Guest Author - Kara Williams
If you're heading to Florida, California, Mexico, the Caribbean—or any honeymoon beach destination for that matter—and you're traveling with young children, here are my picks for three clothing items you'll want to bring along.
At age six, my daughter is still enamored enough with her mom that she likes to dress like me. I, of course, am happy to oblige, since I know that once the tween years hit, she’ll want nothing to do with me.
So, I was thrilled when I came across Aqua Swimwear: “mommy and me done hip.” Designed by Natalie Walker, a former high-profile swimsuit designer for Speedo and Jones New York, the matching swimsuits for mothers and daughters are indeed cool—and oh-so-pretty and feminine.
I absolutely love the soft, cotton-stretch tankini ("Oh Daisy” in pink, bought from the website on clearance) that I just debuted on a recent family vacation to Mexico. The top (with built in soft-cup shelf bra and adjustable straps) is flattering and fully covers my tummy. The briefs have a higher waist than is typical for most hip-hugging bottoms you find these days, and a generous leg opening helps elongate the leg.
But I think the best part of the ensemble is the matching skirt. It’s long enough to offer some serious coverage, but has a side slit that makes it flirty. When I wear the entire outfit, it appears as if I’m wearing a sundress—perfect for lunch at a poolside restaurant.
My daughter’s matching one-piece and mini-skirt is made from the same comfortable, high-quality material. She loved the comments we got from fellow travelers on the beach and at the pool on our recent vacation.
Not only are Aqua Swimwear products top notch, but Natalie’s customer service is outstanding. When she had sold out of an item I’d ordered online (I typically order a handful of swimsuits in various sizes, knowing I’ll send back the ones that don’t work ), she herself called me to offer to substitute in another item. Her handwritten notes and care with which she sent my order means I’ll be returning time and time again to her first-rate company.
Keen Newport H2 Sandals
Forget Crocs—they’re so yesterday (at least in my home state of Colorado, where the company is based; we’ve been wearing them to the pool for two years now). Today's hip water sandal for kids is made by Keen: the Newport H2.
These sandals made of non-marking rubber soles and quick-drying webbing are ideal for protecting tender feet from a potentially rocky ocean floor. They are easy to get on and off, yet they remain securely on my kids’ feet when they’re busy playing in and around the water.
I especially like the shades of bright blue and purple—but I couldn’t convince my daughter to go with the girly hues. She picked red, and they couldn’t look more sweet on her feet.
Sun Busters Rash Surf Shirts
For all the time we spend in the water—on regular family vacations and at home in the summer months—it makes sense for my kids to wear clothing that protects them from the sun.
Two years ago I bought Sun Busters Rash Surf Shirts for them, and the shirts are still going strong. They haven’t stretched out or faded from salt water or chlorine, and they continue to keep on blocking 98 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays. The shirts dry quickly and can be paired with matching shorts.
These surf shirts are well worth the nearly $40 apiece I spent on them, and I’ll absolutely buy the Surf Shirts again when my kids outgrow their current ones.