Beach, Pool, or Vacay: Here are Your Must-Have Summer Items

It's almost summertime, so it's time to start getting ready for beach and pool days. Here are some of our top must-have summer items to get ready!
Woman at the beach, must-have summer items

As summer approaches, the excitement of warm weather, sunny days, and beach trips starts to build. To fully embrace the season, it’s essential to have the right items that blend style, comfort, and protection. This year’s must-have summer items include a perfect mix of fashionable sunglasses, trendy clothing, stylish beachwear, and effective sun protection. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, let’s take a look at some of the must-have items we’ve compiled for summertime and holidays alike. Let’s dive into the essentials that will help you make the most of the sunny days ahead.

Sunglasses: The Ultimate Fashion Statement

Sunglasses are more than just eye protection; they are a fashion statement. This summer, the trends are diverse, ensuring there’s a pair for everyone. Oversized frames are making a big comeback, offering both UV protection and a bold look. Brands like Gucci and Prada have released collections featuring large, square lenses that exude luxury and sophistication.

For those who prefer a more understated style, classic aviators remain timeless. Ray-Ban’s aviators with mirrored lenses add a contemporary twist to this iconic design. Meanwhile, round sunglasses are also in vogue, particularly those with colored lenses. These add a playful touch to any outfit, perfect for summer festivals or casual outings.

Sustainability is another key trend this year. Eco-friendly brands like Warby Parker and Pela are producing sunglasses made from recycled materials, ensuring you can look good while being kind to the planet.

Here are some of our favorite sunglasses for the sunny days ahead!

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Pros: Lightweight, colorful, and fun!

Pros: Available in three colors, and have 6-base lens curvature, 100% UV protection, and comes with a microfiber cleaning/storage bag

Pros: Frames have a direct impact on your face shape – to give balance and proportions to the face, the frame shape should be in contrast with the face shape. This Square model looks best on Oval-Round faces.

Pros: Available in 4 colors with varying shades between options – to suit every style!

Pros: High-performance design of lightweight sunglasses fashioned with High Definition Optics® to ensure maximum optical clarity, visual fidelity, and impact resistance.

Sun Protection: Essential for Health and Beauty

Sun protection is crucial for enjoying the summer safely. Sunscreen remains the most important item, and this year, the emphasis is on formulations that are both effective and environmentally friendly. Mineral sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide are preferred as they provide broad-spectrum protection without harming marine life. Brands like Blue Lizard and Thinksport offer excellent options that are also water-resistant, perfect for beach days.

Beyond sunscreen, protective clothing is gaining popularity. Rash guards and UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing are essential for extended periods outdoors. These garments are designed to block out the sun’s harmful rays while being lightweight and comfortable. Companies like Coolibar specialize in stylish UPF clothing for the whole family.

For added protection, don’t forget about hats and sunglasses. Wide-brimmed hats provide shade for your face and neck, significantly reducing UV exposure. Opt for hats with UPF ratings for maximum protection. Sunglasses with UV400 protection ensure your eyes are safe from harmful rays, preventing conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Lip balm with SPF is another often overlooked item. The skin on your lips is delicate and can easily burn, so keeping them protected with a high-SPF balm is essential. Brands like Burt’s Bees offer tinted lip balms with SPF, combining sun protection with a splash of color.

Here are some of our top sun protection items to keep your skin soft and youthful:

Thinksport Kids Sunscreen stick is an on-the-go essential for your SUN-day adventures. Think’s sunscreens are pediatric dermatologist-recommended, EWG-rated, and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making them perfect for active kids so you can worry less and play more. Plus, get 25% off from May 23rd – May 27th!

The After-Sun Balm is a refreshing face and body balm with a light, melting texture. Composed of 94%* natural-origin ingredients, this balm soothes and intensely hydrates skin after sun exposure while maintaining tanning. Start the summer with a complimentary gift with any purchase of $130 or more with promo code MEMDAY24 at checkout (Valid through May 31).

Pros: to help protect delicate coral reefs, Blue Lizard Sensitive sunscreen contains no oxybenzone or Octinoxate.

Pros: SPF 50 sunscreen lotion absorbs excess oil and moisture, allowing skin to breathe

Pros: Long sleeves protect you from the damage of UV without applying sunscreen all over your body (UPF 50+ means they can block 98% of UV rays).

Pros: Get maximum coverage and comfort in a lightweight, breathable quarter-zip layer for water and land. Silky smooth performance fabric has a colorful print, dries fast, and feels great all day – it’s the ultimate swim shirt for long, sunny days.

