Best Beach Bag
Frédéric Fekkai Style de Provence Boutique
874 Madison Avenue Near 71st Street
In the summer, you need that one big, all-purpose straw bag. The ideal? Something sophisticated enough to pass muster at work on Friday morning, summery enough for the Friday-evening Jitney, and just hippie enough to look cool on the beach all day. This summer’s best comes from Frédéric Fekkai Style de Provence, the salon’s free-standing boutique full of beauty products and bright, Provençal-style accessories. The Pampelonne Basket is essentially a traditional bucket-shaped French marketing tote that’s been updated with bright colors (it comes in marigold, magenta, or orange raffia -- all with leather trim), a single beltlike strap, and a leather bottom that keeps the sand out. At $290, it ain’t cheap, but neither is that summer share. Above your pay scale? Check out an authentic Moroccan version available this spring from Back From Guatemala (306 East 6th Street; 212-260-7010). This basic, rugged, rustic-chic tote won’t match your candy-colored Chanel flip-flops, but it will get you that Mediterranean look for a mere $35.