Small details make a big splash

Just imagine: You’re enjoying an amazing day at the beach. You’re there with your best gal pals, the sun is warm, a light breeze is flowing through the air, the sound of the ocean echoes in the background and you feel fabulous because this is the first time you’ve worn your new bikini and can’t wait to see the public’s reaction. You sit up and look at the beautiful scenery around you and notice that another girl is wearing the same swimsuit as you. You look in the other direction and another girl has on your swimsuit. Suddenly, it feels like half of the girls on the beach that day went to the exact same store you did and bought the exact same bathing suit.

Relax, we’ve all had this happen to us. I remember last year I bought the cutest pink Roxy bikini only to find that every other girl on the planet bought it, too. OK, you’ve done the hard part–you’ve found that ultimately marvelous swimsuit that accentuates your body while sharing a subtle part of your personality. So how do you make your swimsuit really yours? Just find the four essential accessories to make it fabulous: shoes, sunglasses, a bag and a sarong.

Out with the old flip-flops — this summer there are plenty of new shoe styles to turn your bikini from drab to fab. Close-toed ballet flats with flirty details are the perfect way to stand out. Instead of going with the exact same color as your bathing suit, try a contrasting color. If your bikini has multiple colors in it, choose the color that is the least noticeable and use it for your shoes to highlight the color in your swimsuit.

“I’ve seen a lot of sandals in silver and gold,” said Gigi Gonzalez, manager of The Body Shop at University Mall.

Another alternative to flip-flops is ’70s-inspired platforms. Now, this may not be the ideal shoe choice if you want to walk in the sand, but if you’re planning on hitting the town after your day at the beach or want to strut your stuff by the pool, these will definitely have all eyes on you.

Sunglasses are the ultimate fashion statement.

“A good pair of sunglasses is essential to the beach,” said Katherine Rogers, manager of Aeropostale also at University Mall.

Instead of sticking with black, experiment with other creative colors. White, green, purple, pink and blue are among the top chosen colors. Also, don’t be afraid to try aviators. These are no longer reserved for guys; now girls can enjoy the hip look, too. Flashy details like colored rhinestones and different patterns on the rims are sure to get you lots of compliments.

My personal favorite of these four accessories is the beach bag. The way you carry your essentials can be the best way to get noticed. Straw, reptile and metallic prints are all the rage this season. Trendy beach bags have gone from suitcase-sized to a little bigger than a moderate purse. Look for unique details like subtle sparkles or different color schemes really make your statement.

Finally, the sarong is probably the most versatile accessory for the beach. This colorful piece of fabric can be used as a hat, top or skirt. If you’re having a bad case of saltwater hair, wrap it around your head and tuck the edge into the side for a vogue hair wrap. For a sexy halter top, put it behind your back like you’re wrapping a towel around yourself, cross the top corners in front of yourself (to cover your essentials) and then tie it around the back of your neck. However, the traditional use for the sarong is a sexy skirt. Simply put it around your waist and tie two edges at your hip. Tip: If you’re looking for a fun day in the sun, go with a shorter sarong. If you plan to take to the streets afterward, a longer sarong is the way to go.

Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Don’t worry. You can find all of these accessories on the cheap. Why spend hundreds of dollars on Dior sunglasses or a Coach purse when you can go somewhere else and get something that looks exactly the same for under twenty? The stores I’ve had the most luck with are Aeropostale, The Body Shop and Bakers.

These four accessories are guaranteed to make you the most glamorous girl in the sand. Even if other beachgoers have the same bathing suit as you, with all these extras no one will even notice, and the other girls will be wondering why they didn’t think of adding to their look.

“You always want to accessorize to complete your outfit,” Gonzalez said.

Now hit the sand and find yourself a sexy man!