would be magical. So chic! This Solid & Striped one is similar (coated vinyl fabric) but includes a shoulder strap — could be another good pick! This boxy trapeze shape is VERY on trend right now, so it’s perfect for this summer. (Same goes for this Staud, the ultimate in water -resistance given its PVC fabrication!) Still, I get that there’s always a balance between fashion-forwardness and function…
+Another thought: an affordably-priced ScoutBags tote. These are wipable, stand up on their own, and — thanks to a reasonable pricepoint — aren’t overly precious if they do wind up dirtied by the summer’s end. I have a couple of their bags in different shapes and styles and I like them for toting crap around.
+BestMadeCo is one of my secret sources for gifts for men, but they have a really nice, roomy *coated* canvas boat tote that might be worth considering. I like the minimalist styling and zip top — though note the handles; you’ll run into the same issue as you would with the Pam Munson plaid tote if you need to be hands-free while wearing it. I wonder if you could get my girl Inslee to handpaint one of these for you with your initials…
+Bargain buy: the Hinza tote. I’ve raved about these many times in the past (it actually made my list of my favorite purchases in 2018!) but they are the ultimate utility bag. I use them to stow bath gear for mini in our master bathroom, tote groceries in it (LOVE hooking this onto one of my Think King stroller hooks and shopping right into it, which I’m sure Whole Foods hates, but how are you supposed to wield a shopping cart and a stroller simultaneously in a narrow Manhattan supermarket?!), pack picnics, etc. I love that it’s structured/stands up on its own, lightweight, and very easy to clean (you can literally rinse it off in the sink). This would be a really solid pick for pool gear. (Note: other Magpie moms have written in with similar rave reviews of the Bogg Bag. Personally, I prefer the styling — and price! –of the Hinza, but this would achieve a similar effect!)
+Naghedi totes — I’ve eyed these Bottega-Veneta-esque woven bags for a long while. They are SO chic, and the woven material is damp-friendly. How fun is this sunny yellow one? Barney’s has one funky-printed one marked way down to under $70 right now!
+Parker Thatch Big Easy tote. OK, so this one is probably no better than your soggy LL Bean tote, but I am in love with the enormousness of this Mary Poppins bag, and the monogram is major! You could solve for sogginess by carrying a couple of wet/dry bags — I love these ones from PBKids (on sale!), which I’ve had monogrammed with both childrens’ names.
+Splurge pick: this Simon Miller, which is actually made of a rubberized material! Super elegant and high-end but also practical. The bottom is lined in leather, though, so you’d definitely need those wet/dry bags.
While on the topic of beachwear, a few things to note:
+This voluminous Zara score looks like something from Marysia or Lisa Marie Fernandez. ORDERED.
+CHIC BEACH HAT. (Under $50.)
+In love with this floral Emilia Wickstead one-piece.
+Thinking I need this for my trip to the Hamptons. Love this shape! Will also probably snag this easy linen shirtdress tunic ($35!!!) to throw on over my go-to Marysia one-piece. (Speaking of Marysia: get their signature scalloped look for a lot less with this.)
+I have an Innika Choo similar to this one and it’s the perfect pool-to-drinks dress.
+There are still a few sizes left of this darling and affordable mommy-and-me swim duo!
P.P.S. That caftan life.
P.P.P.S. What I’m lusting after for summer.