Build Your Summer Wardrobe: Part II

gaultierBehold, the second post in our series of what will probably be one million posts dedicated to building an awesome summer wardrobe!  (We really love summer clothes.)  First we tackled summer hats, and now we turn our focus to something every beach lover's closet should include: beach cover ups!

Like many women's wardrobes, my winter looks are mostly void of color (I favor lots of black, navy and gray during the cold weather months).  For some reason, when summer rolls around I morph into former Project Runway contestant Uli Herzner and buy as many colorful and printed garments as I can get my paws on.  This Jean Paul Gaultier tunic dress ($595 at Bergdorf Goodman) pictured above is right up my alley.

If you're looking for something a little more elaborate than the JPG number shown above, try this Milly manila coin-embellished option ($380 at Net-a-Porter). At $400, the coins are probably gold-covered dimes that jingle when you walk.

milly

It doesn't feel right to discuss prints without a little Diane von Furstenburg - girlfriend is always on our minds when we think of delightful resort wear (DVF: If you're reading this,  I follow you on Twitter and I love you).  This Gaby silk jersey tunic ($245 at Nordstrom) is the epitome of DVF's vintage prints: dvfLately I've preferred tunic style cover ups, but some beach days are too damn hot for sleeves.  Enter this Ralph Lauren Blue Label Ruffled halter cover up ($67 at Nordstrom); it's light and airy and would easily work for post-beach drinks:

RL Insider's note: it's a strong possibility that this RL cover up will end up at every Marshall's or TJ Maxx across the country like the notorious RL Polo navy terry cloth halter cover up from a few summers ago.  For those who prefer sleeveless cover ups, I often wear chill sleeveless jersey dresses like this tank dress by Splendid.  They're lightweight and less restrictive than tunics.

If you aren't crazy over prints and colors like we are, fear not - there are plenty of simpler cover ups on the market.  I always pick up a few cover ups from Old Navy each year, and this embellished gauze tunic ($24.50 at Old Navy) would be a nice addition to my collection.  I own a fuschia version of this tunic with embroidery (as does my friend Alex), and it's one of my favorites.

oldnavyGap, too, has a decent selection of cover ups.  This butterfly eyelet tunic ($49.50 at Gap) may look incredibly short on the model, but the eyelet detail at the hem is very sweet.  Besides, who wears pants at the beach anyway?gapAnd finally, the coziest option in the bunch, another tunic from Gap, this one made of lightweight cotton ($39.50 at Gap):gapI can just see myself enjoying the final pages of a book on the beach in this snuggly little number once the sun begins to set.

If you spend a significant amount of time at the beach or pool in the summer, start your beachwear shopping soon!  FYI - I recommend keeping your eye out as summer rolls on, too.  I always find great cover ups on sale during early and mid-summer at J.Crew.  Holla!

Parts III-M (that's one million in a Roman numeral) to follow.