Yves Saint Laurent‘s (relatively) new collection of unisex clothing got us thinking. Wouldn’t life at the beach be easier if you didn’t have to haul around so much stuff? If you could share a few basic things with a friend or significant other of the opposite sex (guy friends and girlfriends already have this luxury), you wouldn’t have to pack as much or worry about leaving something at home. In the spirit of androgyny, reducing summer travel stress and overall life efficiency, herein our list of summer essentials that guys and girls can wear and share.
The Tote: Jack Spade Awning Stripe Dipped Coal Bag, $225
Marketed as a man’s carryall, it’s rugged enough to withstand countless trips to the beach and beyond, and its shape is unmistakeably masculine. But the bright yellow latex that covers the bottom half helps to visually soften the hard edges of the bag. Its best feature, however, is how massive it is — certainly big enough to fit everything you might need for a day at the beach.
The Tank Top: Alexander Wang Classic Tank W/ Pocket, $44 on sale
Everyone needs a cover-up for the beach, and we happen to think this tank suits that purpose quite nicely. It’s long enough to cover what needs covering, yet its position as a basic staple and conservative range of colors makes it possible for a guy to carry it off — even if it does have a racer back.
The Swimming Trunks: American Apparel Tricolor Swim Trunks, $36
Almost everything American Apparel makes enjoys a bit of gender ambiguity — and we think that’s a good thing. But more than anything else, it’s the simple design that makes these trunks work for both sexes. In length and in color, they’re neither specifically masculine nor feminine.
The Shades: A. OK Matte Black Sunglasses, $32
These sunglasses are so unisex, OAK — the store that sells them — has them listed under both men’s and women’s accessories. And with a pair like this — understated with the gesture of a detail on the bridge — there’s really no way to go wrong.
The Shoes: Urban Outfitters Bright Plimsoll, $18
Ubiquitous enough for their wearers to escape being labeled as trend chasers, effortless enough to work in almost any setting and colorful enough to win major style points, Plimsolls are the perfect closed-toe beach shoe. And at $18 a pair (sometimes you can get two pairs for $30), you won’t have to worry about dipping into your summer savings.
The Book: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, $11
John Berendt‘s 80s-era novel weaves a tale of sex, murder, public intrigue and priceless antiques in Savannah. It’s a perfect blend of the classic crime story, the lover’s quarrel gone wrong, and the non-fictional depiction of one of America’s oldest, grandest, most mysterious cities.