I WAS in my dermatologist’s office last week discussing Consumer Reports‘ 2019 Sunscreen Buying Guide. Although my La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 got the top rating, Coppertone’s Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 also ranked high, as my savvy skin doctor pointed out. The difference: La Roche-Posay’s is $36; Coppertone’s is $11. Which got me to thinking I was also paying a lot more for other summer essentials—sunglasses, hats, sandals. The challenge, I decided, was to find wallet-friendly alternatives that I liked as much as the high-price brands.
LEFT: You can easily spend hundreds of dollars for sunglasses, but you don’t have to. These oversized, square-shaped Clique Sunglasses from Privé Revaux come with polarized lenses and provide 100% UV protection. Available in mustard, burgundy, and black with both grey gradient and black lenses for a budget-loving $29.95. RIGHT: Wear J. Crew’s floaty Button-front tie-waist midi dress from seaside to sidewalk. A boho alternative to Ulla Johnson’s far pricier ones. $118 (take 30 percent off with discount code).
LEFT: The sun hasn’t shined a lot lately, but when it does, be prepared. The Sara Raw Edge Denim Bucket Hat from Genie by Eugenia Kim has a wide-ish brim (3 inches) to keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your face from wrinkle-making rays. $68, Lord & Taylor. RIGHT: The wide, 4-inch brim on Wallaroo’s crushable Seaside hat ($50) with UPF 50+ fabric that blocks 97.5% of ultraviolet rays features a mesh layer that lets in air to cool your crown.
LEFT: Fibers like raffia and bamboo are always in for warm weather, but they’re enjoying an especially big moment this season. This soon-to-be-in-stock Bamboo Basket bag with cotton lining gets the cuteness nod. A reasonable $69.99 from Mango. CENTER: Remember when Havaianas cost $10 or so? Forget those days. Although they’re on the spendy side, these You Saint Tropez Sandals appeal because of the fun, tropical fabric instead of the expected plastic strap. $40, Zappos. RIGHT: I love my old K Jacques sandals with their minimal vibe. But for pool or beachside occasions, I’d choose label Tkees, which has tweaked the old thong with their leather Riley flip flop. Priced between $39.99 and $50, depending on color, at Zappos.
LEFT: In response to a post on linen shirts, one reader wrote this in the comments: “Uniqlo’s is my linen shirt of choice — they last for years and at $29.90, you cannot beat the price. Fit is nice and length not too long.” The mass retailer’s Premium Linen Long-Sleeve Shirt, available in 10 summery colors, is currently on sale for $19.90. Psst: you could also throw it over a bathing suit. RIGHT: Australian brand Le Specs is known for setting trends reinventing classic shapes. These Eureka 56mm Cat Eye Sunglasses are just the sunnies you need to show off your cheekbones $59, Nordstrom.
LEFT: The Environmental Working Group’s 2019 Guide to Sunscreens” ranks mineral-based Coppertone’s Pure and Simple Sunscreen Lotion (6 ounces) a top choice for excellent UVA protection and a good balance of UVA protection in relation to SPF. $9.99, Target. CENTER: Coppertone’s Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, (8 ounces for $11.49 at Walgreens) got an overall score of 94 and is one of Consumer Reports’ recommended sunscreen lotions (formulas that scored 81 or higher and received excellent or very good scores for UVA and UVB protection, got the stamp of approval). RIGHT: The Diana Slouchy Tote Bag, made of raffia and polyurethane, is available in white and black. Have you heard? Black is on trend for summer. $88, Anthropologie.