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Five Beach Accessories You Need for Summer

To paraphrase Game of Thrones: "Summer is coming." The beastly heat and oppressive humidity are bearing down on us already, so we have to ask -- are you ready for beach and/or pool time? Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, after all, and we certainly hope you aren't thinking of showing up in your ratty old stuff from last year. How embarrassing would that be?

If you ask us, you need a little more than a new swimsuit to pull off a full summer of fun in Houston. A few more accessories will do more than just keep you stylish, they will also keep you comfortable as you live a poolside life of leisure. We have compiled a list of summer swim accoutrement -- your beach trousseau, if you will -- to get you ready for your beach babe photo op.

Here's our list of the top five stylish accessories you need for summer:

Beach Bag

You need a beach bag. You can't hide your wallet in your shoe! The robbers already know to look there, but they'll never think to look in your beach bag. A roomy beach bag is a necessity, even if you're just going to a pool party. Choosing an oversized beach bag will eliminate the need to pack a suitcase for quick overnight trips to Galveston, and will double as a great carry-on for travel.

Spend: Bonnie Tote by Trina Turk, $225 • Save: J.Crew Boardwalk Tote, $49.50-$59.50

Sunglasses

We know. "Sunglasses? Um, duh." The beach is the only place worse than the car to be caught without a pair, so buy one to toss into your beach tote and leave them there. Not sure about what style suits you? When in doubt, aviators.

Spend: Michael Kors Updated Aviator, $195 • Save: Banana Republic Morgan Sunglasses, $78

Sandals

Cute beach sandals -- not optional. A few months ago, the Elaine Turner boutique introduced a new line of jelly sandals called the Savannah Thong ($58). In spite of not being a big thong sandal-lover, these ended up being a favorite due to their incredibly comfortable foot bed; consider us thong sandal converts.

Spend: Jack Rogers' Palm Beach Sandal, $105 • Save: Sanuk Fraidy Cat Thong, $36

Hats

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A big, floppy sunhat is both practical and fashionably dramatic. Protect your face, and your air of mystery.

Spend: Wallaroo Scrunchie Hat at REI, $38 • Save: Mossimo Brown Panama Hat with Baja Stripe at Target, $14.99

Sun Protection Factor

We have one final suggestion for summer: Don't worship the sun too much, okay? A little natural Vitamin D production is good, but you don't need to cure your skin to match your leather sandals. Your skin is your best accessory, so protect it with a good sunscreen, and be sure you wear your hat, sunglasses, beach umbrella or whatever else you need to avoid looking like the infamous nightmare that is the New Jersey Tanning Mom. Don't forget your lips, either -- use a lip balm with SPF. We love the Jack Black Intense Lip Therapy Lip Balm with SPF 25 at Sephora ($7.50).

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