Pros: This large sun hat has a 4.72” wide front/side floppy brim to protect you from the blazing sun from all angles; it can also be used on rainy days. It is 50+ UPF for complete UV ray protection of your face, ears, and neck.

Pros: Polarized sunglasses minimize glare and haze, allowing you to see more clearly and comfortably.

Pros: Infused with zinc oxide, this lip balm with SPF 15 protection provides the benefits of sunscreen without the typical whitening residue to keep your lips sunburn-free

Fashion: Lightweight and Vibrant

Summer fashion in 2024 is all about lightweight fabrics and vibrant colors. Linen and cotton are the go-to materials, providing breathability and comfort during hot days. Sundresses remain a staple, with midi and maxi lengths offering elegance and ease. Look for dresses in bold prints and bright colors like coral, turquoise, and sunflower yellow to capture the season’s essence.

For men, lightweight chinos and shorts paired with linen shirts are perfect for both casual and semi-formal settings. Pastel shades and tropical prints are particularly popular, adding a fresh and fun vibe to the wardrobe.

Co-ord sets, which feature matching tops and bottoms, are another trend gaining momentum. These sets are easy to wear and versatile, allowing for mix-and-match possibilities that can take you from the beach to a dinner date effortlessly.

Here are some of our favorite fashion pieces for lunches with friends or date nights with your beau:

Pros: The flowing skirts and delicate sleeves are elegantly designed to fit any body shape, making every woman look effortlessly chic and feminine.

Pros: Crafted from airy linen with an elegant faux wrap waist. It’s easy to wear and flatters every figure.

Pros: Sunny days call for a classic dress silhouette cut from cool cotton and sweetly smocked through the bodice.

Pros: A wildly beautiful floral print heightens the vacation-ready allure of this one-shoulder sundress styled with a low two-tiered skirt with gathered detail.

Beachwear: Stylish and Functional

When it comes to beachwear, the focus is on pieces that combine style with functionality. High-waisted bikinis and one-piece swimsuits are dominating the scene, offering flattering fits for various body types. Brands like Summersalt and Aerie have collections that emphasize comfort and inclusivity, ensuring everyone can find something that suits them.

For a more glamorous beach look, crochet cover-ups and kaftans are ideal. These pieces are not only stylish but also provide a bit of coverage while still keeping you cool. Pair them with a wide-brimmed straw hat for a chic, retro-inspired outfit.

Men’s swimwear is seeing a trend towards shorter trunks in bold patterns. Stripes, florals, and abstract designs are all popular choices, adding a bit of flair to the traditional swim trunks. Quick-dry materials are a must, making transitions from sea to sand seamless.

There are certain must-have summer essentials for the beach, from chairs to cover-ups. Here are our faves:

Sunflow, the Shark Tank famous beach brand’s newest innovation, The Shore Thing, is a summer must-have. Sunflow’s patented design features three reclining positions, simple backpack straps for easy portability, vibrant colors & patterns, and accessorized with a double-folding sun shade for protection. Upgrade your beach experience!

Pros: Tnuck Beach fulfills a need for elevated caftans that can be worn from the beach to the brewery to that everlasting sunset barbecue. Like your favorite summer days that turn into nights, these pieces are easy and effortless.

Pros: Packable for easy travel and room for all of the beach necessities like sunscreen, a bathing suit, sunglasses, and a good read.

Pros: Signature Miratex® fabric lends support to this shaping one-piece featuring a crisscrossed and shirred plunging front and adjustable straps.

Pros: 100% toyo straw, adjustable inner circumference, and cool-as-a-cucumber X-weave detail.

Pros: An iconic cushioned sandal is revised in a rubber-like texture with sleek adjustable straps designed to exercise foot and leg muscles while providing comfort.

Don’t forget the Guys!

Here are some of our top picks to get the guys in your life beach and summer-ready also! Here are some of our favorite fashion items for a picnic at the park or an evening on the pier:

It’s also the perfect time to invest in some new swim trunks so you can hit the pool or beach any time!


This summer, equip yourself with the essentials that blend style, comfort, and safety. Whether it’s a pair of oversized sunglasses, a vibrant sundress, or eco-friendly sunscreen, each item plays a crucial role in ensuring you enjoy the season to the fullest. Embrace the trends, prioritize sustainability, and most importantly, protect yourself from the sun’s rays. With these must-have items, you’ll be ready to make unforgettable memories while looking effortlessly chic.

Read Next:

How I Got Beach Body Ready in Just 5 Days!

Top 10 Summer Sandals Under $100

Prime Fashion: 10 Pull-On Dresses We’re Loving


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