Sick of sand shaking around at the bottom of your work tote all week? We'd say it's about time you invested in a proper beach bag. Our favorites -- all under $40 -- are big enough to double as weekend luggage. Pack one with everything you'll need for a seaside weekend, and reload it with towel, water, and books when you head to the dunes.
Classic woven straw bags get appealingly sun-bleached by the end of the season. For an earthy look, try Back From Guatemala's tall, skinny Moroccan tote ($35). Anthropologie's pretty turquoise-and-purple-plaid one with a zippered pocket keeps car keys and cell phones safe from the elements ($39.95).
Mexican-made woven plastics are a funkier option. We love a pretty multi-color basket from Calypso ($35 -- and all summer stuff there is now 30 to 50 percent off) and a smaller, lighter one from Pan American Phoenix ($18.50).
Still too traditional? A bright mesh shoulder bag from the Gap looks clean and sporty on the sand and folds flat for easy packing ($12.50). A plaid version from Pan American Phoenix has a splashy red vinyl trim and is sleek enough to take shopping in the fall ($12.50).
Back From Guatemala, 306 E. 6th St. (212-260-7010); Anthropologie, 375 W. Broadway (212-343-7070), and 85 Fifth Ave., at 16th St. (212-627-5885); Calypso, 424 Broome St. (212-274-0449, call for additional locations); Pan American Phoenix, 857 Lexington Ave., near 65th St. (212-570-0300); Gap (for store locations, call 800-gap-style).
Picks of the Week
Red Tape by Rebecca Danenberg, the downtown designer's line of hip-huggers, A-line skirts, and denim, is now 50 to 75 percent off. Nothing's over $50. 315 W. 35th St., third floor (for information, call 212-529-8483); cash only; Mon. 10-7, Tues.-Wed. 10-8:30; 7/17-7/19.
Thé à la Menthe, a supplier of Moroccan home stuff to stores like ABC and Portico, is closing -- and clearing all stock at 50 to 75 percent off, from $10 for lanterns to $1,400 for big tile tables. 236 W. 26th St., suite 1002 (212-675-4651); checks accepted; Mon.-Fri. 11-7; 7/17-7/25.
Vintage New York, a cool new SoHo shop that sells only wines made in New York State, is taking 5 to 20 percent off everything during opening week, depending on how much you buy -- and you can taste anything before deciding. Bottles from $8. 482 Broome St. (212-226-wine); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 4-9, Sat. 10-9; 7/17-7/22.
Country Floors' sale annex always has thousands of handmade, hand-painted ceramic tiles from all over the world for more than half off. Now there's even more to choose from, and prices are about 75 percent off, from $3 for large white floor tiles. 15 E. 16th St. (212-627-8300); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Fri. 9-6, Thurs. till 8; 7/17-9/2.
Z'Baby Company has thousands of kids' clothes from designers like Kenzo, Petit Bateau, and Sonia Rykiel for half price. But if you buy ten or more items, you'll pay only $10 each (original prices were up to $350). Boys' sizes newborn to 8Y, girls' sizes up to 16Y. 445 W. 50th St. (212-245-baby); cash only; Mon.-Fri. 10-6; 7/18-8/25.