Top Designer's Summer Essentials

Designer Cynthia Rowley has established herself as both a seriously stylish dresser and an impressive summer surfer, so we weren't surprised to find that her must-haves for the season included everything from sunglasses to wetsuits.

We couldn't get her to divulge her favorite surfing spot, but she was glad to walk us through a list of summer essentials that included her own get-around-town beach cruiser. According to Rowley, here's what to shop:

1. Relaxed, Worn-In Shorts. (Rowley co-opted a vintage pair from husband/artist Bill Powers. Learn to shop and D.I.Y. your own set here.)

2. A Little Cotton Bag.

3. A Stylish Wetsuit. "There's no need to look like a dude in the water," Rowley tells us. Shop her second Roxy-collaborated collection online.

4. A Beach Cruiser Bike.

5. A Little Cotton Dress. Wear it over a swimsuit or a pair of statement heels.

6. Summer-y Platforms. (Anything "killer", "gigantic" and "bright-colored" tend to get Rowley's approval.)

7. A Lightweight Blanket that dries fast and comes in a fun color. According to Rowley, "It's the best thing you can take to the beach."

8. A "Scarf-y" Wrap. Something versatile that you can wear as a sarong or slip over your shoulders.

9. Three or Four Cool Pairs of Sunglasses. (Like Rowley, we suggest accounting for losing one or two pairs throughout the season.)

10. Inspired, Color-Splashed Beach House Art. Rowley-founded is a members-only site dedicated putting contemporary art within the reaches (and budgets) of younger would-be collectors.

11. Books and Beach Reads. Shop limited edition newspapers, global style magazines, and signed tomes by the likes of James Frey online.

Contact Us