16 Summer Accessories You Need To Sit Poolside In Style

In our dreams, the ideal summer includes a sprawling white sand beach and an ice-cold Aperol spritz (or two). In the past of couple years, though, there’s been no need to travel, what with the UK enjoying scorching heatwaves and temperatures that rival the south of Spain. It’s meant many Brits are opting to enjoy the summer sun closer to home, with a good old-fashioned staycation.

Though the word may conjure up memories of a wet week camping in Wales, staycations can be the ultimate relaxing break. Taking away the stress of flight delays, overpriced parking and cramming all your liquids into a tiny plastic bag, holidaying at home is often the answer to last-minute summer plans. Whether that means enjoying the pleasures of your balcony, back garden or local park, there are plenty of opportunities to (safely) enjoy the sun this summer without having to leave the country.

If you’re planning on enjoying the great British summer this year, it’s time to check that you have the essentials on hand. Your mind might go to the box of Soleros in the freezer or the faithful bottle of suncream on your dresser, but we’re talking about the items in your wardrobe. With the British sunshine known for being deceptively powerful, it’s good to make sure that your summer ‘fits are ready to handle the heat.

From sandals to swimwear, here’s how to make the most of holiday or staycation dressing this summer.

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Sunglasses

If there is one thing that says summer has arrived, it’s a pair of statement shades. Once sunglasses were as tiny as can be but 2023’s seem to be sliding back up the scale towards pairs that actually offer some eye protection (hurray!). Our favourites are all retro-inspired shades, including sporty ’90s shapes and playful ’60s colours.

Jimmy Fairly Cinnamon Sunglasses, $, available at Jimmy Fairly

& Other Stories Sporty Silhouette Acetate Sunglasses, £65

& Other Stories Sporty Silhouette Acetate Sunglasses, $, available at & Other Stories

Taylor Morris Walton Sunglasses, £160

Le Specs Uh Duh Sunglasses, $, available at & Other Stories

Ganni x Ace & Tate Xena Sunglasses, £185

Ganni x Ace & Tate Xena Sunglasses, $, available at Ganni

Hats

Sun hats might remind you of being a kid but in recent years sun protection has become indisputably chic (who could forget Jacquemus’ La Bomba?). It might seem a little OTT to bring out a big floppy straw hat for the back garden, but there are plenty of suitably sized items on offer this year that work in rain or shine. Our top picks include Damson Madder’s floral wide-brimmed hats and Free People’s washed bucket hats.

Rahi Lake Washed Bucket Hat, $, available at Free People

Solbari Holiday Sun Hat UPF50+, £45

Solbari Holiday Sun Hat UPF50+, $, available at Solbari

Hollie Mercedes x Damson Madder Ditsy Alexa Sunhat, £25

Holly Mercedes x Damson Madder Ditsy Alexa Sunhat, $, available at Damson Madder

Sandals

You might associate sandals with summers spent meandering through cobbled streets in balmy climates. However, sandals can still be a great shoe for popping to the shops or wandering around your own backyard. Why not let your feet see some sunshine this season — we recommend a chunky, black pair for the ultimate versatility. On our list for optimal toe tanning? Dr Martens, Alohas’ versatile fisherman-style flats or classic, sporty style Tevas.

ALOHAS Reyna Fisherman Flats, $, available at Free People

Teva Zymic Sandals, £48

Teva Teva Zymic Sandals, $, available at Arket

Dr Martens Blaire Sandals, £119

Dr. Martens Dr Martens, $, available at Schuh

Towels

Okay, so you could just use an old bath towel to lie on when it comes to chilling in the back garden. But if you’re heading to the park or further afield, you might want something a little more stylish. If you are thinking of upping your towel game this summer (there’s something we never thought we’d say), look to Anthropologie’s tiger print or Dock & Bay’s bold tie-dye.

Dock & Bay Dock & Bay Beach Towels, $, available at Dock & Bay

Anthropologie Tiger Beach Towel, £24

Anthropologie Tiger Beach Towel, $, available at Anthropologie

Debenhams Dreamscene Cocktail Beach Quick Dry Microfiber Pink Absorbent Towel, £7.99

Dreamscene Cocktail Beach Quick Dry Microfiber Pink Absorbent Towe, $, available at Debenhams

Swimsuits

Swimsuits are handy to have around regardless of if you’re diving into the deep blue or just sunbathing in the back garden. If you are worried about catching a chill once the sun sets, then we suggest going for something with a little more coverage like Youswim’s ribbed, one-size-fits-seven swimsuits.

Youswim Aplomb One-Piece, $, available at Youswim

Youswim Aplomb One-Piece, $, available at Youswim

Hunza G Coco Bikini, £160

Hunza G Coco Bikini, $, available at Hunza G

Skims Swim Scoop Neck One Piece, £88

Skims Swim Scoop Neck One Piece, $, available at Skims

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