(1) £35.00, Topshop
(2) £35.00, asos
(3) £20.00, Havaianas
(4) $6.99, gogglesandglasses.com
(5) $6.99, OPI
(6) $22.00, maxandchloe.com
Picture this: you're on the beach. You can feel the warm sand in between your toes as you point and flex them to dig them deeper into the sand and get to the cool, damp layer untouched by sunlight in attempt to cool down a little. You need to be cooled after sleeping or perhaps reading in the midday sun for half an hour (with a high SPF on of course.) The sun makes you sleepy. It is burning down, making everything near almost unbearable to touch. You need to be cooled and of course the best way to do that is to step into the beautiful blue sea. It shimmers and gleams iridescently; invitingly. You dip a green painted toe nail into the sea foam as the tide comes in which sends a little shiver through your body but it is a fabulous sensation. The sea is cold but refreshingly so. Another step forwards and the waves crash into you; splashing to above your knees. You let out a small squeal as the cold water runs down your legs. You stand for a while; more monstrous waves battle towards you. But these monsters do not want to swallow you up and eat you although you know that they are perfectly capable of doing so. They are playful; jumping up at your knees like a puppy. But they tease you also. They tease you with the delights that you'll face if you dive in and fully immerse yourself in the pleasures that it has to offer. The only sounds from the sea are the crashing against rocks that surround the small cove accompanied by its steady breathing as the tide comes in and out. But really it shouts "come in, come in!" and other such biased advertising. After much consideration and pondering occurs you dive in and fight back; crashing into the waves as they crash into you. The water is cold at first but it soon gets warmer as you bob along; riding the waves with your body. You turn onto your back and just float as the waves keep rolling beneath you. Your green cat eye sunglasses allow you to look directly up at the cloudless blue sky. The sea and the sky; so similar in colour yet worlds apart. How small does that make you? You imagine that you are something else small in a very big place. Perhaps you could be one small chocolate in a big box with a blue lid. You wake from the daydream when a tremendous wave rolls underneath you. You float over it then stand up in the salty water. You stand and look back at the small busy beach; back to the fluttering umbrellas and the stationary sunbeds; back to where the palm trees sway like people. The sea air blows through your now wet hair. You'll need to wash that later, although salty water is good for curly hair. Looking to the shore you see your travel partner (friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/mum/dad/brother/sister/husband/wife/colleague/daughter/son/grandma/granddad) wave to you and you start to swim with the waves back to the sand.
Now the scene is set for our first destination; a tropical beach.
Whether you're on humidity or dry heat (there were fire warnings on the weather forecast in Portugal!) you are going to be in severe heat so you are probably going to want to wear as little as possible but stay classy. Ask yourself, "does the whole beach really want to see my bum?" Do matter how many pre holiday pilates classes you spent toning it. Perhaps more to the point, ask yourself, "do I want that pervy old man sitting just over there looking at my bum?" If the answer is yes then wear a thong bikini and go topless by all means but a bright, geometric print swimsuit is more classy and on trend with the sporty trend. A clear, sporty looking beach bag can store summer reads, ice cream and cocktail money, sun cream and any other essentials you like to carry with you to the beach. Flip flops are the ideal choice for footwear because you can slip sandy feet in and out without too much discomfort. You can also put them on to protect your feet when the smooth sand becomes like hot coals. Burnt soles will not lead to smooth feet. You might also need some basic hair bands to tie your hair back into a more manageable bun. Perhaps you already have enough of these but I had to stock up on them recently because no matter how many you buy, the damn things always seem to go missing! It is useful to tie your hair back if there is a strong coastal breeze or if your hair gets wet. There will be bright sun until late evening so sunglasses are essential. How strong/dark they are is up to you. Some might argue that sunglasses are 'bad' because they don't really darken my surroundings but I hate the dark. I mean, why go somewhere light with bright colours when you are just going to make it dark? I'm a glass half full kinda girl deep down although on the surface I'm always the sarcastically pessimistic one and light is usually associated with happy things and dark with bad unless you start analysing certain poems or Shakespeare plays. Plus, sunglasses annoy me when they're dark because I can never forget that I'm wearing them so I'm constantly thinking about them. I love them really though. Sunglasses are so useful. Exaggerated cat eyes are the style of the season. As far as nail polish goes, tap into the sporty trend with a bright neon that is playful during the day and a stylish statement in the evening.
Remember: wear sun tan lotion with at least factor 15 because anything less gives you so little protection that there's virtually no point in wearing it. It got up to 45 degrees Celsius at the middle of the day in Portugal and I wore no less than factor 20 and I wore factor 30 for the first week for my skin the adjust to the heat. Even if you're in the shade you can get burnt so it's best not to risk it. Trust me: I speak from recent experience.
Be right on the sporty trend this summer with bright neons. Fellow sunbathers on the beach won't be wearing sunglasses just to protect their eyes from the sun but to protect their eyes from your neon-ness! Overall, the seaside outfit has a very modern vibe that exudes sportif chic. The stunning Topshop swimsuit looks heavenly with classic Havaiana flip flops and the cuff adds a touch of glamour. The bag is functional for the beach as it can fit some books, sun block, money and any other such essentials inside. Fun sunglasses like these neon cat eyes follow the same trail as pineapple shades and star shaped glasses; and what a trendy trail that is. Going abroad to a tropical destination? Perhaps a hot European country or South America? This is the sort of look you should be packing.
MAJOR CONGRATS if you managed to get all the way down here. I got a little carried away with how much I wrote in Portugal and I wrote it so I might as well publish it! 10000000000 points to you if you read the whole thing. Oh, and I love you for taking the time to actually read what I've written.