Beachside Bliss

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The handwoven CELEBRATION RAFFIA TOTE has all of the space you’ll need with a button closure to keep your gear safe and a natural material that is endlessly popular for the current season, $129.50, at Tommy Bahama, Corona del Mar. (949-760-1886; | Photo by Tommy Bahama

After you’ve settled on a swimsuit this summer, follow this guide for adding trending accessories to perfect your look.

By Ashley Ryan


After a year of struggling to find ways to keep busy, things are finally opening up—and Newport Beach residents are ready for some excitement. “[The] bottom line is we are coming out of this pandemic life, ready to have fun,” says Shiloh McKasson, a Corona del Mar-based fashion stylist and owner of Shiloh Style.

As such, McKasson says, fashion accessories and adornments for heading to the beach or pool are more popular than ever. “We are shifting the narrative,” she explains, noting that must-have accessories are now being seen as essential rather than optional additions. “[We’re] focusing on functionality, nostalgic trends and playfulness.”

One major trend McKasson has noticed in all aspects of the industry is the reemergence of 1990s styles, especially when it comes to accessories. “Styles evolve and repeat over time—just look at the scrunchie and the claw clip,” she explains. These are only two classic additions of many that have been ultrapopular as of late.

The platform sandal is another item that has been popping up everywhere, with chunky styles taking on “quirky and fun embellishments” that make them even more exciting than their 1990s counterparts. Some other footwear fashions that are currently trending include brightly colored slides and braided sandals.

In addition, shield yourself with one of many bucket hats, which have also been revamped for a modern feel. “Bucket hats have been a staple streetwear accessory for countless seasons, but this season they proved their staying power and are all over the runway,” she notes. McKasson says her personal favorite is one from Valentino, which is made of straw for a natural look. Other options include those crafted with terry cloth, which are absolutely suitable for time spent poolside or at the beach. Terry cloth headbands and scrunchies are also trending.

Of course, when outside, sunglasses are a must as well, and McKasson says that you can’t go wrong with the ever-fashionable oversize look or even a sleek, cat-eye shape this summer.

While swimwear continues to present endless styles, cuts and patterns, cover-ups are consistently evolving as well, with more and more options on the rack. McKasson’s favorite happens to be a crochet number—long or short—but she also recommends trying something bold like a 1970s-inspired frock or even high-waisted shorts paired with a lightweight collared shirt.

And, while you’re at it, why not pair your mask to your bathing suit or cover-up? Still necessary for local eateries and in large crowds, McKasson says these new accessories can be embellished with a chunky chain for an elevated look, and are available in a number of bold, tropical prints for the season.

When it comes time to toss your gear into a bag and hit the water, she recommends reaching for something that will fit everything you need and more. “Think ‘carryall,’ ” she notes. “A tote that can carry your beach towel, sunscreen, water bottle or a good read. This season, I am seeing woven totes or midsize satchel[s] with natural textures—a homemade feel … that embodies the ease of summer style.”

Emphasis is often placed on bikinis and chic one-pieces, but according to McKasson, accessories are equally important. “Accessories have the power to make or break an outfit. … It’s like a red bow on a package—it brings the look of the outfit together,” she says. “Think of it as an art piece: … Balance is key. I always ask myself, if I go overboard with accessories, what’s one thing I can take off? For example, if I am wearing over-the-top earrings, I will skip the bracelet. And then again, sometimes I like to be bold and courageous.”


Ample Accessories

These finishing touches, all of which can be found locally, will help enhance waterside outfits.

Gucci’s GG0713S SUNGLASSES feature polarized lenses, a lightweight frame, the iconic interlocking G logo the brand is known for and an oversize shape that continues to be popular both on and off the runways, $375, at Bohemia. (949-723-0064;


Available in a variety of colors, from natural tan and deep black to bright shades like coral and dusty blue, Allison New York’s FRINGE CROCHET TUNIC is the perfect piece to slip over your suit heading to and from the beach, $68, at Everything But Water, South Coast Plaza. (714-540-8523;


Another beloved 1990s item currently making a comeback is the bucket hat, and Las Olas has the perfect iteration—the WAVE BUCKET hat from Lack of Color, which comes in a soft terry cloth fabric in pastel hues like peach and lavender, $99, at Las Olas, Laguna Beach. (949-371-0580;



NATIVA Tropical Reusable Face Mask
The TROPICAL REUSABLE FACE MASK by Nativa is a great way to stay protected while visiting beachside restaurants this summer, with a bold and colorful floral print that will definitely make a statement, $12, at San Lorenzo Bikinis, Fashion Island. (949-759-1504;


With platform soles and a blue-and-cream Ultramar Newport Stripe coloration, the CATALINA PLATFORM sandals are perfectly on trend for summer as 1990s styles come back in fashion, $98, at Seavees, Lido Marina Village. (


Stay on trend while also drying your hair with the absorbent MICROFIBER TOWEL SCRUNCHIES from Kitsch; in addition to at the beach or the pool, these versatile hair ties can be used after a shower as well as on the go at the gym or the spa, $18, at Beach Bunny, Fashion Island. (949-520-7460;
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