Finds for the beach

Trilby hat,

$80

What is better for hiding messy beach hair than this adorable hat?

Upon finding out that no two of these beauties are alike and each is individually handmade, I understood the price.

This Trilby hat is made by flora bella, which boasts all artisan-made items and each piece can be identified by their signature flower.

I fell for many goodies at Seasonal Outfitters, including a stunning beach bag with sea shell adornments that left me sad to leave it behind.

Seasonal Outfitters

15 Roosevelt Ave. (Route 1), Mystic

860.536.0780

www.seasonal-outfitters.com

My version of a beach bag,

Originally $68; on sale for $47

I have never been a follower. I like to think outside the box; my friends call me "artsy." (I think it is just a nice way of saying I'm a weirdo.) So why would I search for a traditional over-sized canvas bag to be the holder of all things beachy?

No, not me, I wanted the ultra-suede, sequin-embroidered oversized beach bag (insert grin here). I am happy with this purchase not only because it fits my style, but because it is a fair trade product from Vietnam. Flavours of Life has THE best fair trade offerings. Whatever you buy can actually make a difference, both locally and around the globe.

Flavours of Life

86 Bank St., New London

860.444.9428

www.flavoursoflife.com

— Kara T. Walters

Picnic basket,

$79.98

I'm greedy. Everyone who knows me knows that I love good food and good drink, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. So walking into SWAG was the best thing that could have happened to this girl on a mission to find beachy things.

The basket holds service for two, complete with flatware, napkins, plates, glasses and a wine bottle opener. The inner lining is removable and washable.

The only disappointing thing about visiting the store was hearing the owners say, "What you see today might not be there tomorrow." Why? Because they scour warehouses and showrooms, picking up the best deals along the way. And if it happens to be the last doo-dad in stock, so be it.

Oh well, folks. Get 'em while they're hot.

SWAG (Selling Wicked Awesome Goods)

117 Main St., Old Saybrook

860.388.5500

www.swagfan.com

Sundress,

$28

OK, so you've got your hat, bag and cool carrier for all your snacks. The only thing left is a cute little something to wear over your swimsuit. And this dress fits the bill.

The black ribbon across the neckline and beautifully stitched flowers throughout the dress are a nice contrast to the white background. There's nothing that I don't like about this summertime favorite.

The Nearly New Shop

70 Shore Road, Old Lyme

860.434.5514

www.thenearlynew.org

— Katrina T. Gathers

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