Don't let all those folks stretched out on the sand reading trashy novels fool ya. The beach can be inspiring.
In the Hamptons, for instance, "the quality of the light is very particular, and influences my palette and stone choices," says Ippolita Rostagno, a jewelry designer who grew up in Tuscany and now has a weekend home in East Hampton.
Eye many of her rings and bangles, and it's like staring into the ocean or the deep end of a pool. Her blues are inspired by shells she collects at Gerard Point, the early morning sky, her electric-blue hydrangea.
Tommy Hilfiger, too, is inspired by the beach and "the easy, laid-back vibe of surf culture."
His new Surf Shack capsule collection features bright board shorts and neon plaid for men, a chambray playsuit and surfboard-clasp wooden clutch for women -- or how about an actual surfboard?
Hilfiger, in collaboration with Art Production Fund (a nonprofit dedicated to supporting public art projects), tapped five hipster artists to custom-design a small line of boards. Richard Phillips, famed for his paintings of tabloid siren Lindsay Lohan, includes a dreamy blonde on his. Are we crazy or is there a hint of the LiLo there, next to that smiley face?
Of course, as much as the beach inspires, those UV rays also inflict harm. But you can be both safe and stylish, thanks to Parasol, a brand of sun-protective clothing specially designed to block UV rays more than, say, your average tee.
So we've gathered surfboards, swim trunks, safe cover-ups and more -- all you'll need for fun in the sun. Well, everything except women's swimsuits. Don't worry -- in two weeks comes our survey of swimwear for her, from the teensiest bikinis to sexy one-pieces.
This summer, we've got you covered. Or, um, uncovered, as the case may be.