Getting ready for a beach weekend involves a special kind of packing. It’s different from filling a suitcase in preparation for traveling abroad — passports! Walking shoes! A dress that’s sophisticated enough for dinner in Paris! — and it’s certainly nothing like winter-holiday travel, which necessitates luggage full of sweaters, wrapped presents, and cookie-packed Tupperwares. No, your beach baggage is anything but. That sand-bound duffle should be as light as your carefree, summertime soul, and contain as few articles of clothing as possible — you’ll be spending most of your time catching rays in naught but your top-shelf swimsuit anyway.
But despite your best and most minimal intentions, that weekender has a way of reaching capacity with alarming speed. Once you add that third pair of shoes and just one more breezy sundress, suddenly there's barely enough room for even the teeniest of bikinis. Well, this summer is going to be different — this time, we have a plan. We’ve isolated the 12 items that will constitute your beach capsule wardrobe, and will take you from the dunes to dinner without having to do the sandy quick-change in the backseat of the car. (We even color-coordinated them for easy mixing and matching.) With our packing list, there will be plenty of room left over in your tote for shells and souvenirs.
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