Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
One of my favorite things about living in Brooklyn is how easy it is to go to the beach. If weather permits, I bike out to Fort Tilden once a weekend in the summer. It’s an hour and a half each way, but I spend the time between rides lying down, reading and eating nachos (or tacos, since there was no nacho truck the last time I went UGH).
If you’ve ever been to the Rockaways, you know it’s basically one long, sandy runway. New York City can feel like a never ending fashion show and nothing, not even salt water and sand, will prevent some people from trying to look their best. The Rockaways are great people for watching, and I always get a lot of fashion ideas as I’m lying there in the sun half awake, staring at a stranger’s body draped in something cool.
Last summer, I saw a woman wearing an outfit at the beach that was nothing short of a revelation. It’s no exaggeration to say that her clothing choice on that particular day changed everything I thought I knew about getting dressed. She was wearing — I’ll never forget a single detail — a simple black bikini, a gold necklace and pajamas. She had on matching shorts and a short-sleeve shirt in bright orange with black bodies printed on it, her shirt unbuttoned and flowing in the wind. I stared at her for two to three hours, or at least it felt that long but it’s hard to know because a friend gave me a gummy she’d bought in Colorado that made me feel great but warped my sense of time and robbed me of the ability to speak for the rest of the day. Of course, looking back, it may have been the beach pajamas that rendered me speechless.
The second I got home, I embarked on a mission. I had to get my own set of beach pajamas and I had to get them immediately. I began scouring the internet for short pajama sets, but most of what I found was either outrageously expensive or made of some sort of silk or jersey. What I needed was cotton poplin in a fun print at an affordable price. After a few hours of online shopping, I ended up on The Company Store’s site. It’s where my mom used to buy sheets, and it occurred to me that since it was an actual bedding store, it may sell pajamas.
Fortunately, I was right. I found a pair of crisp white pajamas printed with colorful exotic birds, and I ordered them immediately. They were on sale so I can’t remember exactly what I ended up spending on them, but it was around $60, which may seem like an exorbitant amount of money to spend on something I only wear to the beach, but I’m not sure any other purchase has ever brought me so much joy. If you want to get in on the beach PJ trend, they have some cute prints right now, including a fish one that I would totally buy if I had $80 to drop on a second pair of beach pajamas, but that seems extravagant.
Not only will wearing pajamas make you the envy of every other (extremely high) woman on the beach, you’ll be comfortable as hell. Pajamas are such a practical coverup, I’m shocked everybody doesn’t wear them to beach. First of all, they’re breezy and light, unlike denim shorts or whatever else you’re layering over your bikini bottoms. Secondly, because the material is so light, it dries quickly. Third, a pajama top provides good coverage in case you, like me, tend to get burned on your shoulders and back. And lastly, you’ll look fucking great.
In fact, just this past weekend, I was wandering the Jacob Riis boardwalk in search of nachos (which again, I could not find. I’m still upset, obviously), when a woman stopped me and said, “I love your outfit.” I was flattered to think I may inspire her to buy beach pajamas, spreading the trend the woman in the orange set had started. I thanked her and tried not to be smug as hell because honestly, I looked amazing and I knew it (not to brag).
Part of the reason my outfit was so on point this past weekend is because I bought a bikini earlier this summer that just happens to coordinate so perfectly with my pajamas that I’ve been asked several times if it all came together as a set. I bought the swimsuit after a similarly revelatory experience in Mexico, when I saw a woman wearing a bikini bottoms with both a high waist and a high cut leg, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. The swimsuit is white with a tropical floral print that goes so well with my pajamas that every time I wear them together it feels downright boastful.
I think what I love most about my beach outfit is that it’s just so easy. It’s a completely effortless look, but it’s a look. This time of year, I can’t bring myself to try while getting dressed because my number one priority is whether or not I can comfortably sweat into what I’m putting on without ruining it. And when I say sweat, I mean buckets. When it’s as hot and humid as it’s been lately, I’ll wear a bra or a shirt — not both! Unless the bra is a bikini top and the shirt is a light breezy and pajama top and I’m exactly where I want to be: at the beach.
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares that I wear pajamas to the beach. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, beach pajamas or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!