While for most of us the days of long, responsibility-free summers are a thing of the past, there's no denying that the season still brings a sense of fun and possibility that tends to go dormant during the colder months. There's something about sunny days that don't set until past eight o'clock, invitingly sparkly pools, the smell of a barbecue, and playful summer styles that brings out the happy in people. Winter hibernation is over, and the outdoors are practically begging you to gather up some friends, soak up some sun, and temporarily forget all those real world things you have to deal with now that you're a grownup. We might not all be jetting off to tropical locales, but more attainable poolside destinations can be just as memorable — and the right gear (and attitude) can totally transport you, if only for an afternoon.
Some fresh summer goodies are just the thing to get you in optimal summer mode, and Nordstrom's Poolside Pop-In, curated by Olivia Kim, has you covered. From on-trend swimsuits and tongue-in-cheek entertaining supplies to whimsical accessories, this pop-up web shop brings those carefree summer vibes in droves — but like our favorite season, it's only here until June 28. To jumpstart your own summertime inspo and get you pumped for the pool, we asked four real Bustle girls to share their poolside must-haves and dish on tips for making the most of these few precious months.
Elisa Llera, 24 — Brooklyn, NY
About Me: I'm a recent transplant to New York after a brief stint living overseas. I live an active lifestyle, and strive to infuse every facet of life with a little style and lots of love.
How would you describe your personal style? My personal style is a work in progress, but I love a minimalist take on feminine classics. I'm also a sucker for pastels and comfy materials.
What's your go-to summer cocktail? When it comes to celebrating, I love to make effervescent concoctions with prosecco and seasonal fruit like strawberries or mangos.
What's your dream summer getaway? Somewhere exotic like Bali! I envision basking in an open air accommodation surrounded by lush nature and treating myself to indulgent meals and spa treatments. A girl can dream!
What summer essential can you absolutely not live without? Stylish sunnies! Besides their practicality, sunglasses are a great way to make a statement with minimal effort.
What's your favorite summer trend this year? I've dubbed it "Island Wear.” Linen dresses, ruffled off-the-shoulder tops, palm leaf prints, straw hats, and strappy leather sandals. We're not waiting for tropical vacations to pull these pieces out anymore, and I'm SO on board.
Summer Arlexis, 21 — Atlanta, GA
(1) Zubi 'Midi Varadero' Zip Pouch, $100, (2) Flowers In The Attic, $7.99, (3) Aframes 'Kenya' 49mm Sunglasses, $198, (4) ONIA 'Nina' One-Piece Halter Swimsuit, $150, (5) Eugenia Kim 'Phoebe' Knot Headband, $165, (6) Cirque Colors 'Poolside' Crème Nail Polish, $13, (7) JIWINAIA 'Symbols' Necklace, $325, (8) Tretorn 'Nylite' Canvas Sneaker, $65
About Me: I’m a lipstick-loving, orange-pineapple smoothie drinking Southerner who somehow landed up North. When I’m not studying at Boston University or coordinating flights to make it back to the greatest place on Earth (Atlanta), I’m probably spending my money on cosmetics or craft supplies.
How would you describe your personal style? I like to look feminine but with an urban flair. I’ll throw on a nice dress or skirt, but I love to play girly looks down with graphic prints, faux leather, and edgier accents.
Rebecca Deczynski, 21 — New York, NY
(1) Lem Lem Lemlem 'Bethany' V-Neck Tunic Cover-Up $250, (2) Ruby Mint 'Tropicana' Cotton Terry Beach Towel, $78, (3) Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel, $15, (4) Loeffler Randall 'Starla' Sandal, $195, (5) Kate Young For Tura 55mm Retro Sunglasses, $295, (6) KORE Swim 'Minerva' Cutout Maillot, $238, (7) Eugenia Kim 'Caterina' Cat Ear Baret, $240, (8) Cirque Colors Glitter Nail Polish, $13
About Me: I’m a student and writer living in New York City. I’m passionate about fashion, feminism, all things pop culture, and pride myself on my thrifting skills.
How would you describe your personal style? My sartorial mainstays are horizontal stripes, dark florals, collared shirts, circle skirts, and Wednesday Addams-inspired dresses. I add some interest with kitschy accessories, and of course, my pink hair adds a touch of color to every look.
What's on your summer playlist? Stevie Nicks, Toro Y Moi, Tanlines, Pearls, Eternal Summers, tUnE-yArDs, and plenty of early 2000s pop throwbacks.
What's your go-to summer drink? You can never go wrong with a cold gin and tonic or kombucha..
What's your #1 tip when it comes to summer style? Layering isn't just for the colder months. Add dimension to an otherwise simple look by throwing on a denim vest or jacket depending on the weather, layering a pretty bralette underneath a cutout top, or tying a button-down shirt around your waist for a modernized '90s grunge vibe.
What's on your summer reading list? I love a good mystery, whether it's something funny like Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple or something creepier like Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects. Next I'm looking forward to diving into Jessica Knoll's Luckiest Girl Alive.
Danielle Guercio, 28 — New York, NY
(1) Sachajuan Hair In The Sun Leave-In Styling Cream, $32, (2) Stone Fox 'Hanalei' Bikini Top, $94, Stone Fox 'Bali' Bikini Bottoms, $88, (3) The Dark Tower Boxed Set, $24.50, (4) Hachiman 'Lungo' 12L Watering Can, $35, (5) Jane Tran 'Thin Taffy' Assorted Bobby Pins, $10, (6) Gasoline Glamour' 'Donovan' 45mm Sunglasses, $55, (7) Lem Lem Lemlem 'Biftu Flutter' Fringed Cover-Up, $225, (8) Ruby Mint 'Seafan' Cotton Terry & Velour Beach Towel, $78
About Me: I’m a strange girl with a gold soul, true creative spirit, and an encyclopedic knowledge of beauty and fashion.
How would you describe your personal style? Edgy, pretty, and punk at the same time. Sometimes sexy, and different almost every day.
What's your go-to summer drink? I used to work in a tiki bar, so real pina coladas with fresh coconut and pineapple are the most delicious treat ever! Or a Jungle Bird (rum, Campari, pineapple, and lime), which is the best drink of all time.
What's your dream summer getaway? Negril, Jamaica. Always and forever.
What can you be found doing poolside this summer? Anything from DJ-ing and playing volleyball to laying out or hosting a cannonball contest!
What summer essential can you absolutely not live without? Body oil!
What's on your summer reading list? This summer I will be reading Outlander and books on witchcraft. I also highly suggest that everyone read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King before they become movies!