By Gina Daugherty
The Cincinnati Enquirer
We understand you have a lot to do now that it's mid-summer, like grill out and blend frozen concoctions. So we did the work for you. Sit back. Relax. Blend yourself something refreshing, and follow our guide to this summer's necessities.
Terry cloth - Velour is so 10 minutes ago, terry is so very ... this summer. You can get it in hoodies, pants, shorts, handbags - even terry flip-flops. Express has great terry pants at $34.50, along with zip-up hoodies at $40.
Skin bronzer/self-tanners - Tans look great, but we don't recommend wrinkle-causing sun exposure. Self-tanners and bronzers have come a long way. You can get a natural looking, streak-free tan without the sweat and UV waves. Try some of these popular ones: Clinique, with several different types for $15.50; Neutrogena Instant Bronzers and self-tanners for $8.99; Coppertone Endless Summer $13.99.
Trucker hats - Keep on truckin' with the original stiff foam hat. Available in many new varieties, like Free Martha, as well as old school John Deere styles. Make sure it has the plastic adjustable snaps in the back and breathable mesh. Prices start about $10.
Boy briefs - We finally got our men to stop wearing them, and now we are. Boy-cut underpants are making panty lines everywhere. They're stretchy, low rise and great for lounging or wearing under mini-skirts. American Eagle has a great selection, starting at $7.50, as does the Gap, starting at $5.99.
Rimless sunglasses - J. Lo will have nothing on you when you step out with these babies. Available in many great tints - blue, pink, silver - rimless is what to be seen in. Make sure they offer 100 percent UV protection, though. Prices vary, and you can find them almost anywhere.
Thong sandals - Nothing says summer like plastic running between your toes. Old Navy has brought out the best in rubber thongs. Available for men or women, they are great as shower shoes or slippers and for days at the beach and nights at the club. They come in classic, platform and floral versions, starting at $3.50 a pair.
Sugar scrub - Slathering sugar and oil all over your body might not sound that great - or maybe it does. This exfoliating, moisturizing infusion is great for after sun bathing and chlorine dips. Just slather it all over to remove dead skill cells and that lake-water smell. Bath and Body Works has great scents in travel and regular sizes, $7 and $18, respectively.
Ruched pants - These honeys scrunch at the bottom, giving your legs a longer look. They come in capri and long lengths.American Eagle has a cargo version for $40.
Threaded jeans - Jeans with faded threading are must-haves. So throw out all of your jeans that look faded and trade them in for ones that are faded with visible threading.
Bugs - Butterflies, dragonflies, lady bugs and other flying objects are landing on all kinds of accessories.
Say what? - Need to get something off your chest? Why not put it on your chest. Tanks and tees are a sounding board for almost everything, like "Boys Lie," "Follow Me" and "Big Fun." Make your own by gluing rhinestones to you favorite T-shirts. Or, say it on your butt, with active shorts being another walking blackboard. Usually reserved for sports teams, some butts are calling themselves "Cute" and "Honey."
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